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This article came from the Chronicle published April 1985.  Page 37 – 38

 

All On A Summer’s Day

Author: I.L. Brice

 

From the Western Gazette, 23rd April 1909.

Recently looking through a box filled with books once belonging to my father, I found the Somerset ‘Yearbook for 1932’. It was printed on behalf of the Society of Somerset Folk, by the Western Gazette. Lists of the Society’s, 862 member’s names covered fourteen pages and their addresses spread to all corners, of the globe, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Africa …… Only four members lived in Yeovil,  one of them being the late Mr: Johnson. On the back page was a photograph of Water Raymond, the Yeovil novelist and an advertisement regarding his books, “Under the Chestnut Tree” and “Two Men of Mendip”, selling at 2/-. A rather advertisement with accompanying illustration: was for the Glastonbury bowl, a 2,500 year old relic of ancient British craftsmanship, to be seen in the Glastonbury Museum. A silver copy, it was said was presented to Queen, Mary. Replicas of the bowl could b bought in silver, bronze or porcelain.

The Society’s entertainment Committee seems to have laboured under some difficulty, as according to the account sheet, their whist drives, plays, annual dinner  and dialect talks were all run at a loss.

The summer outing on June 11th for the London members of the Society was to Hatch Court, near Taunton. Four “chars-a-banc” were “awaiting the party at Frome station, to take them on their way to King Alfred’s Tower, which marks the spot where King Alfred erected his standard in A.D. 879 against the Danish invaders. From there the travellers had wonderful view of Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire. The party proceded to Stourhead Gardens where they admired the rhododendrons and azaleas which were in full bloom, wandered beside the large lake and inspected the various temples and grottos. Then on to Castle Cary here they had lunch in the Drill Hall, while the Castle Cary Brass Band played a selection of popular tunes of the day. Mr R.B. Drewett, Vice Chairman of the Parish Council, gave a short talk on the history of the town before the party left, at 3.30.pm for Taunton.

Driving through Somerton and Langport, the tourists arrived at Hatch Court, where the owner, Lieut. Col. Gault and Mrs. Gault, welcomed them with an invitation to wander at will through the house and gardens. He specially recommended a walk through the walled garden to the Norman church, where they would find the grave of Lieut. Col. Chard, the hero of Rorkes Drift – a film of this heroic stand was recently shown on television. After tea, served on the west lawn, Lieut. Col. Gault was presented with a copy of the Alfred Jewel, the original of which was seen by members of our Society, while on an excursion with the Yeovil Art Group to the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, in April 1982.

All too soon time for wandering through the spacious house and delightful gardens passed and the London members left for their journey to Taunton station. On entering Taunton they stopped to inspect the new Playing Fields given to the town by Lieut. Col. Gault. Here they were welcomed by the Mayor and Mayoress of Taunton, a fitting end to the days outing.


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