It was the year that the Zeppelin airship made its first flight, the Boer War still dragged on wearily and the first ever Davis Cup took place between Britain and U.S.A. It was 1900 and in Timsbury things were hardly affluent. At the annual meeting of the parish at Timsbury school the chairman, Rev. Rendell read through the relief list for the village and there were recommendations that the Poor Law Guardians should make alterations. Altogether there were 56 adults and 8 children in need of relief.
A special dinner was held at the school in honour of Dr. Frank Woods who had been forced to give up through ill health. Dr. Woods was said to have been particularly kind to the poor in the area and was President of the Somerset Miners’ Association. Dr. Woods was presented with an inscribed silver salver by George Greenland who said that the doctor had been a great friend to the colliery workers. The new medical officer of health for the Timsbury district was Mr. D.L. Hamilton.
The annual Timsbury Flower Show was held in August in Oliver Keeling’s field near the school. There were exhibits of vegetables, fruit, flowers, handicrafts, pigeons and poultry but the committee had decided not to organise a programme of sports. The attendance, however, was disappointingly low and it was resolved to reinstate sports the following year and to provide other attractions. Music was in the hands of the band of G. Company 1st. V.B. Somerset Light Infantry who later played for dancing.
The 24th anniversary of the Timsbury branch of the United Patriots’ National Benefit Society was celebrated with a tea in the Temperance Hall. The Radstock Town Band under George Goold visited the event and later there was dancing in a nearby field. Pruett’s roundabouts (flying ostriches!!) and other amusements were said to have been much enjoyed. These roundabouts were a regular feature at events throughout the district but they were sadly allowed to decay in a field in Congresbury, I discovered, where a mysterious fire saw them go up in smoke on Bonfire Night 1937. It was a sad end to one of the best rides in the West Country.
The proprietors of the Timsbury collieries held an employees’ dinner to mark the opening of a new railway siding from their pits to meet the Camerton and Hallatrow railway. Before the siding had been completed the company had been compelled to haul by horses and carts such coal as they wanted to take to the station.
The death was reported of Captain Kemble who had lived at Greenhill House and who was in active service in the Boer War. The captain who was 29 was connected with the Army Service Corps and died of enteric fever at Bloemfontein. He had been in the field at the time of Lord Kitchener’s entry into Omdurman and when he had previously come home on leave, he had given a “most entertaining lecture” in Timsbury recalling his experiences.
The North Somerset Liberal Association organised a successful concert at the Temperance Hall with its special guest the party’s candidate for North Somerset Mr W.H.B. Hope. Entertainment was given by a musical group from Bristol and included pianoforte solos, singing and comedy. Everyone was said to have enjoyed the concert but not the General Election later in the year. Mr. Hope was defeated!
Finally, a serious explosion occurred at Farmborough School. 2 boys had brought detonators charged with dynamite and had pushed a pencil in the open end causing it to explode. One boy had part of his hand blown off, one was hurt in the face and the third had head injuries. According to the local newspaper it was only the splendid discipline of the school which averted a stampede but the children “were greatly frightened”. It was thought the detonators had come from a neighbouring colliery.