We moved from Welsh isolation to Lockyers on an horrendous, stormy Friday in September 1983. it was all a decided rush as the boys were starting at Wellington School on the Monday, while I was starting a new business in Bath.
Jan drove the car with Michael and the cat, while I had Sam, dog, furniture and essentials in a high top Luton van, which nearly blew over several times on the motorway.
The ghastly weather wasn’t the only problem as the rush was such that we hadn’t completed the purchase! “Not to worry!”, said the kind vendor, “I’ll ask my cleaner to leave the back door open”.
Approaching our new home along Fore Street, then unlit, I was horrified to see a policeman with a torch outside, guarding the property from our illegal entry, clearly! But no, it was Tom Lovegrove the local bobby, there to welcome us to Milverton. Friends in Wales were so concerned about our journey in such weather they’d called Taunton Police to check our safe arrival.
I explained the situation to Tom and using his torch we went around to the back door, which turned out to be locked! “Who’s the cleaner?”, asked Tom. “No idea”, say I. “My wife probably will probably know, I’ll go and ask her”, says Tom.
20 minutes later he returned, having been up to his house in Butts Way, then to Creedwell Orchard, where he collected the keys for us.
A horrible, stressful day brightened by the very best, old fashioned village welcome. Good days.