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
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
On the 23rd September 2016, in the Wincanton Memorial Hall; Peter Fitzgearld will give a talk on,
NATHANIEL IRESON of WINCANTON – Architect, Master Builder & Potter
Nathaniel Ireson has long deserved to be restored to his rightful place as one of the leading West Country architects of the early 18th century, and in Peter FitzGerald he has found an author worthy of his achievements.
Peter FitzGerald, who lives near Wincanton and has a particular interest in architecture, has undertaken extensive research which has uncovered the very large number of houses, churches and other buildings on which Ireson worked.
Peter FitzGerald’s patient research has unearthed evidence of at least forty other houses that Ireson designed, many of them in the Provincial Baroque style that was his hallmark. One of the book’s strengths is the detailed appendix listing the buildings on which Ireson worked. Ireson made his home in Wincanton, where he set up a delft pottery. He carved church monuments and played a crucial role in the rebuilding of Blandford Forum after the Great Fire of 1731. By the time of his death in 1769, he was a highly regarded architect, whose legacy lives on throughout the West Country.
Peter makes a strong case for the importance of this neglected architect-builder-entrepreneur, who became Wincanton’s biggest employer and principal citizen.
It is sad that his name is no longer known outside the town, but Peter FitzGerald’s fascinating new book – Nathaniel Ireson of Wincanton, Architect, Master Builder and Potter – should redress that situation (and raise money to restore the imposing Ireson statue in Wincanton churchyard).
Wincanton Memorial Hall 23rd September 2016 7.30 PM
Cost; £5 Non Members, £2 Members
With a free-lance career in legal research Susan Maltin is to give a talk on the
Life of a Historical Researcher.
7.30 p.m. in the Memorial Hall Cost; Non-Members £5 Members £2
On Friday 24th of June brings John Hollands to give us a talk on the subject of Evacuation In War
Lecture starts at 7.30 PM at the Memorial Hall, Wincanton
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
Example of Wincanton delftware, reproduced by kind permission of the Fitzwilliam Museum
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