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This article is part of the Celebration of Bishopsteignton Women poster series in honour of International Women’s Day 2022! To find out more about this project, visit the project homepage.

In 1958 Dot and her husband Mic took over the tenancy of the Commercial Inn on Clanage Street, and ran it for over 30 years. When Mic died in 1988, Dot continued to run the pub, with the help of managers, until 1994. Dot’s nephew Graham, recalls what good hosts Dot and Mic were. His parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, choosing to spend Christmases at the Commercial Inn, where they got to put “old pennies in the one armed bandit and…play darts in front the roaring fire”. Though he also recalls that Dot was not one to cross, as she would often tell the children off for disturbing the customers when the cousins were chasing each other up and down the stairs and passages. Dot would sometimes “parade the children in front of Major X and Captain Y”.[1]
Dot is fondly remembered by her family and many people in the village, as “a true independent spirit and strong-willed lady who aptly earned her nick name of ‘Spitfire’.” Many recall her in the 1970s, driving her car wildly around the village, her nephew noting that both her “driving and eyesight were frightful!”.[1] Dot was also well known for loving to bet on the horses, and had a regular account with a bookmaker. When Huntly was an officers’ retirement home, many of the residents would even call in to the Commercial Inn to have their bets placed on a Saturday over the phone. According to local artist Steve Bowden, who worked and lived with Dot for a number of years: when drinking, rather than serving drinks, Dot’s favourite tipple was whisky and lemonade, “which she drank from her own silver goblet.”[2] When Dot managed to take a break from running the pub, she also had her favourite holiday destination, returning to the same hotel on the Canary Islands each year.
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1 Graham Andrews, ‘Bishopsteignton And The Commercial Inn- a Memory of Bishopsteignton’, Francis Frith, (January 2012),

2 Steve Bowden, Email correspondence with Natalia Urry-Mackay, (February 2022)