Monday, 20 May 2013

Cricket and Whisky Don't Mix.

Mr A.K. Grabham of Bickenhall, recalls that between 1920 and 1939 Bickenhall had a very good cricket team at staple Fitzpaine, Curland and Bickenhall. The Rector, Rev. Cooke, played himself and took great interest in the team. Lord, Portman, the president of the club, often played himself and arranged games, sometimes getting County players to come and play such as Mr. John Daniell (Somerset Captain) and Mr. Robertson Glasgow and others. Mr. Sammy Woods, an old Somerset player would come and umpire.

“In one match I had made 60 runs, Lord Portman was so pleased that he sent his butler out to the wicket with a drink for me. The butler said, “It won’t hurt you,” so I drank it. I was out the next ball. It was whisky!”

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Sunday School Outing

A woman from Enmore, Somerset, remembers a Sunday School Outing to the Quantocks. They set off in a horse drawn wagon prettily decorated by the children towards Will’s Neck Quarry, where they had a “Cold Meat” dinner at the Blue Bell, finishing the meal with Christmas Pudding. The Rector, the Rev. Montgomery, an uncle of the Field Marshall, who had a sense of humour, was in good form – she recalled him serving a slice of cold Christmas Pudding liberally garnished by him with mustard to one of the prim Sunday School teachers.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Building Folies

About 1866 there was much poverty in Yeovil and the surrounding districts. Many poorer people being near to starvation and begging at the larger houses. The Messiter family of Barwick House caused four follies to be erected – ‘Jack the Treacle Eater’, ‘The Fish Tower’, ‘The Ball Tower’, and ‘The Needle’ – preferring to give employment rather than alms; thereby helping to restore dignity.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Sign to Pedwell

Mrs Lily Tapscott was born in 1893, in Stout, a hamlet of High Ham, Somerset. She remembers when there was a signpost on the village green which read “Beer” in one direction, “Stout” in another and “Pedwell” in the third.

The village lads naturally altered the word to “Peedwell” so regularly that the County Council took the sign down. 

Thursday, 9 May 2013

The Doctor's Car

The Red Flag Act was repealed in 1896 and Mrs. Grimstone of Halse, Somerset remembers seeing the first car in Bishop’s Lydeard bring driven up the Minehead Road, preceded by a man carrying a red flag. One fine Sunday afternoon she and a friend were going for a walk dressed in their Sunday best when the local Doctor offered them a ride in his car. Very excited to be travelling in a motor – practically unknown in this quiet country village – they accepted, but as they had to get out and help push the car up every slight incline, She said that it took a month of Sundays to get their gloves, hats, scarves all clean again. 

Monday, 6 May 2013

Letters for Just One Penny

An elderly lady recalls life before the First World War. She remembered that while in service in London her mother regularly sent her the Somerset Herald. 

The postman took the Newspaper by bicycle from Halse in Somerset to Bishop Lydeard station two miles away, then it went by train to Taunton, where it was sorted at the Station; letters then arrived at Paddington and were delivered the same day. If they were taken to Norwood, it meant being sent from Paddington to Victoria, then to Crystal Palace Station and the journey completed by a postman cycling out to them at about 9.00 p.m….all for just one penny.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Six Trains a Day

An entry in William Margery’s school book (circa 1930) shows that there were six trains a day from Taunton to Yeovil and eight in the opposite direction, the journey taking a little over one hour. Fares from Matlock were 1 shilling return to Yeovil and 2 shillings and 3 pence to Taunton.

There were eight stations on the line all serving the surrounding villages. The line is now closed and there is no longer any direct public transport between Matlock and Taunton except via Yeovil.
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