Terry earned his Ph.D. for his study of the history of the Metropolitan Police so he was well prepared to give us a memorable talk, illustrated not by sldes but by bringing with him some amazing artefacts, the most surprising being an enrmous contraption which turned out to be a gas mask for a baby.
He told us how in the run up to the war there was in fact a great deal of preparation carried out, including the doubling of the size of the Met. This was mainly done by the recall of the recently retired and the refusal of resignations. This then provided the manpower needed to supervise the wholesale evacuation of children to new and usually unknown homes around the country and to prepare for the coming of the dreaded blitz..
Then there was the imposition of a blackout, for it was recognised that night time bombers needed to see their targets. A whole system of street wardens was set up to make sure the blackout rules were enforced and large numbers of police were kept on standby so that they could be rushed to bombed areas to give assistance along with ambulances and firefighters. One perk for the police was that they were provided with their main meal when on duty which meant their rations went further and kept up morale.
Terry’s talk painted a vivid picture of an extreme and terrifying time when the UK was standing alone before the might of an aggressive and malevolent dictatorship bent on the invasion of England and prevented from doing so only by the men in the fighter aircraft overhead.
Friday 27th January
After our AGM John Crew came to speak to us about the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Service. In a fascinating, well prepared and illustrated talk he explained how this amazing service works and what an outstanding example of team work and co-operation between various groups, public and private, paid and volunteer, it exemplifies. Continue reading
David Glossop gave a very interesting talk to the Wincanton Museum and History Society on Friday 25th November 2016. The subject: A.D. 43. The Roman Invasion of Britannia. Continue reading
On Friday 28 October 2016 one of our members, Charles Buckler, gave a very interesting talk (with songs) on the subject of Thomas Hardy, poet, musician, and novelist. Continue reading
Gary is a leading member of CATCH the community group that for the past three and a half years has been doing all it can to clean up our river from fly tipping and other nastiness and in its place promote biodiversity and a clean fresh flow so that we can all enjoy it more.
Chris Forester will be giving this talk on the infamous paramilitary police in Ireland after WW1. Not to be missed. As usual in the Memorial Hall Wincanton. £5 members £2
Certainly most of us had not heard of the Lancastria before, but the story David Glossop had to tell was a sad and shocking tragedy, a catastrophe which has been largely forgotten. It involved the greatest ever loss of life in the sinking of a single British ship, claiming more lives than the combined losses of the RMS Titanic (1,517 passengers and crew) and RMS Lusitania (1,198 passengers). It had also the highest death toll for UK forces in a single engagement in the whole of World War II. Continue reading
On the 24 April 2015 Gill D’Arcy gave us her second talk reflecting on her life in Wincanton, throughout the l960s and 1970s. Continue reading
The military historian and broadcaster Colonel Mike Dewar spoke about his life in the Green Jacket Regiment, and how, on retirement, he became Editor of Pegasus, the Journal of the Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces. Continue reading
The first talk of this year. Dr Terry Stanton will be speaking. Click here for more. Bloody Code