I have lived in Minehead all my life. When I retired I learnt how to do HTML and websites at the IT center and created Minehead-online as a way of sharing my extensive collection of postcards and other local history that I have collected over the years with so many more people than I ever imagined.. Since its start in 2000 I have added information sent to me from all over the world.
I went to the St.Teresa's Convent School in Townsend Road and later to the Taunton Art College. I met and married Ian McCutcheon in 1963.  Ian was working in Clarks shoe factory at the time. We started maried life by renting flats and then bought a small house in Periton Lane.. A couple of years later we decided to improve our prospects and moved to Summerland Avenue where I did B & B (a job that kept me at home whilst the children were small). I also took in boarders during the winter including the builders of the new International stores in the Parade - Boots Chemist is there now.

We later embarked on a business enterprise:


In 1970 my husband and I started up a furniture moving business after the auctioneer and estate agent, David Phillips had complained that he had trouble getting stuff moved from the saleroom. David told us that if we bought a van we would get the contract for delivering sold furniture and effects from the saleroom.
So we traded in our old car for a white Ford Transit which we could use for moving furniture and also for camping in with the kids at weekends.  My husband was working for Clarks at the time but we took the gamble. We started off by moving furniture evenings and weekends. Once it had built up enough, he left Clarks and started the removals and transport business fulltime. Clarks helped by giving him a contract to deliver to their other factories  in Worcester, Derby, Northampton and London. We also got the contract to deliver the West Somerset Free Press from Cox’s in Williton to local shops and the Taunton distribution centre.
Next, we thought of a name for the business – and called it – MACS REMOVALS & LIGHT HAULAGE (original first advert right hand side) This venture went from strength to strength until we had to employ a man to help full time. Ians friend, Richard Bastable was interested in the job and subsequently worked for us for many years.
We soon discovered that this little van was too small for the work we were being asked to do. So, in 1973 we bought a new lorry. A 1000 cu.ft. Leyland Terrier. PYC 820L
We became, MACS REMOVALS AND TRANSPORT. We then gained a contract from Sears and Roberts, the pinewood furniture factory that was operating in the Old Town Mill and across the road where Staddons garage used to be. That was a weekly delivery to Chelmsford and other places, even to Ireland a couple of times.

In 1974, Ted Prescott (E.W.Prescott) of Bossington decided to give up his removal business due to ill health, and he offered it to us.
We managed to buy him out and took on his lorry (a 1200cu.ft. Bedford TK) and also his rented storage area’s.  His job of collecting furniture and effects for Phillips and Chanin and Thomas'a salerooms also came with this purchase. The completion date January 1st 1975.
We became very well known, moving people in and out of the town and doing lots of work for the local estate agents. 
Our name became 'MACS REMOVALS & STORAGE'.

Advert in Free Press
  When the old established business of HENRY WOODS closed down in 1976 we were offered the whole company but didnt have enough money to buy it, so we just bought the stores building in Alexandra Road, the lease of Summerland stores, two lorrys
(a 1250cu.ft. Ford D600 and a 600cu.ft. Ford D400) and most importantly the name of:- HENRY WOODS FURNITURE REMOVALS AND STORAGE'. This enabled some of Woods workers to keep their jobs if they so desired. Derek Stevens, Bill Webber and Pete Broom came to work for us. We also bought a new small VW 550cube lorry (XYC786S) in 1977 to replace the original transit and also bought a new 1500cu.ft. Bedford TK (GED686V). We have now transformed into a large business owning five vehicles and employing 6 full time workers and several part-time ones, We now have TWO phone numbers: 0643 3048 & 0643 2396 being Henry Woods number.
When we first started there were 4 other large removal businesses working in the town (see long advert on right) but by 1980 we had become the only Removal and Storage business in the town and stayed the biggest until we sold in 1994.
. We became a household name in the removal and storage business, we were members of the BAR (British association of Removers) and moved many people all over the UK and Ireland, and to France, Germany, Spain and most of Europe, we also did shipping to other parts of the world during our 25yrs in the business. We had several awards from the British Association of Removers and the Guild of removals and storage, which warrented writeups in the local press.
Ian is standing on tailboard
Free Press Advert c.1985
1500 cu.ft. Bedford TK



When Julian Luttrell was about to move from Dunster Castle, he had removals companys contacting him for the job of moving him. They were told that WE were moving him - he hadnt actually asked us at the time. We didnt even know he was moving until he contacted us and requested that we move him - no estimate required!
He said we were the only company he could trust to do a good job! We did lots more work for him after that.

We still had a contract with Clarks shoe factory to deliver to their other factories and provide storage for excess stock. When Clarks factory closed, a group of workers formed the SHOE CO-OPERATIVE and rented part of our building in Alexandra road to set up their business which they called 'The Unicorn Shoe Co-operative'. They kept going there for about 6years before buying their own property in North Rd (formally Mrs Webbers stables). Jack Furse was one of the original ones who formed the cooperative.

It was quite hard at times to keep the original staff when there was no work due to the time of year and economic recessions etc, but a business is only as good as its staff, so we did our best to keep them. Solicitors liked to make completion days at the end or beginning of a month which really didnt help us much as its impossible to move everyone at the same time of the month, but the solicitors did try and comply once I mentioned this problem.

The removal business was eventually sold to WESTON AND EDWARDS on 4th April 1994

Our youngest son made use of the building that Clarks had vacated, using it to sell Secondhand furniture, he aptly called it, ANDY'S SECONDHAND SHOP. After he gave up and went into the building trade, we carried on running it, incorporated new furniture and antiques as well, until it was eventually sold on 19th Dec 1999 with planning permission to Mr.Gareth Bentley and was subsiquently turned into flats.

Conversion of Macs Removals Alexandra Road Stores
Interesting fact:- This building complex was once used for stabling the Indian Rajah’s polo ponies, whilst Rajah Hamet Singh and his entourage stayed at the Metropole Hotel.
Also elephants were stabled there.

Hamut Singh at Dunster Polo ground

Elephants outside the Metropole
Bronco Bills Performing Elephants

The Indian boys who were in charge of the ponies slept upstairs with the grain and straw. We found the photos whilst clearing out the stores.
When we renewed the ceiling in part of the building we found a mummified cat that must have gone in under the floor boards many years previously, after a mouse, and got trapped under the floor boards, or maybe put there on purpose to ward off some sort of evil spirits or something...

The original advertisment in the West Somerset Free Press showing how many removal comapnys were operating in Minehead when we first started. .