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The Hunter Family
The starting point for this talk is the year 1841. It is an important year when researching the history of Charmouth, as there are both the first accurate Census and Map for the Village. It is just 4 years after Queen Victoria has come to the throne and a time when Charmouth experienced both wealth and poverty. It had become an established holiday resort which had attracted wealthy families who lived in a number of attractive Villas along the Street. But at the same time the working classes were living in abject poverty. Rather than the Gentry this talk will deal with the Hunters as well as their associated families - the Gollops, Gordges and Gears, whose members often achieved great success. The painting of Charmouth looking towards Lyme Regis is by J.M.W. Turner.
This view of Charmouth shows the Old Lyme Road constructed in 1826 cutting through the Devils Bellows to the right is the former main route the Old Lyme Hill. This is the area of the village where our four families lived.
The 1841 Tithe Map is surprisingly accurate. The key that goes with it describes the owners, tenants and size of the properties. We have annotated the map to show where the families lived. John Hunter father and son lived at numbers 82 and 73 at the top of the Street and the Gollop, Gear and Gordge families lived at the top of Old Lyme Hill at nos. 142-146.
The corresponding Census shows that John Hunter Senior, aged 86 as renting no. 2 Axminster Road and his son with the same name was renting the property now known as Granville House.
The 1841 Census for Old Lyme Hill corresponds exactly with that of the Tithe Map and shows the Gollop, Gear and Gordge families owning their small cottages, which were to be passed down through the generations. They have a mixture of working class occupations, the last of which was Urith Gordge who would have been involved in producing Sail Cloths, which had been the villages main form of employment.
This late Victorian photograph shows the squalid state of the cottages at this time.
The aerial photograph below helps to show how cramped the houses were. It is interesting to see that the 3 adjoining cottages where the Gordges lived is now called " Digory" and is described as a 3 bedroom house and the property the Gear family lived in now forms part of a Garage in its garden. Portland View to the edge of the photograph would have been the home of the Gollops.
Here is the view today of the Gordge and Gear Houses.
And one of Ken standing outside what was for many years the home of his ancestors.
This is a simplified version of the family trees of the Hunter, Gollop and Gordge families showing how they were all related. The most amazing feature is the number of very large families they had and the longevity of a number of them. It would seem that Ken`s Grandfather, Frank, lived to be 97 and to have 11 siblings and go on to have 10 children himself. Even more interesting is the fact that he was to marry Elizabeth, daughter of their neighbour Job Gordge, whose sister Mary Ann would later marry his father, William and have another 3 children.
Our talk will mainly deal with the Hunter family who are associated with the sea. But amazingly this was not always the case for John Hunters family originated from Holborn in the centre of London. His parents were Robert Hunter and Ann Cload whose clandestine marriage is recorded at the annual May Fair in 1753. A clandestine marriage was conducted by an ordained clergyman, but without banns or licence. Their son John Cload Hunter was baptised the following year at St. Andrews Church in Holborn and they are shown living in Grays Inn Lane.
This is an early engraving showing Holborn with the tower of St. Andrew in the background.
Most families have descendants who leave the countryside to make their fortunes in London, but it seems that John Hunter was to do the reverse and moved to Charmouth to marry Hannah Cavill in 1777 at the age of 23. It is the inclusion of Cload as his middle name which had allowed us to trace back his origins. They are members of the Independent Church whose Chapel still stands in the village. Their records provide a great source of information about the family and shows that they were to have a son, John baptised on May 18th 1794. We have not been able to find out what his occupation, but the son is later shown to be a Sail Cloth Maker. At the end of the 18th century there was a boom in their manufacturer and Charmouth had a large factory where Charmouth Lodge is today run by Jacob Ridley Kitt whom he may have worked for.
It is astonishing to see that the first Census of 1841 for Charmouth shows John Hunter, aged 87 living at number 2 Axminster Road, seen on the right of this slide.
Even more amazing is the next Census in 1851 still showing John, now aged 97 living in the Almshouses, which were originally sited next to the Court. He was to die in the same year.
The earliest record we have found for John Hunter, son of John Hunter Senior is in a Census carried out in 1813 which describes him as a labourer with 2 males and 4 females in the household. It is clearly shown as being next to that of John Potter, a Shoemaker and Benjamin Diment, a Blacksmith. The House is known as Granville House today and John rented it from John Potter, his neighbour.
