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Wookey

Francis WookeyThe Wookey family have strong connections with the Harptrees but also play a significant part of the history of Chewton Mendip. The rather austere gentleman on the left is Francis Wookey. It is not clear if he was directly related to the Wookey family of Chewton Mendip but he was related by marriage to the Vining family and was related to the Loxton family via that connection.Francis was born in Ubley on 18th February 1855. He joined the Bristol constabulary in 1876 at a time when the police wore  long-tail coats with a white star on the breast. The duty spells were 9 hours without a break and food was taken whilst on the beat. Wages were 30 shillings (£1.50) a week without paid leave. He spent three years in the London force but returned to Bristol where eventually he became Deputy Chief Constable in 1910, a position which he retained until his retirement in 1920 after 42 years experience. He was also a recipient of the Kings Police Medal. He had previously married the daughter of the stationmaster at St Mary Redcliffe, a Mr William Cooper. He retired to live in Midsomer Norton and took up gardening (specialising in strawberries) and became a vice president of the Midsomer Norton Society.
A S Wooky was signing churchwarden  accounts for Chewton Mendip in 1751. Thomas Wookey  was paying  poor rates for the Moggs estate in Widcombe which is now part of West Harptree. A Ralph Wooky was paying for the Moggs estate in 176o’s.
William Wookey was living in Bathway when his children attended Chewton Mendip school from 1870.
 Charles Wookey is referred was running a foundry, wheelwright and undertaking business in Bathway during the early 20th century. This business also had links with Mendip Motors and various members of the Wookey family were involved with the Mehodist chapel in Bathway.
 Charles Wookey was the grandfather of Thomas and David Hellard. Thomas worked for Charles Wookey and David followed him into the family business which evolved into a specialist building company.
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