Goings on in Stratton, 1896

The British Library offers a wealth of information on many subjects. I decided on a quick search of Stratton, which is where it was all happening in November, 1896.

Firstly, there were services for the Wesleyan Foreign Mission, a strong reminder of the power of Methodism around these parts.

Meanwhile, a poor woman named Mrs Marshall (wife of Mr Marshall no less), formerly of Bidna Farm in Launcells, and a member of the Bailey family of Bridgerule, was stricken by a seizure from which she never recovered. Unfortunately, her husband was blind, so who knows what happened to their two daughters?

The following week, the Cornish & Devon Post reported:

The Funeral of Mrs Marshall, whose demise we reported last week, took place. Mr. Marshall (husband) was, owing to his affliction, unable to attend, but the Misses Marshall (two daughters), and several relatives from a distance were present. Several choice floral wreaths were placed on the coffin, tributes of respect for deceased and the surviving members of the family.

1893 is the closest image we have to 1896

The Rev. O. Wingate conducted the service. 

The paper swiftly moved on to farming issues:

November Fair. This Fair was held on Monday. The supply cattle was fair and the attendance good. The demand was small and the tendency of prices low. Cows and calves fetched from £lO to £l4 each, fat cattle 56a. per cwt, good fresh steers £l4 each, two-year-old steers £9 to £ll, yearlings to £7, barreners to £lO.

Tho supply of sheep was small and demand small. Ewes fetched 5d. per lb., wethers 7d.

Horses are later mentioned:

The annual sale of horses, the property of Mr. G. Brandon, of Bude, which took place at Exeter last week, was a success. About fifty animals were disposed of, prices ranging from twenty to hundred guineas each. The large attendance included buyers from various parts of the country, evincing the growing popularity of the occasion.

Meanwhile, some crime reporting occurred:

Petty Sessions.

  • John Ford and Frederick Jeffery, for poaching on Aldercombe Farm, Kilkhampton, were fined £2 7s. each, including costs.
  • William Henry Heard, for allowing his cattle to stray at Jacobstow, was fined 6s. including costs

Additionally, The Gunpowder Plot Commemoration seemed popular.

The weather was most favourable, and crowds of people were about. A programme of music, processional tableaux, guys and fireworks, provided fine entertainment. At 7pm a peal was rung on the church bells, and the usual volleys fired with remarkable precision.

A procession was headed by the Stratton Musical Brass Band (under the leadership of Mr. C. H. Battenbury); it paraded the town. A tableaux representing the Queen (as Britannia) bearing the inscription “years glorious reign,” and  various types of soldiery representing different parts of the Empire, was very fine and much admired.

Others, on carriages, were Guido Fawkes’ effigy, blacksmiths, tin men, umbrella makers, etc.

Some good specimens of the N. Devon yeomanry were present with other horsemen, and a number of guys on foot.

A grand display of fireworks was well let off by Sir. J. P. Brimacombe from a field at Hillhead overlooking the town. 

Wrecks were also an issue:

The wrecks of the brigantine “Thyra” at St. Gennys, reported last week, added the wreck of the schooner “ Giles Lang,” which took place at Bude on Sunday. In both oases the lives of the sailors were saved, the Bude Lifeboat and Rocket Brigade sharing in the distinguished services rendered. The disaster to the schooner appears to have been due to her leaky condition, accelerated by the storm, which rather suddenly arose and raged dazing the small hours of Sunday morning.

The “ Stucley,” Captain Cook, master, weathered the gale and entered Bude harbour on Sunday morning, though, of course, not without struggle, but from which she bravely emerged safe and sound.  


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