In this issue:
- Historical Talks
- Latest Acquisitions
- Research Projects
- Other Somerset Museums
- Military Matters
In this issue:
Nigel introduced John to the Town Council who were all given a leaflet summarising Bioletti’s life and they both spoke of how publicising Bioletti and John’s book Surviving Napoleon could make a positive effect on Wincanton the wider his remarkable story is known. The possibility of getting a Blue Plaque for his home in the High Street was raised and the response of the council who have been given a copy of the book to circulate amongst them, seemed very positive and the Town Clerk, Ms Sam Atherton also spoke of the stream of Bioletti descendants who have already been visiting Wincanton to see where he lived and to get a copy of the book. Both John and Nigel felt the meeting had gone very well.
Count Chalrles de Salis has for many years had a special interest in researching the life and times of Napoleon so it will be fascinating to hear from him about what happened in 1789 and how that led to the rise of Napoleon. This should be a particularly interesting talk. Continue reading
John’s book on Alberto Bioletti is now out and can be bought at Papertrees or on Amazon. Details: Surviving Napoleon by John J Baxter £9.99.
Read article about it from Western Daily News Continue reading
Passing through on his way to London in 1688 William of Orange, future joint sovereign with his wife Mary, spent the night with the Churchey family at their manor house home “The Dogs” in South Street. Continue reading
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, Continue reading
On 30th June 2017 Tony Goddard gave a very interesting talk to the Wincanton Museum and History Society in the Memorial Hall, entitled Wincanton Soldiers at Passchendaele. Continue reading
31st March 2017
We had an excellent turnout of some 60 members and visitors to the Wincanton Museum and History Society talk given by Mike Beale, tyhe extremely well informed and dedicated member of the Somerset and Dorset Railway Heritage Trust. Continue reading
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