Some unconventionals

Trewin's of Lew Farm

Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Trewin of Lew Farm

John Short was not only looking forward to the Kingdom of Heaven, but claimed he was in possession of the Keys to the Kingdom.

They were given to him by St. Peter and he could enter whenever he chose. Short was a member of a well-known local family and he farmed Waterlands. However he decided to abandon his farming and family commitments and take to the road.

It is unknown whether he actually preached sermons to groups of people, but he did proclaim as he tramped around the countryside his special affinity with the Creator and warned that Jesus was very soon to return to Earth.

Nobody seems to have taken him seriously and he lies buried in a nameless grave in the churchyard, having died in Holsworthy Workhouse.

John Downing was born with all the potential to become a comedian.

He was naturally funny. To see him walking with his out-turned toes and his walking stick one could not but feel that he might have been a second Charlie Chaplin.

Yet he was a smart little man for one who was only an inch or two over five foot. He could square his shoulders and say his deportment was due to his early training in the militia.

John had his peculiar verbal expressions. Any news was greeted with a 'Cu, Cu, Cu'. He even laughed with a 'Cu, Cu'. His greeting was always 'What Ho', whatever the occasion or time of day.

A massive moustache was the most striking feature on his round, deeply lined face, and when he talked or laughed the moustache became extremely animated, bobbing up and down most amusingly.

He liked his beer and when 'merry' would give a demonstration of militia drill with his walking stick as a musket. He would also sing a song or two, possibly slightly vulgar.

Cecil Elvin was found dead in his cottage, No. 2 Rosehill, in 1984 and Bradworthy lost one of its most remarkable characters.

A Cornish man (and a very loyal one), due to family troubles he was brought up in a Children's Home somewhere in the south-east of England.

Cecil came this way to work on a farm. Later he started up as a tailor, the one trade he had learned.

Alfred Hearn and Fred Gliddon

Alfred Hearn and Fred Gliddon posing in the stocks in the 1930's

Soon however, he was proving himself as a man of extraordinary versatility - house repairing, electric wiring, plumbing, radio and TV repairing.

He had an ear for music and he made two or three very good violins. He was ready to help anybody with his skills and ingenuity, especially in an emergency, with no thought of financial gain.

In this way he befriended many people.

He lived rough in his cottage, was independent in the extreme and unconventional in his ways to the point of eccentricity. He was always cheerful and everyone liked him.

No relatives attended his funeral, yet the Church was full and the epitaph on his headstone (erected by distant cousins) truly claims that he was 'An esteemed resident of Bradworthy'.

Tommy Hancock lived in North Moor Cottage, a miserable little hovel in those days and so far below the level of the road that in heavy rain the water could run in at the door.

His nickname was 'Rasher' and he and his wife lived a cat and dog life, hurling insults at each other and consigning each other to a painful damnation.

Seldon, Cleave and Cory

Bill Seldon, Fred Cleave and W.J. Cory at a luncheon in the 1950's

They sold cigarettes - you could call there for a twopenny packet of five Woodbines.

Tommy was a small bent figure with penetrating blue eyes, a soft suave voice and a disarming smile.

He loved having a deal - a pony, a dog or a ferret, or perhaps a bag of potatoes. He was a real sharper. People who had been caught by a shady deal would try to get back at him, but as one old chap put it 'you can't catch Tommy with chaff'.

It was said Tommy's wife was always 'six to his half dozen'. There was an evening when Tommy came home in a vile temper. He disapproved of the supper set before him and threw the plate and food on the stone floor. His wife cleaned up all the mess then put it, pieces of broken plate and all, into a dish which she covered with a pie crust.

This she then served up for his supper the following evening.

Bill Harding

Bill Harding (right, in the 1920's) was a colourful character, most conspicuous at political election times.

He was very provocative at Tory meetings, and on one occasion a hot-headed military type came down from the platform and clobbered Bill. This incident developed into a free fight.

Bill could be crude in his remarks, but he had a rustic wit which would set people chuckling to the annoyance of the 'distinguished' folk on the platform.

He was fond of children, who would follow him like a Pied Piper around the village, or ride round in his horse-drawn butt shouting propaganda for the Liberals.

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