Welcome to Ivybridge Uncovered

A Mill Town Heritage

The Ivybridge Heritage & Archives Group aims to celebrate the rich history of Ivybridge and is dedicated to promoting a lively interest in the Town’s background and development by researching, collecting and preserving archives and photographic records of this unique Mill Town.

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Jul1

The Ivybridge Heritage & Archives Group aims to celebrate the rich history of Ivybridge and is dedicated to promoting a lively interest in the Town’s background and development by researching, collecting and preserving archives and photographic records of this unique Mill Town.

Aug1

The Ivybridge Heritage & Archives Group aims to celebrate the rich history of Ivybridge and is dedicated to promoting a lively interest in the Town’s background and development by researching, collecting and preserving archives and photographic records of this unique Mill Town.

Climate

South-West England has a temperate oceanic climate, typified by cool winters with warmer summers and precipitation all year round but generally wetter and milder than other areas of the UK

The unpredictability of the summer weather was often the bane of  organisers planning agricultural and horticultural shows, summer fetes and gymkhanas, all events synonymous with country life

Climate

South-West England has a temperate oceanic climate, typified by cool winters with warmer summers and precipitation all year round but generally wetter and milder than other areas of the UK

The unpredictability of the summer weather was often the bane of  organisers planning agricultural and horticultural shows, summer fetes and gymkhanas, all events synonymous with country life

South Devon Agricultural Association 1859

“ The annual meeting of the association was held on Friday last in the village of Ivybridge. An immense quantity of rain had fallen on the previous night and the usually placed river Erme, which flows through the village, although turbid and turbulent, presented an exceedingly picturesque appearance as its waters, passing under the old ivy clad bridge, foamed and tossed over its rocky bed. The early morning was unpromising, but the sky cleared before noon, and for a few hours the weather was bright and cheerful. There was a numerous gathering of agriculturalists and others from various parts of the county and considerable interest in the exhibition was manifested.

 The field in which the cattle were exhibited is situated about a mile from the railway station and about a quarter of a mile from the village. The entries were far more numerous than on former occasions and were said to be nearly double those at Totnes last year… The character and quality of the livestock were exceedingly good, and some prime animals of the South Hams and other breeds were exhibited. Of horses, sheep and pigs there were some excellent examples. “

In addition to the showing of livestock there were stone walling and ploughing competitions enabling the local farming community to compare their skills.

 

November 1859

Jul3

“ Numerous meetings of the landowners and agriculturalists of the district have been held at the King’s Arms, Ivybridge, to take into consideration the best means of establishing a monthly cattle market at Ivybridge…The quality of the agriculture in the district was good, added to which there are many excellent breeders of cattle. There is also the advantage of railway communication to the town. The richness of the district, and the very favourable position of Ivybridge for the holding of a cattle fair were pointed out and it was ultimately resolved that the market should be held on a piece of ground adjoining the schoolroom, and the first market-day was fixed for the third Tuesday in January, when the establishment of the market will be inaugurated with a dinner. The succeeding markets will be held on the third Tuesday in every month. ”

November 1861

Jul29

South Devon Breed

The characteristic light red South Devon breed was practically unknown outside of the region in the nineteenth century. They were powerful animals and were used in the region out in the fields to pull the ploughshare.

In 1890 a meeting was held in Totnes to discuss the merits of establishing a Herd Book for the breed and a year later it was in place. This essentially formed an official register of the breed where the parentage of each animal was known. Such registers issued certificates for each recorded animal often indicating their lineage. Following this move the breed began to proliferate more widely. The South Devon was valued for its early maturity, large size and beef-yielding qualities.

Jul28
Jul29

South Devon Breed

The characteristic light red South Devon breed was practically unknown outside of the region in the nineteenth century. They were powerful animals and were used in the region out in the fields to pull the ploughshare.

In 1890 a meeting was held in Totnes to discuss the merits of establishing a Herd Book for the breed and a year later it was in place. This essentially formed an official register of the breed where the parentage of each animal was known. Such registers issued certificates for each recorded animal often indicating their lineage. Following this move the breed began to proliferate more widely. The South Devon was valued for its early maturity, large size and beef-yielding qualities.

Jul5

Charity bazaars or what was called ‘Fancy Fairs’ were popular events in Victorian times. They comprised of stalls selling donated hand crafted embroideries and other similar items, with the money going to good causes. Raffles and other amusements also helped to augment funds.

