1960s In Bucks Mills

A Memory of Buck's Mills

The earliest photo of me on Bucks Mills beach is in a pushchair from about 1951 -52! We were visiting for the day from my grandparents home in Bradworthy. In 1959 my grandparents, John and Gladys Dunn moved to Trundle Cottage (now Leat Cottage). For the next 9 years most of my Easter and summer holidays were spent there. I remember our very first holiday was at Easter 1960. We travelled by train (steam!) from Leamington Spa to Bideford where we were met by Grenville Braund in his big black car. We stayed at No 12, then thatched, for two weeks. We befriended other children whose grandparents lived in the village – Sean and Jane Rudman and their cousins Hannah and Ben Coles amongst others. The holidays that followed throughout the 60s were idyllic. Many hours were spent with so much freedom just to be… Sitting in Mamie’s house listening to her stories of her lover John, who one day would return to claim her hand… Visiting Reg Braund’s house to see ships in bottles and hear tales of the sea… Sitting in Edith Braund’s kitchen watching the pan of clotted cream on the side of the stove… Going out fishing with Mark Braund… Walking up to the shop at Bucks Cross… Building go-karts and riding down to the beach… Walking down the village with Grenville and his cows… Keep watch in the Coastguards lookout with Ken and Joe Braund… Spending rainy days in Mrs Coles’ house playing endless games of canasta… Walking through green tracks filled with butterflies on the way to Peppercombe… Prawning in the rock pools, even once catching a lobster…!

To visit Bucks Mills today is a strange experience. So much is unchanged and familiar, but so much has gone and can never return. A part of me will always be there, as it was then…

A memory shared by Jonathan Asprey , on Apr 29th, 2008.

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