Granville House and Waterloo House are shown here in 1900. They were rebuilt in the 1880`s after a disastrous fire.
Granville House today, the home of Jake and Jane Bean.
The Hunters appear regularly in the records of the Independent Chapel in Charmouth where they worshipped. One of the earliest is for the baptism of Robert Hunter in 1816. His father is described as a Sailcloth Worker. No doubt working for William Burnard at the Mill, who was a stalwart of the Chapel.
It is not until 1830 that he is shown as a Fisherman for the first time.
The 1841 Tithe Map and Census reveals that he is living at Granville House with 6 of their children. His elderly father was living nearby in the same year.
A painting showing the making of Sail Cloths by Fra Newberry which hangs in Bridport Town Hall today.
This painting by William Daniel is contemporary with the times when John Hunter would have started his life as a fisherman. An occupation which most of his family and descendants would follow in Charmouth.
John was once caught in the act of smuggling which was rampant along the coast at that time, and was heavily fined and had his property confiscated. As a result of this he abandoned this sideline and stuck to selling Fossils, Fishing and keeping pleasure boats.
By the time of the 1851 Census John Hunter is shown as a widower. He is still living at Granville House with his sons John, a Shoemaker, no doubt working for his landlord, William Potter.
Issac Hunter, the most famous member of the family, was at the age of 19 described as a fisherman. Frances, his sister, aged 15 was later to unite the Gollop family when she married William.
The next census a decade later shows their union, when they are living with John Hunter, now aged 66, at Granville House. By then Isaac is opposite them as Foxley Farm House, which is now called "Badgers".
John Hunter is shown in directories of the time as both a pleasure boat owner and collector of fossils, which he would sell to visitors.
J.Garland, of Dorchester, wrote in the Naturalist in August 1854,
"I observed at Charmouth, in this county, one day en passant, the following newly described Trade " on a sign "John Hunter, Fossiler.N.B. Pleasure boats for hire."
Both Robert and Issac were to carry on in their fathers footsteps on Charmouth Beach.
This is one of the earliest photographs of Charmouth dating back before 1870. It shows the redundant Cement Factory and the Coastguards Station and lookout. The boats on the shore are Lerrets, which the Hunters would have used to catch Herring. Lerrets were double-ended with a high stern post to enable them to be launched off the steep beach and hauled up onto the beach.
A close up of the Lerrets with George Bugler`s traction Engine with its wagon used to haul sand and stone from the beach.
Hannah, was the daughter of John Hunter and was to spend her days as a servant to William Juson who owned the farm known as Backlands at the rear of The Street. He was widowed and lived on his own at Albury House. When he died in 1845 he left his house to Hannah. But it seems that she was only to have it for a while for the Will was contested in 1853 by Henry Larking and she lost.
Robert was the eldest son of John Hunter and was baptised at the Independent Chapel in 1816. He was to live most of his life in a house he had built on a piece of ground that was formerly "The Potato Plot". For many years it was known as "Robert Hunter's House' as he was the first tenant. Robert smuggled freely as did all fishermen and long shoremen of their time. He had five sons and five daughters. Once he was nearly caught by the press gang, but escaped by hiding in the roof.
On another occasion, when he was fishing with a companion, he sighted a ship on fire and sailed towards her, finally hailing her. She answered that she was bound for the Irish mountains with Devil Darby, a notorious evil liver who had died that night. In 1843 Robert Hunter married Ann Gale and is mentioned in Kelly's Directory as Bathing Machine proprietor, collector of fossils and pleasure boat owner. He died, in about 1883 greatly respected by many. His funeral procession to the chapel was the longest ever recorded.
This photograph shows one of Robert Hunter`s Bathing Machines surrounded by children enjoying the beach at Charmouth.
The redundant Cement Works is shown in the background here. It was used by the Hunters to store their Bathing Machines during the winter. The horses were used to take the wheeled huts out to the water so that customers could bathe in privacy.
Hunter`s Bathing Machines are seen here on the beach with the boat used by the Coastguards who were based near the old Cement Works.
