1926 was the year of the General Strike and as a mining community this area was badly affected. The prospective Labour candidate for Bath was Captain W.B. Scobell who lived at Kingwell and at a Young Socialist meeting at the Temperance Hall he was the guest speaker. He considered that there would be no peace in the mining industry until it was nationalised and he was so incensed by an article written by the Labour leader Ramsay Macdonald later in the year that he resigned as candidate for Bath.
The Timsbury Lodge of the United Patriots’ National Benefit Society which had been in existence since 1882 held its annual tea and fete. The members assembled and headed by the Peasedown Brass band marched in processional order around the village visiting the various patrons of the society en route. Later a public tea was held at the Temperance Hall followed by all the fun of the fair at the Miners Welfare Field with Heal’s steam roundabouts, swing boats and sideshows.
Job Hodder, the well known Timsbury lime-kiln proprietor was killed in 1926 while repairing a cart in his lime works near the Conygre batch. The wheels of the cart had been removed from the axle and when the cart was turned the shafts came down and hit Job against the wheel of another cart causing severe head injuries. Many villagers will remember Job’s son Edric who was a real son of the country and who seemed to know every fact that there was to know about the countryside. Like his father he too was to suffer a horrific death when his cottage went up in flames one Saturday night in 1970 with Edric inside.
Worshippers meeting at a Christian gathering at the Mission Hall Bloomfield protested about the abolition of the Board of Governors. The Board had been responsible for the administration of the Poor Law “caring for the welfare of the infirm, the aged and the neglected children” but this responsibility was now to be handed over to the Town Council. The resolution passed at the Mission Hall which was situated down the alley in what was known as Newth’s Yard said that the Council was already overburdened with many other matters affecting civil life and that the Board of Governors had done a good job.
In 1926 Kingwell Hall was the site of a Prep School for entrance into Public Schools and the Royal Navy and was for boys aged 7-14. Pupils came from as far afield as West Africa, India and China and here is an extract from the Somerset Guardian of the day describing the benefits of the school:
“The boys are regularly taught Swedish drill and breathing exercises and after the mid-day meal they are required to rest for a short period. At night the windows are left open and the air at this height above the sea is so healthy and helpful to the delicate boys that Mr. Allan’s (The Headmaster) record of the height and weight of the boys affords an excellent criterion of the progressive benefits of their stay at the school”.
The scholars of the Church of England school in the village gave a Christmas concert in the Church Room in aid of the prize and sports’fund. The children had been trained by Headmaster Albert Lewis and the Infant Mistress Miss Dando. On Boxing Day over 300 children enjoyed tea in the Church Room followed by a musical programme organised by Arthur Lewis and his concert party.
It was a year of distinctly mixed fortunes for Timsbury’s football team. In April the first team beat Bath Legion 4-2 in the final of the Bath Chronicle and Herald Cup at Tunley. The captain of the Timsbury team was Percy Thatcher and his great-grandson Aaron Dix was to follow in his footsteps as captain and club stalwart. However, at the same venue in October the entente cordiale evident between Timsbury and Tunley at the cup final turned sour and violence erupted at the local derby. Players and supporters were all involved and the Tunley committee protested to the Somerset F.A. about the threatening attitude of the Timsbury management and fans. The Timsbury secretary informed the Association that it was just “a typical little local derby” and that the only dispute between himself and the referee was over the amount of his fee whether it was five shillings and eightpence or five shillings and tuppence. The F.A. were clearly not impressed and Timsbury were ordered to post warning notices to their spectators and one of the players was suspended for the rest of the season.
Finally I was interested to see that one of the week’s personalities in the Somerset Guardian was Mr. George Bilk of Pensford who had been sub-postmaster in the village for many years and a local Methodist preacher for 60 years. Mr Bilk had come to Pensford from Cowes in the Isle of Wight in 1891 where he had been a furniture fitter of yachts. As we all know the name Bilk was later to become synonymous with Pensford thanks to a certain Stranger On The Shore in the early 1960s.