Helen Forsey (Blagdon Farm, Drimpton)






It is a very poor recording with a great deal of extraneous noise, laughter, and two or more people often talking at the same time.  Many unfinished sentences, etc.

MF = Mrs. Forsey

JC = Jenny Cuthbert

DH = Duncan Harris

JC  This is Duncan Harris and Jenny Cuthbert talking to Mrs. Forsey of Blagdon Farm whose family used to farm in Melplash.

MF  No, not farm.  They had the Post Office and many years ago my grandfather was a carpenter, basically, made wagons.  And that was at the lower……. well its derelict now isn’t it?  The bottom end of Melplash.  It was a garage.

DH  That’s the one they’re rebuilding?

MF  I think they’re going to do something totally different with it now.

JC  So that was where he had his workshop?

MF  That was a photo of it.

DH  Oh brilliant.

JC  Oh my goodness me.

MF  And that will be about a hundred years ago I expect.  Because he died in 1913.

JC  And the name on it, C.E……….. is it Bagley?

MF  Yes, that a  firm at Bridport that he made a wagon for.  Or perhaps repaired it, I don’t know.

JC  And is he in that photograph?  (unclear text) of this………..?

MF  He’s there is he? Yes, that’s right.  But I don’t remember him, died long before I was born.

JC  What was his name?

MF  Cozens.  I only just discovered when I was looking up all these things on Sunday.  I thought, oh that’s a photograph of the same, but it must have been in, well in the late 1850s …….

JC  Because the windows are different aren’t they?

MF  The whole thing is totally different.  And that is previous because I …….

DH  Thin building.

  (unclear text)

MF  It’s a thin building.  It’s the same thing but there’s a name, well I had my magnifying glass, I could see it was ‘Trevor’ written there and that was the previous people.  Actually, my grandfather did an apprenticeship for them at Melplash.

DH  Which would have been?

(unclear text)

MF (Whispering)  I don’t know when.  A long time ago.  1870s, something like that.  Then he went away for a bit and then this Mr. (?) retired and he came back and took over the business.

JC  This is a very early photograph  (unclear text)  look how clear it is.  That’s what’s amazing about some of these old photos, how incredibly clear they are.

DH  What we’re going to ask, at some stage, I can see it from a mile off.  Would you permit us to take these away to scan them?

MF  Yes,  I am sure you could.  ‘Cos its marvellous how they can be brought up now isn’t it?

DH  Yes, that will come up very well actually.

JC  Duncan has ben involved in scanning, well, he’s tried to do all the old photographs we have in the museum that people have given us.  But, when you see things, I mean we’ve got nothing like this of Melplash at all

MF  If you want to take it out you can but I imagine it’s been in there for well over a hundred years.

DH  All being well it should be all right in the frame. 

MF  You could do it through the glass could you?

DH  All being well.  We’ve certainly done some before….. if I can’t do it at the museum I can certainly do it on my computer at home.

MF  Can you?  Right.  Yes, this has been (sitting?) in it’s frame a long while.

DH  Better not to take it out.

(unclear text) (Laughter)

MF  When that has gone, no-one is going to want it really.  I mean, my sons haven’t got any interest in Melplash, they’ve always lived round here you know.  

JC  I think this is one of the things with photographs, that while someone can tell you what they are and who they are, they are interesting.  And, of course, some of the ones that we’ve been given – we have a pile of photographs with no writing on it so we don’t know who they are, we don’t know when they were taken.  But having somebody who can tell us what these were is fantastic. 


(unclear text)


I don’t know where we start now …………………..

(unclear text) (lots of laughter and noise)

MF  That I only turned out this morning I see is a picture of Melplash Court in 1910 it says on the back.

DH  Who lived there then?

MF  Ah …..

JC  It’s a photograph by Richard Hine.   

(unclear text) (Laughter)

MF  That is something I’ve only discovered today.   (Laughter)

DH  We lived in Hooke for nine years and there’s two photographs in the church, of the church, one in 1870 and one in 1900 both by Richard Hine.

MF  And I imagine that was before the Court was extended……….

DH  Yes it looks a bit like it.  Yes.

MF  It was actually, I think it, well I’m sure at that time it was a working farm.


DH  Well, of course, it has had …….

MF  I don’t know how much you’ve gone into the history of the Court?

DH  I’ve just been writing a history of Hooke and ……………….

MF  No, I’m afraid I don’t know anything about that.

DH  And the Marquis of Winchester (?) and Hooke Court at the time of, and I’ve got to rack my brains now, yes, the time of Henry, Elizabeth, Mary, and he managed to serve all of them I think if my memory’s right……. but his son went to Melplash Court and they were catholics.  His son was a catholic.

MF  Yes, I don’t know anything about the history of the Court.

