MAY 2021

Looking back at last month’s Report, it seems that the Government’s (or at least our Leader’s), hopes that there is more than a glimmer of light at the end of his tunnel, but, thanks to this glorious weather we are enjoying, it seems that a large proportion of the public have seen more than a glimmer and are now emerging from the tunnel, recalling those iconic words “they think it’s all over – it is now !” Let’s all hope so, – four months of this weather would do nicely ! We shall have to wait and see what June 21st brings.

Our Village Hall

My understanding of the matter locally is that both the Village Hall Council and the Parish Council are still awaiting formal notification as to when “Community Centres and Village Halls”, as they are described in Government Guidance, can fully re-open for their usual activities.  As far as the History Group is concerned, we shall be hoping to have as large an audience as we can muster for our Opening Meeting (whenever that may be) as well as Guest Speakers to re-arrange for our future Open Meetings, and anything else we can think of to tempt you to come along (believe it or not, our Secretary/Treasurer Derek, has provisionally arranged Guest Speakers for what will remain of this year, but also Speakers for the whole of next year (2022) !!

As regular readers of these monthly Reports in the Parish Mag or on our Group website will know, we have taken advantage of the “lockdown” to “sort out” a large quantity of memorabilia of all sorts.   This has thrown up or reminded me of items which I must admit I had forgotten about, but which I am sure (after some research) will be of interest to everyone interested in a little piece of Marldon’s history, concerning as it does well known places in our Village, and the former residents who are the subject of our research.

Two such items, which quickly became linked, were “The mystery of Barby’s Corner” and “The de Barbe Family”.
To avoid this Report taking up too much valuable space I have set out in chronological order the main parts of the story, which I have called : –


  1. February 1920 – A brief mention in the Parish Magazine of Viscountess de Barbe, thanking her for her donation of £2 to the Fund to purchase a piano for the School.
  2. 1928 Electoral Registers for 1924– 1928 Claude de Barbe, Lilian Florence de Barbe (Sister?) resident at Moor Tor
  3. 2nd Quarter 1928, Totnes Registration – Marriage – Claude Charles de Barbe to Beryl A. Furneaux-Jenkins
  4. 1928 – 1931 Electoral Registers – 1928 -1931 – Claude Charles de Barbe and Beryl Adelaide de Barbe, resident at Moor Tor
  5. 1932 – By a Notice in the London Gazette by Claude Charles De Forterie of Moor Tor (formerly known by the name of Claude Charles Mary de Barbe) renounced and abandoned the Christian name of Mary and the surname of de Barbe AND had assumed and adopted the surname of Tracey de Forterie

6.1932 – Claude Charles Tracey de Forterie now operating as a Shipping Agent for Elders & Fyffes Ltd carrying freight and passengers, sailing to and from Avonmouth to Trinidad.

  • (The name “Fyffes” suggests that the freight would be mainly bananas!)
  1. 1940 – Devon Central Reg. District. Death of Lilian Florence Barbe (Sister or first wife?) aged 72.
  2. 2017 The Group acquire copy Patent Application and Specification (for modification of motor car) dated 1931 by Claude Mary Charles de Barbe of Moor Tor. (see below *)

(* ) At one of our Open Meetings 4 or 5 years ago, the Group had on display a photograph of a horse-drawn cart driven by one of the farm workers at Peters Farm at the junction of Village Road, Kiln Road and Ipplepen Road, and in the background is Moor Tor. In his Memoirs Mr Basil Sutcliffe makes the first mention of Barbeys Corner being the villagers local name for the junction mentioned above. It should be mentioned that at the Open Meeting mentioned above, none of our Members or the public had heard of the de Barbe name. The photograph was donated to the Group by Basil Sutcliffe, the grandson of the Stranger family who were the Tenants of the farm, which belonged to the Compton Castle Estate. (*the greater part of the Estate was sold by Auction in 1931, and Mrs. Stranger died during the 12 month Notice served on all tenants – Mr. Stranger having died some years before). Mr. Sutcliffe spent his Summer holidays at the farm from his infancy until the end of his schooldays, and in later life committed his memories to paper, and donated them to the Group. They are elsewhere on this website and deserve to be read, giving, as they do, an idyllic picture of Summers on a typical Devon farm between the Wars. It is also worth reading for the detailed description of Marldon, recalling the people and places of our Village and its daily life.

The early editions of the Parish Magazine seemed a good place to look for mentions of the de Barbe name, on the assumption that a person or family of such a name would be more likely than not to attend the local Church. The Magazine was first published in 1913, and there, in the Magazine for February 1920, were the brief details referred to in “1. February 1920.”

At the same Open Meeting we also had on display copies of a Patent Specification and drawing dated 1931, made by one
Claude Mary Charles De Barbe, of Moor Tor. The application was for an improvement to a motor-car of the time, and was donated to our Group by the then Chairman of the Paignton Historical Society, as being of more interest to the Marldon Group than the Paignton Group. Thus we now know how the name for “Barby’s Corner” came into being, and also have our introduction to the de Barbe family. As we now also know from the Electoral Registers and other sources that the de Barbes were in residence at Moor Tor until at least 1931, see “ 4. 1928 – 1931” above, the search for more information can continue !!


PLEASE NOTE:- Due to the ongoing unavailability of the Village Hall, the Committee have regretfully had to cancel our planned Social Evening and talk by Phil Badcott on JUNE 11th.

NOW RE-ARRANGED Friday 09th June 2023

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