Memories of Taunton with Nick Chipchase
I have lived in Galmington for some 40 years though now we think of the area as Comeytrowe. This image shows “The Galmington Inn” before its Art Deco conversion and series of name changes. Now “ The Shepherd’s Rest “ though it must be a long time since shepherds loitered here. Between the pub and “ The Manor “ we see the end of “ The Rank “, mostly agricultural workers dwellings, only part of one wall remains.
Across the road we see Robert Shattock’s grocery store ( demolished 1960 ) now replaced by a modern series of shops and post office. In 1905 Galmington was a hamlet and part of the parish of Bishop’s Hull parish. Local traders included a mason, haulier, coach builder and the “Ag. Labs” so often encountered by those researching family history in these parts. The old route into Galmington from Trull Road at Wheatleigh House followed a steep lane the locals called “ Roman Road “. This ended at the river near Ramshorn Bridge ( now isolated from any stream ). We youngsters called it “ Watersplash “ as cars had to drive along the river bed for some distance.
The route then followed Hovelands Lane to emerge at the old cottages opposite The Shepherd’s Rest.The locals called the lane “ Dick Aish Lane “ after a resident of Hovelands Farm ,a cattle dealer, who got very drunk in the local pub and it was said that his horse usually found its own way home.
An early name for Galmington was “ Gaunton “ ( 1809, S map ) . In 1892 St Micheal’s Church hall was dedicated a gift of Miss Cleave of Haines Hill. The old concrete church hall in Hoveland Lane was demolished when a new church opened in Comeytrowe centre. Galmington Social Club took the concrete supports and tiles for a new building at the rear of The Trident but the structures were too badly damaged for reuse. The tiles are now on my shed roof. Early village social life revolved around the school house in Comeytrowe Lane since converted to a house.Here met the local Sunday School, Band of Hope concerts, Christmas parties and wedding receptions. During the war the school house served as a dispersal point for evacuees. It was replaced by the church hall in Hovelands Lane in 1961 originally corrugated iron dating to 1892 but later concrete.
Many Galmington folk worked at the brick works now Galmington Trading Estate. I remember the huge hole that existed there. Galmington children went to school at Bishop’s Hull in Gypsy Lane which opened in 1893. The present school opposite the manor opened in 1978 despite angry demonstrations regarding the dangerous crossing of Wellington New Road at the time. In 1905 there was a pleasant walk across Galmington Fields to the outskirts of Taunton at Park St. How things have changed.
By Nick Chipchase