Early in 1981 the headquarters of the St. John’s Ambulance Brigade at North Road was re-opened after major renovations costing nearly £8000. The opening ceremony was performed by Major Bernard Cayzer, the divisional President. The building which had been known as the Temperance Hall and later St. Johns Hall had been built some 100 years earlier and began its life as a school. It was then owned by the Rechabites Club and was a meeting place for the Good Templars League of Friends at the turn of the last century. In the 1930s the building was rented to Somerset County Council for woodwork and cookery classes and during the Second World War it became an air raid precaution emergency centre housing fire watchers and wardens during the Blitz. The League of Friends then donated the hall for use by the St. John’s Ambulance Brigade.
Max Crofts, the President of Bath Chamber of Commerce, became Timsbury’s second Mastermind champion. Answering specialist questions on Albert Pierrepoint, the country’s hangman, he defeated a field of 17 contestants with Sheila Matthews who was to win the 1982 contest in second place and Mavis Lawrence third. There were some 250 people in Conygre Hall to support the event and the trophy was presented to the winner by Ingram Wilcox from Bath who had been a finalist in the BBC Mastermind competition and who would become one of the few people to win a million pounds on “Who wants to be a Millioanaire”. Other specialist subjects included cockney rhyming slang, beekeeping, Richard III and Edward Elgar.
Mr. Percy Dando who had recently retired as Deputy Head at St. Mary’s Primary School was given a special award to mark outstanding service to the National Union of Agricultural and Allied Workers. Mr. Dando who had been a member of the Union for 40 years had worked in horticulture before turning to teaching. He was presented with a gold badge at the meeting of the Somerset branch at Taunton.
Two pupils at the village school were also award winners in 1981. Jonathan Colbourne received the regional first prize in the Clarks’ kite painting competition. He chose as his subject a man holding a kite against the background of the setting sun. Meanwhile Kirsty Pearce won first prize in an essay competition at the school. She beat 42 other competitors with an essay about a walk in the Black Forest, a fantasy story where she imagined shrinking to the size of a flea. Rebecca Pleass was second and William Beacham and Maxine Cleaves joint third. The £10 savings voucher donated by sponsors Chelsea Building Society was presented to Kirsty by Fred Wedlock.
Timsbury Theatre Group was going through a bad time in 1981. It was forced to call off its production of the comedy “The Late Christopher Bean” by Emlyn Williams just six days before opening night. The producer Geoff Burrows told the press that the reason for the cancellation was that two stage hands had dropped out and had made it impossible to stage the play. It meant a huge financial loss as costumes had already been hired and the Theatre Group put out an appeal for new members.
Timsbury Athletic celebrated a successful football campaign. The first team finished third in the Somerset Senior League Premier Division, reached the semi-finals of the League Cup and were quarter-finalists in the Somerset Senior Cup. The side was managed by Ken Trowbridge assisted by Jimmy Scott but it was a season tinged with sadness. One of the club members and popular villagers Steve Dibble had been killed when a fork-lift truck he was driving overturned on top of him at the Kingswood footwear factory of G.B. Britton Ltd. The 22 year old was taken to hospital with head injuries but died later and tributes to him were led by Football Club Chairman Wayland Cox.
Finally an extension to the Cheshire Home was opened on June 6 by Major Cayzer who was a Vice-President of Greenhill House and a patron of the £350,000 appeal. The second building at the Home was completed and gave the 31 residents their own bed-sitters. Some £250,000 was still required and the fund-raising activities were led by Dorothy Fisher.