There are many legends and stories about Isaac, brother of Robert, than about the other Hunters, which at least shows him to be a character. Prawns and Lobster fishing seems to have been his chief care. This being a tidal occupation, took him to sea at any hour of the day or night, which may probably be responsible for the legend of his long absences, alone in his boat, for several days. But on one occasion he is said to have rowed or drifted as far as Plymouth, and on another,as far as Cowes,while here he was mobbed by the local fishermen and forced to bring self and his boat back by rail. He certainly was a powerful oarsman, as his challenge to row against any man living between West Bay and Lyme was never accepted.
For many years he lived opposite the Blacksmiths at the top of The Street in a house then known as Foxley Farm House but now "Badgers".
Isaac appeared regularly in the local papers as both a winner of the rowing races in the annual Charmouth Regatta and as a collector of fossils.
His most newsworthy article is that relating to his famous "Dream". For the Bridport News of 29th November 1872 gives a full and comprehensive report on the wreck of "The Courier" off the coast at Charmouth five days earlier. Isaac had a recurring dream that his lobster pots were being washed ashore east of Charmouth.
The Bridport News 4 days later goes on to record:
" The story goes that in consequence of the dream so disturbing his mind, Hunter dressed himself and repaired to the beach to see after his pots. He was proceeding on the way from Charmouth to Westhay, when he met a coast guardsman, who advised him to go back, on account of the rough sea on. He however, would not desist in his determination, and went on to Westhay, where he discovered the vessel had gone upon the beach. The lobster pots, of course did not occupy Hunters attention long, seeing as he did the peril the ships crew were on. Two of them appeared to be clinging to the rigging and another to the bow-sprit, but the boy must have been washed overboard sometime before, as no trace of him could be or had been seen by those on deck for nearly an hour. Hunter called to his assistance Mr. Harris, of Westhay Farm, and they immediately informed the  Coastguard, who resolved to despatch a messenger to Bridport for the rocket apparatus. This done Messrs. Harris and Hunter took immediate steps themselves to rescue the fatigued men from their perilous situation, and after many attempts they succeeded in conveying a line to the crew, who, availing themselves of the same, were bought ashore in a very exhausted state.
Westhay Farm near Stonebarrow where Robert Harris lived.
"He went into the sea up to his middle, and held one end of the rope, while Hunter carried the other end and threw it to the vessel".
The watch presented to Isaac Hunter in memory of the three sailors he saved in 1872.
The Knapp at the junction of The Street and Higher Sea Lane.
In 1898, Isaac Hunter paid £5 to James Coulton and built a shed to house his fossils, an Ichthyosaurus being the chief specimen, An inverted boat formed the roof. Eventually he built a cottage on the site, which was opposite Sea Horse House, in which he lived for many years. It is now known as "Victoria Cottage".
The Proceedings of the Geologists' Association in 1906 describes a visit to the village as follows :
"While traversing the Charmouth Road the Director called attention to the great landslips that had occurred along this tract ... A visit was paid to the home of Isaac Hunter , a zealous collector and dealer in fossils at Charmouth , who displayed his collection".
The 1901 Census shows Isaac then aged 66 as a Fisherman, living there with his wife Mary Ann
. He was to live on until he was 70.
The photograph shows Issac Hunter`s cottage in 1998 when it was put up for sale in a dilapidated state as can be seen clearly here.
Victoria Cottage today - much altered.
Tom was the son of Robert Hunter and as a lad used to accompany E.C.H. Day, the famous geologist when he was making detailed observations on the Liassic strata east of Charmouth in the 1860s. In this way he picked up a good working knowledge of the succession of the main beds and the horizons at which saleable fossils were found.
He taught swimming,and was himself a powerful swimmer. He was seldom, if ever overtaken in the Duck Hunts at the Charmouth Regattas, when he took the part of "Duck".
He is seen here by his fishing boat repairing nets on Charmouth Beach.
When his brother, Wilfred gave up the bathing machines, Tom became owner. It was the custom in the 1880s and 1890s for the ladies to bathe from the beach. There was no mixed bathing, and Tom was often known to ask gentleman to move away from the machine when ladies were bathing. 
As the number of visitors increased, tents were to supplement the machines.These Tom manufactured himself during the winter months, and later on he made a few huts.
This view is of especial interest to Neil as it shows his house,Thalatta in 1923 in the process of being built on the right of the photograph.
Tom Hunter`s Beach Tents,Huts and boats can be seen on the foreshore.

