Familiar Faces at Flete

A big thank you to everyone who responded to the appeal for Flete babies to contact us. Such a great range of stories.

That reminded me how often visitors to the Mothecombe Gardens Open Days they tell us of a relative who once worked at Flete. So many families still live locally and may recognise the name of an uncle or great aunt in the following list.

The great Mrs Woodman; like Mrs Patmore, the cook in Downton Abbey, the cook was always referred to as “Mrs” even when they were not married. She was with Lord Mildmay at Flete and then at Mothecombe for fifty years. Keep and eye out on the blog for some of her traditional recipes which we will be posting shortly.

Two of the butlers, Mr Fossey and Mr Shelton, who commanded great respect , were also with the Mildmays for many years, as was CarrCarr the House keeper.

Mr Cavill was the head gardener and Jerry Jarrett started in the gardens at Flete as a fourteen year old boy, then worked at Pamflete after the war, and finally advised us on pruning the fruit trees at Mothecombe when he was in his eighties.

Rose Steer was a nanny and Daisy Ludgate, later Hinsley, was a nursery maid, who continued to correspond with the late Helen Mildmay-White well past retirement.

Mr Brown was Lord Mildmay’s valet for many years and Joe Stallard was his second horseman and went to the front in World War 1 with him. Lomas was the stud groom, with sons Jim and George.

Alfred Tall was the house carpenter at Flete. Baker the head keeper (gamekeeper) lived at the kennels, Bushrod was the under keeper, and Nepean was the keeper for Pamflete wood, and can be seen at his cottage with his family in a photograph on www.flete.co.uk/gallery-history. His son lived at Saltgrass, the cottage with the boathouse under it on the Kingston side of the Erme river.

We would love to hear of any more families who have Flete connections.

Nepean family at cottage
Victorian picnic on Mothecombe Beach
Victorian Pamflete bull and stockman
7 replies
  1. Linda forrester
    Linda forrester says:

    I am a Flete baby, born 17 feb 1951. Nee ellicott. My family lived in Plymouth. My dad came out from Plymouth to wait for birth and lord Mildmay allowed the fathers to stay in the hall and had a log fire burning thru the night. I was born in the art gallery. Years later mum ,myself and my husband had tour and we lucky enough to be allowed into the apartment which had been part of the room that I had been born in. I am also lucky to now live in Newton Ferrers and still visit the beach regularly
    Lin forrester

  2. Jayne Lockwood
    Jayne Lockwood says:

    Our Nanna, Phyllis May Sizer worked at Flete House in the early 1920s.I believe initially as housemaid/helping cook. She travelled from Alford in Lincolnshire to work there as a young girl and later told us stories about the beautiful ‘castle’ she worked in..the countryside, the private beaches and the glow worms! We would love to know if there are any records, photographs or memories of Nanna.

    Jayne Lockwood

  3. Tina Tebbens
    Tina Tebbens says:

    I’m a Flete baby, born August 5, 1949. I wonder how many of us are approaching that big 70! It is my dream to visit in the next year. I live in the town of Troutdale near Portland, Oregon.

  4. david preston
    david preston says:

    David Preston. I am a Flete baby. I was born on the July 20th. 1953. My father was also David Preston, and worked on the railway. My mother was Joyce Bray.

  5. Pauline wilson
    Pauline wilson says:

    My 3 children were born at Flete. Susan 16 march 1952 Alan 23 April 1954 Peter 27 sept 1950.i lived up the hill at Westlake.
    Our family lived in ermington.the family name was Hayman and I’m told that one lived at flete western lodge many years ago.
    My main memories were my husband cycling from Hms Drake to visit me bringing duty free cigs for Sister Pratt who was feared by all.

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