Sunday, 7 July 2013

Plough and Sail

Here are the two sides of the Tollesbury sign, displayed as you entered the village. Tollesbury is known as the village of plough and sail because that was where traditionally village people earned their living. So, one side of the village sign depicts farming and the other sailing. In the past, Tollesbury men skippered and crewed many of the yachts that entered the America's Cup Race. They were also involved with building them. We still have two boat builders in the village. The sailors also skippered and crewed King George's yacht Britannia. When the skippers returned to the village with money they built terraces of houses. One for the skipper and his wife and the others for his children. You can tell how any children they had by the length of the terrace! In 1937 the J Class yacht Endeavour lost its mast crossing the Atlantic and was considered lost at sea. Three weeks later it limped in to Plymouth and word got back that all the men were safe. Apparently it was the biggest party and hangover that Tollesbury can remember!!!

In the sailing club there are lots of pictures of these sailors and the yachts that are very precious to Tollesbury's heritage. I remember when I was Commodore of the club there was a particularly high tide that threatened to breach the sea wall. I called up several members at 5 o'clock in the morning to get them down to the club to save the pictures!!! Luckily the tide behaved itself.

A quaint custom in the village is that one of the local farmers rents 'clock acre' off the church for agricultural purposes. The rent then pays the villager who takes charge of winding the church clock every day. The salary is enormous about £60 a year I think!


  1. Lovely to hear about the history of the village. It's nice that the sign shows both things which the village is known for.

  2. I'm really enjoying your posts about Tollesbury, Fran. I'm learning so much! Thanks very much for your kind invitation to call in, too.

  3. Jo - thank you, the sign is lovely and painted regularly to keep it looking nice xxx

    Wendy - thank you too, I really did mean it about the invitation as I know that you are only just down the road xxx

  4. Hi Fran, I have enjoyed reading your posts and seeing your photos of Tollesbury. It does look a delightful places that still holds dear the way we used to live as children. How long have you live there and how did you originally discover it?
    Sarah x

  5. Sarah - thank you. I have lived here for 23 years and how did I find it, well that's the subject or my next post!!! Xxx