South Molton Guest Book

Please e-mail contributions to our Guest Book.  Your name and e-mail address will be included with your post unless you request that it should be withheld.  Anonymous posts are not accepted. This Guest Book replaces our old one which is unfortunately no longer available.  Please put Guest Book in the subject line of your e-mail.

72 I remember Lynda, I used to live in Gunswell Lane

Peter Newcombe

(This entry refers to entry No 65)


Thank you for your web site.  South Molton is in my blood.  I lived there from 1973 to 1982; I arrived on my fifth birthday and I left when I was 14; itís where I grew up.  I went to the old Infantís School, which was lovely, and the Junior School.  I walked to school along Parsonage Lane, past the smell and sound of the metal presses thumping away and picked old manís beard from the hedge.  I sang in the church choir, and sang Christmas carols at old and then new Beech House.  I volunteered at the museum (aged about 11!) where they kindly let me click the visitor counter - I still remember the smell of the museum.  I learnt to swim in the open-air pool; I cycled my way to Alswear and further afield.  I learnt first aid with the St John Ambulance Brigade up off High Squier Avenue.  I went shopping with my mother at Mole Valley farmers and the international Stores and the Panner amrket , bought Airfix kits at Moules, sweets at Mr Duckerís Sweet Shoppe, cakes at Chanterís and presents from family at Kingdonís and, when I was feeling really rich, occasionally went to Brooks.  I remember cider-fuelled Harvest Suppers at the town Hall and the great celebrations at the Twinning.

But mine was a South Molton before the Link Road.  The Hacche Lane where I walked with my brother on summer afternoons to look for relics on the old railway is now cut through by a dismal out-of town industrial estate and the railway itself was of course obliterated by the new road.  It saddens me now to see (albeit only from Google) the relentless outward spread of the town with hideous housing estates that pay no attention to South Molton, North Devon or anywhere.  It is, or was, a proud and happy place and it deserves a better fate.

Henry Oliver

70 Hello

My name is Rosemary Courtney. I was born in South Molton in December 1947. My father was Francis James Courtney [Known as Jim] 6.12.1916 , my mother is Winifred  Courtney [nee Rotherham]. I want to begin to research my fathers family, and I am wondering if there is any historical society or library etc, where I could begin my search. I really don't know how to begin and it is more difficult as I live in Australia. Any lead you could give me would be most appreciated.

Rose Courtney

The North Devon Link will be pleased to pass on any replies.

I am seaching for the date of death and place of burial for an ancestor:
ARSCOTT, Richard.
Richard was born 05 October 1817 at Chittlehampton. He married Jane LIMEBEER at Office of the Registrar at South Molton on 16 September 1845.
The couple are listed on the 1851 census living at No. 4 Duke Street, Satterleigh & Warkleigh with Jane's father William Limebeer. The next record I have found on this family is the death of Jane's father William Limebeer at Gunswell Lane, South Molton on 04 December 1856. No further record found until the 1871 census on which Jane is listed as a widow, age 60, pauper, etc. living at 26 East Street, South Molton. Jane emmigrated to Ontario Canada and arrived on 17 October 1870, confirmed.
I would like to find when Richard Arscott died and was buried which I feel was at South Molton in the period after 1851 but before 1871. I have searched for all deaths of Richard Arscotts in Devon in the period in question and have had searches done by DRO's without success?
I am at a complete loss as to how Richard Arscott could have died at or near South Molton and not have a record of this?
I appreciate any help or advice which might produce information on Richard Arscott.
For family history purposes,
Thank you very much,
William J. Limebeer
Guelph On.Can.
N1H 4Z5

Amendment to the above:

Based on receiving information from the 1861 Canadian census for Caledon Township, Peel County Ontario I have learned that Jane Arscott arrived in Canada in the period 1857-1860,  - ARSCOTT, Jane, widow,age 50 visitor
Jane was living at Gunswell Lane, South Molton in December 1856. Would like to learn the date and ship that Jane left England from?
Also,  the date when her husband Richard Arscott died an dhis place of burial.


68 I recently started researching my Grandmother's family named Hulland and discovered they originated from Chittlehampton, Devon. As I live in the Midlands I have been gathering information on the web and came across your site which I have found very interesting. My Great Grandfather William Hulland was married to Mary Phillips at the Independent Chapel, South Molton in 1874. He was born 1853 and had two brothers, Thomas b. 1855 and Charles b. 1860.
I wonder if anyone living in South Molton now who is interested in local history has any information about this chapel. I would be interested to know if it still exists and if it doesn't, have any of it's records survived as I have been unable to trace a record of the births of these brothers.
When I have gathered a bit more information about the family I look forward to visiting the area to see where my ancestors lived and worked, and who knows I may still have some relatives in the South Molton area!

