Welcome to Worle History Society             

Here you will be able to find dates of our monthly open meetings, how to contact the committee, and updates on our latest research and projects.  Just click on the menu bar, at the top of each page, for details.

Membership fee is £5 a year, renewable at the AGM in September each year.  Members pay £1 at each meeting to help pay for the hall and boost funds.  Visitors are always welcome at meetings and other activities for a modest £2 contribution.

The 2016 AGM attracted a full hall with no seats left unoccupied.  Over 60 people paid their annual subscriptions, including 6 new members.  Kaye Gunningham, nee Lovell treated us to an enthralling talk about her family's experiences of working the land in and around Worle in the 20th century.

                    

                 Robert, Barbara and Kaye Lovell                                                   Our loyal band queueing up to pay their subs for another year

2016 walk set off from The Old Manor on Thursday 4th August.  Pictures taken by Tony Richards and Maurice Williams.

                                     

The Calendar Boys, with their masterpiece for 2017.  Now available at Skidmores Ltd, Worle High Street at £6 each




Thursday July 7th will be one of my favourite meetings of the year.  We shall kick off at 7.00 p.m. with the launch of our 2017 calendar.  John McCreadie and Tony Richards have surpassed themselves.  Tony will be presenting the 12 pictures of Old Worle, together with modern equivalents and background research.  The cover this year features the Observatory [Worle's Old Windmill].  The second item on the agenda will be Dave's Hart's preview of the August 4th Village Walk with maps, pictures and a look at a beautiful area of North Worle and some of our oldest settlements.  Dave's title is 'Early Worle and its private place in National History'.

                  
                                                                                                          


Research Group visits to the flood defences and wetlands project at Icelton Farm, Wick St. Lawrence, June 2016.  See Walks and Visits page for more pictures and a map.


Peter Johnson gave us an illuminating update on Worle History Society's research into Worle’s Vernacular buildings, all of which were standing on the 1840 Tithe Map.  A fascinating reconstruction of the village included a peek into the past of several local houses and cottages, including Somerset House in Kewstoke Road, pictured below.  Thank you Peter for a really engaging evening, and thanks to Tony for the photograph.

  

2 new books available online as PDF files.  'Wartime Worle' and 'Wonderful Worle'.  Email: rayegreen@talktalk.net for digital copies, and, if you would like to, send us a small donation to assist the funds and pay for the next book!  A very limited run of both will be available in A4 hardbacks in time for Christmas on the same format at 'Edwardian Worle' and each about the same price!!

                                                                

'Wartime Worle'covers the goings-on in Worle from 1939                                       Based on 'Life in Worle', this version 'Wonderful Worle'
until VJ day in August 1945.  180 pages of text and pictures                                   has many more pictures and addditional information
give an insight into Worle and its people at this time of change.                            about the village in 1953 - a seminal year for Worle.

VE Day and so one picture of this day in 1945 when the Neathway family, along with many others, decorated the house and had a celebration tea, despite the rain.  The aerial photograph was taken in May 2016 by Andy Hyatt and is a reminder of what they had all been fighting for.  Interesting angle on Lynch Farm and the quarry.

 

Our May 2016 meeting on the 5th at 7.00 p.m. welcomed John Crockford-Hawley to give us an update on Weston Museum and the planned refurbishment.  John has visited us on several occasions and is always informative and entertaining.

                                                                    
John Crockford Hawley                                        John addressing a group at the Museum                         and Bob listening attentively

Raye Green gave a talk for Weston U3A Local History Group on Friday 15th April, 2016.  Good fun.  The topic was 'A Glimpse of Edwardian Worle'. About 60 people attended including some old friends.  Arthur Spencer and his wife, Eva, were there.  In the 1940s Arthur was in Bomber command and flew, I think, over 50 missions, later he was headteacher of Priory School in its early days and gave a most entertaining talk for us 5 years ago in April 2011.  Some pictures of that memorable evening to remind us:

                                      
  Arthur Spencer and Terry Gilbert in conversation                                                            Members studying the nostalgic pictures

John Thatcher, our speaker for April 2016, gave our members and the 18 additional visitors a highly informative and enjoyable evening.  The jokes and the samples were equally delicious.  No photos were taken on the night - we forgot!  But here is a picture of John with his apples.




