Call for Contribution!
We are collecting photographs, finding people with stories to share and identifying places in our town that should be preserved as part of our local heritage.
Do you have any stories or know someone who does? We would love to talk to them. If you have anything in writing, such as family history, please share it with us. We are also collecting songs that are about Pouch Cove.
Check back here to see new Songs & Stories as your contributions come in!
This song is from the album, 'No Place Like Home', by Chris Andrews and Pouch Cove native Patrick Moran. You can listen below with Patrick's kind permission. CDs are available for purchase at various retailers or online.
*There are a few inaccuracies in the song. The shipwreck did not take place on Christmas Eve. No women were rescued. But it is a beautiful song. Anita Best included this song on her album Crosshanded.
'Christmas at Pouch Cove'
Former Pouch Cove resident, Joyce Manning, was featured in a story on CBC in December, 2012. Back in 1950, her family was interviewed in the first of an annual CBC radio show called "Christmas at .." There was an interesting twist to the story - this time around a couple of kind CBC reporters decided to "right a wrong".
Joyce Manning, (nee Bragg) 11yrs
Joyce Manning (nee Bragg) 2012
The Waterwitch in Story and Song
On November 29, 2013 the Pouch Cove Heritage Committee hosted its third commemoration of the sinking and rescue of the survivors of the Schooner Waterwitch. The story of the tragedy and rescue has been told by storytellers, readers of historic reports and songs. Between the three evenings more than 250 people from Pouch Cove and Cupids have gathered at the Anglican Church Hall and outside in Kirby's Garden to remember the victims, celebrate the survivors and honour the heroes.
On December 6, 2011, three members of the Pouch Cove Heritage Committee attended a commemorative evening in Cupids presented by the Cupids Historical Society. The commemoration marked the 136th anniversary of the burial service for the victims of the shipwreck.
The following story was written by Pouch Cove native, Joyce Manning (nee Bragg). It appeared in the local paper and Joyce kindly gave us a copy to share with all our followers. Enjoy!
by: Joyce Manning, Pouch Cove NL
My memories go back to when we were a British Colony, and growing up in Pouch Cove, Gruchy's store was the focal point.
The fish our fathers caught was sold there. Everything from groceries, dry goods, appliances and caskets could be purchased there.
My father surprised my mother with her first washing machine, a general electric wringer washer; the cost was $99. My mother was not at all enthused as she thought it would not wash the clothes clean. Now Aunt Jessie Bragg also had a washer she had not used yet, now hers was square and mommy's was round. There was a bit of controversy about which of the two was the better. There was talk that they ripped sheets to pieces. Anyway after awhile they began using them and other ladies had washers, there was a race to see who could get their wash out first on Monday morning.
Now pardon me if I get carried away with my yarns. I'm supposed to be talking about Gruchy's.
The day that the store was demolished was a sad day, for many a silent tear was shed as the memories started to spin in one's head, nostalgia had set in for us all. If the front step of that store could talk, it would reveal all our secrets of growing up in Pouch Cove.
My first memories of the store and Mr. Alex Gruchy Sr. go back to 1942 and our Sunday School picnic. He was a former superintendent. We would march in lines of two down Gruchy's Hill. We would stop in front of the store. Mr. Gruchy would come out and stand on the front step. Uncle John Williams would announce, "now, children, three cheers for Mr. Gruchy hip - hip - hurray" (3 times). Then he would donate candy for our picnic.
As a child I attended All Saints All Grade School. I grew up along shore and it was quite a walk for a young child. In those days children did not have material things, but went home to a warm kitchen, a mother and often a grandmother, with the aroma of homemade bread, a quilt frame would be set up in the kitchen or a mat was being hooked. You could spend time looking at the quilt or mat and find an article of old clothing belonging to you or a member of your family. These were works of art, and it was a secure feeling.
In mid November we would start rehearsing for our annual Christmas concert. It was exciting waiting to see which part you would get. Walking home after practice in the dark, I would not be scared. I had to hurry or I would miss "Christmas on the Moon" this radio serial came on every year before Christmas (Recently CBC radio has revived it.)
But suddenly as I was walking down Gruchy's Hill, a light would appear. It was the store. As I got closer I could see the window as decorated for Christmas, with lights flashing in the window. All of a sudden I forgot "Christmas on the Moon" as I pressed my little face against the window pane. I would stare in awe at the toys and always a beautiful doll that maybe Santa Claus would bring me, if I was good and didn't need boots or a warm coat (because the essentials came first). To my eyes as a child that window had a lasting impression. Whenever Christmas rolls around, the window on the left comes to mind.
Then on old Christmas Day, we all went up by Gruchy's to see the Fools. They were big and scary.
As a teenager we would meet our friends on Friday night on the shop steps and discuss everything, the highlight being the latest Pat, Mike and Ginger jokes. Now a few families had TV's so our Dad's would go to a friends house to watch wrestling and our moms watched the clock to see if we were home by 9:30 pm.
Most of our dads and brothers were fishermen. When I was around ten years old on Saturday evening around 7:30, a religious group would come to the cove bank, during the summer months. It the fishermen were finished for the day they and everyone in the community would gather around Gruchy's waiting for the big Capital Coach Lines Bus to come down the Cove. All the young people would get off the bus and form a circle. They would play beautiful music. My brother was standing with my uncle Matt. (Now many will remember Matt as a renowned accordion player - he was great!) This group had attractive young people playing these instruments, Matt was staring at a young girl, he said "would you look at that", a man standing next to him said "Matt you're a married man', Matt said "I'm not interested in her, but I wish I had that accordion".
There were many stories told about these Saturday evenings. The preaching always scared me as a small child. They talked about your blood turning white. I had a cousin whose blood turned white and he died, it was called leukemia, there wasn't any cure at that time, so these words scared me. They would walk out amongst the crowd and ask questions. One man walked up to Ronnie Sullivan and asked him, "have you found the Lord?" and he replied, "I didn't know he was lost, sir!" They didn't find any followers, and as for the people they were just a form of entertainment as everyone belonged to a church at that time.
My mother would send me in to Gruchy's store after school. The first one to greet me would be Mr. Lex. He would say, "hello my dear, you have such a beautiful smile you make my day." I thought I was so special until a few years later I realized he was nice to everyone, so that burst my bubble.
My Lex was especially nice to Mrs. Liz Jordan. He would always get her a chair to sit. My mother always told us to be respectful of her as she lost two sons in the war. She always wore black and was the most bereaved mother at our War Memorial Service in July. She was respected by everyone, although we always remember her as quite a character.
I can think of so many sounds, like the fishermen singing "haul on the bow line" while hauling their boats up the launch, the Bank engines - Putt-Putt, and the singing of "O hear us when we cry to them for those in peril on the sea" coming form the war memorial service and on a lighter note we all remember the snow plow turning around by Gruchy's store.
When many former residents, and people that have never left Pouch Cove read this, no doubt they will say she forgot so many things, and I too will remember many more.
Hope you will enjoy and reminiscence as you read this article.