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Woodseaves memories

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Memories of Shropshire

Oh Happy Days

My father worked for a nearby farm, I know the owner was called "Dunne". My father worked two Shire horses, Blacky and Bonnie, side by side for over 12 years. I spent my childhood sitting on their backs, truly gentle giants. Gathering in the harvest would be long days, but we would all walk to the Four Alls in the evening and I used to walk Blacky and Bonnie there, there was a little lane alongside the pub called Sandy Lane, and my father used to bring some drink out to us and the horses loved it. I still have the original brasses that I used to polish all them years ago. Birds-nesting, fishing, rabbitting, you couldn't put a price on my childhood, to say it was happy would be a massive understatement. I feel for the kids today, we were never indoors. I also remember that the lady who ran the pub was called Fanny and she went down to the cellar and came up with a large jug... Read more

Family Connections.

Kitchen Garden 1911, Pell Wall
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My grandfather, William Simpson Bruchshaw, is the man coming out of the greenhouse with the plant in his hand.  He was head gardener to Mr Munro Walker until Mr Walker died.  My grandfather's youngest brother, Henry, was farm manager on the estate.  While at Pell Wall, my grandfather experimented in growing tomatoes on potatoes in about 1908 I think.  We still have the photos in the family.  After he left Pell Wall my grandfather lived in Little Drayton.  He died aged 91 in 1952.

School Days

I went to school here in the early 1950's. I have fond memories of the suroundings,
the buildings, the gardens, the landscape and of Market Drayton where some of my relatives lived and some still do. Since this learning academy was a live in school / college I remember that we always had good food. Some of the teachers and students came from other lands particularly from within the British Commonwealth.
Many of the students went on for further education at university and a lot moved around the world including myselfe where I settled in Canada in 1957 and have been here ever since. I have made several trips back to Pell Wall and the place still draws me to return again although in recent years some of the buildings have been demolished and the hall itself has been restored. It has been my good fortune to travel across North America and Europe extensively but the beauty of Pell Wall has always had a special place in my heart. Unfortunately... Read more

Buntingsdale Hall And Farcroft.

Buntingsdale Hall 1899, Market Drayton
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My first posting as as an L.A.C. Chef in the R.A.F. was to 22 Group H.Q. at the hall in May 1953. I was eighteen at the time and was to become chef to A.V.M. Merton in his residence, Farcroft in Market Drayton.
I reported to the guardroom and was then whisked up to meet the A.V.M. by his P.A. F/Lt. Jan Badini who I was told was a Polish Count. I think he must have been as he later told us about hunting wolves on his estate in Poland before the war.
I was later to live in Farcroft cooking for the A.V.M., his wife known to us as 'Agie' (behind her back), Cpl Davis, Pete Redcar and another batman called O'Gorman.
It was a quiet life for about a year before I was moved on to R.A.F. Bridgnorth.
The main thing I remember there was Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, coming to dinner and staying the night. I was given an audience the following morning with the Duchess... Read more

Lock Keepers at Tyrley.

Tyrley Locks 1911, Market Drayton
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My great grandfather worked as a lock keeper at Tyrley at the time of my grandmother's birth in 1883.  My great grandfather named William Nixon married an Elizabeth Timmis whose father and brothers also worked as lock keepers at Tyrley and lived there.  My grandmother Eva Nixon married Henry Thacker and he too lived near Tyrley and worked as a 'lengthsman' on the canal.

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