Mills, was born in Camelford in 1930.
1944 he applied for an apprenticeship with the old Cornwall Electric
Power Company but because of the war there were no places available.
was told there was a vacancy for an electrician's mate at RAF Davidstow
worked with his colleagues providing the electrical installation
of lighting at the airfield.
the war ended and I went to work for the Cornwall Electric Power
Company," says Wesley. "I worked in the district which included
Delabole, Tintagel and Boscastle. Soon after I went away for two
years to do my National Service."
down Pengelly towards the quarry works
returned to the area in 1950 and continued working for the Cornwall
Electric Power Company. He soon got a job as a meter reader for
the Electricity Board which later became SWEB.
travelled around the area but things were different for meter readers
back then," smiles Wesley. "We would get dropped off and would have
to reach the various villages by bike or on foot. Sometimes we would
have to go cap in hand asking for transport for some of the hard
to reach areas. It was very rare that we would get a van to use!"
was one of the earliest villages in Cornwall to have electricity.
had electricity switched on in the village back in 1914," states
Wesley. "The supply of electricity was taken from the quarry which
had a business called the Delabole Electric Lighting Company. They
supplied the privileged few with a supply of electricity which tended
to be for lighting. Even in those early days there was street lighting.
As the years went on the National Grid came about which linked up
all the small electrical companies. This was around 1936, so eletrical
supply really did improve."
many meter readers work from home.
colleague is faxed through the details of where he has to visit
each day," says Wesley. "He finds it a lot easier to get a van nowadays!"
old village pump is still in Pengelly. It has not been used
lives in Pengelly just metres away from the Delabole Slate Company.
His home is one of the old Slate Quarry Houses which were built
for the workers at a time when the quarry employed hundreds of local
moved in to this house in 1953 when I got married," remembers Wesley.
wife's mother and father lived in this house and we moved in with
them. We lived here all those years, and I am still here to this
day. The quarry houses were built around 1890. There are still about
20 left in the village. Most were like small cottages. Some, like
this one, were built like town terraced houses. At its peak the
quarry employed around 600 people. Now its about 40."
house is called 'Tredannon' and is named after a small hamlet called
Dannon Chapel where his father-in-law used to live.
father-in-law was a quarry man and he would walk several miles a
day to reach his work," remembers Wesley. "It sounds a long way
but this was quite common those working in the quarry."
photo shows The Delabole Inn on the left. The small child on
the pavement is standing outside Wesley's house in Pengelly
says there were several pubs in the village. Two were opposite each
other in Pengelly, right by Wesley's house.
building opposite my house which is being done up was originally
a pub called 'The Delabole Inn'," says Wesley. "Then it changed
to The Railway Inn. The other pub, which is no longer there, was
called the New Inn, and when Waggoners came here to pick up the
slate they would stay in the New Inn."
Inn is now long gone, the building which housed the pub is being
renovated at the moment.
old Wesley Chapel near the entrance to Delabole Slate was where
Elijah Eade taught the village's youngsters at 'day school'. Those
who could afford it would pay a penny a day for the schooling.
loves Delabole and the whole of north Cornwall. "It has its own
identity, with the coastline and countryside," says Wesley. "There's
a special feeling about the place which is very hard to explain."
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