Securing our history for the future

Memories of Florrie May Drew

There were two cottages on or near to where the row of houses originally built as council houses are at the end of New Road. Florrie Drew, who now lives in Cossington, lived there from the day she was born until she was ten. She thinks the houses were condemned. There was no running water when she lived there. All the water came from a well in the garden. She remembers that there was a board covering it. “I remember Mum falling down that well many times. There was a sort of ledge part way down which she used to balance on until somebody rescued her – usually one of the older children. “

Florrie was one of eight children. She had 3 brothers and 5 sisters, 2 of her sisters worked at Cossington Manor. She was the middle one. Sadly at the age of 94, is the only one left. Her Dad worked at the farm, Tudor Court, which is now a private house. It used be a big farm. Her Dad used to do the horses – he was the carter. He would feed and look after them. On Sunday mornings he would go up to the stables to polish the brasses. He would also help  with the ploughing and haymaking, leading the horses. The Burstons owned the farm. I remember a Mr Payne used to keep Kings farm. It was a well kept farm, mostly cows. Where Julie Simpson lives now Mr and Mrs Hector kept a small holding. They had 7 or 8 cows. He owned the field behind us. We used to  buy cream from the Cranes farm in the centre of the village. Burstons I only did milk you see.”

Florrie went to school in Bawdrip.

“It was a bit different than what it is like today.  There were just 2 classes. I walked to school every morning, back for home for lunch, then school again in the afternoon. There was a bungalow in the grounds  where the headmistress, Miss or Mrs Clarke lived.  There was one big classroom.

Miss Hill from down Peasey Farm was the infants teacher. She used to cycle to school. I thinks she might still be alive. When coffee mornings first started in the village one of her old teachers from Bawdrip used to go and she remembered Florrie.

Florrie had anaemia as a child and used to be taken into Bridgwater to visit the hospital on the train. The cure was to eat raw liver, half a pound a week. Florrie remembers that well!

“It was quite a walk to the hospital from the railway station.” Once a year the Sunday School would go to Burnham for an outing on the train.  Mr Cass the vicar used to organise these.

“He was a lovely gentleman he was. He would do anything for anybody. Our family often used to go back to Bawdrip for a Sunday night service, walking across the fields. He used to bring us back in his car. He would say, “I can’t let you walk all that way.”

Recorded by Pam Earnshaw June 2012

Hear the interview click on the player icon below

Florrie was born Dinham in 1919 and married Arthur Drew in 1939 who died in 2003. 

She died on 7th November 2021 aged 102. The funeral service held at St Marys Church Cossington was attended by her family and many friends.

Florrie Dreww order service