The house now known as Little Torquil was built originally in the 1920’s as the garage to Torquil. Elsie McCorkindale loved driving, and owned one of the first motor vehicles in Trebetherick – a Talbot-Darracq – of which she was very proud.
John Betjeman’s Summoned by Bells mentions her with great affection:
‘Aunt Elsie, aunt of normal Scottish boys,
Adopted aunt of lone abnormal me…’
In the same stanza he even refers to the garage, with stars out over its roof, and borrowing Aunt Elsie’s car to drive his sweetheart to Coolgrena for a dance.
The garage was sturdily built on two floors, with a large upstairs room to accommodate Aunt Elsie’s three Scottish nephews (Vasey, Ralph and Alastair Adams, sons of Elsie’s only sister Euphemia) during summer holidays when Torquil itself was full of other guests
When Miss McCorkindale sold Torquil in the early 1950s to Mrs Herberta Bone, she kept the garage as part of the Torquil Cottage estate, all of which property was passed on to her niece ‘Cesca Sharpe when she died in 1954. Ruth (daughter of Monica Carhart) remembers the splendid dressing-up box in the upper room, and playing there with the Sharpe children, sometimes putting on impromptu theatrical productions in Torquil Cottage garden.
In the 1970s ‘Cesca and Adrian Sharpe decided to convert the garage into a dwelling for Adrian’s elderly mother. But being cut off from passers-by in the lane did not suit Grannie Sharpe; she much preferred staying in Torquil Cottage where she could keep an eye on local life.
The Sharpes sold what they had called The Little House in 1989 to Chris Bone, youngest son of Mrs Herberta Bone, who had inherited Torquil in 1984. He in turn sold Little Torquil (as it was by then re-named) in 1998 to Mrs Gill MacCabe, who was delighted to find such “a wonderful place” to entertain her granddaughter Chloe during the summer holidays. Gill and Chris’ wife Barbara had worked together in a horticultural business in London, and so Gill had previously visited Trebetherick with the Bone family at Torquil.