Daphne Scorer - Dartmouth Connections
What did you do before Dartmouth became your home?
Well I was born in Truro where my father was in banking. It was made clear to him that to get on he would have to move to London which is what the family did. Unfortunately my father, who had served in the trenches during the First World War, died relatively young aged sixty but he was retired early and we were moved to Torquay for his latter years.
I had wanted to be a nurse all my life, I really did not want to do anything else and to that end I attended the Technical college in Torquay to get the qualifications I needed to get into Bart’s Hospital in London – which I did.
Unfortunately whilst I was working there I became very ill with septicaemia and was sent home. When I was well again I worked as a nurse in a Torquay nursing home which was not a happy experience. So I went back to London to work in The Tao Clinic in Knightsbridge and after being there for some time I was sent to open a clinic for them in Exeter.
Meanwhile I had come home to attend a dance in Torquay which is where I met my husband Derek who had come over from Dartmouth, a place I did not know at all. To begin with my father was not at all happy about me seeing an estate agent but we did fall in love and were married on 17th September 1949.
I believe you have lived in your home for most of your married life?
Yes, for 56 years. The first years we were together were spent in Torquay but then we moved to Dartmouth where Derek worked with his father and we moved into what is still our house.
Of course it was very different then as it had been requisitioned during the war for four families and was in a terrible state. It took us years to sort it out. In our early days we used to do bed and breakfast from here, just for the main five holiday weeks in the summer, four guineas a week and they got morning tea in bed!
Did you continue with your nursing career?
No, I joined Derek and we went into business together at Letcher and Scorer, estate agents and auctioneers, and I first started helping with doing inventories mostly at BRNC and then I began doing two sales every month to free Derek up for other work and I very quickly became known as the Auctioneer. We used to be in premises where the National Westminster Bank is now. Being a keen amateur actress I think the auctioneering appealed to my sense of the dramatic!
Amateur Dramatics have played a large part in your life?
Yes I used to act with T.O.A.D.S in Torquay and then got involved with the Dartmouth Players but I found that taking part in two or three plays a year became too much on top of my workload and raising my son and daughter, Chris and Jane.
So I gave up the acting side but was Chairman for about ten years and am now joint President with Derek. For many years I have been Chairman of the South Devon Drama Federation and more recently I became a founder member of the Dart Drama Festival which takes a lot of organising and this year will take place at the Flavel Centre on 10th to 14th November with entries from Dartmouth, Dittisham, Blackawton, Kingsbridge, Salcombe, Shiphay and Slapton amateur dramatic groups.
You have given your time to many projects and organisations over the years
Derek and I have always enjoyed being part of the local community and I was a volunteer with the Family Planning Clinic for 21 years, a member and Chairman several times of Inner Wheel, on the committee of Abbeyfields and a keen supporter of the Flavel Centre.
There is still a great need to raise money for the Flavel’s continued success and to that end I have been asked to be the Auctioneer at a Grand Auction of Promises in February next year as part of the 5th anniversary celebrations.
We are very lucky to have the support of many generous and talented people in the town amongst them Simon Drew, Ed Welch and John Gillo who are donating wonderful lots for the auction including a dinner for six cooked in your own home by John Burton Race.
What are your hobbies and interests?
We thoroughly enjoy playing petanque, croquet, bowls and whist and since retirement we have developed quite a love of cruising!
First published November 2009 By the Dart