It was the year which began with the death of one King and ended with the abdication of his successor. On January 21 1936 George V passed away and the following day special services were conducted in Timsbury by Rev. Rose. A large number attended a requiem at 7 a.m. with a packed congregation for a commemoration service in the afternoon. The organist Mr. Albert Lewis played the Dead March in “Saul” while the majority of businesses and shops closed with windows of shops and private homes draped in crepe. George V had visited Midsomer Norton with Queen Mary on June 23 1909 to present medals to miners who had shown great bravery at the Norton Hill Colliery explosion of April 1908.
There was recognition of the important role played by Major Addington and his wife in the British Legion organisation. The pair who lived at Parish’s House received an oak-cased Westminster chiming clock with an illuminated certificate of merit from Dr. Crook. They had done much to revive the British Legion in the village and at the annual supper members said how proud they were to have Major Addington as the Branch secretary. Later in the evening songs were rendered by Mrs. Berry, Messrs H.W. Paul, C. Nicholls, N. Taylor, Rev. Rose and Mr. P. Thompson who also amused the company with some humorous stories. Mr. A.E. Cox gave a whistling solo and there were piano accordion selections from Mr. Stenner of Midsomer Norton.
Westminster chiming clocks were clearly all the vogue in the 30s because Dr. Crook himself received one at the Presentation night of the local branch of the St. Johns Ambulance Association for his valued services as instructor. Entertainment followed with musical items from Mr. L. Watts and Mr. Holbrook of Timsbury, Mrs. Saunders of Bath and the “little pupils” of Mrs. John Richards of Paulton. Mr. W.J. Coombs was M.C. and music was provided by Norman Weaver’s dance band from Tunley.
The Ministry of Labour agreed to set up facilities at the Occupational Centre at Timsbury (the site of today’s Timsbury Hub) so that the unemployed could draw their benefits there instead of having to travel to Temple Cloud. The unemployed would report on Tuesdays and Thursdays and draw benefits on Saturdays. The M.P. of the day Mrs. Mavis Tate had apparently done a lot to get this facility and there was also praise for Mr. H.T. Kemp of Renny’s who had brought the matter to her attention.
On the sports field it was a successful season for Timsbury Cricket Club with Francis Samborne heading the batting averages and Fred Maule with his totally unique bowling style which made it look as though he was riding at Epsom taking the most wickets. The Football Reserve side were runners-up in the Bristol Suburban League Division 5 and received miniature cups at their Social and Dance at the Church Room. Those collecting awards were F. Bird (Captain), F. Maule, J. Bridges, S. Kite, R. Hucker, H. Filer, E. Hulbert, E. Ruddick, W. Blacker, H. Parfitt, W. Brooks, S. Horler and H. Clarke. There was less to celebrate when the Football and Cricket teams held their annual fete on the Glebe Sports field, however, when a terrific thunderstorm broke out and marred the enjoyment of the occasion. Some things never change!
St. Mary’s Parish Church received an accolade in the 1936 edition of “The Church Times”. It was praised for the flourishing character of church life and having recently been cleaned and redecorated was said to look like a new church. People in the parish and one or two visitors expressed their delight at the reverence and devotion shown in the church and its services. The rector at the time was Rev. Rose and his brother Clarkson was one of the top entertainers of the day. During 1936 he appeared at Bath Pavilion as part of the Twinkle Concert Party and he was recognised as one of the top Pantomime dames in Britain.
Two teachers from the new Senior School at Timsbury were married at the Parish Church. Miss Elsie Stabbins and Mr. Idwal Roberts were both associated with the sports clubs in the village and were prominent in the productions of the W.E.A. Players. In 1936 the Players performed a three-act play called “Third Time Lucky”, a comedy by Arnold Ridley who was more famous for his “Ghost Train” and his part of Godfrey in “Dad’s Army”. It was produced by Stanley Dyer and played to packed audiences at the Church Room.
Finally the year ended with the abdication of Edward VIII whose relationship with the divorced Mrs. Simpson sent shock waves through the Britain of 1936. Little did the people realise that what was happening in Germany at this time was to constitute a much greater threat and would ultimately lead to war.