On Friday 26th May 2017, to an audience of around 25 people, Gill D’Arcy gave her third, and final talk, on her life in Wincanton. Entitled Bringing my Life up-to-date, she enthralled us all with her own personal story of Wincanton stating: “As much as I can remember.” It was well remembered.
Gill’s life started at 24 Mill Street, and she gave a small resume on this part of her life, for those people who had missed her previous talks.
She divided her talk in five parts: Employment, Committees, Changes to the Town, Mayoress twice, and Leisure.
Employment: Gill started her employment at Cow and Gate until, at aged 17 years, she was old enough to work at Plesseys, where she stayed until 1971.
After that Gill had various part-time employment, which often meant that as Richard came in from work, she went out. After this it was back to full-time employment with Wincanton Transport until it closed in 2005. Gill was, in fact, the last person to leave the building. This employment had been happy and successful event though it involved dealing with an IRA letter bomb. Not many people did that, thankfully. Another two part-time jobs, at Bruton School for Girls and Cullingford Carpets, and in 2013 Gill joined the Parish Church Office, where she is still to be found.
Church Council to mention a few
Gill was brief about this period of her life, but it appeared, to those of us listening, that her involvement in the town committees, was far from brief.
Changes to the Town: Wincanton Sports Ground 1993
Saunters Close 1994/5
The Balsam Centre 1999
Museum Closed 2000
Grant’s Close 2000/1
Wincanton Sports Centre 2001
Maddocks Pavillion 2002
‘ New Rectory 2007
New Health ‘2014
New Primary School Extension being built now.
All these alterations to the town, plus other changes: The Fire Station has become Fire Station Mews, the two last Banks will close this year, roads have been named from Terry Prachetts books, and a new Concrete Plant (Hopkins) is being built on the outskirts of the town. Add to this the disappearance of the Magistrates Court, various Public Houses and shops, a Solicitors, and Wincanton Transport and changes are always in the air in Wincanton.
Mayoress: in 1996 to 1998 Richard was Mayor of Wincanton, and this involved attending many events in an already busy life.
This was repeated in 2010 2011, and again, more events to attend but all enjoyed.
In her spare-time (did she have any?) Gill is a poet, and published a book of poems entitled Life’s Reflections in Verse, in 2005. This was to raise money for the Church Roof Appeal. Gill finds poetry an absorbing hobby and a way of expressing her thoughts and feelings. 20 poems have been written, and published in various books, and Gill has also won prestigious prizes for her work.
She finished by saying what Wincanton meant to her. It was a friendly town, where she had been born and also raised her own children. This gave her a feeling of belonging, and where her memories are.
Many thanks were due, and given to Gill, for her memories and detail of Wincanton days.