Pullin Family

Reg Pullin, who has lived in the area all of life, has written of his family history:

The first John Pullin, shown on the section of family tree opposite, was John Pullin born in 1786 and died at the age of 69. He was a night watchman at Bull Halls pit, which can be seen on the 1843 Tithe map, just to the north of North Street, Oldland Common. His job as a night watchman indicates that he may have been unfit or too old at 55 at the time of the 1841 Census to work in the pit. His son William is listed in the same Census as a coal miner and so it’s likely he worked at the same pit. There were a great number of coal pits all over the east side of Bristol as can be seen from the page on coal mining


John & Emmilene Pullin with daughter Maud at the door of No.1 Boyd Brook Cottages (152 High Street, Bitton) built in 1909. The sign says: ‘J.W. Pullin News Agent & Picture Frame Maker’; photo courtesy local resident


L-R: John Pullin, Poppy the dog, Clara Pullin ( Widow of John Wallace), Wallace Cavill, Maud Cavill (nee Pullin) and Tom Cavill; photo courtesy a local resident

John and Emmiline

Many of my family, including my grandparents,  John and Emmiline lived at Mill Rank Bitton as shown in the photo. A photo of Emmiline and her family around 1900 and the connection to the Short family is shown on the Short Family Page -> https://www.bittonhistory.org.uk/families/short/

Emmeline and John Pullin; photo courtesy Reg Pullin
Emmeline and John Pullin; photo courtesy Reg Pullin
Mill Rank, Bitton, 1950s: photo courtesy Reg Pullin
Mill Rank, Bitton, 1950s: photo courtesy Reg Pullin

My uncle, John Wallace Pullin was a news agent and picture frame maker. The photo opposite shows my grandparents John and Emmiline. The sign is of John Wallace Pullin, News Agent and Picture Frame Maker,  who died in battle at Pashendale in the First World War.


The photo below that was at the Coronation of George King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in May 1937 and shows John Pullin, Poppy the dog, Maud Cavill (nee Pullin), Clara Pullin (Widow of John Wallace), Wallace Cavill and Tom Cavill

John Pullin (1867-1961)

John Pullin, was one of Bitton’s oldest inhabitants, living to the age of 94. He started working in the Paper Mill at 13, retiring in 1936 after 56 years. He recalls many changes in the Mill, also he compares the comfort and well-being of people generally today with his youth when there was poverty and hunger in many homes, drunkenness on a large scale, with street-fights and wife-beating as frequent occurrences. Through his long happy retirement he had many interests. He was a great worker at the Methodist Chapel in Mill Lane, and after retiring from active service he, at one time or another, held all the offices there. He took up painting (in oils), he built a large greenhouse and cultivated flowers, but undoubtedly the greatest of his self-taught accomplishments is his knowledge of music. At 14 he joined the South Gloucestershire Band at Oldland, and came in touch with an Organist, Mr Lear, of Warmley . On Mr Lear’s advice he bought three books at 5/- each, and with his help and by careful study he became knowledgeable in harmony, musical form and counter-point. He learned the ‘sol-fa’ method, and in due course taught it to others, and later trained a choir which not only led the singing at the Chapel but gave performances of oratories and cantatas which were outstanding. He also was the prime mover in forming and training a Brass Band in Bitton starting with the collection of £100 for instruments, and the Band flourished until the youth of the village were called up for the second time in 1939.


Mill Rank, Bitton, early 20 century; photo courtesy a local resident