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

Expert Connect

Many barriers can stand in the way as you try to grow your family tree. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could enlist the help of a professional? Introducing Expert Connect. This innovative online tool will link you to hundreds of experienced genealogists who can assist you with your research goals. Hire a researcher for a simple task like snapping a photo of an ancestor’s grave, or recruit a professional to tackle a complex project like completing an entire section of your family tree.

The Road across the Top

‘Once you’re through the Gate on the Hill the road runs along the top of the outside earthwork of the Ancient British camp on top of Eggardon. After about five hundred yards it disappears from view as it drops down into the village’, are the opening lines of Harry Poole’s The Road across the Top.

Read The Road across the Top.

Somerset Voices: Cuthbert Rose (b1907) Part 5

The cider prepared by Cuthbert Rose on his farm in Cocklake near Wedmore was pure apple juice with no additions. Cider makers have personal recipes and techniques; sugar, raisins, ginger, lemons and even beetroot are added to give the cider flavour and colour, as well as helping it to ferment.

Listen to Cuthbert and read the transcript.

Genealogy on an iPhone

Shrubs is an easy to use application making it possible to carry your family tree with you at all times. It can import standard genealogy files (GEDCOM format) and allows you to quickly navigate through your tree at the touch of a finger.

Form more information go to

Powerstock – A short social History

Author Harry Poole spent most of his life farming around Eggardon Hill and is a fund of knowledge with regard to the history of Powerstock and it’s surrounding villages. Apart from the four Powerstock booklets he has written two novels and two plays, none of which have found a publisher. The booklets can however be read on-line.  Powerstock, in this essay, comprises Nettlecombe, West Milton, North Poorton, Wytherstone, Mappercombe and Whetley.

Read Powerstock – A short social History

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