DH  So  it’s been there for quite a while.

MF  It’s one of those things that I thought it just came down to being an ordinary farm.

DH  That’s exactly what happened to Hooke Court.

MF  Yes.

DH  In the 19th Century, yes, seems to be common.  Yes.  Right.

MF  I don’t know what else I’ve got here.  There’s some very old photographs of Melplash Court.  

(some very unclear and jumbled text follows for quite a while)

JC  And they’ve got all the names on the back.

MF  Oh, that would  have been my aunt.  She would ………….. (unclear)

JC  Oh, these are the people we like best who put these names ………… (unclear)

MF  And you can read them?

JC and DH  I can, yes.  Frederick Samways and Willoughby Travers, what a good name.  Bertie Gilpin, Harry Marsh, Edward Walbridge, 

MF Betty’s got clear writing.  Yes we’re all right. 

JC  That’s lovely.  You don’t have a date on there but ………

MF  Oh isn’t there?  Isn’t there a date on the back one?

JC  This one’s 1905

MF  Oh, is one of the boys and one the girls?  

DH  Yes.

JC  Right, yes.  So one would assume , and they’re in the same mount.  Oh look at the girls with their little pinafores and posies……………  But again you’d probably have some of the names that go on and on in Melplash, the family…….

(unclear text and extraneous noise

DH  This will be a big bonus for Pam?

JC  Yes.  Another of the museum volunteers is actually doing some work on the history of Melplash herself.  We’re hoping to have some information …….

DH  Seems to be focusing on Melplash Court.

MF  Oh, is she?  (unclear text) I don’t know of anyone still in Melplash, you know that I can think of who has…………..

JC  Then again, they’re so beautifully clear aren’t they?

DH  They are.  Would you want those included (in their time ? (unclear) ?

JC  I don’t know.  It’s very difficult isn’t it.  

MF  Of course they’ll all have been dead many years, these people.

DH  A hundred years ago

(Extraneous noise and unclear speech)

MF  I mean the L.M. Cozens was my aunt you see and she was actually teaching then.  She was the one who ran the Post Office afterwards.

JC  So is she in either of those photographs?

MF  Yes, she is.  In both of them I think.

JC  Mrs. Townsend was the headmistress and (I can’t read that first name) Cozens?

MF  L.M.  

JC  Oh, L.M. Cozens teacher.  

MF ….. that would go with that……. when my mother and (?) were at school they were two of the little ones.

in the front so that will be abut 1890?  But there aren’t any names.  

(noise and unclear speech)

JC  But that’s really nice isn’t it.  You’ve got the name of the Crewkerne photographer there.  Absolutely amazing.

MF  That’s another one without a date.  I think that they are all Melplash aren’t they because the windows………

JC  Yes, you can tell the windows…..

MF  But I had some which I realised were Netherbury because they also went to Netherbury School later and then my mother taught at Netherbury so I had to sort out ………… I went by the window ……… I think this window ……….

DH  So your aunt was the teacher, then ran the Post Office?

MF  Well, there were two of them.  Two sisters………………… (unclear text)


Well that’s one of Melplash School without a date. That’s my other aunt there.  

DH  Oh, the teacher?

MF  The teacher, yes.

JC  So that’s ……..

DH  Back about the same period?  Beginning of the 19th Century? 

MF  Yes, looks like it.   (unclear text)  Wilf (?) would it be?  No, it hasn’t got a date

DH  In fact, I would have said, should have been later.  I might be wrong.

MF  Difficult to say…..

JC  You’ve got the sailor’s suit…….

DH  Well, the sailor’s suit….. my mother wore sailor’s suits (laughter).  She was born in 1899.  So yes, it would be about the same time, just before the First World War.

MF  Yes, possibly.  This is a photo you may be interested in………….  because I wouldn’t have known what it was ….. except it says on the envelope …………………….(unclear text)  

JC  Our vicarage burnt down 1882.

MF  And that is a photograph.  It’s a very bad one.

JC  But that’s interesting because that, to me, is a photograph of a drawing.  (unclear ?) did a photograph of a drawing.

MF  Oh, yes.  I hadn’t sort of registered what was on the back.

JC  Oh, how spooky.  That’s the address it’s been sent from is Banstead, where my brother lives.  (Laughter)  Yes, my brother lives there in Surrey, Banstead, Epsom.   Well, the old vicarage…..

MF  Oh.  Probably my (?) hasn’t looked on the back.  


JC  Yes, but that is….. I’m almost certain.   Duncan, if you look at that I think you’ll find that’s a photograph – that postcard has been made from a drawing.

(unclear text)

DH  You might get something out of that……..

MF  ? with that.  That was, that was the Kingsworth Barn wasn’t it which was the Vicarage at that time.  That was the one they built.

