Wilfred has seen many changes during his 99 years

By Sue Read   |   Senior Reporter   |
Sunday 1st July 2018 9:50 am
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Ninety-nine years-old Wilfred Brimacombe with his great niece Sarah. SR 9410 ()

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NINETY-nine years ago, almost at midsummer and a few months before the end of World War One, the Great War, Wilfred Brimacombe was born at Dolton.

When he was nine the family moved to farm at Spreyton and Wilfred has lived there ever since, retiring from farming at the age of 86, but still living in the village.

He went to school in Spreyton until he was 11 and then to North Tawton, now a primary school.

Wilfred left school at 14.

He explained: "My father said I had better learn to plough. So I did. There were no tractors then, it was all horses.

"Then you would get the horse ready for work, take your lunch, its nosebag, sit in the hedge for lunch, give it a drink, bring it in and brush it and feed it, now you just hop on your tractor.

"Where we would plough maybe an acre a day, today you can do a whole field and more, times have changed."

Wilfred can remember the first telephone being put in at Spreyton, when electricity first arrived there and mains water.

Wilfred was married for almost 50 years. His wife died five years ago.

He was a member of Spreyton Parish Council for 28 years, retiring 10 years ago and for eight years he represented the council at the Devon Association of Parish Councils.

Wilfred remembers "the big freeze" of 1947 and the later cold spells, one time when it was so cold the weight of the snow and ice on the wires snapped telephone poles and taking the churns of milk up to Whiddon Down for collection during snow.

Wilfred’s birthday was on June 17, and a small celebration with family was held.

Sue Read


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