 

Erected tents enabled local produce to be shown to the public and judged, with entries ranging from flowers and fruit to vegetables and poultry. Sporting events were organised for the children whilst amusements included the popular ‘Aunt Sally’ target practice activity. Originally this game comprised of a modelled head of an old woman with a clay pipe in her mouth and the object was to throw sticks at the head in order to break the pipe.

Jul26

A Bazaar and Fancy Fair held in 1861 was hosted by Mr Widdicombe at Torrhill. The sale of the fancy articles was held in a large marquee. ‘The stalls contained a large assortment of pretty things, many of the most tasteful description. In the same tent were two large and revolving stereoscopes, which were much patronised by the youngsters’.

 

A raffle, with tickets costing 1s. each had the first prize of a donkey. Two ‘very smartly dressed Aunt Sally representatives proved as attractive as remunerative’ with throws costing a penny. All proceeds of the day went to 4th Devon Mounted Rifles.

Jul5

Charity bazaars or what was called ‘Fancy Fairs’ were popular events in Victorian times. They comprised of stalls selling donated hand crafted embroideries and other similar items, with the money going to good causes. Raffles and other amusements also helped to augment funds.

 

Erected tents enabled local produce to be shown to the public and judged, with entries ranging from flowers and fruit to vegetables and poultry. Sporting events were organised for the children whilst amusements included the popular ‘Aunt Sally’ target practice activity. Originally this game comprised of a modelled head of an old woman with a clay pipe in her mouth and the object was to throw sticks at the head in order to break the pipe.

Jul26

A Bazaar and Fancy Fair held in 1861 was hosted by Mr Widdicombe at Torrhill. The sale of the fancy articles was held in a large marquee. ‘The stalls contained a large assortment of pretty things, many of the most tasteful description. In the same tent were two large and revolving stereoscopes, which were much patronised by the youngsters’.

 

A raffle, with tickets costing 1s. each had the first prize of a donkey. Two ‘very smartly dressed Aunt Sally representatives proved as attractive as remunerative’ with throws costing a penny. All proceeds of the day went to 4th Devon Mounted Rifles.

Stereocards incorporating two flat images could be viewed through a stereoscope to fuse the two images and create the illusion of depth

Stereocards incorporating two flat images could be viewed through a stereoscope to fuse the two images and create the illusion of depth

South Devon Agricultural Society

21st October, 1870

This was held in a field adjoining the London Hotel with admission costing one shilling.

A selection of cattle, sheep, horses and pigs were all shown.

A ploughing match and competition for hedging and thatching took place at fields on Woodland Farm, a short distance away

A Dinner was held at the London Hotel where prizes amounting to upwards of £200 were awarded.

 

Background image: Ivybridge Show 1907

South Devon Agricultural Society

21st October, 1870

This was held in a field adjoining the London Hotel with admission costing one shilling.

A selection of cattle, sheep, horses and pigs were all shown.

A ploughing match and competition for hedging and thatching took place at fields on Woodland Farm, a short distance away

A Dinner was held at the London Hotel where prizes amounting to upwards of £200 were awarded.

 

Background image: Ivybridge Show 1907

Summer Fêtes

The photograph to the right depicts a summer fete held at Stowford Paper Mills lawn around the turn of the century.

Ladies fashion included ankle length skirts with a slightly high waistline. Blouses were often frilly with puffed sleeves. Women generally wore their hair up with hats an essential accessory. These were broad brimmed with shallow crowns, heavily trimmed with flowers, ribbons and feathers.

Men dressed formally in suits, narrow jackets and small high lapels. Some wore shirts featuring stiff stand collars. Cloth caps and straw hats were popular hear wear. Beards were reserved for mainly older men, most young men sported neat moustaches and short hair.

Sailor suits remained popular for boys and the Little Lord Fauntleroy style captured the popular imagination with tight knickerbockers and a wide lace collar marking the style (right). Girls wore  long or short dresses with aprons and both genders wore button-up boots.

Summer Fêtes

The photograph above depicts a summer fete held at Stowford Paper Mills lawn around the turn of the century.

Ladies fashion included ankle length skirts with a slightly high waistline. Blouses were often frilly with puffed sleeves. Women generally wore their hair up with hats an essential accessory. These were broad brimmed with shallow crowns, heavily trimmed with flowers, ribbons and feathers.