For many years he was a familiar figure on the beach and was known to many visitors as its first custodian. Here he is seen in 1923 leaning against the fence that surrounded the Coastguards Look Out at that time. He died in 1936 aged 79 after many years of service to the village.

William was the son of Isaac Hunter. He married Ellen Churchill from Broadwinsor in Dorset in 1881, when he was 24. The Census`s show him continuing the families occupation as a Fisherman.
Willam Hunter`s Will for 1936 showing him still living at Hill View since before 1881. It is interesting that his cousin Tom Hunter was born in 1857 and died in 1936, the same years as William. Both had large families with Tom having 9 children and William, 11 offspring.
Hill View on the Axminster Road today
Fishermen with their catch on the beach at Charmouth
The two sailors seen here are Ted Hunter and Charles Larcombe outside Portland House in 1900. Edward Henry Hunter was born in 1886 to Tom and Jane Hunter and served in the Royal Navy from 1904 until 1919.
He lived at Beach View and used to look after the bathing tents and deck chairs for Charmouth Council in the 1930`s. He was later the landlord of the George Inn until his death in 1952.
Our next family are the Gollops who were linked with the Hunters when William Henry Gollop married Frances, daughter of John Hunter in 1860. Both families were members of the Independent Chapel in Charmouth and their baptisms appear on the same page in the register for 1836. The chart also shows how Frank Gollop married Elizabeth Gordge, daughter of Job Gordge his neighbour on Old Lyme Hill in 1886 and have 9 children. Even more interesting is that his father William was to later marry her sister, Mary Ann in 1906 and add 3 more children to the 8 he had already fathered.
William Gollop`s family had originated from Honiton in Devon and his grandmother, Ester is shown in the 1841 Census living with her daughters as Lace makers at "Crown and Sceptre Court" in the town.
In the same year her son, Edward Gollop then aged 27, a Mason is living in a cottage at the top of the Old Lyme Hill. Their neighbours are the Gear and Gordge Families who we will talk about later.
Edward was married to Sarah Clarke in 1836 ,whose brother was Samuel Clarke who collected and sold fossils in the mid 19th century and lived nearby.
Edward would spend most of his life at the cottage now called "Portland View" and bring up five children there with his wife Sarah.
The photograph is of Samuel Clarke(1815-1888) with a Plesiosaur skull. He collected and sold fossils in the mid 19th century.
William Henry Gollop shown here relaxing with a companion at what was probably The Cobb Arms at Lyme Regis. The newspaper is clearly the local Pullmans News. It would have been before 1893, the year of his death. He was killed in an accident on May 15th 1893, aged just 55.
The Inquest, held at the Pilot Boat Inn, was reported in the Bridport News on 19th May 1893 as follows:
'William Gollop, son of deceased, said his father was at work "breaking stone, at about 9 a.m. on Monday, under the cliff between Devonshire Hedge and John Caddy's Orchard. He was working about five yards from the base of the cliff, which at this point was something like sixty feet high. Witness was working at about ten yards from his father, and hearing a rumbling noise, turned and saw a portion of the cliff falling. He shouted to deceased and said "Look up". His father looked up and the falling stone struck him apparently about the head and back.Witness at once picked him up, and carried him a distance of ten yards from the cliff. He was unconscious and witness dipped a cloth into the sea and put it over his head to try and revive him, but without success, and deceased apparently expired in about two minutes".
Frank was born in Charmouth in 1862 and was brought up in a fishing family on Charmouth Beach. His mother was a Hunter, whose family had already been fishing in the area for several generations.
He was to spend most of his long life in Lyme Regis both as a Fisherman and a Stoneboatman.
The stone industry had two branches - cement making and stone exporting. From the early 1800's until 1914 the limestone cliffs and ledges on the beach were blasted and the stone loaded into boats about 26-28 foot long (the stoneboats).
Some was exported as stone building material and some turned into cement with good characteristics for marine work. The Regent's Canal and Devonport Docks are among many built with Lyme Regis limestone and cement.
Stone for building was ferried out to the waiting ships, which had usually brought in coal, or was stockpiled in the outer harbour. To avoid harbour dues it was termed 'ballast'. Two men were needed to row the stoneboats and Frank Gollop worked with his father.
They mixed fishing with stoneboating and were both members of the lifeboat crew.
A further 4 generations of the family have served in the lifeboat.
