Grace Way (née Cowdry)

Grace Cowdry’s grandparents, Solomon and Rhoda, came to Fovant from London in the 1870s. They set up a grocery and bakery in the lower end of the High Street. On Solomon’s retirement his son Ernest and daughter Eliza went into partnership and moved the shop to the top end of the High Street. The Cowdry family had very strong connections with the Chapel.

Grace, the daughter of Ernest and Elsie, remembers…

‘Both [her parents] worked very hard in the business, and at the chapel, arranging preachers each week and the general running of the place. The Cowdry family were very musical, both singing and instrumental.

I am afraid that I have nothing I can pass on about the original shop, but know from experience that the one at the top of the High Street was very important in the life of the village, having a bakery as well.

During the war (1939–45) I remember tanks outside the shop while troops were in purchasing cigarettes, cakes and sweets. A sight I shall never forget.

I spent a very happy childhood in Fovant, attending the village school until senior school in Shaftesbury. All the youth got on very well, and we enjoyed a good community spirit, having to make our own entertainment.

We had a good youth club and as we got older, dances, and often gave concerts in the British Legion Hut, which was great fun. There was also a group of us who met to sew and knit to raise funds for the Children’s Home at East Knoyle, the “Waifs and Strays” as it was called. When I left school I went to the Nursery and trained as a Nursery Nurse.

The Youth Club met a few years ago for a re-union, which was wonderful.’

June 2003

Content last updated
14 January 2007