Not a spare seat at the 'Worle from the Air' evening in March 2016.  We were delighted to greet our loyal members and 19 visitors, including a contingent of youngsters [in their 40s and 50s]

Dave Hart  began in the 21st century and took us gradually back in time to the days when Worle was a little ol' village.  Some wonderful pictures to share, including the one below, taken 1946 - and a new one from about 1980 with Priory School in the foreground and Brean Down in the far distance.

 


59 members and visitors joined us at our February meeting on Thursday 4th Feb 2016 at Worle Community Centre in Lawrence Road.  Guest for the evening was David Kenneford, The Mercury Man, who shared his photographs and memories of 49 years as our local photographer.

     


Our first meeting of 2016 was on Thursday 7th January at 2.00 p.m. at Worle Century Club.    Dave Hart and Barrie Underwood gave exellent talks on Railway station interpretation boards and flood defences. 

Images of the December 2015 Quiz Evening are below.  They speak for themselves.  Thank you Tony for taking over the camera!  Well done, The Worley Girls plus Peter, who won the cider.

     


        
  

15th to 17th October - Worle Library 3 day Exhibition of our display boards, archive and slide show.  Normal library opening hours.  Pictures below taken by Weston Mercury

 

Below: Picture of Information Board taken on day of installation, Monday 19th October, 2015

 

21st October was the unveiling of the WC and P information board in Station Road, Worle.                                     


Thursday 1st October. Worle History Society welcomed Esther Hoyle of Somerset Heritage in Taunton who spoke on the topic 'Researching Your House'.  Esther was previously a North Somerset archivist and this was an evening of interest to everyone.  Esther left us a leaflet 'How to Find Out about the History of Your House'. Copies available at our November meeting, or for a very detailed set of ideas, go to our LINKS page [see the list top left] and click on Somerset Heritage Centre.  This excellent website has a Research Guides button on the left and that page is headed by Researching Your Somerset House.

Super AGM on 3rd September.  Bob has agreed to continue as Chairman for the next year and the committee was re-elected en masse, but with one additional member, Jenny Kingsbury.  Welcome Jenny.

Our 2016 calendar has a new look.  Designed by John McCreadie and Tony Richards.  Limited edition, as usual, so rush to Skidmore's for your copy.  £6 each and not to be missed.  Thanks to Weston Mercury for the photograph.

             

Wonderful summer evening in the Somerset countryside for our 2015 August walk.  Dave Hart organised a terrifically enjoyable outing as usual and the sausage and chip supper at the Golf Club was excellent.  The pictures tell the story better than I can.

              
  
          

           


Most enjoyable July visit to Icelton Farm at the invitation of Liz and Bob Parsons.  Coffee, chat, a walk across Home Field and a lift around the farm to see the Environment Agency at work on the flood defences.  Great time was had by all.  Thanks to tony Bracey for the ride in his 4 x 4.

        
                                                       Across Icelton Home field                       Dave Hart, Stephen Roberts, Bob Parsons, Raye Green,
                                                                                                                                            Barrie Underwood and Bob Champ
        
                                               Environment Agency men at work with the                Remains of The Old Jetty
                                                     Coping Stones waiting to be reset

Dave Hart told us about the walk planned for Thursday August 6th 2015 around Worle's Hill with supper at the Golf Club, for those who have worked up an appetite.  Pamphlets were available at the meeting.  Please come and meet us for a 6.30 start at Worlebury Golf Club car park.  £2.50 each for the funds.

                        
                                                                       John McCreadie       Tony Richards           Dave Hart             

Bryan Moore, is a Worle man currently studying at Oxford.  He gave a fascinating talk at our June 2015 meeting, about his research into the development of Worle from 400 AD  to 1800 AD, using LiDAR technology. [Light Detecting and Ranging] which enables archaeologists to see through surface vegetation and construction.  Bryan has given us assess to some of his research results and pictures. Links and information to follow.

