Somerset Voices: Peter Lovell (b.1921)

Peter Lovell was one of the last peat hand cutting workers on the moors around Sharpham on the Somerset Levels. Mr Lovell began cutting peat by hand in the 1930s and witnessed the mechanisation of the industry in the 1960s. He worked for Fisons peat merchants and saw the decline of the industry, and the new emphasis on environmental conservation.

Listen to Peter and read the transcript.

The way we were… in a new book

The following appeared in the Dorset Echo on Tuesday April 28, 2009 regarding a new book it has just published containing some of the most striking images of Weymouth and Portland from a bygone age

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History of Wimborne Minster

History of Wimborne Minster: The Collegiate Church of Saint Cuthberga and King’s Free Chapel at Wimborne by Charles Herbert Mayo was published by Bell in 1860 and digitized by Google on September 2, 2005.

Read online or dowload the pdf.

Somerset Voices: Les Langford (b.1927)

Les Langford’s parents were employed by a small firm of willow-growers, Grinter, Jeanes and Parsons of Langport. The firm also made baskets. When the owner of the firm retired his father decided to set up on his own. Even when he worked for others, his father always grew his own small acreage of willows. Les joined him after National Service and describes the various processes involved in willow work.

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Horatio Mosley Moule (1832 – 1873)

Horatio Mosley Moule was the son of the inventor and Vicar of Fordington, Dorset, Henry Moule and his wife Mary Mullet Evans. A Tutor at Cambridge University and close friend of Thomas Hardy, he was to tragically commit suicide in 1873. Michael Russell has published a short biography here.

From Mountbatten to Patten: the last proconsuls and the ending of the British Empire

After the Second World War, the role of governors in Britain’s overseas territories changed. In this podcast from the National Archives, Tony Stockwell examines the colourful personalities and mixed fortunes of these proconsuls, and argues that, in spite of their declining power and authority, they performed a key role in managing the imperial threat.

Somerset Voices: Anthony Lang (b.1925)

Anthony Lang was a sheep farmer. He exported sheep to the Continent for many years. Particularly his favourite breed, the Dorset Down. Anthony Lang was actively involved with the Bath and West Agricultural Show since the 1960s. He was a steward who organised and judged the sheep competition. He was also involved with the Royal Smithfield Show as a member of council, including being Chairman.

Listen to Anthony and read the transcript

A colourful past

There are many books available about the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway between Bournemouth and Bath and the branch line to Highbridge and Burnham-on-Sea.

Bob Joliffe reviews Michael Welch’s Somerset & Dorset Sunrise in the Daily Echo

100 Years of Dorset Scouting

Mike Greenham of the Weymouth Scouts and John Gage of the Dorchester Scouts are also preparing to mark the one hundredth anniversary of the movement in Weymouth, Portland and Dorchester. Troops were formed in 1909 just two years after the first Scouting movement began at Brownsea island near Poole.

Read the full story in the Dorset Echo.

Somerset Voices: Win Lampert (b.1914)

Ernest Lampert, Win’s late husband, was born in 1900. Ernest was a stonecutter at Lampert’s quarry at Higher Brooks Road, Street. His father bought a field and orchard in about 1900 and quarried blue lias stone from it. His two sons, Ernest and Reg, worked in the quarry until it closed in the late ’50s. The stone was dug out by hand transported around Somerset by horse and cart, lorry, and train. The men worked all year around but were unable to work in wet weather, because the slippery stone became impossible to lift.

Listen to Win and read the transcript

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