My Mother was from Hele Village – a part of Torquay in Devon, England. I found my Mom’s house on Google Earth recently, but I have a memory stuck in my head from when I lived in London (SW10 on Hollywood Road across from the Hollywood Pub!) – and traveled down to Devon and Cornwall as much as I could. The Olde Ruggelstone Pub in Devon – read on . . . .
The family surname is East – can’t get much more English than that! I love it because I love geography.
Apparently, the name East originated from the East of London, which makes sense because my Grandfather was a Cockney from London who moved his family to Devon at the onset of WWII.
Anyway, when I lived there in the late 80’s, I made it a priority to visit my Mothers brother (my Uncle) and other relatives who live in Newton Abbot in Devon – on Hay Tor Road – which looks right at Hay Tor up on Dartmoor. I still have relatives in Bracknell and Winkfield – near Windsor, but I guess Devon and Cornwall left the biggest impression on me. I took the train from Paddington to Devon and Cornwall many times.
The picture you see above for many years was a pub! No kidding. My Uncle – who drove livestock trucks over Dartmoor and Exmoor – took me to the Ruggelstone Inn for a pint. He knew all of the back stories. The woman who poured our pints (as my uncle told me) was a “Spinster who lived above the pub. The beer casks were cooled by an inlet or pipe from that stream”.
I feel blessed to know a little British story that I will bet many in England might not even know.
St. Pancras Church – Widdecombe in the Moor
My fathers side of the family were “Evangelisch” from Stuttgart, which I think ended up being Lutheran.
Interesting fact, the name Holoch means “person from high Glen or Glade” which makes total sense because Stuttgart is in a very hilly area. So both surnames in my family are based on geo physical references.
My Mothers side of the family were Episcopal, and while I’m not very religious, I do identify mostly with the Episcopal Church and religion. Its “Catholic lite” – “all the liturgy and none of the guilt” . . .
All of this leads to where I was brought up – in the very British looking county in NJ – Sussex County, the town of Newton. (WA2QHN).