Radford Cottages and The Oldest Man in Oreston!

November 9, 2011 | By | 14 Replies More

Fond memories of Hooe Lake and Radford by Alison Hanson…

My great grandad, Caleb Samuel Carder (1875 – 1971) had an allotment on the hillside above Radford Quarry in Lower Saltram, on the left as you began downhill on the pot-holed gravel path just before what is now Kingfisher Quay. On the opposite side of the path another chap used to keep his daughter’s horse. I remember her feeding the horse handfuls of yoghurt.
When I was 3 or 4 I used to visit him there and in his shed he would lift me up to look into the blackbird’s nest to see the eggs or chicks. Every year the birds would nest in his shed, and he would sit in there taking a break from gardening, with his flask of tea. The birds never minded him at all; he was very in tune with nature, as many people were back then.


Caleb Carder – Oreston’s Oldest Man

This photo of Caleb Samuel Carder was taken in the late 1960s, as he was walking back up the road from his allotment, no doubt with onions or something similar in the sack. It was taken for an article in the Evening Herald about Oreston’s Oldest Man. He continued gardening until he died aged 95 in 1971. Interestingly, he was only about 4ft 8in tall.

One of his sons, my grandad, Jim Carder (1903 – 1999) also used to keep chickens, geese and bantams further down, by the waterfront. It is all overgrown now and you can’t even get to what used to be the path. We used to walk down to Radford Cottages and visit my grandad’s brother and his wife (another son of Caleb Snr) – Uncle Cal and  2. We used to walk down to Radford Cottages and visit my grandad’s brother, Caleb (junior) and his wife Phyllis. They lived at no.1, Radford Cottages. As a child I was fascinated by the fact that their stairs were hidden away in a ‘cupboard’ and that they had an outside toilet. Uncle Cal kept the garden beautifully, full of veg and flowers. They moved from there in the 1980s; Aunty Phyl passed away a few years ago but Caleb is still with us and will be 98 later on in 2014!

Grandad and I would then turn right and pick up the path through the trees right beside the beach, for maybe 100yds or so, to go feed his chickens and geese in his  poultry run on the right, halfway along before Lake Cottage.I loved feeding them – he had a large number; the geese terrified me when I was small as they used to chase after us. I held all the chicks and collected all the eggs; on a couple of occasions, one of the cockerels bit at my thumb, slicing a chunk off it – very painful and I learnt to let go of the feed much more quickly in future! Then Grandad and I used to clamber down onto the shingle and chat to all the old men he knew there who were maintaining their boats. In those days there used to be at least 10 to 20 craft there, some of them just little old abandoned boats.

Grandad and I would sit in them and pretend to row with the oars. My first ever experience of a crab was on that beach. I was 4 years old and he found a plump green one to show me; I held it in my hand briefly and then panicked, throwing my hand upwards and sending the poor crab into the tree above, never to come back down! We used to go for a long walks all over Radford – round to the old wharf, back to the castle and down to the ruins, and into the old farm sheds that were there then.

Grandad, Jim Carder

Grandad, Jim Carder

The photo of my Grandad, Jim Carder, is taken by a lake in Scotland in the 1950s. He was brother to Caleb (junior). (In total, Caleb (senior) and his wife Eliza (Lugger) had 8 children). They were all born and bred in Oreston, and originally Jim and his father had worked in Radford Quarry. Eliza died in 1918 when baby Caleb was barely 2, and Jim 15 years old. Caleb (senior) had not long returned from the WW1 trenches by then.

 Group photo from the 1940's

This photo is from the 1950s I think, taken at the wedding of another family member. My grandad, Jim Carder is on the right of the back row, Caleb (junior) front right, Caleb (senior) front left, and with the 2 elder brothers Stan and Bill making up the group. You can see here just how short their patriarch was.

