Herbert James Karslake was born in Mortehoe, Devon, in 1882, the son of railway signalman and porter Michael Karslake. Herbert spent his childhood living in the railway cottages at Mortehoe. By the age of 18 Herbert was training as a plumber’s apprentice. He married Linda Fry Pile in 1908.
Herbert and Linda had a son, Harry Howard Karslake, in 1909, and a daughter, Bessie Winifred Karslake, in 1910. By 1910 they were living at 4 St Peter’s Terrace, Highfield Road, Ilfracombe. Herbert was the Sanitary (or ‘Nuisances’) Inspector to the Urban District Council.
In 1922 Herbert invented and sold the “Magic Kettle” which he exhibited at a Church sale of works in Ilfracombe, and subsequently sold. Herbert also built a fantastic model railway, which he exhibited at the following Wesleyan Church sale. The railway covered 60 square feet and was quite a sensation.
Herbert died on 30th Jan 1928, aged only 46 years. Herbert’s full story will be told in my forthcoming book.