Men dressed formally in suits, narrow jackets and small high lapels. Some wore shirts featuring stiff stand collars. Cloth caps and straw hats were popular hear wear. Beards were reserved for mainly older men, most young men sported neat moustaches and short hair.

Sailor suits remained popular for boys and the Little Lord Fauntleroy style captured the popular imagination with tight knickerbockers and a wide lace collar marking the style. Girls wore  long or short dresses with aprons and both genders wore button-up boots.

Ivybridge Fanciers’ Show

A fine display of fowls, rabbits, and pigeons marked the annual show of Ivybridge and District Poultry, Pigeon, and Fur Society at the London Hotel Assembly Rooms, Ivybridge, yesterday.

The entries were in excellent condition. There were Houdans with overhanging head-dresses of black and white; sprightly and dapper bantams; gamecocks the very personification of truculence and pugnacity, in contrast to their mild and meek-looking hens; and fowls with “topknots” and feathered legs that had the appearance of trousers, and sometimes “plus-fours”.

There were some fine specimens of Angora, Chinchilla and Dutch rabbits, besides ducks and pigeons. The committee lunched at the hotel when the toast of ‘The Society’ was proposed by the Chairman, Mr F. Baker.

 

Western Morning News 16 November 1933

Ivybridge Fanciers’ Show

A fine display of fowls, rabbits, and pigeons marked the annual show of Ivybridge and District Poultry, Pigeon, and Fur Society at the London Hotel Assembly Rooms, Ivybridge, yesterday.

The entries were in excellent condition. There were Houdans with overhanging head-dresses of black and white; sprightly and dapper bantams; gamecocks the very personification of truculence and pugnacity, in contrast to their mild and meek-looking hens; and fowls with “topknots” and feathered legs that had the appearance of trousers, and sometimes “plus-fours”.

There were some fine specimens of Angora, Chinchilla and Dutch rabbits, besides ducks and pigeons. The committee lunched at the hotel when the toast of ‘The Society’ was proposed by the Chairman, Mr F. Baker.

 

Western Morning News 16 November 1933

Gymkhana

is an Indian term which originally referred to a place of assembly, more generally a social and sporting club in the Indian subcontinent but outside this area in English-speaking countries, a gymkhana is a multi-game equestrian competition held to display the training and talents of horses and their riders, particularly in speed events.

The Ivybridge Horticultural Show and Sports Day

This was hosted by Richard Baker at the ‘Rifle field’ during the 1920s. He was a local horse trainer and proprietor of Erme Mews in Park Street. The Ivybridge Gymkhana and sports event in the 1930s took place at land at West Park on the outskirts of Ivybridge, opposite Cadleigh.

 

During the 1940s the Dartmoor Hunt organised agricultural shows and gymkhanas at Filham Park. This annual event continued for the next few decades and proved to be a popular event in the summer calendar for everyone, not just the farming and equestrian community.

The Ivybridge Horticultural Show and Sports Day

This was hosted by Richard Baker at the ‘Rifle field’ during the 1920s. He was a local horse trainer and proprietor of Erme Mews in Park Street. The Ivybridge Gymkhana and sports event in the 1930s took place at land at West Park on the outskirts of Ivybridge, opposite Cadleigh.

 

During the 1940s the Dartmoor Hunt organised agricultural shows and gymkhanas at Filham Park. This annual event continued for the next few decades and proved to be a popular event in the summer calendar for everyone, not just the farming and equestrian community.

Gymkhana

is an Indian term which originally referred to a place of assembly, more generally a social and sporting club in the Indian subcontinent but outside this area in English-speaking countries, a gymkhana is a multi-game equestrian competition held to display the training and talents of horses and their riders, particularly in speed events.

The Ivybridge and District Horticultural Show 1948

The Show, now in its second year following the war, was held at Cinder Lane, Ivybridge on Saturday. The Show is going from strength to strength for this year’s entries, which were well over the 50 mark, more than doubled last year’s figures, and created a new record for the show.

 

Opening the show, the President of the Ivybridge and District Garden and Allotments Association paid tribute to the fine quality and number of the exhibits and the amount of work put into the show by Mr and Mrs Pepperell and their helpers.

 

20 August 1948

The Ivybridge and District Horticultural Show 1948

The Show, now in its second year following the war, was held at Cinder Lane, Ivybridge on Saturday. The Show is going from strength to strength for this year’s entries, which were well over the 50 mark, more than doubled last year’s figures, and created a new record for the show.