When the stone trade finished in 1914 Frank continued fishing and went into the pleasure boat trade with his son Tom. Tom's sons Ken and Roy continued in the same line for a number of years.
The Cement Works on Monmouth Beach, Lyme Regis in 1900
The first and second cement works are seen in the top photos. The second short lived building was blown up in 1936 by the Royal Artillery as is shown graphically in the bottom photograph.
The accompanying photographs show the burning cliff between Charmouth and Lyme Regis.
Thomas,was the son of Frank Gollop
Thomas Gollop on his Carnival Float
Some of the Gollop children.
Ken and Roy Gollop
Ernest Gollop was to remain in Charmouth, whilst his brother, Edward went to London and worked as a Stone Mason like his father. His other brother, William, moved to Lyme Regis.
This view of Old Lyme Hill c. 1880 shows Ernest Gollop and to the left is Samuel Clarke, his Uncle. Behind him is the former Poor House, he was to build "Baden" in front of this, which remained the family home until 1942.
Ernest Gollop was the local builder and is seen here on the left with a trowel with Percy Woolford, Charles Larcombe and Brandam Hann building "The Moorings" in Higher Sea Lane for Mr. McCarthy, a retired merchant in 1928.
When Ernest was a small boy his father had a garden by the side of the Lyme Road beyond the Devils Bellows, where the road had slipped. It was planted with potatoes and Ernest was sent to dig there and not to return until he had finished. However he got hungry at dinner time and so came home - much to his fathers wrath. He was sent back to compete the digging, but could find no Garden. During the dinner hour the garden and potatoes had slipped into the sea. The photograph is one of a number showing the landslip in 1924 which resulted in the road being closed forever.
Another story tells of the time in 1882 when Arthur Larcombe and Ernest left Charmouth in a small boat to sail to West Bay. They were caught in a Squall off Cains Folly and capsized. Larcombe was drowned and Gollop survived. He was to live much of his life in his father`s old house at the top of Old Lyme Hill before moving down to the bottom to Baden, the house he had built.
We now come on to the Gordge Family who were neighbours of the Gollops and two of whose daughters married into the family.
Digory was the christian name regularly used by the Gordges for the eldest son through the generations. They first appear in the parish records in the 17th century and are still living in the village in the 1930s.
The Parish Vestry Minutes for Charmouth include a resolution to pay for the defence of Digory Gordge, Parish Clerk who had been prosecuted for smuggling in 1765.
Digory Gordge who lived at the beginning of the 19th century was the Parish Clerk fifty six years and lived in a house called "Streets" on the corner of Barrs Lane, where the Post Office stands today. He started with a salary of three guineas a year. His other duties besides being clerk were constant 'attendants" at the church and cleaning the church. After twenty six years he wrote to the church-wardens asking for an increase in his salary as the number of inhabitants had increased, this was raised to eight guineas a year. He originally lived in a cottage at the top of Lyme Hill. He died in 186l aged 79 and has a fine tombstone still to be seen at St.Andrews.
Thomas, Samuel, Digory, William and Urath were the children of Digory Gordge and Susannah who owned a narrow strip of land at the top of Old Lyme Hill for many years and on his death the land was divided into parcels between them. William sold his plot to Tobit Gear, in 1839 for £35 and Digory, Clerk of the Parish sold his for £13 to Tobit the following year. The other members lived for many years in adjoining cottages on their plots.
The House where all three families lived is now called "Digory" in recognition of them. It is the pink house on the right.
The slide shows Ann Brown who married Job Gordge in 1850 and was to bring up her 8 children on her own on the death of her husband in 1864, aged just 39 and was to live to be 75. Her daughter, Mary Ann is shown on the right who was to live in turn to be 94 before she passed on in 1947. She was to marry 4 times, including a Gollop. Her first husband was George Hodder who she married in 1876 and had 2 children with. Next was William Gollop in 1885 and had a further 3 children with. Then came John Roberts in 1899 which produced 1 child. Finally she married William Curtis in 1906 and both lived into ripe old age.
In 1839 Tobit Gear paid just £35 to Digory Gordge, Clerk to the Parish for a piece of ground on which he built a small cottage.  He and his family were to live there for over a century. The Gear family originate from the Misterton / Crewkerne area where there are records going back to the 16th century, when Walter Gere is listed as a pikeman in the Crewkerne Muster Roll of 1569. But It is Tobit Gear who was born in Misterton in 1794 that we are interested in when he moves to Charmouth.He is shown in the 1861 Census as a Tinman (Peddler) then living in Old Lyme Road with his wife Elizabeth. Their son Matthew Gear in the same year is described as a Fish Salesman who was born in Symondsbury in 1823. One of the earliest Directories for Charmouth shows listings for both father and son in the year 1875.

