Primrose returns to her village roots

PUBLISHED: 17:00 17 December 2012

Primrose Sweetland returns home to Yarcombe and to the pub where she was born.

Primrose Sweetland returns home to Yarcombe and to the pub where she was born.


Former Yarcombe woman returns to the pub where she was born.

A former Yarcombe woman has returned to her village roots and recalled the ‘tough’ times of the war years. Primrose Baker (nee Sweetland), who was born on January 18, 1931, recently went back to the Yarcombe Inn where she and her sister Pam were both born.

She met with the chairman of the community-run Yarcombe Inn, Tracey Humphreys, to share her stories of growing up in the village.

The 81-year-old lived with her parents Tom and Eve in a separate part of the inn until she was 16.

“The church has not changed at all – it is just as beautiful,” says Primrose. “The village has changed a bit, but not that much.”

However, she admits, she doesn’t know if the pub has changed - because she was never allowed inside as a child.

“In those days I wouldn’t have dreamt of coming in the pub. I would never have been allowed,” she said.

On leaving the village, she moved to Colyford before settling in Lyme Regis.

Primrose says growing up during World War Two was a tough experience and evacuees and rationing were common place.

Her family, including her siblings Pam, Gordon and Rosemary, was later joined by an evacuee from London who stayed with the family for a short time.

It was a dark and uncertain time as she explains: “People didn’t know for years who was alive or dead.”

When Primrose was a child she saw a plane come down and, along with her friends, ran to see what had happened to the pilot.

She said: “We all ran as fast as we could to see where this pilot came down and saw that it was a British plane.

“When he called out for help we thought he was a German and ran away – it was a frightening time.”

She added: “It was lovely pulling together during the war.”

As a child, she recalls helping during harvest time gleaning corn - collecting left over crops that had fallen to the ground - and gathering acorns to feed to the pigs.

She said children in the village would also make their own nets to catch white butterflies in a bid to stop them destroying the crops.

There was a competition board to record who had caught the most.

“It was nice growing up in a village. You really had to work hard,” says Primrose.

During her return, she was able to met some familiar faces from her time in the village.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Midweek Herald. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Midweek Herald