This account of the Pattemore family is largely about Donald Pattemore, who was born on 22 June 1922,
the only child of Thomas Henry Pattemore and Alice Painter, from Broadway and who were married at Broadway Church.
Thomas, who came from Donyatt, leased Ammerham Mill from Sir George Davies, a milling business that continued until it was sold in 1953, Thomas having died in1950 at age 52. He was renowned for his cider making skills, and older people in the village reminisce fondly on this particular subject!
Don attended Winsham School, when Miss Harding was Head Teacher. In 1936 he left school and went to work at Winsham Shop & P.O. At that time it was owned by Charles Appleby, who had two sons, Basil & Ted and four daughters, Eileen, Mavis, Peggy and Joan.
He was employed to do all sorts of work. In those days branding was not what it is to-day. Tea & Coffee Beans and many other items came in large sacks or boxes, and were sold over the counter in plain paper bags. This created a lot of work in weighing–up and bagging all sorts of commodities into saleable quantities..He also delivered telegrams and grocery orders, using a delivery bicycle that had a small front wheel and a giant basket holder in front of the handlebars. They were a very regular sight at the time for delivery of all sorts of things, but were very heavy, hard work to pedal, and not very safe when loaded. You may remember seeing one ridden by Grenville in the TV program ‘Open all hours’. They seemed to disappear in the ‘fifties’, for various reasons. Probably roads became more dangerous as traffic increased, and equally likely, with the increase in school leaving age to fifteen in 1944, young men did not fancy the job, when better paid employment was available. The shop also had a delivery van that Don learned to drive and use-the driving test was introduced in 1935.
Then came the War, and Donald was ‘called-up’ in January, 1942. He had always had poor eye-sight, and probably for this reason he did not serve abroad, joining the Royal Army Service Corps, serving in Scotland and Isleworth, Middlesex.
In 1946, when demobbed he returned to his job at Winsham Shop. However when his father died in 1950 he spent three years selling the Mill and winding-up the Estate. He then worked for a farmer in Ilton for a couple of years, when a health problem forced him to leave the job. In 1955 Don took lighter employment with the Hall family at Cricket St.Thomas. He worked in and around the main house, and stayed there until John Hall died in1965, when the Estate was sold.
It was during this period that he met Glenys Stevens,the daughter of the Estate’s Head Forester, who he would marry in August 1966,in Corby New Town, Northamptonshire. Although Don met Glenys at Cricket St. Thomas, working in the Market Garden, she was not a local girl, coming originally from Needham Market in Suffolk. They moved into Victoria Avenue ,Chard, where Glenys still lives.
When the Cricket Estate was sold, Don went to work for Lion Emulsion, for about a year and then joined Halse & Son as Store man/Lorry Driver.
Then in May 1971 came an accident that was to change his and Glenys’s life. A blow to his head caused the loss of his sight.
Don and Glenys faced the future with fortitude, supported and encouraged by many friends and the Chard Blind Club. Don learned to make stool tops from sea grass and taught himself to make patterned wool rugs, at which he became very expert. In 1977, the year of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, he made a rug as a present to her, which was very gracefully accepted. In 1981 he made another to mark the wedding of Prince Charles to Diana. This featured a ‘Fleur-de-Lis’ on a blue background. He also made rugs for his many friends, including one for Tony Meech, who had been a friend from childhood.