1-hooe_lake _Phyllis_Carder-001

This photo is Caleb’s (junior) wife Phyllis, taken in the 1960s possibly, feeding her husband’s chickens (Caleb Carder jnr). In the background is Lake Cottage and Uncle Caleb informs me that the cottage in the trees to the right was Railway Cottage once inhabited by a Mrs Davis. The last occupant was Mr West who worked for the Oreston Timber Company. Apparently that patch of land was once “Mrs Hollins’ Tea Gardens” in the 1920s, and there were swings there which you could pay to have a go on.

Caleb 2nd from right; the older chap was retiring and they presented him with seems to be some sort of heater!Caleb (junior) worked at Hooe Quarry and here he is 3rd from right with the cap on. This was the retirement presentation of the chap in the foreground; not sure exactly what present he has received, however it seems to be some sort of heater!

Caleb Carder (jnr) as a teenager working with the pony used to pull the cart full of rock out of the quarry

Here is Caleb (junior) as a teenager in the late 1920s working at Hooe Quarry; the horses were used to pull the carts full of quarried rock.

Caleb Jnr. with some kind of turbine or generator which he was in charge of operating. I guess this is late 1940s or 50s.

Caleb Jnr. with some kind of turbine or generator which he was in charge of operating. I guess this is late 1940s or 50s.

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Category: History, Personal Accounts

Comments (14)

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  1. Michael Hockings says:

    Just found out that Caleb Samuel Carder was my third cousin. He was descended from my great great grandfather 1828 – 1857, Henry Hawkins (Hockings).

  2. Rebecca Vowler says:

    Hi, I am trying to find out more about my mother’s side. Is there anyone here with more info on:

    – Albert Koch and his wife Patty Howard, their children Albert,Irene, Pat and Ted.

  3. Patrick Dunbar says:

    What an interesting topic – many thanks for posting it. I came across it when searching for an Oreston address (more later)

    I was born in Plymstock in 1930, and shortly afterwards we moved into Oreston, a flat (I assume) above Tom Smith’s barbers shop. This was located on the bend at the bottom of the hill from Plymstock, and this was the address I was searching for.

    Could it have been 15 Dukes Cottage? In the 1930 Electoral Rolls my father, Robert Henry Dunbar, is recorded at this address.

    I regret I have no recollection of the Carder family. This is strange, for it seems that some of their children must have been at Plymstock Senior School during the time I was there. I left school in 1945, and was working in Roborough when the war ended.

    Before I started school we moved from Oreston to Hooe (18 Meadow View, now 115 Hooe Road) and some details in Caleb’s biography are similar my early life.

    My grandfather (Leonard Richard Nicholls) had an allotment in the same area as the one memntioned. At the top of Hexton Hill, Hooe, the path devided, left down to the lake shore, right across fields to home (18 Meadow View) These paths bounded two sides of Grandad’s triangular-shaped allotment, and I spent many hours helping (I hope, I was only a little lad!) to dig and weed the plot.

    Many thanks for sending me down “memory lane” – and if you can help with my search for Tom Smith’s address, please do so.

    Pat Dunbar

  4. marcia bastin says:

    I found on here the mention of radford cottages.
    I had been looking at a newspaper cutting. The couple had lived there for 50 years. The lady was my great grandfathers sister, the man his friend Nicolas Philips.
    They married 1882 at Plymstock Parish church

  5. Lisa carder says:

    I married into the Carder family in 1990 (now divorced but still living in Oreston since 1993). I married Stephen Carder, son of Beryl and David (David’s parents were Horace and Vera,). Both lived in Oreston. I haven’t seen their names mentioned anywhere. I have 3 children who all attended Oreston Primary and Plymstock School. (Joshua, Thomas and Lucy).