 

Opening the show, the President of the Ivybridge and District Garden and Allotments Association paid tribute to the fine quality and number of the exhibits and the amount of work put into the show by Mr and Mrs Pepperell and their helpers.

 

20 August 1948

The Ivybridge Garden Association restarted in 1947. There were over 20 trophies given out each year with up to 4 different shows covering the seasons. The gardening association started at the beginning of the 20th century and before the two World Wars had hundreds of exhibits with many keen gardeners growing their own vegetables and flowers.

Jul17
Image: The Ivybridge Garden Association wooden spade trophy – awarded to the longest runner bean each year.

Flower shows were incorporated into the summer fetes held annually at Cinder Lane sports field and later in various church halls and Manor Way School.

Mr Fred Hoare (first left) – Chairman of Ivybridge Garden and Allotment Association and Mr Maurice Pepperell – Hon Secretary (middle, holding prize leeks).

 

Photograph: Gardening Association – 1966

Mr Fred Hoare (first left) – Chairman of Ivybridge Garden and Allotment Association and Mr Maurice Pepperell – Hon Secretary (middle, holding prize leeks).

 

Photograph: Gardening Association – 1966
Jul21

Heavy rainfall was recorded in June 1957 throughout Devon and Cornwall resulting in severe flooding in places. During August, widespread gales which were prolonged and strong for the time of year were reported.

Quote

Triumph over bad season for growers

Exhibits at Ivybridge and District Horticultural Show are evidence that gardeners have triumphed over a difficult season and entries at 730 showed an increase on last year.

Judges specially commended flower exhibitors in view of the bad growing conditions.

August 1957

In 1989 the Town Council purchased Filham Park, an area of 34 acres of country park for the benefit of the residents of Ivybridge. Subsequently sports pitches for football and rugby have been installed and it is now the home of Ivybridge Cricket Club.

A large lake was also created offering the opportunity to fish for a variety of species such as roach, carp, chub, bream and tench.

The open plan park provides ample space for ramblers, dog walkers and cyclists.

Ivybridge Horse Show continued into the twenty-first century at Filham Park until Ivybridge Cricket Club relocated to the park from their former ground at Erme Playing Fields.

Carnival procession 1887

To celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria (20 June 1887) a carnival procession proceeded from the village to Western Beacon where a bonfire was lit followed by a firework display.  Such carnival processions were nothing like the ones of today but more of a large gathering of people often dressed in their Sunday best with many holding large banners.

On 3 July 1907 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the consecration of St. Johns Church, the Sunday-school children, along with members of the Bible classes and the Cornwood Band marched to the church with banners aloft. Following a short service they were treated to tea at the Assembly Room kindly offered by Mrs. Millbourne of the London Hotel. Afterwards races and games were held at the lawns of Stowford Lodge with the older members enjoyed dancing to ‘the enlivening strains of the Cornwood Band’. The proceedings closed with a firework display by Mr. Rutherford the churchwarden.

Image: Church fete procession 3 July 1907

Carnival procession 1887

To celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria (20 June 1887) a carnival procession proceeded from the village to Western Beacon where a bonfire was lit followed by a firework display.  Such carnival processions were nothing like the ones of today but more of a large gathering of people often dressed in their Sunday best with many holding large banners.

On 3 July 1907 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the consecration of St. Johns Church, the Sunday-school children, along with members of the Bible classes and the Cornwood Band marched to the church with banners aloft. Following a short service they were treated to tea at the Assembly Room kindly offered by Mrs. Millbourne of the London Hotel. Afterwards races and games were held at the lawns of Stowford Lodge with the older members enjoyed dancing to ‘the enlivening strains of the Cornwood Band’. The proceedings closed with a firework display by Mr. Rutherford the churchwarden.

The Assembly Room at the London Hotel was a popular venue for events during this time probably because it was the only room of suitable size to accommodate large numbers of people.

 

The London Hotel had several proprietors since it was established as a coaching inn by Henry Rivers during the 1780s beside the ivy bridge and alongside the main road to London.

 

Millbourne’s London Hotel was documented as having a bar and tea-rooms, 3 private sitting-rooms, billiard and large assembly rooms, 16 bedrooms, a public bar known as the London Hotel Tap, stabling for 24 horses, motor garage, lovely gardens and riverside walks.

learn more about The London Hotel >

The Assembly Room at the London Hotel was a popular venue for events during this time probably because it was the only room of suitable size to accommodate large numbers of people.

