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Torver Village Shop

Torver Village Shop            by Pat Barr

Ellis Howe was the shop in Torver from the early to mid 1800’s. The owner of the shop in the early days was a Miss Mary Coulthard.  The Prickett family bought the premises and continued to run the shop from the mid 1800’s.
Mr. Richard Wilson Prickett (born 1869) from Ellis Howe, married Miss Agnes Evelyn Shuttleworth (b.1875) from Undercrag. They had two children: Bessie Agnes (b.1895) and John (Jack) (b.1896) who were brought up at Ellis Howe.  Agnes died at the young age of 28 years in 1903, her children being only seven and eight years old.  When Bessie was old enough she took charge of the family shop while father Richard and brother Jack worked as Carters until the start of the First World War.  They carted stone from the local quarries, which at the time were Eddyscale, Bannishead and Broughton Moor, to the railway sidings at Torver, and Cove quarry was carted to Coniston’s railway yard.   To cart from Broughton Moor to Torver they used one horse and cart and one sledge to come down Broughton Moor hill, the sledge being the anchor weight.  The pay at that time was, ‘one man with two horses and two carts: 2/6d per day’. 

When war was declared Jack joined the army and spent the duration of the war in North Africa and Europe.  After he returned Jack met Miss. Rachel Elizabeth Atkinson, formerly of Cleator Moor, who was in lodgings with Tom and Ganny Coward, then living at Dalton Road Crossings, Torver.  Rachel worked in service at Eccle Riggs, in Broughton until she was dismissed after agreeing with her employers that the mirror above the grand fireplace was dusty.  They wrote in the dust, ‘this mirror is dusty’. Unfortunately she replied in writing again on the mirror saying, ‘I know’, a sackable offence in those days.

When Jack and Rachel married, Rachel took over the running of the shop leaving Bessie free to pursue her career as a confinement nurse and housekeeper to expectant mothers, which took her all over the country.  Jack was by this time working for the County Council as Torver’s lengthsman, keeping the roadsides tidy between Town End and Little Arrow and from there to Sunny Bank.
Jack and Rachel had two children, Richard and Mary.  Richard is of course the Richard Pricket who lives at The Hollace (his wife Elizabeth is sadly no longer with us). They had three daughters, Vanessa, Rachel and Elaine.  Mary married Tony Young from Souterstead and their children, John and Barbara, with her husband Sam, still farm their family farms in the village today. 

Ellis Howe is now available for holiday let.     You can find out more on our Accommodation page.
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