JC  And that’s 1908.

MF  Melplash Vicarage.  The one that replaced.   That’s before they built the present Vicarage.

DH  That’s where the Nursing Home is now.  Next to the church?

(jumbled text)

MF  No.  That is down the lane towards Oxbridge.  It’s on the right isn’t it.  Just before you get to the Court.  it was such a long walk wasn’t it?

JC  Yes, it wasn’t near the church.

MF  Not really, no.  Not at all.  And that was where the old one was.  The same place you see.  Which was burnt down and that replaced it.

JC  But again, it’s strange that it would be so far from the church wouldn’t it because normally……….

MF …….think better of it later (laughter)

JC  Because obviously they put it next door.

DH  The new one that’s there, that’s the nursing home?

MF  It’s now a nursing home…?…(unclear text)

DH  So when you talk about school.  Is that the bulding that’s next door to the church?

MF  Between the church and the pub.  That’s right.

DH  And the bell is still on it.

MF  Is it?

DH  Yes, because I went in the other day to borrow a picture of……. I’ve lost his name ………… the person who paid for the building of Melplash Church which was ……………….

MF  Mr. Bandinell.

DH  That’s right.  I borrowed that from………… and we’ve got that as well, a copy of that as well which is in the church and it’s a tinted photograph.  Quite fascinating and it’s had bits added to it so there’s the photogaph and someone’s drawn a bit of an arm on the side (unclear text) top and the side, its’s added, not part of the photograph.  Quite fascinating.  So you have an arm but no hands.  The arm extends on this particular drawing.  Quite fascinating.  (Laughter)

MF  That’s a general view of the…… I ‘dunno’ ….. which is the same as this one …………

JC  Do we have any photographs, any postcards, of Melplash?   I don’t think we have you see. 

(unclear text)

MF  My aunt, she was a great one, this is the same photograph and she’s written down there……

JC  The first three cottages on the right were condemned and allowed to fall into ruin, finally demolished in 1949.  The fourth was restored and modernised in 1948.  Is this Slade, or…….?  I can’t read that.

MF  Oh, Horsehill Farm  to (heaven? unclear) that’s who.

JC  Oh, Horsehill.  I know where that is.  Stoke Abbott driving horse and wagon.  These are absolutely lovely because we don’t have any photographs do we of Melplash at all and it’s lovely when you get someone who writes information down.

MF  You can have ……….. then that is not the same as that …………….

JC  No, they are different.

MF  I suppose you’d rather have the old one?

JC  No, we’d rather copy both of them if we may.

DH  Do you want me to copy, or are you going to copy down that?

JC  If I may copy that one down. And so this is, with horse and cart, and if I read it out properly on here  

First three cottages on the right were condemned and allowed to fall into ruin.  Finally demolished in 1949.  The fourth was restored and modernised in 1948.  Mrs. Slade of Horsehill Farm, Stoke Abbott, driving the horse and wagon.  (unclear text)  But that’s interesting because you have the same view.

DH  So the end cottage in that ……. is the one that’s now on the corner where the road goes up to the new houses?  That’s the one that now stands proud on the corner and there’s a road goes up here now.

(jumbled text)

MF  No, that’s the top end which you don’t ………….. This one, which you can’t see all of, is where the lane goes up.

DH  So that’s the one that’s still there.

MF  It’s still there and that, I can tell you, years ago was the paint shop which my grandfather used with his business.   Is where the paint……….. Because people used to call it Paint Shop Lane which I don’t think they do now.  But that lane leads up to the council houses now.

JC  I’ve seen the name Paint Shop Lane somewhere.  

MF  That’s why.  Because that building on the corner was the paint shop.  It’s not in the picture quite is it?

JC  Because its interesting where you’ve got the two different houses here, one while it’s still got its thatch on and one where it’s been replaced.

MF  So it is.  Now I hadn’t noticed that.


There’s so much when you start looking at these photographs.  (unclear text)  And there’s this thing I noticed in, which one, this one there, it looks as if it was a thatched house by the road.

JC  Yes indeed.  Where there’s a twisted tree in the photograph – one of the framed photographs – and you

can just see the thatch of a building opposite.

DH  Oh Yes.

MF  By the road, that must have been, well 1880 at the latest.

DH  So that’s the old one.

JC  You’ve obviously been looking closely at these since you got them out (Laughter) (unclear text

MF  Well I’ll put those two on top….  (jumbled text and noise)

Because, by having the Post Office, the aunts, they used to sell picture postcards of Melplash so, of course, I’ve got quite a selection of them I think.  (Jumbled and unclear text) That would have been…..

JC  Do you want me to put a little slip of paper in here to say what we’ve taken out so you can put it back,

or you’ll know its…….