 

The London Hotel had several proprietors since it was established as a coaching inn by Henry Rivers during the 1780s beside the ivy bridge and alongside the main road to London.

 

Millbourne’s London Hotel was documented as having a bar and tea-rooms, 3 private sitting-rooms, billiard and large assembly rooms, 16 bedrooms, a public bar known as the London Hotel Tap, stabling for 24 horses, motor garage, lovely gardens and riverside walks.

learn more about The London Hotel >
Aug5

Frederick Rutherford

served as church warden for 37 years. He was better known as the local chemist. His shop was located at 37 Fore Street where he was able to deal with any minor ailment, saving customers a visit to the doctor. His speciality was Rutherford’s Linseed, Liquorice and Aniseed Cough Cure which was sold in bottles at 1/-

Aug6

Dog Rose

Most common in the south of England in hedgerows and woodland. It flowers between May and August with fruit ripening around September and October.

 

The flowers are an important source of nectar for insects and its fruits are a food source for birds such as blackbirds, redwings and waxwings.

 

Rose hips are high in vitamin C and were traditionally used to make syrups taken to boost levels.

 

During World War II in Britain, people were encouraged to return to the art of foraging in order to supplement their rationed allocations. The Ministry of Food published several leaflets on how to find and use the “Hedgerow Harvest”. One item singled out for particular attention was the rose-hip – a valuable source of vitamin C. The national diet was at some risk of shortage of Vitamin C due to the of imported oranges. Picking rose hips from wild bushes could provide the commercial companies to process them into syrup and sold in shops.

Aug6

Dog Rose

Most common in the south of England in hedgerows and woodland. It flowers between May and August with fruit ripening around September and October.

The flowers are an important source of nectar for insects and its fruits are a food source for birds such as blackbirds, redwings and waxwings.

Rose hips are high in vitamin C and were traditionally used to make syrups taken to boost levels.

During World War II in Britain, people were encouraged to return to the art of foraging in order to supplement their rationed allocations. The Ministry of Food published several leaflets on how to find and use the “Hedgerow Harvest”. One item singled out for particular attention was the rose-hip – a valuable source of vitamin C. The national diet was at some risk of shortage of Vitamin C due to the of imported oranges. Picking rose hips from wild bushes could provide the commercial companies to process them into syrup and sold in shops.

During the 1930s the Carnivals featured both a King and Queen. Floats travelled down through Fore Street, greeted by large crowds cheering and waving.

The general consensus is that this is a Coronation Parade in 1937 to celebrate the coronation of King George VI. Does anyone know different?

We believe Wilfred Love, Sub Postmaster in Ivybridge is the gentleman in the suit and possibly his brother Harry is dressed as John Bull

The coronation of George VI and his wife Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon as king and queen of the United Kingdom took place on 12 May 1937.

It was the first coronation to be broadcast live on radio, as well as television, although only a small number of people owned a TV at the time.

Aug12

The real hey-day for Ivybridge Carnival was during the 1980s.

Events included barrel races, waiters and waitresses races. duck races, Tug-of-War, a 6 mile Carnival Fun Run, Ivybridge Carnival Window Competition for traders, Fancy Dress competitions and pavement drawing competition.

The barrel race consisted of rolling a beer barrel from the Imperial Inn to the White Horse, the Bridge Inn, the Fighting Cocks, the Duke of Cornwall and back to the Imperial Inn, drinking half a pint of beer in each pub!

Aug12

The real hey-day for Ivybridge Carnival was during the 1980s.

Events included barrel races, waiters and waitresses races. duck races, Tug-of-War, a 6 mile Carnival Fun Run, Ivybridge Carnival Window Competition for traders, Fancy Dress competitions and pavement drawing competition.

The barrel race consisted of rolling a beer barrel from the Imperial Inn to the White Horse, the Bridge Inn, the Fighting Cocks, the Duke of Cornwall and back to the Imperial Inn, drinking half a pint of beer in each pub!

Aug14
Aug15

On Wednesday 11 August 1999 the moon moved between the earth and the sun providing a total eclipse to the West Country and a partial eclipse to the rest of the UK.

Aug14
Aug15

On Wednesday 11 August 1999 the moon moved between the earth and the sun providing a total eclipse to the West Country and a partial eclipse to the rest of the UK.

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