Talk Report: 2019-01-09

Mike Bolton “Hidden Somerset Revealed”

Mike treated us to a talk highlighted with photographs, when together with his wife, they discovered quite by chance, quirky signage, places of historical interest, and unusual monuments. The talk was a real eye-opener, and listed below are a few of the anecdotes we heard that morning.
For instance in Westonzoyland on the Somerset levels an artillery shell case has been crafted into a War Memorial to commemorate those from the village who gave their lives in the 1914-18 war.
And have you seen The Wellington Monument a 175-foot-high (53 m) triangular obelisk located on a point of the Blackdown Hills, 3 km south of Wellington in Somerset, a grade ii listed building?
The monument was designed to commemorate the Duke of Wellington's victory at the Battle of Waterloo. Construction of the original design commenced in 1817; a revised and cheaper design was eventually used, and building was completed in 1854. It is now owned by the National Trust, who closed the monument to the public in 2007, owing to safety concerns.

Or the ‘Blue post Box’ outside Clarks Shoe Museum, Street ??
Also in an Ilminster car park the sign which reads—
‘Car Park. Short Stay Toilets’
Similarly a sign on the A61— ‘On this Spot Nothing Happened’ or ‘Long Delays—Road Blocked’
Did you know the church of St Peter in Evercreech has no number 10 on its face, two number 12’s instead. Local rumour suggests that the person who paid for the clock to be made, was instructed by his wife that he had to be home from the pub by 10 'o'clock. Therefore, he ensured that the 10 'o'clock numeral was missing. As an aside, the sounds of the bells at Evercreech church were used in the opening credits of BBC's Songs of Praise for many years.

Mike further mentioned a Folly in Yeovil at Barwick called Jack the Treacle Eater. It is thought to have been built in the 1780’s, and one of four Follies around Barwick Park. A local legend says that Jack was a messenger and was fed on treacle by the local landowner to make him go fast to London to deliver messages for him. On the top is a figure of Mercury the Roman messenger of the Gods. Worth visiting.
 We all sometimes go around with our eyes closed. Mike certainly reminded me to look around———- you never know what you’ll see!