Other organisations

Bradworthy Habitation of the Primrose League, which supported the Conservative Party, flourished for a number of years. The annual fête was a very smart affair, usually held at Berridon Hall when Lt.Col. C.P.G. and Mrs. Griffin lived there.

A Young Liberals League was formed in Bradworthy in the 1930's from which people were recruited for the Liberal Party.

Dairy School

A class at the Dairy School in the 1920's.

Back Row: Mr. J. Piper, Mr. T. Bartlett, Miss A. Wickett. Middle Row: Miss E. Mitchell, Miss E. Griffin, Miss J. Piper, B. Nancekivell, Miss A. Vanstone.

Front Row: Miss M. Brown, Miss E. Cann, Miss Bray (Instructor), Mr. J.L. Martin, Miss E. Johns, Miss L. Jennings.

In May 1932 the Bradworthy Lodge of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes was formed and crowds gathered to see over 100 members parade in their full regalia and then march to the Parish Church led by the Stratton Band. The Rev. A.E. Dobson took the service and the Lord Bishop of Exeter read the lesson.

In the early years of the century there was a Coal and Blanket Club here, the funds for which were raised by individual gifts and various events; distribution was made to local needy people.

Temperance enthusiasts waged a concerted battle against the demon drink, particularly in the Methodist Churches.

The Band of Hope, as it was known, was quite a vigorous body, bent on enrolling young members and persuading them to 'sign the pledge'. They held festivals and parades, with banners borne aloft and bands playing, but they gradually faded away.

For a period a number of village clubs flourished. There was the Tradesmen's Club, the Men's Club (later becoming the Rational Association) and the Women's Club.

Dairy School

A class at the Dairy School in the 1920's.

Back Row: Mrs. E. Cory, ?, ?, Edith Cory. Middle Row: Mary Vanstone, Verna Cory, Edith Dayman, ?, Mrs. Betts, Mary Bray, Mrs. Griffin, Louisa Jewell.

Front Row: ?, ?, ?, ?, Laura Chubb, Annie Piper, Mary Turner.

Often members received medical attention free and some financial assistance in times of sickness.

Most of these clubs ceased to exist as national schemes developed, but Bradworthy's Women's Club, officially named 'Female Union Society for Supporting the Sick and Burying the Dead' continued to function until 1947, having served the community for 110 years.

The Men's Club probably staged the most elaborate Annual Day activities.

In 1908 it is recorded that their procession was led by the band of 'C' Company, 6th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment and there were 'galloping ponies as well as shows and other attractions'.

The big feature was the horse racing and athletic sports held at Berridon Park. This took place every year and competitors came from near and far.

Annual 'Club Days' were big events that combined business with pleasure. Mr. C.T. Collacott wrote the following about these events in his book 'Memories of Old Bradworthy'.

In the morning the members formed up and marched to church, usually headed by a band, having at first answered to a roll call in the Inn yard. After the service there would be lunch at the Inn, with toasts and light-hearted speeches by the president of the Club, the doctor and the parson.

As the doctor had agreed to take a chance on each member's health for an annual fee from the Club, the less sickness he had to contend with during the year, the more jovial his mood would be. In any case it was always good hearted banter between members and their doctor and parson. This would be followed by the serious business of the annual meeting in the Club Room.

The dramatic effect was not lacking either. The late Mr. Tape of Coombe Mill told me how John Cholwill, the famous local bandmaster and his Morwenstow bandsmen would alight from their horse-drawn brake on Mill Hill and, resplendent in their gold-braided uniforms, with well-shone brass instruments gleaming, parade into the village, their martial music echoing afar.

The Bond brothers of that time were great athletes, particularly Dick and Elijah, who won many of the prizes in running and jumping. They were great fighters too, for these were times when the races were not all fun and games.

A bar was set up in the park and beer was strong, plentiful and cheap. Arguments after the games could lead to free fights, but this all added to the excitement for most of the spectators. In the evening there would usually be a dance in the Temperance Hotel Long Room.

[ Back to top ]

Show me the
Home Page