Humourous Alphington Stories and Village Characters
A risky sounding haircut
At one time a funny and very tall man lived in the village. He cut his own hair by putting a pudding basin on top of his head and cutting around the edge with a cut-throat razor!
The barber of Alphington
Years ago there was another row of old cottages situated behind Scans Cottages and one of the occupants was a barber who wore no socks and no shoelaces in his shoes. He liked to spend a lot of time in the New Inn. It was always said that the best time to have your hair cut by him was first thing in the morning before his visit to the New Inn!
An honest thief
A gentleman had ridden his bicycle to St. Thomas and parked it while he went into a shop. Upon leaving the shop he found that his bicycle had disappeared. One year later this same gentleman visited Alphington village and as he walked passed the Admiral Vernon Inn he saw his bicycle leaning against the wall on the opposite side of the road. He made enquiries at the inn about how his missing bicycle came to be in the village and he was informed that a year ago a gentleman had arrived at the inn on this bicycle, had his drink and then walked home!
In the bath as the bombs fell
During the war it appears that a bomb struck one of the outer walls of the bathroom of Laural Cottage and debris was scattered across Ide Lane. Apparently, the children of the village spread around a rumour that the lady of the house was in the bath at the time, obviously, naked. It was said that a fireman had to climb up a ladder to rescue her!
A Big Stick!
Prior to the completion of the major renovations of Alphington Church in 1878 Worshippers were seated in box pews. It was recorded that the behaviour of the 'young element' was disgraceful. Apparently, during the services this 'young element' would chatter, laugh and even disgraceful figures and inscriptions were cut into the woodwork or drawn in the dirt on the sides of the pews. Although these inscriptions etc. were frequently removed they kept re-appearing so the Sexton at the time was provided with a cane. He used this cane to silence the noise and laughter during the service by slashing it in over the pews upon the culprits!
During the early 1920s Alphington was flooded one Christmas morning. The cob cottages in Church Road, where the bungalows stand today, were badly affected. A resident of one of these cottages was trying to sweep mud and water from his home and a gentleman reveller, having enjoyed some Christmas drink came down the road sloshing through the flood water and loudly singing Rescue the Perishing. The resident of the cottage was so angered by the singer and the song that he raced out and placed a well aimed fist onto the singers nose and he landed in the flood water!
It was said of the village stores in Chudleigh Road, 'You could buy anything from a peppermint to a load of coal and hear all the village news while you were doing it'.
In 1919 a peace celebration sports event was held and one class was a fancy dress competition for gentleman. First came Mr S Edgecombe who was a red Indian, second was Mr A Full who dressed up as an old lady, third came Mr R Veal who dressed up as a young lady.
Ducks in Alphington Church
In September 1962 a small girl visited Alphington Church for her first service with her father. When she caught sight of the Eagle on the lectern she said. 'Look Daddy, there's a Quack, Quack'!
During the cold hard winter of 19621963 many villagers suffered from frozen pipes in their lofts which lead to many people having to climb up into their lofts to do necessary repairs. When one poor church member finished the work on his pipes and returned to the loft opening ready to climb down he found someone had run off with his ladder.
During the 1970s Mr Patton was directing the Nativity play and was over heard saying to one of the boys. 'Over here stupid, you are one of the Wise Men'!
Also during the 1970s when the rector, Revd. W. Hammond Croft, was talking to the children at Sunday School he said. 'You all know our church is called St Michael and All Angels can anyone tell me who St Michael was?' There was dead silence, so the rector turned to the nearest child and said to her. 'Do you know?' The girl answered. 'No sir. But I should like to because his name is on the inside of my knickers'.
The Voice from on High
Work had just been completed on Alphington Church during the 1970s. A gentleman was walking through the church yard with a basket full of bottles when he suddenly heard a stern voice from on high saying. 'Put it down and leave it there'. The gentleman thought it was the almighty disapproving of his habits and he was about to put down his basket and make for safety when he looked up. The stern voice had come from one of workers high up on the scaffolding watching everything below and felling very thirsty!
We Live in Alphington
When Alphington's Revd. Mark Bate was asked. 'Do you like living in Exeter'? He would always reply. 'I don't live in Exeter, I live in Alphington'.
Copyright © Rowena Kirkpatrick