Grandson of former Devizes lock-keepers seeks out his relatives
The grandson of the couple who lived in the lock-keeper’s cottage on the Caen Hill flight of locks in Devizes is seeking more information on his relatives.
Dave Jarmey, 63, who lives in Royal Wootton Bassett, is trying to find out more about his grandparents, Henry George and Beatrice Griffin, who lived at Lock House, now thought to be the premises of the Caen Hill Café, in the early 1900s.
Mr Griffin was foreman of the “dock”, where all the repairs were carried out on lock gates and barges and other general maintenance. The location of the “dock” is now the Devizes depot of the Canal and River Trust.
Mr Jarmey, whose mother Molly was one of 15 children of the Griffins, said: “All of that immediate family, and there were 15 of them, have now passed on, but there must be dozens of my cousins, second cousins and probably third cousins still living in the area.
“Sadly, I am only in contact with one of them.”
The Griffins’ children included Dave, Tom, Bill, Jim, Nancy, Eileen (Lean), Else, Gladys (Dilly), Nell, Dorothy (Dot) and Molly.
Mr Jarmey added: “All, I believe, had families who would, in turn, probably have had families and so on. There is, therefore, potential for a considerable gathering of family that I may never have met before so I would dearly love to hear from anyone related to me.”
Mr Jarmey, who has three adult sons and three teenage granddaughters, all living in Swindon, can be contacted on (01793) 855749, or email firstname.lastname@example.org The Kennet and Avon Canal was an important commercial artery when it was opened in 1810, but its prominence was overtaken by the development of the railways.
However, its importance grew during the First World War when it was used to transport munitions and other supplies to troops training on Salisbury Plain and Mr Griffin would have been very busy during that period.