In recognition of the 70th anniversary of VE Day, I have attached some pictures of the celebrations in Worle.  Top left:  Hillend tea party;  top right: Neathways;  bottom left and right: Greenwood Road.

                                                                    

                                   


We met on election night, 7th May, 2015 at 7.00 p.m. at Worle Junior School [as was], now Worle Village Primary School in Hill Road and 52 of us enjoyed an illuminating, nostalgic evening with a school tour and talks from Raye Green and from head teacher, Sue Elliott.

             


    


Our new Exhibition Corner at Worle Library opened on Friday 20th March, 2015 at 10.00 a.m. The 1840 Tithe Map and Vernacular buildings are featured on the current board, which will be changed on 15 May.

 
Good to see so many of our members during the morning. Future boards will be changed every 2 weeks on Friday mornings.

Super meeting on March 5th - once we got organised.  Brian was most entertaining and 60 people came along.  Amongst the items that people brought for us was a  lovely little watercolour of St. Martin's Church painted in 2006 by our late friend, Joyce Harris. See our photos page.

  Hearty thanks to everyone who helped to make the 2015 Museum exhibition such a success.  Click on the exhibition page left and scroll down for pictures.




Picture above is of Middle Hope, due north of Worle.  A lovely Bristol Channel walk.  Perhaps we can arrange one in the Spring?

Our New Year meeting was on Thursday Jan 8th at The Century Club in Mendip Avenue at 2.30 p.m.  The bar was open to start the meeting off and we invited members to contribute as much as possible by way of postcard information or even a short chat. .  There was a selection of SHORT talks from research members. Dave Hart on The Power of Roads, Peter Johnson on the house at 3 The Scaurs and Raye Green on Arthur Binding Badcock.  43 members and visitors joined us and we signed up 6 new members, who are very welcome.


The 2014 AGM was very well attended considering the Mercury got the time wrong again!!  Well done to the dozens of you who saw through the error and turned up anyway.  We were very sad to see the end of Peter Johnson's 3 year stint as Chairman.  It has been an amazing 3 years, as you see from this site.
                               
                                                                          Thank you, Peter                                          Welcome, Bob

A huge welcome to our new chairman, Bob Champ, pictured above, whom most of our members know well from his previous job of membership secretary.  The Committee page has been updated if you would like to check the photographs!  Bob is already full of plans for the future.  Brilliant, and we'll keep you posted.

Our August 2014 exhibition was a great success.  Thank you so much to the 500 people who came along, many staying for several hours.  We are now closed.  Sorry if you missed it, but have a look at the pictures below and the new page on the side bar with even more!


Above are the Blue Board Kids and below are our 'Pictures from an Exhibition', taken by Tony Richards.

 





      

The deputy Mayor and Mayoress opened the proceedings, followed by Richard Wyatt who gave an entertaining chat about his memories of growing up in Worle as a small boy.  Delighted to see Mrs Wyatt, Richard's mother, in such fine fettle.


52 lovely people turned up for our 2014 Village Walk, August 7th.  Dave Hart talked us around the significant World War 2 sites in the village - then sausage and chips at The Woodspring pub, formerly The New Inn.  Pics below.

        



 


Barry Mather's return visit to tell us about Banwell in the 20th Century was well attended despite the torrential rain.  Our thanks to Barry putting together a talk especially for us. 

Many thanks to Barrie Underwood for his very illuminating talk on the Rhynes and waterways around Worle over the last 400 years.  The picture below shows the only solid remnant of the system in the village itself.   It is the Grumblepill Rhyne Culvert Headwall in New Bristol Road.



Our membership is now up to 69 - the most ever.  A warm welcome to the new members and visitors.

The Churchyard research meeting on February 6th saw a packed hall again, despite the wind and rain.  Four members of St. Martin's Church were welcomed and Peter presented Church Warden, Paul Elliott, with a copy of the database and a memory stick with the pictures and inscriptions.  Six members of the research team gave short, varied, informative talks about some of our discoveries.  Great evening all round.



