Provided by David Carter 2018
The following is the only known section of writings made by Thomas Slade reminiscing about his life in Appledore…
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I, Thomas Slade of 4 West Croft Terrace, Appledore, was born in 1898, the son of Master Mariner Thomas Slade who was master of the Heather Bell built at Barnstaple in 1877.
I went to the church school at three years of age. I can remember fetching the milk at West Farm and the pitcher of water for my mother. On my way to school I would take two loaves of bread to the bake house and when going home to dinner would bring the bread home.
In the summer we would all go on the sands and go for a dip twice a day.
We were always going up to Bideford by boat with my grandma and my aunts and uncles. I would go up to market and bring back the strawberries and the cream on a cabbage leaf and we both would have a nice feed. When they were ready we would sail home again. Grampa and myself would go to Chapel on Sunday morning and what a noise he would make with his clog going to his seat.
I remember one day the largest fleet of vessels sailed from Appledore about 70 if not more and my uncle in the JWV came down west Appledore and got caught in the string of tide and the other vessels lassed her down, I shed a few tears.
In about 1906 or 1907* there was a French ketch down on West sands. She had discharged slate at Barnstaple from St Malo. 'Johnny' had too much to drink and murdered the boy and was put to jail and the boy was buried in Appledore churchyard over close to the school. I can always remember Mr Perrin and Mr Wright the two policemen calling Tom Milton "In the name of the King go down the forecastle and get the man up" and he was locked up in the cells at the top of Bude Street on the left side, walking up.
[* Actually, this was in 1902 – see: Western Weekly News, 29 Nov 1902, and North Devon Heritage magazine No.8]
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