Dr Terry Stanford. Preparing for the Worst- World War 2. 24th Feb

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.

John Baxter

 

 

John Drew on the Dorset and Somerset Ambulance Service

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

The Roman Army in Somerset. Talk By Archaeologist John Smith

Friday 27th of May brings archaeologist and retired curator of Roman sites John Smith to give us a talk on the subject that has fascinated him for many years, that is the Roman Army and in particular its presence in Somerset.  To illustrate his talk John, (not to be confused with our estimable local John Smith) will be bringing along a series of genuine Roman artefacts.  To see poster click Smith

Wincanton delftware – Do you have treasures hidden in your attic?

C.1710-1928(1)

Example of Wincanton delftware, reproduced by kind permission of the Fitzwilliam Museum

Wincanton Delftware

Nathaniel Ireson (1685– 18 April 1769) was a potter, architect and mason best known for his work around Wincanton in Somerset, England. The little known designs are extremly rare and, even with chips and cracks,; they fetch around £200.

In June 1890 the Wincanton Field Club held an exhibition of his pottery in the local Town Hall. Many of the exhibitor’s names still feature locally and their descendants could have Wincanton delftware pieces hidden in their attics.

If you have any pottery you think could be related, please bring it to Wincanton Museum between 10.30 and 12.00 on Saturday 14th May for a free consultation

For more information please call 01 747 840 895

Nathaniel Ireson of Wincanton by Peter Fitzgerald at the end of May. It will be available from Papertrees Bookshop at 33 High Street, Wincanton or you can order directly on  01 747 840 895

Wincanton’s Lost Hero. Alberto Bioletti. John Baxter

IMG_1338sepiaRED25th Sept. 2015. John Baxter gave an illustrated talk entitled : Alberto Bioletti. The Italian Barber of Wincanton.  About this John writes: After months of research which has steadily become more exciting as more links in the story of Alberto Bioletti have emerged, I have become convinced that here is someone whose life and experience we really should celebrate as a hero of Wincanton. Continue reading