Honiton people share their stories

Pensioner inspired to write book after chatting to people at a coffee morning in St Paul’s Church.

MANY people in Honiton know pensioner Joan Cox. She is a Honitonian and stalwart supporter of St Paul’s Church.

But how many people know that she was shot at by the Germans in Honiton High Street during the Second World War?

Her fascinating story and seven others are shared in a new book, written by local resident Norah Smith.

Mrs Smith, 68, was inspired to put pen to paper after hearing the stories from people she met at regular coffee mornings in the church.

“One lady told me she had given a reflexology treatment to Michael Crawford and other people shared their war-time experience,” she told The Midweek Herald.

“I thought, if these stories interested me, they would be of interest to other people.”

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Coffee at St Paul’s will be officially launched at Honiton Library on Saturday (December 11).

Mrs Smith says she was described as a chatterbox in her younger years, but, as she matured, she found se enjoyed listening to people.

A fascinating feature of the book is a photographic record of every rector who has severed at St Paul’s since the church was built.

The Reverend Andrew Babbington, who worked in Honiton during the 1960s baby boom and Christened hundreds of locals who are now in their 40s, and the tragic Reverend Frederick Leslie Courtenay are among those to be included.

Reverend Courtenay was once rector and mayor of Honiton at the same time.

His brother inherited the family mantle, becoming the Earl of Devon. However, he was to die young and Reverend Courtenay had to leave Honiton to succeed him.

Tragically, he, too, was to die and very shortly after leaving his beloved parish.

Coffee at St Paul’s is on sale for �3 and is available from Allhallows Museum, The Vine, Honiton Tourist Information Centre and St Paul’s Church.

Mrs Smith has given the church a �100 donation.