Village newsagent Bernard Plumb held off the challenge of 18 fellow contestants to win the first “Mastermind of Timsbury” trophy in February 1980. Conygre Hall was packed for the event which I helped the Cricket Club to organise and it was followed by similar contests in 1981 and 1982. Representing Timsbury Badminton Club and answering questions on Adolf Hitler Bernard finished level on points with Timsbury Conservative Party nominee Max Crofts who chose British Politicians as his subject. Bernard won the silver goblet after having less passes and Parish Council chairman Arthur Moon made the presentation.
Timsbury farmer Colin Keeling had a pleasant shock in 1980 when his red and white Friesian cow gave birth to her first set of twins. A red and white Hereford bull calf was followed by a black and white Friesian. The explanation according to Colin was that cow number 97 was served by 2 different bulls, completely unknown to him. The calves were born on Leap Year Day without a vet in attendance. Midsomer Norton vet Christopher Caywood said, “This is very unusual – almost inconceivable (Did he really mean this!). You often get twins of different colours but not of different breeds”.
Conygre Hall welcomed 2 famous characters in 1980. Tony Benn, M.P. for Bristol South East spoke at the invitation of the North Somerset Labour Party. In his speech he predicted that there would be 3 million unemployed by the end of 1981 and outlined to the audience of 200 his 4 point plan for a Socialist Britain. This included the abolition of the House of Lords, regaining the power lost to the Common Market and banning nuclear bases in Britain. He said that large sections of industry were already collapsing and the situation was getting worse.
Leslie Crowther, the T.V. personality was the guest at the annual supper provided by the W.I. for the over seventies in the village. He entertained with interesting and amusing patter and with music on the piano. W.I. President Jesse Buckwell thanked him and presented him with a cheque for £25 towards the Spastics Holiday Homes.
Standards were as high as ever at the annual Flower Show organised by Timsbury Horticultural Society but entries were some 300 down on the previous year. This was put down to a bad growing weather and a lack of publicity. The gladioli spike displayed by Gerald Dyer was deemed to be the best seen for many years, however. Fred Box gained most points in the local vegetable classes while Graham Jeffery won the Crescent Cup for most points in the Timsbury Parishioners’ classes. The Kemp trophy for handicraft went to Jack Nash with his model of a farm cart.
There were record entries for Timsbury Horse Show at Emlett with many more trade stands than in 1979. The Avon and Somerset Police caravan proved a big draw. Alan White, the Show Chairman paid tribute to all those villagers who had helped to make the event such a success particularly 69 year old Phil Snook who had been a founder member of the committee and was still doing his bit. Profits from the Show were donated to Riding for the Disabled and Jimmy Savile’s Stoke Mandeville appeal.
£50000 was raised for the extensions at Timsbury Cheshire Home but it was announced that a further £300000 was still required. This would give each of the 32 residents their own room. The Home also acquired a new bus during the year and Andrew Sage, a member of the Timsbury Friends of the Home formed a League of Drivers enabling the residents to go out more.
Timsbury Athletic approached the new season in 1980 with real optimism after the appointment of ex-Odd Down boss Ken Trowbridge as manager. He attracted the vastly experienced Brian Owen who had played for Hereford Utd. and Bath City to the club and implemented the return to Timsbury of 4 quality players. John Meggat came from Frome Town, Colin Brain from Radstock, Keith Player from Welton and Nicky Parfitt from Peasedown. With such a squad Ken Trowbridge said that he expected at least a top 3 place in the Somerset Senior League Premier Division. The football club were also active off the pitch with Chairman Wayland Cox announcing that the Parish Council had agreed in principle to plans to erect a £20000 clubhouse on the Conygre Hall complex. He announced that fund raising had already started for a project that ultimately failed to come to fruition.
Finally in 1980 Timsbury said goodbye to Cliff Hodder who had come from London in 1952 to carry on the family newsagent’s business in South Road (later Supreme Hair Studio) after the death of his aunt. Countless schoolchildren visited the shop religiously on their way home from the old Primary School at the top of Mill Lane to buy their quota of sweets and chocolate. Mr. Hodder retired through ill-health in 1972 and went to live at Greenvale with wife Kitty until his death in 1980.