Somerset Voices: Christine Smith (b.1925)

Christine Smith was a Land Army girl between 1942 and 1945. She worked on a 1000-acre farm in Pilton near Glastonbury that was run by the War Agricultural Committee. Twelve Land Army girls worked there, together with conscientious objectors, Italian prisoners-of-war, and older farm workers. Christine was involved with the cultivating, harvesting, and carting of hay; as well as wheat, mangolds and apples. Christine also drove tractors on the farm and helped to control pests.

Listen to Christine and read the transcript.

Marston Bigot

Somerset Voices: George and Edith Shore

George and Edith Shore were born in Devon in the 1890s. They moved from Devon to Butleigh with their employer in 1928, the couple had a cottage in the village. It took George two days to travel from Devon with the horses and wagon; he always preferred horses to tractors. Edith made bread every week in a brick oven; along with pies, pastries, and faggots. Washing was done on a Monday morning and Edith made butter on the farm.

Listen to George and Edith and read the transcript

Nunney Castle, Somerset

Another video from the village of Nunney in Somerset. This time with empasis on the castle.

Nunney, All Saints

Nunney in Somerset was home to many of my Starr ancestors.

Somerset Voices: Richard Sheppy (b.1927)

Richard Sheppy was born at Three Bridges Farm at Bradford-on-Tone. His father was engaged in mixed farming and then cattle farming, until he was advised that his farm was ideal for growing quality cider apples. He won prizes for his cider in various shows, and by the 1920s he decided to concentrate on developing the cider business, which was a successful firm by the time Richard inherited it. The difficulties encountered in producing cider has necessitated the development of a museum at the farm as an extension of the business.

Listen to Richard and read the transcript.

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.

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

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.

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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