There is a grave stone shown on the slide for Elizabeth, wife of Tobit Gear in St. Andrews Churchyard it shows that she lived to be 94. Her husband lived to be 90 and is recorded as a Tinker or Pedlar in the many censuses and directories he appears in.

Matthews early life must have been tough as he is regularly imprisoned for the Breach of Peace, sometimes with his neighbour Job Gordge.

Matthew and his wife had a son - Matthew James Gear, born in 1868 who continues the family trade as a Fish Salesman. But he also dealt in Horses from two fields he owns near his house in Old Lyme Road and had a pony and trap from which he takes passengers too and from the Railway Stations.The grave at Charmouth Cemetery of both Matthew and his wife Amy show them living on into their 90`s. They have 2 sons and a daughter, Norah who dies early aged just 30.
Their eldest son Cecil George again continues the family business and in 1931 moves to new premises in the Street near its junction with Old Lyme Road. He carries on a successful business, but is seriously affected by the lack of fish during the 2nd world war, and his life is tragically cut short in 1944 at the early age of 48.
William Arthur Gear is born in 1898 and takes a different path to the rest of the family and slowly builds up his automobile business in a number of premises. He garages his first cars in two sheds ownws by Harold Pryer, the Stone Mason, behind the Butchers at “Devonedge”. The business prospers and his next move is to the rear of the George Inn. He is shown here in 1925 with his mechanics standing proudly alongside his two taxis. He is sporting a bow tie, which was to become his trademark.
Another photograph from 1926 by Claude Hider again shows him driving one of his vehicles, but he is now posing at the entrance of his new premises at the rear of the Coach and Horses.
This is another view of his Garage entrance with his vehicles lined up for hire.
This is a very nostalgic image of bygone Charmouth with the Bridport to Axminster bus stopping to pick up a customer outside his Garage in 1926.
In the same year he is photographed outside The Royal Oak on Armistice Day. He can be seen on the left in the middle row with a bow tie, which he always wore. The group also includes a number of village worthies such as Ted Hunter, Bill Gordge and John Hodder, who is the bearded chap in the front with his dog. Billy married May the daughter of Jim Bridle who is standing at the back and was landlord of the pub.
In time he builds a small Garage in Pear Close, west of the Abbots House, which gradually grows into a substantial building with a large frontage on to the Street and workshops stretching behind it. Its position on the strategic A35 Folkestone to Honiton trunk Road gave him important passing trade. He must have been Charmouth`s foremost businessman at the time for as well as the Garage he owned the large Car Park by the footbridge near the East Cliff and built a number of houses in the village.
The photograph of the outside of his Garage shows William, better known as Billy Gear standing by a Petrol Pump.
Adverts in the local directories detail the extensive range of services he could offer. He had well equipped workshop for repairs and servicing. He originally offered Austin, Vauxhall and Standard Cars for sale, but towards the end was a Ford Agent. He was able to offer cars as well as lorries for hire and ran excursions to local places of interest.
The photograph of the inside of the garage taken in 1940 was kindly lent by Jill Matthews and shows Bert Dancy, Vic Hunter,Jill's father – Len Linthorne and Dick Woollard.
Unfortunately the war was to have a devastating affect on his business and half his premises were requisitioned by the American Army who were stationed in the area. But true to form he decided to assist the returning British soldiers by organising a fund raising auction with contributions from both himself and other villagers. With this money he held a special celebration and presented each man with a wallet with a substantial amount to help them.
This slide shows Billy Gear`s garage on the right. For many years Billy lived with his wife in the house (Uphill) between his Garage and Lloyds Bank which today are the Fish Bar and the Bank Cafe. He was to retire in 1963 and for awhile the site became an engineering works owned by George Burgess producing wood stoves. In time this came to an end with the business moving to Axminster and the building was demolished. A number of houses were built in 2001 on the site, which became Queens Walk.
Billy Gear lived on for another 10 years after his retirement enjoying much time on the Golf Course and died in 1973.