In 1989 the first seeds of the Miners’ Memorial garden were sown when Parish Council Chairman Arthur Moon appealed in the Village Newsletter for ideas to recognise the contribution of the mining industry to the village. He said that miners had played a significant role in the building of the community and yet there was nothing in Timsbury to commemorate the fact.
The eventual erection of the Memorial Garden came on the site of the former Nat West Bank and it was in 1989 that it was decided to close the Timsbury branch. Despite pressure from the Parish Council and the local M.P. Sir Paul Dean Nat West refused to change its decision which it said was due to lack of business and was one of straightforward economics.
Rev Brian Sutton, honorary curate at St Mary’s Church said goodbye to the area after deciding to give up his post office work to become a full-time Priest. Brian who had worked closely with the Rev. John Reed left to take charge of the parishes of Thorncombe, Winsham and Cricket St Thomas. A farewell party was held at the Conygre Hall and amongst the presents he received were a Communion set for house and hospital visiting and a painting of Priston Church. At the time Brian said that he would return to the district when he retired and true to his word he came back to live in Priston.
Hotelier and shire horse expert Mike Horler was given permission to open Radford Farm to the public. He said that he planned to demonstrate the milking of cows and goats, the feeding of young animals and the harnessing and grooming of shire horses. He hoped to have something like 6000 visitors a year coming to the site.
It was also in 1989 that the Radstock Museum was opened at Haydon by the Bishop of Bath and Wells, the right Rev. Dr. George Carey who was later of course to become Archbishop of Canterbury. The barn in Haydon was only able to house about a tenth of the Museum’s enormous collection of mining and railway memorabilia and ten years later it moved to its much more spacious accommodation in Radstock.
Timsbury Guides took part in the South West of England Heads, Hearts and Hands project choosing from some 60 different activities and games from all over the world. As part of the project they did fund-raising for ten charities at home and abroad including Christian Aid and Save The Children. A cheque for £206-31 was presented to County, Commonwealth and International adviser Mrs. Sylvia Young.
Timsbury resident Nigel Parfitt made the news when he offered a free holiday to anyone who would buy his house at Bloomfield Close. He said that he was fed up trying to sell his three-bedroomed extended semi after having it on the market for some six months.
A book of poems written by Daphne Jeffs who had sadly died the previous December were sold to raise money for the Cheshire-based Research Trust for Metabolic Diseases in Children. Daphne’s husband Martyn handed over a cheque for £600 in March and at that time there were still 100 books available.
Timsbury’s former cricket captain Mark Sage received his Avon County Cricket cap after captaining the county’s under 15 side which boasted an unbeaten record against all the other counties it played. A pupil at Writhlington Comprehensive School he was also awarded the Governors’ prize at the end of his fifth year there.
Finally a book published by Jeannie Shorey in 1989 told the story of Samuel Chilton, the youthful Rip Van Winkle of Timsbury. He worked on a farm and apparently in 1697 slept from April to August. Doctors adopted all kinds of desperate methods to wake him up but without success. True? Who knows but certainly a good yarn.
And finally a message from Malcolm………..
And that as they say is that. I have enjoyed recalling the many years I covered nearly 20 years ago and I am grateful to Larry Cunningham who has enhanced them greatly with his wide array of photos. I hope in these difficult times it has brought some pleasure to people.