John Beckley Smith

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John was born in 1863 one of nine children to Richard and Mary (nee Beckley) Smith at Milton Damerell. His Father was a farmer of 244 acres at Higher Northcott, Boyton. On leaving school John worked on his fathers farm. In 1893 he married Maud Mary Jones at Launceston and they moved to Tredown farm, South Petherwin where a year later their first child was born, a daughter Ivy was born. The following year a son Frederick was born and in 1902 another daughter Marion joined the family.

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J. B. Smith and Son Western Road Showroom in the early 1980’s.

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John took over the Castle Hotel from Mr William Bailey in 1914. Soon after taking on the tenancy of the Temperance hotel Mr Smith began a carriers business then a bicycle business in the town which, in turn, grew into a garage and motor dealers. Kelly’s Directory of 1923 – Castle Hotel (unlicensed), commercial & family; posting in all its branches; cars on hire, omnibus meets all trains {J B Smith & Son, proprietors} High St. In 1926 – Smith J B & Son, Castle Temperance Hotel, High Street, and motor garage & livery stables, Western Road: in 1939 it had changed to – Smith J B & Son Ltd., Castle Temperance hotel, High street, with a further entry – Smith J B & Son (Launceston) Ltd., motor garage, Western road, and by 1956 the title was Smith & Son Ltd., Messrs J B, Castle Garage, Western Rd.

The Castle Temperance Hotel Garage in Western Road.

The Castle Temperance Hotel Garage in Western Road.

J. B. Smith and Son showroom in Western Road in the early 1980's.

J. B. Smith and Son showroom in Western Road in the early 1980’s.

J.B. Smith and Son, The Dockey, Launceston. Photo courtesy of Ian Smale

J.B. Smith and Son, The Dockey, Launceston. Photo courtesy of Ian Smale.

The firm later had a garage at The Dockey called the Castle Garage after taking over the Millman Liveries, but outgrowing this site, sold it for development (now a block of flats) and started a new garage on the Pennygillam estate which was subsequently taken over by Sprys. John retired in 1939, after retiring Mr and Mrs Smith went to live at ‘Wycollar’, 26 Tavistock Road, he and his wife celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary in September 1943.

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John died at a Nursing home in Wadebridge the age of 80 years on Thursday, 30th December, 1943. The funeral service was held at the St. Thomas road Methodist church conducted by Revs. J. L. Gillians and G. W. Hicks