Stacey, Rose (b.1898)

Born in Nether Stowey, Rose Stacey was one of ten daughters and two sons.  Rose’s father was a gardener and her mother a laundress. Rose attended Nether Stowey school until 1911, but left the village when she was only fifteen to enter domestic service for a family in London. On her return to Somerset she continued to work ‘in service’ until her marriage in 1922, when she became a laundress in the village.


When she was a schoolgirl Rose worked with her father ripping bark from the trees on the Quantock Hills.  The bark was sent to a tannery in Porlock, and the timber to potteries in Bridgwater.

Bark stripping on the Quantocks, an activity Rose took part in as a child. Bark stripping on the Quantocks, an activity Rose took part in as a child.
Sound File
Listen to Rose Stacey - 1.80MB Duration 3:55 min.

RS: I was born in Castle Street in 1898 and I was one of a family of twelve, ten daughters and two sons.  And we used to go to the Church of England school, where the library is now.  We used to leave school at the age of thirteen.


And then I went and worked on the hills with my Dad, when they used to take the bark from the coppice trees to the tannery down at Porlock.  I used to go up and help them.  I used to have a shilling a week and then he said, “Well if you could take the bark off the trees”.


You used to have to stand five foot high cut the bark round the coppice trees, they were a certain size you know, had to be straight and they used to cut down all around, and then cut the bark all around it as far as you could stand up five foot, and then you had to have this tool what they called a ripper and slide it all down through the bark until you come to the bottom and then you had to gradually work the bark around it to pull it away from the tree.  They used to call that leggins.


MG: You obviously remember the Broom Squires.


RS: Oh yes, yes.  I had an old gent who lived with me, well he was related to my husband, an uncle. Of course when I went up to Castle Hill to live he was there and he used to make the brooms.


MG: What was his name?


RS: Palmer.  He would take he did six heather brooms, he would go up to Barford Park that’s nearly into Enmore, walk, he never went on a train or rode on a bus.  Always used to walk.  He would take six brooms on his shoulder to Barford Park; sell them there, sixpence each.


He would go from there to [] Spaxton, [] family lived, he would go in there and find out if they wanted any, make another six and take that there.  Very often they would give him bread and cheese and a pint of beer.  He would go from there to Gotheney Hall, go from there call in at Cannington to the Rev Brockley Davis’s.  Find out if he wanted some then he would walk home.

Copyright Information
Copyright. This recording was made by Ann Heeley in 1981. Photograph ©SRLM. For access to full interview please contact the Somerset Heritage Centre.