A farmer remembers transport in the 1960s

Avon valley

Several groups across the AONB are out and about recording reminiscences as part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations. In the meantime we asked Mrs Scott, a local historian and farmer in the Avon Valley, to tell us about some of the changes she has seen since 1960s.

Here's what Mrs Scott told us:

"Up until the 1960s most farmers’ wives stayed at home, kept poultry and looked after the house. The egg man came every day to collect the eggs. Most villages were self sufficient. Pretty much every village had a bakery, a butchers and a carpenter shop.

The social outing of the week was going to Newton Abbot Market each Wednesday. All the farmers and their wives met up to discuss business, catch up with each other, visit the bank, as well as sell and buy livestock.

Many women did some shopping when they were in Newton Abbot for market, but before that the local co-ops delivered the weekly shop out to the farms. They took the book with the next week requests in as they dropped off that week’s items.

In the 1960s the bus service was excellent. A double decker ran along the main road from  Plymouth, through Totnes to Paignton every two hours. I used to use it with my mother. The bus would pick people up at every farm and lane along the way.

The train from South Brent to Avonwick was wonderful. They used to drop things off  for people and pick stuff up all along the way. The winter before it shut was really bad weather and the train didn’t run. People in the Valley were completely cut off."

AONB adds:

The train line was closed down in1963, as a result of the national Beeching report.

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A farmer remembers transport in the 1960s

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Christine Scott has published a book on the history of her parish. Find out more: Avonwick and North Huish book

Listen in to recordings of Mrs Scott in the AONB 50th anniversary sound archive here: Christine Scott

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