Somerset Voices: Brendan Sellick (b.1934)

Brendan Sellick is a fisherman in the village of Stolford, on the Somerset coast near Storgursey. His family have lived in the parish and fished for generations. Brendan works on the mud flats using an ancient sled called a ‘mud-horse’ to catch shrimps and other fish from his nets. In this excerpt Brendan describes fishing and his earliest memory of going out with his father.

Listen to Brendan and read the transcript.

Revolutionary Roots

Did your ancestors fight in the American Revolution 233 years ago? Thousands of men answered the call to arms in 1776. These thousands probably have many millions of descendants today. Many Americans can find a Revolutionary War veteran in the family tree if they expend a bit of time and effort. Luckily, there are a number of online and offline sources to help you in that search.

Read the full article in Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter

Massacre at Slapton Sands-the great Portland cover-up

Rodney Legg tells how wartime reminiscing enabled him to re-write the story of one of the most famous disasters of the Second World War and claim it for Dorset.

Read the full article in DorsetLife

Somerset Voices: Andrew & Jane Sealey

Jane Sealy was born in Middlesex, went to school in Bracknell, Berkshire, and Chandler’s Ford in Hampshire. She trained as a legal secretary but has subsequently worked as a school secretary. She does all the farm book keeping and helps out with milking in the school holidays. Andrew Sealy was born in Wells, Somerset, and lived in Westbury-sub-Mendip, Somerset. He went to school in Westbury and Wells, attended college in Strode and studied general farming at Cannington Farm Institute, near Bridgwater. He is a tenant farmer for the Church Commissioners in Westbury, with a 300-acre dairy farm, milking 140 cows together with approximately fifty followers or beef cattle. Andrew and Jane discuss the milk quota system during the 1990s and describe the wildlife in the area.

Listen to Andrew & Jane and read the transcript

Stalbridge’s historian

Hilary Townsend remembers Irene Jones, a model for anyone interested in Dorset’s local history.

Read the full article in DorsetLife

Back to the future

Weymouth’s historic Nothe Fort has been transformed from awful to award-winning thanks to the dedication of an army of volunteers. Jill Dunning investigates.

Read the article in DorsetLife

Somerset Voices: Ron Sapsead (b.1919)

Ron attended the Board School, Street. As a child he played games in the street outside his home in Glaston Road, with hoops and skipping ropes. His school headmaster used a cane on the tips of the children’s fingers, and they had slates to write on. In this clip Ron describes a Sunday school outing to Burnham-on-Sea. With the advent of the railways in the 1840s and 1850s, the Somerset seaside resort became a popular destination for day-trippers.

Listen to Ron and read the transcript.

Researching the British Empire and Commonwealth

This podcast from the National Archives is an introduction, using case studies, to the records of British government departments responsible for the administration of colonial affairs from about 1801 to 1968.

A schoolboy at Wimborne Minster

Keith Eldred describes what Sunday morning service was like for a young boy in the 1880s and 1890s

Read the article in DorsetLife

Somerset Voices: Winifred Sandford (b.1898)

In 1918 Winifred Sandford was studying at Teacher Training College in London when a government request was made for female students to join the Women’s Army. Winifred decided to go and ended up at Barwick, near Yeovil, where she joined six hundred other women. They were accommodated in tents, with eight girls to each tent. When the weather was good some of them slept outside. During her ten-week vacation, Winifred pulled flax for aeroplane construction. The flax had to be pulled by hand and it was very hard work especially on the hands which often had festering sores.

Listen to Winifred and read the transcript

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