In 1949 Lloyd Jeffery of 15, Greenvale was awarded the “Croix de Guerre” (Cross of War) for exceptional service exactly 7 years after fighting a desperate rearguard action with the Free French forces at Bir Hacheim in the Western Desert. He also received a letter from the French Prime Minister. Lloyd had been taken prisoner at Bir Hacheim, marched hundreds of miles across the desert, taken through Sicily and Italy where he escaped for 12 weeks and finally into Germany.
A former pupil of Timsbury Secondary School, Lance/Cpl Peter Dyer of 433 Company Horse Transport took part in a military searchlight tattoo at Moascar near the Suez Canal in Egypt. It was seen by the British Ambassador, the Commander-in-chief and many other senior officers. Peter took part in an episode featuring a fight between pioneers of the American West and native Indians.
Timsbury Male Voice Choir under conductor Oliver Janes was featured on the radio in 1949 in the popular “Smoking Concert” programme on the West of England Home Service. They were heard alongside George Walsh (bass) with Winifred Davey at the piano and Bernard Fishwick was M.C.
It was a busy year for the popular W.E.A. Dramatic Society which staged two successful productions at the Church Room (today’s Legion Club). In February a three act thriller, “Love from a Stranger” attracted capacity audiences with Clifford Dunster taking the lead role. The planned autumn three act play, “That state of Life”, had to be put back due to the illness of leading actress Joyce Nicholson (Berry). Newspaper reviews said that the wait was worth it and the production was described as one of the outstanding successes of the “talented company”.
A service of dedication was held at St. Mary’s Church for the new ambulance received by the Timsbury division of the St. John’s Ambulance Brigade. At the end of the service Rev. Rose led the congregation out to the gate where the ambulance stood and where the dedication took place. Earlier in 1949 the local ambulance branch had enjoyed success in the organisation’s Bristol Centre annual competition. The Number One team comprising of captain R. Harris, W. Wilkins, F. Sims and O. Swansbury came first in the Mather Cup out of 12 teams while the Second team (captain C.G. Emery, L. Berry, J. Hatherell and B. Sperring) finished third in the Novice Cup.
Firemen used foam extinguishers to control a blaze when a boiler of fat caught fire at the Old Mill, Radford. The mill was used at the time by a Bristol firm of soap manufacturers. The alarm was raised by Mr. E. Collins of Mill House who had spotted the blaze.
In 1949 Timsbury Athletic took part in both the F.A. Cup and the old F.A. Amateur Cup but not unfortunately with much success. The team were drawn home to Chippenham Town in the F.A. Cup but were forced to play away because the village Flower Show was being held on the Glebe Field a few days before. In the outcome Timsbury lost 7-0 and were then beaten 6-1 away to Spencer Moulton in the Amateur competition.
Timsbury Chess Club on the other hand experienced its most successful season since the formation of the North Somerset Chess League. The star performer was Dr. Crook who won 5 games out of a possible 7. There was talk of a draughts section being formed and anyone interested was asked to contact Ken Bridges at the butcher’s.
Finally I end with an extract from the summer edition of the “West Country Magazine “ of 1949 which sees John Atkins writing about the Lower Conygre batch:
“Next time you are in the Mendips and anywhere near Timsbury you must visit the West Country’s most horrible or most wonderful showplace. You have to climb for it, search for it and dirty your clothes with granules of blue-black slag. It is crowded and blocked by enormous trailers, deserted and left to the handling of time. You are on the verge of an authentic ruin, an industrial ruin, the kind which excites me far more than the feudal and military”.