Following the success of the English Womens’ Football team in the Euros and the changes in sporting activities which have emerged over the years, I wonder what sports our ancestors enjoyed or were allowed to enjoy? One sport which is no longer practiced locally is Cudgel, Single Stick or Sword & Dagger Play. This was very active in the Wedmore area and the Wedmore Genealogy web site contains these notes by Rev Hervey concerning this activity
SINGLE STICK. I have often intended raking together what I could about the old single stick players of Wedmore, but somehow I have never done it; and as I have already said, if you don't do a thing when you can, it is not likely that. you will do it when you can't. Every year it gets more difficult to find out anything about them, because the generation that played has died out. Besides single stick there was playing with the cudgels, which was much rougher work. In single stick playing the left arm was guarded and held up to guard the head; in cudgel playing the left arm was not guarded. I am told that players used "to drink gunpowder" before playing, because that made the blood less ready to come. Any blood above the neck counted. Sometimes blood was drawn on a player's mouth, and he would keep licking it away to hide it; but if the spectators saw it they would cry out, "Blood, blood, blood."
There is no mention about women wanting equality in this sport and I can’t say I am surprised. But Congratulations to the Lionesses!
While on that site do take a look at what else it has to offer – Dr Westover’s Journal is particularly interesting as it names his patients and their ailments.
Many of my own ancestors came from the vicinity of Bristol and this map published in 1769 is very interesting to me as it also covers many of the parishes which are within the area of this Society. It produced some interesting discussion on the Facebook Group when it was posted there as it includes the names of many of the landowners and the position of some of the non-conformist chapels. Nempnett Thrubwell is entered as just Nempnett - does anyone know when the Thrubwell was added?
It also reminded me of the back of the exercise books used by Bristol school children in the 1950s.
Private Schools in Weston
I wonder how many of you have found ancestors as boarders in one of the many schools in Weston or knew of day pupils in any of them? There has been some response on Facebook and from the Research Forum on this site to my request for information about Private Schools in Weston. It is proving to be a fascinating study. The number and variety of schools in Weston is amazing. I know that there are folders of information about some of them in Weston Library and that some of the larger ones have sections in books on Weston but it is tempting to compile a document about each one. I am attaching an initial database of references to the Schools in Weston found online. I would be grateful for any additional information which you may have and then we can put it on the web site as a specific entry under Weston-super-Mare.
This photograph was given to me some years ago and I was told it was Stanmore Annex but where was that? The date I was given was 1939 and in the 1941 Directory there is an Uphill Branch of this school mentioned. I think that was at 9 Uphill Road, (now known as Uphill Road North) between Moorland and Charlton Roads. can anyone confirm this?
Free Help Sessions at the Library
The first of these after Covid was unfortunately cancelled because nobody had booked through the Weston Library as per the instructions which we had published. We have now decided not to have a meeting in August but to start again on Saturday 3rd of September as a drop-in session between 2.00 and 3.30pm. If the numbers are too great, then you may have to wait to be seen as there is still a restriction on the number of volunteers who can be there. You can always post any queries on the Research Forum of this site or on the Facebook group
These Zoom Workshops are attracting a small but interested number of members – more are welcome. The first three on Births, Marriages and Deaths were in the capable hands of Peter de Dulin. The September Workshop has had to be moved to Wednesday 5th October and will be an introduction to DNA by Jenny Towey. However, the October Workshop will be at its usual place on Wednesday 26th October – the topic will be Education Records led by myself. Joining information will be sent to all full members by email.
Hutton - Taste of Somerset
We are taking a stand at the 2022 Taste of Somerset Show at Hutton in August. Come along and make yourselves known to the members who will be running the stand. We hope to be able to answer questions about family history and hopefully will have wifi and computers to assist us.
If you are connected with any other local event where we would be welcome to have a stand perhaps you could let us know. We need to make sure that we are known as a local Society.
Bristol & Avon FHS Family History Fair
This event, set for September has been postponed until Spring 2023. We are hoping to have a stand there so look out for details later. Society Fairs are an excellent way of seeing what Family and Local History Societies and allied commercial activities have to offer and to meet with people with similar interests.
With its free admission don’t overlook this facility to highlight Weston’s past and the lives of our ancestors. There is much discussion about the state of High Streets everywhere but currently there is an exhibition which allows you to explore Weston’s High Street in this community exhibition and remember shopping, entertainment and leisure in the past. The exhibition is a celebration of the High Street and will act as a legacy project. It has been supported by North Somerset Council’s Heritage Action Zones.
This Invoice from James Phillip's a forerunner of Lance & Lance on the corner of High Street and Waterloo Street was found amongst my great grandmother's books. What surprised me was that Rebekah Saunders COLES, who before her marriage was a dressmaker and milliner, and lived in Bristol should have shopped in Weston!
40th Anniversary of our Society
If you have read the introduction to this Society of its home page online or on the Facebook group you will be aware that the Society was founded in 1983 from an Adult Education Class run by Brian Austin. The Committee is now exercising its collective brain as to how we should mark this 40th anniversary next year. A Celebratory meal and an Open Day with invitations to other local societies are being discussed. If you have any ideas please let us know.
We do not have any meetings, face to face or by zoom during August to allow for holidays – so it just leaves me to hope that you all have an enjoyable time and perhaps meet up with family and share or make memories to include in your family history.