My aunt and uncle, Dot and Mick Perkins, ran the Commercial Inn, now renamed the Bishop John de Grandeson. I don't know when they took it over but they ran it for over 30 years. As a child my mum and dad, aunts, uncles and cousins all stopped at the Commercial for Christmas. I remember Mick's pigeon loft and loads of empty gin bottles stacked out the back of the pub. This is now a nice garden. Putting old pennies in the one armed bandit and pulling on the handle when the pub was shut, playing darts in front the roaring fire. Chasing my cousins up and down the stairs and passages and being told off by Dot for disturbing the customers. I remember being paraded with cousins in front of "Major X" and "Captain Y" by Dot. I think there was a military home somewhere near by (Grantley??). We used to walk across the fields from Bishop down to the estuary and some days when the sun shone and mist lay on the valley it was truly magical. Dot and Mick died some years ago but the memories remain. When Mick died Dot ran the pub by herself well into her 70s. I remember Dot in the 1970s driving her old car to Exeter yet her driving and eyesight were frightful! She was a true independent spirit and strong-willed lady who aptly earned her nick name of "Spitfire".
A memory shared byon Jan 29th, 2012.
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