Monday, March 22, 2010

Moles and bells

Phil's grandfather's middle name was Rogers because it was his grandmother's maiden name - Ann Rogers. Her father's name was also Philip and in 1796 he was baptised at Twitchen. Early yesterday morning we drove over Exmoor on the north Devon coast and saw Twitchen through the misty rain. It was quite a sight.

As an adult Philip Rogers lived in Meshaw, a bit further south, and worked as an agricultural labourer and a mole catcher. In my ignorance I had been associating mole catching with rat catching but I was wrong. We met a man named John, of whom more later, who told us all about mole catching, enacting the movements necessary to achieve success in catching the elusive and valuable moles that do a lot of damage to fields. Apparently mole catching was a skillful occupation.

Philip's daughter, Ann, was born in Meshaw and married William Alford in the nearby village of George Nympton and they migrated to Australia in 1855 and lived in Warragul, Victoria. She was known as the 'Devon Dumpling'.

I've been photographing the bell ropes in the churches we've visited. They usually have a beautiful window in the tower and the ropes are beautifully bound and tidied away. These are the ropes in the Meshaw church.

1 comment:

  1. congratulations on great pics and family history.
    good to know where you came from triggs