3 ISSUES FOR JUST £3 Subscribe to Devon Life today click here

What was life like growing up on Lundy Island?

PUBLISHED: 11:49 26 June 2018 | UPDATED: 11:49 26 June 2018

Lundy still holds a romance for the visitor

Lundy still holds a romance for the visitor

Archant

Rugged cliffs, pounding seas, an abundance of wildlife – the romance of Lundy is inescapable. But what would it be like to live there? Jane Anning (née Squire), third-generation islander, tells Anne Brunner-Ellis about her childhood

“My grandfather Felix Gade moved to Lundy in 1926 and was in charge of the day-to-day running of the island until 1971 when he retired at the age of 80 (apart from 1945-49 when he and my Grandmother ran the Hartland Quay Hotel).

“My parents met when Dad moved from North Devon to work on the boats,” she says. “We lived in Stoneycroft, near the old lighthouse. I loved the expanse of sea and cliffs up there.

Jane in the garden of StoneycroftJane in the garden of Stoneycroft

“We kept goats, chickens and grew vegetables. Mum helped out in the shop. Dad could turn his hand to anything. If anything broke I always knew he would fix it.”

“Visitors were essential to the economy. The hotel with the pub and shop were the social hub for islanders and visitors alike. During the summer paddle steamers brought day trippers over.

Jane, a painter and decorator, now divides her time between the coast of Southern Ireland and South Devon � the sea continues to have a strong drawJane, a painter and decorator, now divides her time between the coast of Southern Ireland and South Devon � the sea continues to have a strong draw

“My grandfather helped behind the bar and my grandmother assisted with cooking – island living meant mucking in and helping one another.”

With only 16 residents it was a small community. “I loved haymaking which involved us all – especially the teas!” she comments. “I also loved going to the Radio Room with Grandpa.

Three generations of Lundy islanders in the shop tea gardenThree generations of Lundy islanders in the shop tea garden

“Twice a day he would phone Hartland saying ‘Lundy calling’. I enjoyed listening to him making the calls.”

Life could be hard and you had to be resourceful. It was very much a ‘make do and mend’ existence. “We had an island generator.

Jane and Peter in Lighthouse fieldJane and Peter in Lighthouse field

“Water was pumped and most houses had outside toilets. I hated using them at night in case I saw rats!” she says.

“Apart from ground rules – not going to the beach or the cliffs on our own – it was a carefree existence. I loved picking (and eating) peas, riding the Lundy ponies, fishing and of course going down to the beach.

Jane and Peter in the garden of StoneycroftJane and Peter in the garden of Stoneycroft

“Many families returned each year to stay in the hotel or in one of the few houses for rent and we became good friends with a number of them,” she recalls.

“I remember visits from the Harman ladies being very glamorous affairs; lovely ladies in beautiful dresses and gorgeous perfume. They used to get us to practise our swimming strokes lying face down on a chair - great fun when you are a small child.

The 1963 snow hit Lundy like the rest of the country. Jane and Peter below the Old LighthouseThe 1963 snow hit Lundy like the rest of the country. Jane and Peter below the Old Lighthouse

“I always felt safe and secure on Lundy, coupled with the knowledge that nothing would change. But it did.

“With no school, my mother was sent to boarding school on the mainland and hated it. She vowed she would not do that to her children.

Jane on Landing Beach with her grandmother, known as �Cheerful�, with brother Peter and fellow islander, Chris DavyJane on Landing Beach with her grandmother, known as �Cheerful�, with brother Peter and fellow islander, Chris Davy

“So, before we got to school age, we left and moved to the Scilly Isles. But we returned each summer to stay with my grandparents and for that I am grateful.”

__________________

Follow Devon Life on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Devon Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Devon Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Devon Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from People

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

An author known for her novels depicting life on the Channel Islands is nonetheless happiest writing from home here in Devon

Read more
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Fig Tree Court is a development of 14 apartments in Tiverton for retired and semi- retired over-55s with gorgeous views over the Grand Western Canal

Read more
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Alex Green goes behind the scenes on the Dartington Hall Estate to find a community of artists, makers, farmers, and social entrepreneurs living out the legacy of its founders

Read more
Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Many people know of award-winning Roly’s Fudge, but do they know how much hard work and business insight goes into making it?

Read more
Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Topsham businessmen Steve Williams and Pete Woodham-Kay take an ethical stance on eating meat | Photos: Nick Hook

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

As llama love grips the nation, we meet a Dartmoor couple who have spent the last 11 years making them their livelihood | Words: Lydia Tewkesbury

Read more
Friday, August 24, 2018

Aimee Pagliari is the Teignmouth Life Coach and she can help you achieve your personal, career or business success through a variety of holistic methods

Read more
Friday, August 24, 2018

Although doulas are relatively unknown in the Western world, they have been supporting mothers around the world since biblical times. We’ve met Aimee Pagliari, the Teignmouth Doula, to find out more

Read more
Friday, August 24, 2018

Aimee Pagliari of Teignmouth Counselling has been working as a counsellor for 10 years and we’ve spoken to her to find out who can benefit from such therapy

Read more
Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Gill Heavens salutes a long-standing North Devon club whose members love to explore the depths of our offshore waters

Read more
Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Cantering up the gently sloping, springy turf of a Dartmoor tor is a million miles away from the noise, pollution and hubbub of Sara Cox’s life in London – and that’s exactly why the 43-year-old radio and TV presenter keeps coming back to ride there.

Read more
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

From the sublime to the quite ridiculous, the Museum of Forkbeard is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Chrissy Harris can hardly believe her eyes when she visits

Read more
Thursday, August 2, 2018

Plymouth City Council are looking for potential foster carers to bring positive change to a child’s life. Can you help?

Read more
Tuesday, July 24, 2018

A beautiful walk on Dartmoor’s western fringes with SIMONE STANBROOK-BYRNE

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy



Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search