Margaret Mason

It is great to see someone taking on our complacent local politicians and burocrats.
 Folks it is time to exercise our rights.
People Power - we need to use the
Freedom of Information Act 2000
and the
Data Protection Act 1998
 Time to check whether justice and democracy are being upheld in our own backyards. We can stop the rot - but we need to start close to home.
Too many local politicians are too complacent - enjoying their power/expenses but not worrying about their constituents.  So don't sit back and just grumble if something seems amiss, follow this good example: research the truth and do something about your findings
New-age Suffragette - Ruffler of Official Feathers
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

(The above e-mail refers to the Council Lies section on the North Devon Link.)


66 Date 27th October 2008
My Name is Amanda and I recently visited South  Molton and found a lovely clean friendly town, were every-one I came into contact with was so helpful and friendly. I must admit I had never heard of South Molton until I discovered a newspaper cutting in my late Grandmothers belongs when we were clearing her bungalow after she died. It turns out I am the great great niece of the late Alderman  John Ford. I came down to South Molton from Wigan in Lancashire to find out more about him, what he did and where he lived. The staff at the museum where brilliant and were able to give me quite a lot of information. After I returned home and continued with my family research I found out that my great great grandparents Sarah & William Ford also lived in the town, as well as Sarahís parents Ann & John McCarthy (my great, great, great grandparents)who originated from Cork in Ireland. I am hoping to visit South Molton again in July/August 2009 and would like to know if there are any descendants of the  McCarthyís still living in the area as I would love to meet them and hopefully find out more about my family.


65 Date 9th August 2008
I was so excited to see your guest book. I was born in South Molton in 1951. I lived at 42 West Street. My name was Lynda Ellacott. I now live in the United States and have since 1970. I would be thrilled to hear from anyone that might know me. I so remember those good old days as a child. I was fortunate enough to be able to visit South Molton for a very short time about 12 years ago. I wish I could have stayed longer. Some day I hope to come back for a visit. I miss everyone.

(Nice to hear from you Lynda - we will pass on any messages from old friends.)

64 Date 21st June 2008
Larry from Illinois,USA. Enjoyed your website. Both my grandfather and great-grandfather were from South Molton but from I what I gather there were hundreds of Kingdons from that area of England.

(Thanks Larry - nice to know we have visitors from all over the world.)


63 Date 2nd April 2008
Dear Gordon,
Keep up the good are like a candle in a dark world.

From: "worried of Yelland"

(The above e-mail refers to the Council Lies section on the North Devon Link.)


62 Date 2008-13-02
Keep up the good work. The political agenda in North Devon is one of corruption, backhanders and jobs for the boys. Our councillors are no better than feudal bully-boy barons in the pay of their overlords, the large business owners of North Devon.
The way to deal with them is at the ballot box.
Colin Brown (Fremington).

(The above e-mail refers to the Council Lies section on the North Devon Link.)


Date 2008-01-02
Andrew (  wrote:

How interesting, the old infants school becoming the police station.  I was a student at this school in 1966 before moving up to the 'Junior School' the following year.  My family moved to Australia in 1970. I still have a strong affection for North Devon.  Keep up the good work!
best wishes,


60 Date: 2008-31-01
Contact details withheld by request.

I see that the North Devon District Council is looking for a Head of Recycling.  May I put forward South Molton Town Council's councillor Venison?  At the same time would it be possible to include councillor Sewell on the selection panel?

59  Date: 2007-10-03 15:40:41
dirck mulford ( / no homepage) wrote:

The Mulford family, originally from So Molton, emigrated to Salem Ma in 1638. I have family genealogy but am interested in the rationale for having left England at that time... religious, economic, any particular reason for so. moltonians to have left at that time...

58  Date: 2007-10-01 16:29:16
jim ( no email / no homepage) wrote:

I heard that there is something on in the town hall on weds 3 oct showing what the latest plans are for the town including supermarket, housing etc. Might be worth a visit?

57  Date: 2007-09-20 19:46:23
a concerned townsperson ( no email / no homepage) wrote:

I don't know how everyone else feels about South Molton, but I know for a fact that it is no more than a developers paradise. Too many houses are being built with very little jobs and businesses to accomodate the influx of people who will be moving here. What with the closure of Kingdon's Builders Merchants & Kingdon's Home Hardware, and some other small independent businesses, How will the town cope? Where are all the jobs going to come from? What about the local infrastructure? How can the schools cope? South Molton needs more shops and more support from the towns council, not just to a 'select few' but the whole town as such.
I'd welcome a new and bigger supermarket, were gonna need it if we get too big as a town, and why have the council spent all that money on a skate park, yeah great idea!? I'd like to hear what the rest of the town has to say to all this!

56  Date: 2007-09-16 09:09:44
Phillip Norman (South Molton Film Society) ( / wrote:

This is a very interesting site. I'll post you some pictures of ugly bits of south molton that might interest anyone trying to prompt attention to what could make the town a very attractive place.