               



Pictures above taken on 6th February 2014 at the Churchyard Research meeting.

Our thanks to Worle Century Club for welcoming us to Mendip Avenue for our January meeting.  About 50 people sacrificed the sunshine to join us.  Peter Johnson gave a short presentation on Worle's Boundary Stones, Dave Hart reported on the World War II walks he undertook with the children of St. Mark's School and Raye Green spoke about Rev. Alfred Cecil Harman, who was vicar of Worle from 1901 to 1907.

Great turnout for our November meeting.  Paul Gregory gave a beautifully illustrated talk on the dear old W.C. and P. Light Railway.  He runs a website which may interest many of you.  There is a link on our LINKS page.

                 
                                                                   Getting ready                                                                  Filling up

Have a look at the pictures below and see if you can shed any light on where they were taken, when, and who the people are.  We could do with some help.  Email your ideas to rayegreen@talktalk.net   Thank You.


           


Churchyard investigations are complete.  Roger and Lesley located the oldest known monument in Section B.  'A Maid in Mold  60 years old' 1644, is pictured below.  We would love your ideas on the interpretation of the inscription.

 
The insignificant little stone is the one in question. Top Churchyard, south west of the Church.

  


We were delighted to see so many people at the AGM and to receive subscriptions from new members as well as our faithful folk.  Hearty thanks to Roger Brown, who agreed to join the committee, and gave a most informative talk on Worle's Public Houses.  We sold 29 calendars and Lesley's Worle's Pubs books sold out.  Database has been updated and emails are all in working order.  Welcome aboard everyone. Any questions?  Phone Raye on 516773.




Thanks to David Venn for this great picture of Rev. Eric Valance Cook with his beer
.

Village walk on August 1st was most enjoyable.  Thanks from us all to Dave Hart and the weather fairy.  The Golden Lion made us very welcome and fed us promptly with sausage and chips on our return.

 

      


March 6th 2013,  at St. Martin's Primary School in Spring Hill was a huge success.  About 70 people attended and jostled happily to see the displays and find old friends.  Our thanks to Jane Dixon and Paul Davies for their interesting introductions.  The tour was enlightening, with old pupils gasping at the changes.  Requests to repeat the evening at a later date will be considered.  Watch this space.  Pictures below.

              

                        

Scouts and Guides evening was well attended despite the cold and we had a most interesting evening thanks to Duncan and Vicky and the vast array of memorabilia. Be Prepared was certainly their motto. Some of Peter's photos are below.

          

The Cheese and Wine evening on the 19th January 2013 was one of those uplifting, heartwarming occasions that come so rarely, except in Worle!  The welcome, the food and drink, the log fires and the company were all wonderful.  Thank you Liz and your helpers.  Pictures below.

          

                                    

Its been a busy start to the year. Almost 50 of us attended the meeting at the Century club on January 3rd, 2013 and received a warm welcome from John Robbins and the committee. There was a great response to the postcard request and the results have been circulated. We asked for pictures of the conker tree which graced the playground at the Infants' School, and received the 1966 photograph below from June Charles, who taught there for many years.

 

The bells of St. Martin's are off to be re-tuned and are expected back for a Hallowing Service on 11th March.  The picture below shows them lined up ready to go.

Excellent quiz night this year. 50 people crammed happily into the room. The night was won by the Rice Puddings. Pictures below for your amusement.

                 

Above: The victorious Rice Puddings and the weary quiz master with his helper

Below: Everyone else!!

            

Grateful thanks to Nadine for the refreshments and to all those who brought raffle prizes, especially the false moustaches.

 

Picture above is of Oak Lea Cottage, one of our listed buildings, having a haircut on 22nd November, 2012

Well done to the 44 people who turned out in the hail storm to our Banwell Fire Station evening.  We were treated to a very entertaining talk by Colin, ably assisted by Dave.  Pictures below.

