There are some events which make such an impression on you that it seems like only yesterday that they occurred. I can scarcely believe that it was as long ago as May 17 1964 that the fish and chip shop in the Square was totally destroyed by fire. The owners Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Smith had been gone only a short time when a serious explosion blew out the shop window and the premises were ruined. Mr. Sam Fricker suspecting that something was wrong had climbed a ladder to get to the upstairs room and it was while he was on the ladder that the explosion took place. Miraculously he was uninjured but Mrs Nancy Abbott who was standing across the road was cut about the legs, arms and face and was later taken to Frenchay Hospital. Her son Michael was also cut about the legs.
In August 1964 two live First World War shells were discovered in the garden of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Johnson of 6, Rose cottages, Rectory Lane. They were found by their 11 year old son Larry and a bomb disposal unit confirmed that the 18 and 13 pounder shells were unfired. The shells which had probably been brought there by a First World War veteran were later disposed of in a range near Bridgwater.
Earlier in the year the Somerset Schools Amateur Boxing Association championships were held at Timsbury Secondary Modern School for the first time and the event was an outstanding success. The championships were organised by the Secretary David Evans (father of former St. Mary’s Year 1 teacher Elizabeth Maggs) and the Treasurer George Rogers who both taught at Midsomer Norton Grammar School together with Timsbury’s Head of Games Frank Johnson and members of the Timsbury staff. 4 of the 7 Timsbury representatives taking part won their bouts including Alan Webb who used to live in Radford Hill and Tommy Lye from Tunley.
In March 1964 a new Headteacher was appointed at the Secondary Modern School. Desmond Foster was leaving to take up a similar post at Churchill and was to be replaced by Michael Creedy who at the time was Deputy Head of Sidmouth County Secondary School. Meanwhile the school football team were undefeated champions of the North-East Somerset League for 1963-64. Their team included Dudley Chappell (Captain), Des Willcox, Colin Kite, Malcolm Davies and John Parsons. Frank Johnson was coach.
Major R.G. Bartelot and his wife left the village in 1964 and there was recognition of their work in the community. Mrs. Bartelot had been President of the Womens Institute and she was presented with a pen by Group Secretary Mrs. White and then reciprocated by giving members a bell for the use of future Presidents. Is the bell still in existence? Major Bartelot had been Chairman of the Timsbury British Legion and as a leaving gift he received an inscribed tankard on behalf of the branch from Dr. Crook.
1964 was a successful time for the village sports’ teams. Timsbury’s table tennis side won the 1st. Division of the North Somerset League and the Somer Trophy. Star performers were Brian Newth who only lost one game all season and Roland Edgell. Equally triumphant was the snooker team which won the 1st. division of the Radstock League. The football Reserve string celebrated their first season on the Rec after leaving the Glebe field by winning the Frome Charity Cup with goals from the late and talented Viv Collins and Malcolm Hawkes in a 2-1 win over Coleford Utd. and finished as runners-up in the Frome League. Also flying high was the Timsbury Homing Society who successfully held their first pigeon show in the YMCA Hall.
Finally Timsbury actor Alan Moore was cutting his teeth in local dramatic productions starring in Stratton Players’ adaptation of Spring Capers. Many villagers will remember Alan going on to feature in both Owen MD and Coronation Street on television.