Parish Council

The Parish Council, formed in 1894, came into the century with Mr. Walter Vanstone as Clerk, an office which he continued to hold until 1931.

Circa 1949

Circa 1949
Standing are A.C. Jenkins, T.E. Cann, C. Wade, W.J. Cory, E.J. Wade, R.G. Collacott, and A.J. Slee.

Sitting are W.L. Wickett, J.L. Martin, W.J. Cann, T. Prance, and A.F. Balsdon.

Agendas did not carry so many and varied items as today. In fact there were times when there was no business and the meeting was closed.

Looking through the first Minute Book great concern is revealed for keeping the village wells in order and the footpaths open. Mr. Fred Bryant was appointed to lock and unlock the village pump at 6d. per week.

Later the payment was fixed at £1 per year, which a brief calculation shows to be a reduction in pay! Mr. William Walter made a new iron gate and railings for the pump house and received £1 7s. 0d in payment.

The dangerous corners at the north and west approaches to the Square were discussed. It was agreed that white lines at these approaches would be conducive to greater safety, particularly to children. (January 1948)

retirement of Mr. R. Walter

The retirement of Mr. R. Walter, Clerk of the Council
J. Cann, Mrs. G. Elliott, F. Petherick, A. Hockridge, T. Sillifant, P. Woodward, R. Walter, Mr. Robertson, Group Captain Wright, R. Furse, Mrs. W. Gerry.

Just a few other items from the oldest Minute Book. The attention of the Lord of the Manor was to be drawn to the disgraceful condition of the Square.

The roads also were in a bad state and the District Council was to be asked to instruct their Surveyor to give more attention to his duties in this parish.

In 1908-9 a project was mooted to obtain land for allotments. Minutes in 1919 show that plans were also being made to provide eight houses for the working classes.

Plans in respect of the new public lavatories were discussed and it was decided to propose to the sanitary inspector that a bulldozer be employed immediately at the public refuse tip.

The deplorable condition of St. Peters Lane was to be represented to the Clerk of the Rural District Council for transmission to the county authorities. (March 1949)

retirement of Dennis Slee

The retirement of Dennis Slee, Clerk of the Council
Back row: G. Wonnacott, F. Petherick, P. Williams, T. Sillifant, J. Cann.

Front Row: T. Prance, T. Cann, R. Harris, Mrs. G. Elliott, D. Slee, A. Hockridge.

Two houses on each site were to be built near Blatchborough Cross, Littleford, Trentworthy Cross and the Village.

Neither of these projects, as far as we know, ever came off.

There have been only six parish Council clerks in ninety nine years.

They are Walter Vanstone, Alfred Slee, Denis Slee, Roy Walter, Frank Hubbard and the present clerk, Paul Clarke.


Standing are Ray Ham, Alan Balsdon, Margaret Coles, Bill Jarvis, and Colin Guard.

Sitting are Gus Hockridge, Lesley Yeo, Rev. Peter Sutton, Sheila Wright, Trevor Sillifant, and Paul Clarke.

In 1974 Holsworthy Rural District Council was absorbed into the Torridge Rural District Council. The Parish Councils have remained basically the same.

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