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Saturday, 12 February 2011

The Palk Arms, Christow, Devon

Recently I was contacted by Tricia King, nee Wreford, who kindly shared her memories of the Palk Arms in Christow, where she was brought up. This pub was run by George Gidley and his wife Elizabeth Browning, who became the innkeepers certainly by 1881. George died in 1885, when his widow took over the lease until her own death in 1909. They had six sons, and the fifth, Arthur, then became the landlord. His war service record in 1918 records his address as The Palk Arms. He died in 1938, but it is not known when the Palk Arms ceased to be a pub.
The name "Gidleys" is clearly visible over the doorway in the photo. Elizabeth Gidley is presumably the older lady, and her son Arthur, who was the barman in the 1901 census, is possibly the man. The younger woman is not known. Arthur did not marry Emily Hill until 1909 in Scotland, but Elizabeth Gidley had at least one daughter by her previous marriage.
Tricia recounts "I was brought up in Christow and we lived at Hillcrest Bakery, formerly The Palk Arms.
At the time I lived there, 1949-1960, we shared the house with another family - the two fathers were in partnership for the bakery business. When we lived there, there were still signs that it had been a pub - a ledge where our phone was, by a hatch that led into the previous bar shown on the right hand side of the house, and swing doors, exactly as in western films!, inside the front door. Occasionally ramblers used to knock, assuming it was still a pub.
The photograph may be from a book on the history of Christow by Stafford Clark which I saw once.
I will always be willing to chat to anyone who is interested in the house".