  6. Bob S. says:

    I happened across your site while researching my family history. My Great Grandfather was Samuel Carder born 1861 who was from Oreston (my home village). He was described as a Master for the Oreston and Turnchapel Steamboat Company which fits with the entry from David Passmore. His wife was Jane Carder. My Grandmother was Marian Carder and it appears she had a brother also called Samuel Carder born in 1891. My Grandmother lived on the Quay at Oreston (a small cottage next to the Kings Arms) until her death in the 1960s. There must be connections between the Carders given that they seemed to all live in Oreston.

  7. Alison Hanson says:

    ANNOUNCEMENT Caleb Carder Jnr has passed away in the late evening of Thursday 22nd January 2015, age 98 years. The last of a whole generation now gone, he was a real character, a hard-working man and true gentleman of the ‘old school’. He will be greatly missed by all his remaining family and friends, of whom he had many. God Bless <3

  8. Alison Hanson says:

    Hi Sue, sorry it’s taken so long for me to reply! First, it’s interesting that you have the same maiden name as me. My Haines side have a Plymstock link too. Yes Caleb was married to Phyllis, she passed away a couple of years ago, known as Phyl to most of us. I do have several photos of her. If you contact Mike he will give you my email address and I can send some pics to you. They did live in ! Radford Cottages, and Caleb tended the garden beautifully. They didn’t have children which I know was a disappointment to them. Caleb is still with us and will be 98 later this year.

  9. Sue Orgill (nee Haines) says:

    Did Caleb Junior live in the first of Radford Cottages on the lake, now surrounded by modern houses? His face I recognised at once. I knew him – or his twin – and his wife in the 60s. What was his wife’s first name, and does anyone have a picture of her?

  10. Sue Orgill (nee Haines) says:

    I used to live in Statfold Cottages, on Plymstock Road, just opposite Lower Saltram in the 60s. Mrs Carder (who lived in the first of Radford Cottages, if my memory is correct) used to come and clean our house for us, as my mother went to work. Can you tell me what happened to her? I have fond childhood (teenage) memories of her and also their lovely cottage.

  11. Alison says:

    Goodness, thank you all for the lovely comments. Ann – he was indeed a very sweet chap with a very kind family. Sam – you and I are related. Your grandmother C is my mother’s cousin; my grandad and Christine’s mum were brother and sister.I am delighted, like you, to see our recent ancestors on the worldwide web!! David – yes there is a direct family link. Caleb senior b1887 had father William b1851; HIS father William b1816 had brother Stephen Carder b1818. Stephen had daughter Harriet b1847 who married John Passmore b1845. One of their children was Isaac Carder Passmore b1878. They lived at 2 Marine Villas, Oreston in the 1881 census.

  12. David J Passmore says:

    Hello Alison
    I too, came across this by accident whilst looking at an article on the Oil Tanks at Hooe Lake.
    I remember ‘Grandad’ Carder from Oreston, although I was only a young lad at the time.
    I believe that my Grandad was in some way related to the Carder family of Oreston, his middle name being Carder, after his Mother’s maiden name. He was Isaac Carder Passmore, and he lived in the village all his life, working at the quarry and on the Oreston ferry boats. He lived into his late nineties and lived with his daughter, my Dad’s sister, in Thornville Terrace. He also had a house in the same road.
    I would love to know the family link if you have any ideas.
    Many thanks,

  13. Sam Birch says:

    My name is Samuel i am 7, i was amazed to find my great great great granfer on the internet and i have that picture on my wall , i also have a copy of his birth certificate . I see uncle Cal(junior)every week because i look after him.

    I hope you engoy it…
    Samuel James Birch.

  14. Ann Callus says:

    I really enjoyed reading Alison’s article-found by chance while I was surfing the net.

    My family moved to Oreston in the 1960s and I think I recognise Caleb from my childhood for a lovely reason. My Mum was talking over the gate to the new neighbours and there was an elderly gentleman who gave her a bunch of gorgeous sweet peas from his allotment to welcome us to Oreston. We were really thrilled and just loved living in the village until we left in the 1970s.
    As children we loved Hooe Lake and used to walk there a lot-beautiful.

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