Local History 1
Latest group news
Our next meeting is on Friday 21 February at 2 pm in Townsend House. In addition to David's talk on the railway about developing tourism, Peter Dean will speak about the history of Dunster watermill. On 20 March Margaret Shaw will tell us about the life of photographer Alfred Vowles, followed by Jan Lowy describing the development of transport across Exmoor.
The first meeting in our new monthly slot, the third Friday afternoon of the month saw Cherrie give a presentation on some of her findings about the old Minehead pier and the paddle steamers that plied their trade here. After tea, Di Martin held a picture quiz to test our knowledge of some of our local landmarks. Sadly, there were NO prizes, but it was fun and thought provoking!
Please contact the convenor if you have ideas for future meetings.
Change of management!
As Alan has got busier with West Somerset Railway duties, he is standing down as joint convenor. David will continue as group convenor and has gratefully accepted the offer of support in this role from Babs Nye, who's a comparatively new member of the group. Thank you, Babs! Any group member who would be willing to prepare a talk or contribute in any other way to the work of the group is invited to contact David (see p8 in the newsletter for his contact details).
Despite the rather damp conditions on the afternoon of our October meeting, 16 U3A members enjoyed the tour of Bossington led by the knowledgeable Ros Lawton. Ten of us joined her afterwards at Kitnors Tea Rooms, which Ros told us was originally a medieval hall house. Cherrie Temple's photo shows some of the group studying maps of the village before setting off with Ros.
At a successful meeting in Townsend House in August, Paul Vickery presented his initial findings on the village of Washford. Despite the lack of published books on the village, Paul had discovered a wealth of interesting information from other sources – so much, in fact, that we look forward to 'Part 2' at a future group meeting.
At our meeting in June we welcomed Eve Bickerton, archivist with Somerset Heritage Centre, who gave us a fascinating and enthusiastic talk about how to use a combination of historical maps and modern technology to discover more of our local history. Eve demonstrated the user-friendly ‘Know Your Place’ (KYP) website, using local examples to inspire members to use it for themselves and also to contribute more information to the website. Then Catherine Knight showed us how she'd used the maps on KYP to add to her research into the coastguard houses in Watchet.
In May we visited Dovery Manor Museum in Porlock, where we heard some of the history of the Cape House, a thatched cottage in the centre of the village. The Cape House – actually three separate properties – has a long, interesting history and Rosemary Gray told us something of the research that forms the basis of the museum’s 2019 exhibition.
There was no April meeting, but at our March meeting Di Martin gave an entertaining talk on Exmoor at war. After tea, Catherine Knight gave the second part of her talk on Daws Castle, presenting some of the archaeological maps from a 1986 report on the site by the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society (SANHS).
At our meeting in February David Temple looked at the development of businesses in Friday Street, Minehead, and Catherine Knight talked to us about Daws Castle, Watchet.
Click on a picture below to see it full-size with more details.