"Happy" Joe Court

Tess Taylor

“Happy” Joe Court was one of a number of Campden characters around at the turn of the century – he lived in a cottage next to The Volunteer in Lower High Street and was a regular member and caretaker at the Baptist Church where his daughter Lily was Sunday School teacher.  With his horse and dray he was carrier with local produce to the neighbouring markets and at one time conveyed the mails for the G.P.O. to and from the railway station.  He also carried the local refuse for the Council to a dump on an old quarry on Westington Hill and used local lads to help him – particularly to help the horse to push the cart up Conduit Hill!!

At blackberry picking time, local schoolchildren could earn a few pence by picking and taking them to Joe who supplied the jam factories in Evesham.  Rabbit skins were also accepted by him – another source of pocket money for local “poachers”!!

At the outbreak of W.W.I. he was in the Campden Volunteers and eventually served with the “Glorious Gloucesters” until l918.  He was also a Campden bandsman.

It was Campden’s loss when “Happy” died in 1941 at the age of 68.

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