25th 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.
Why? Certainly he lived one of the most extra-ordinary lives I have ever encountered, Where he came from, who he met, what he saw and experienced as a soldier of Napoleon is truly incredible.
Through these experiences he showed great bravery, unimaginable endurance, persistence, patience, loyalty and trustworthiness, an ability to get on with people and yet was flexible, principled and committed to those he loved, who loved and respected him.
He made the most of his luck and experienced appalling horror, yet kept going to come back here to live for 46 years to build a business and provide for his two families and his children. They in turn have many descendants who may be found in many countries. He was a skilled engineer, a clockmaker and a barometer maker at a time when clock making was the cutting edge technology. He was also a craftsman in wood, a barber, and the person you went to if you had toothache. He was, in the true sense of an over-used word, an amazing man.
To read a time line of his life and see a power point presentation on it, visit our Museum and computer in Wincanton Library.