Somerset Voices: Edith Hiscox (b.1903)

Edith Hiscox was born in 1903 in Somerset. She won a scholarship to a dairy college in Lancashire, where she learnt to make Cheddar and Caerphilly cheeses. Edith returned to Somerset and made cheese and butter on two farms in Pilton, a village near Glastonbury. She worked at Worthy Farm, Pilton, for a Mr Eavis. Worthy Farm is now the venue for Glastonbury Festival.

Listen to Edit and read the transcript

Wilton. Somerset Registers 1558-1837

A Copy of the Registers of the Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials at the Church of St. George, in the Parish of Wilton, Adjoining Taunton in the County of Somerset from 1558 to 1837. Transcribed from the Originals by Joseph Houghton Spencer and published in 1890. The Registers were digitized by Google in 2008.

Read on-line or download a pdf file.

The Somerset Roll

In 1897 Arthur Lee Humphreys published The Somerset Roll–an Experimental List of Worthies, Unworthies and Villains Born in the County. Arthur describes the contents of the book in the published preface:

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Somerset Voices: Froude Hill (b1899)

Froude Hill was born at Greenham near Wellington. His parents moved to a farm called Farm Estate at Fiddington in 1908. The first tractor arrived on the farm 1917. His father was only the second farmer in the locality to have a tractor, and older farmers were suspicious of the new technology.

Listen to Froude and read the transcript

The home of George Loveless, Tolpuddle Martyr

For decades it has been assumed that the home of George Loveless, the leader of the Tolpuddle Martyrs, had been demolished. But Poole author Dr Andrew Norman is convinced that his former house in Tolpuddle still stands today.

Read the ful story in the Daily Echo

Pigeon Pests

50 years ago the Dorset Echo was reporting on the pigeon problem in Weymouth, where the council was being asked to employ experts to rid the town of pigeons. Ironically the campaign appers to have been led by Councillor Arthur Pidgeon.

Read the full story in the Dorset Echo

Somerset Voices: Joyce Harris (b.1919)

Joyce Harris was born in 1919 in Congresbury, North Somerset. She spent her childhood years, until her marriage living with her parents, two sisters, and two brothers. Like many children in Somerset during the 1920s and 30s they were expected to do regular jobs in the house. Joyce cleaned and lit the range every day, cleaned bedrooms, fetched wood and scrubbed the outside toilet. On Monday – washing day – the women soaked, boiled, rubbed and rinsed the clothes with water from the well before putting it all through a wooden mangle. Tuesday was ironing day and they used flat and goffering irons. The sisters went to Congresbury fair once a year in return for all their hard work on the farm.

Listen to Joyce and read the transcript

Locality, land and livelihood: sources for early local history

An introduction to medieval and early modern sources relating to English and Welsh local history. In this podcast from the National Archives, Sean Cunningham and James Ross explore the vast collection of accounts, surveys, court rolls, inquisitions, deeds and taxation records held at The National Archives.

Somerton Web Museum

The history of Somerton is told in this web museum through pictures and words, which have been contributed by people living in the town. You can add material to the web museum by using the Contacts page. One day it may be possible to have a physical museum in Somerton; until then, Somerton is displayed in this web museum.

Visit the Somerton Web Museum

Somerset Voices: John Hancock (b.1961)

John Hancock talked about his work at English Hurdles, Curload, Stoke St Gregory, a company producing willow products. These were mainly hurdles but also rose arches, bowers and chairs. John originally works on harvesting willow in the 1990s, and describes machinery now used in cutting and hauling the willow from the beds.

Listen to John and read the transcript

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