     

Worle Operatic Society are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year and founder member Heather Gadd and stage manager Russ Scott came to our October meeting.  We enjoyed an informative talk on the history of WODS from Heather and pictures of past performances from Russ.  Great evening.  

               

Members and visitors perusing the pictures and programmes

 The Churchyard research went ahead on a lovely sunny Sunday evening. Eleven of our members turned up to help. Sincere thanks to all. Results of research will be reported at one of our monthly meetings. Pics below, courtesy of Peter Johnson.

                     

The meeting on May 3rd 2012 was attended by at least 40 members and friends.  Raye Green gave an inpromptu talk on The Observatory.  We received very helpful contributions from the audience and have arranged a research visit to St Martin's Churchyard for Sunday 27th May at 6.30 p.m.  

                          

Inside the Observatory, looking up from the ground to the first floor landing, and a shot of Paul Sage standing on the roof with the castellations in the background.

On June 7th we welcomed John Raffield, who gave a talk about local Geology - 'The Rocks we Live on'.  An informative and different evening.

March was a busy month, starting with Raye Green's talk about the history of Worle Methodist Chapel, attended by about 50 members and friends.  The pictures below feature Myrtle Cottage in 1916 which is opposite the chapel in Lawrence Road,  and the Chapel Bible Class in about 1909.

                                 

March 26th took 16 of us to the Somerset Heritage Centre in Taunton to have a conducted tour of this great new resource.  It was so absorbing that we all forgot to take a photo.  Sorry.  Our thanks to Peter for organising the trip. 

David Hart's talk at our February 2012 meeting, on Richard Parsley's life and times gave us a wonderful chance to see the town and the village through new eyes.  Thank you, Dave.

Above: Peter, Frank and David, dressed for the weather!  Great head gear, chaps.

John Crockford Hawley's talk on Worle Conservation Area was illuminating and greatly enjoyed by all.  We think it may have been a record attendance.  John has been a loyal supporter since we began and everyone was most appreciative.  Hopefully a new booklet on the topic will be ready for you to buy in January.

A special thank you to Antony Jones, whose talk on his family history research and his favourite relative was informative and highly engaging.  Several members gave short explanations of the material they had brought along for us all to share.  Thanks to everyone, especially Nadine for her excellent introduction.  Sadly, I forgot my camera, so there are no photos.

The village walk evening in August was blessed with sunshine - no rain - a miracle.  Forty of us strode around the lanes and byways, led by David Hart, who regaled us with fascinating anecdotes.  Many thanks, Dave.

The Mendip Morris Men provided music and dance at the Golden Lion - much enjoyed by all, including passers by.   The evening ended with supper, provided by the manager of the Lion.  A good way to end the year and prepare for the AGM in September.  Peter was snapping away.  A selection of his efforts are below.

        

  

Worle's ancient Church of St. Martin's welcomed the History Society on 5th May to bellringing practice. We were treated to amusing and informative talks from Jim Lampard and John Boorman. Visits to the ringing platform and the bell tower were safely negotiated and the displays of early records much enjoyed, but the highlight was the ringing. Pictures below. 

                      

Our Schools evening in April was an entertaining and busy evening.  Arthur Spencer and Terry Gilbert gave us laughter, happy memories and information.  Both headmasters brought along photographs and records  of life at Priory and St. Martins.  50 people went home with reminders of school days and more knowledge of education in Worle.  The displays were popular and created queues!  Photos below.

 

Members having a look!

Our 1940 night meeting was very successful.  Nadine's rationing food was very tasty, especially the carrot cake.  Luke Brown, our youngest fan, turned up clad in his best evacuee outfit and several members brought war memorabilia.   Thank you all for the contributions.

        

We welcomed 46 members and friends to our February meeting, when Dave Hart gave a illuminating talk on Worle's Lanes and Byways, illustrated with maps and photographs.  Dave has offered to collate the material into a book for interested parties to purchase.

Grateful thanks to everyone who came along to our Members' afternoon on 6th January.  The photographs, memories and documents were fascinating.

                                                   

    The members presenting their treasures to the rest of the society