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People & Places

These pages are dedicated to the people of Stoke and the places that are and have been important to them. Please use the drop-down menu on the 'PEOPLE&PLACES' tab for more information.

New people have been arriving over thousands of years. More recently there has been immigration from South Wales, evacuee families who stayed after World War 2, and many families who have spent short times in the village or have settled in new housing developments. We are lucky that several Stoke people have put pen to paper to record their memories:

'Winter Harvest'; Eric Hembrow, 1990. Eric gives us 50 years worth of his memories and covers all aspects of village life - a 'must read' if anyone wants to understand what Stoke is all about. Apart from descriptions of people and places, Eric offers us philosophy as well. In his view there are "Stoke people, and people who live in Stoke," but not in terms of 'us against the incomers'. Some people use the village as a transit camp; others contribute for however short a time they are here. He also reminds us of the old Stoke chant: "Lyng-a-Lyng-a-long dogs, Burrow Burrow hounds, STOKE STOKE brave boys, Curry Curry clowns.

'The Baptist Church', Stoke St Gregory; Ronald Gadsby, 1993. Ron charts the development of the Baptist community, its pastors, and the building, which was opened in 1896.

'No Time to Spare - The Story of a West Country Farmer's Wife'; Marjorie Pearce, 1998. Marjorie moved from North Curry when she married William Pearce in 1926. The book describes her life as wife, mother and renowned poultry breeder. She gave her book her own description: "Old methods and customs are recorded, so that the elderly may look back with nostalgia, and the young may wonder how we lived happily without today's 'essentials'."

'Reflections'; Ronald E Woodland. Ron gives us another 20 years of memories, from 1938 - 1958. He takes us through his wartime memories and the rest of his childhood, experiencing all aspects of village life as he grew up.

Marjorie Pearce

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