BRAYFORD      

A rural parish in North Devon, England including Brayford village, High Bray and Charles, and a part of Exmoor National Park

 

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Chrissyís Story
 
If you should visits All Saintsí Church at High Bray, or walk the footpath from the churchyard down the steep slope across the fields into Brayford, you will pass Chrissyís home. Apart from the first month of her life, she has lived there for 84 years. The old terraced stone cottage is one of the seven dwellings that make up the tiny settlement of Bray Town. Chrissy was the eldest of her parentsí nine children. Father was a "jack of all trades" who made a living doing a bit of rabbiting or farm labouring, and mother kept the house; men went to work, women stayed at home. She recalls happy days hiding in Farmer Gammonís hayrick and playing with other children at High Bray.
 
There was no electricity until 1960 and no mains water, just the pump outside. When you picked up the bucket to fetch water, everyone else in the Town heard you and would come out to get their own; you could spend two hours of the day talking, "It is much quieter up here now, I get lonely on my own sometimes." Donít get the idea that Chrissyís life has been totally uneventful. She had eleven children of her own, of whom nine survive, and she has been married twice. One of the wedding ceremonies was carried out in All Saintsí Church and the reception held in the former church hall, now converted to a home.
 
So if you make that walk this summer and you look over the stone wall, you are quite likely to see Chrissy tending one of the best and most colourful gardens in the Parish. Have a word with her because she has forgotten more about life in North Devon than most of us will ever learn.

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