Education, education, education! Don’t worry I’m not about to embark on a political manifesto. It’s just that in 1967 it was a subject very much on the minds of villagers in Timsbury.
A deputation from Timsbury, Paulton and neighbouring villages went to London to see Shirley Williams, the Minister of State for Education to state the case for reinstating the plan to build a new secondary school in Timsbury. The Minister agreed to the meeting after pressure from local M.P. Paul Dean. Meanwhile the notice of intention to close Timsbury Secondary School and transfer pupils to schools at Midsomer Norton and Writhlington was considered by the Parish Council and it was decided to send a letter of protest to the Minister.
At the other end of the village the inadequate Primary School building was struggling to cope with the rapid influx of new residents. A meeting of the school P.T.A. passed a resolution to send a petition to Somerset County Council expressing concern at the overcrowded conditions and antiquated buildings existing at Mill Lane. Headmaster Mr. Bert Blake said that compared with an intake of 20/30 the previous year over 60 pupils now wished to enrol. The school had 211 children with 38 in each classroom and when they were all seated at desks there was little room for movement. It was in 1971 that the Primary School eventually moved to the Secondary School site with the advent of Comprehensive education in the area.
1967 was a big year for the Deputy Head at Timsbury Secondary Modern School, Mr. Wyn Davies. He received an M.B.E. in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his work with the North Somerset Youth Arts Society which he helped to found in 1962. Mr. Davies had joined the school as music master in 1952 and in his younger days had sung his way to success in the Welsh National Eisteddfod for four years in a row.
St. Mary’s Close was entered in the Ministry of Housing and Local Government scheme of medals and diplomas for good house design. The scheme was promoted by the Ministry in collaboration with the Royal Institute of British Architects to encourage a high standard and layout in housing schemes.
Timsbury Male Voice Choir under its conductor Ken Janes returned to competitive singing after a break of many years. It took part in the Bristol Eisteddfod and came second in the class for adult choirs with 90 marks close behind the winners Cwmbran. In the open Male Voice Choir section Timsbury came fourth with 89 marks. It was considered a very good performance because the villagers were up against a number of numerically larger Welsh choirs.
Farmer’s daughter Mary Russell set off on the liner Oriana for New Zealand in 1967. She gave up her job as a homecraft demonstrator with SWEB to do a similar job across the other side of the world for two years. Mary had been a keen rally driver and ballroom dancer and a member of Timsbury and Keynsham Young Farmers’ Club and said that she was convinced that she would return to England after two years. Little did she know then that marriage to a New Zealander would mean that it ultimately became her permanent home.
The Timsbury Horse Show was an unqualified success with fine weather encouraging the best attendance for more than five years. Added attractions were a parade of Mendip foxhounds and a visit from Charlie, the last British Railways shunting horse who now lived in retirement at Ston Easton. Meanwhile a vicious hailstorm in August affected entries at the village Flower Show with chrysanthemums, roses and dahlias suffering in particular. The cups and awards were presented by Mrs. Ron Heal, one of the Horticultural Society’s Vice-Presidents and for the fourth year running Fred Box took the Durham West Cup for the most points in the local flower and vegetable classes. He also won the Royal Horticultural Society’s Banksian Medal as winner of the highest amount of prize money in the show.
Finally there were revolutionary moves afoot at Timsbury Football Club. Derek Chivers became their first manager and the long accepted practice of a selection committee became a thing of the past. Chairman Viv Collins said that he hoped this would create a new enthusiasm in the club and lead to a higher standard of play. Meanwhile the Cricket club dropped the name Nomads for their second team who would now be simply called the second eleven. The name Nomads had come about two years previously when Farmborough Cricket Club amalgamated with Timsbury.