The house in the background is known at Latchel, sometimes Letchole, but was originally called Park Villa, built in 1890. It was built on the dairy farm, and run by Paulie James. The James family established themselves in Latchel in 1918, after Paulie's father returned from the war. The family purchased three cows, and by 1921 servicing the local area with cream, milk, butter, and ice cream, the latter being sold on the seat of a push chair.
From sale at local markets, the family moved towards the advent of bottled milk, and delivered to village houses. During the Second World War, the milk was brought on a bicycle with a crate, but by the 1950s, Paulie did the rounds herself using an Austin Eight. In snowy conditions, the rounds were made using a horse and sledge, as seen in this photograph.
Milk sales dwindled through the 1970s, until the Paulie decided to the sell the milk only from the dairy in the 1980s. The Latchel Dairy closed in 1999, after suffering from fierce corporate competition and increased regulation and inspection costs. By the time of the Dairy's closure, the James family had served the people of Manaton for over 80 years.
Updated on May 17, 2018
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