MF …..put it back in the right place  (unclear) They’ll be some of the ones that they sold, general views.

JC  Yes, now these are all inscribed, one of The Court, Melplash, right on the bottom, and it says ‘copied from Mr. Porter’s, August 1911’ by …………   Hyde & Morris (?)(unclear)

MF  You see I didn’t realise that was on the back of there but I can tell you this Mr. Porter(?) at…….. my family …… although it was my mother’s family who lived at Melplash.  My father’s family, who were Samways who were farmers lived at what is the Court Farm which is where Mr., oh, what’s his name?

DH  Just died recently?

MF  Buckler?  

DH  Oh right.  Right, I’m with you.  Yes, the farm.

MF  The farm.  They were there for two or three –  that’s obviously where he met my mother and this Mr. Porter was a friend of theirs who came down from London and he was a photographer.  He stayed with my father’s family and he took a lot of photographs, family photographs mainly, of the district.

JC  And clearly these were then made and copied and made into postcards?

MF  Yes.  Unfortunately I don’t know if you saw, back before Christmas, in the Bridport News, the people, well I can, who now live ……..

JC  Yes I think we all saw it ….. (Laughter) ..because the ones that recorded the story ………..

MF  I contacted them because that’s where my family lived you see and they came to see me before Christmas and I have let them have photos which he couldn’t let me have because I’m supposed to go and see them and see what he’s done with the house but I’ve just not got there yet. So he has quite a lot of photos still which I can get back if you’re interested?


JC  Well, a some stage, when you have them back I’m sure we would like to copy them.  But they must have been very thrilled when you eventually contacted them to say ……………. 

MF  I could show them a lot of …..because as I say a lot of them actually taken by this Mr. Porter, there were a lot of pictures of that.

JC  Was this one of Mr. Porter’s ones do you think?  And who were the people in those?  Because……….

MF  That was my grandparents.  That was ….? … 1911.  Because that’s when he seemed to have taken a lot of photos, that’s when he came to stay. 

DH  Where are we in Melplash, is this the same building?

MF  That’s the same building.

DH  I thought it was, right.

MF  And the Post Office.  There’s this row of houses just above there, is where the Post Office was the middle one of that for many years.  Somewhere, it’s written in here………….. Oh yes.

JC  The Post Office held from March 2nd, 1897 by T. Cozens and members of his family.  (silence for a while)  Does it still have the porch, the house?  I think it does.

MF ……. put another one in, ? the original perhaps.

JC  I don’t think it’s quite that shape.

MF  It was the Post Office until aunt, when did she…….?About 1952 she gave up the Post Office.

JC  May we copy that one as well?  Is that one of your family as the post person there, or is that someone who just did a round for them?

MF  Just a local postman who did the rounds from there I think.

JC  And that was marked on the back 1944.  I don’t know what it is, just a code number.   But it will be useful then to be able to put it with that information.

DH  And that one?

MF  You’d like to borrow that one.  Oh right, no that’s the one, that’s the one actually that the Bridport News might (jumbled text and unclear) He copied that off from………….. but I also have one which he’s got at the moment which, it is quite a mystery because it looks exactly the same time, not the same day, my grandmother was wearing the same dress (with us?)  in the background and it is a motorised mail van  so we think one was the last day of the horse one – that’s a motor one isn’t it, and this one was a horse.

And we think it must have been on the take over but, of course, we don’t know.

JC  So we may need to………………?  (very jumbled text, unclear)  This was the one he sent to the Bridport News wasn’t it?

MF  I think it was

JC  So we’d need to ask his permission if we can copy it.

MF  I’ve got a copy of the same.  I’ve got a copy as well.  (Laughter)

(jumbled text, etc.)

DH to JC  Do you want the modern one?

JC to DH  Well, it would be quite nice if we could.  Keep the modern one with it.   Again, it’s nice for anybody  who wants to see it to compare.  But this one with the red mail van.

MF  That was taken in the May 

JC  2004 when the road was closed.  I remember reading about it.  They took the opportunity to….. but again we’ll make sure that goes back to you as well.  What I will do is, I have a special form and I write down exactly what we’ve borrowed but then you have a copy and we have a copy and we know we’ve got to give them back to you.  (Laughter) (Jumbled text for some time)  That was the Centenary, but you’ve probably got that sort of thing.

DH  I don’t think so. (Laughter)

JC  You’re going to be very busy Duncan.  You’re never going to leave that little computer at the museum.

JC and DH talking together about scanning and copying the photographs for quite a long time.  (unclear)

JC  That’s an interesting postcard isn’t it?

DH  I see, yes.  I’ve got which direction it is now.  

JC  It’s a strange design of church.  I always think it looks a bit like an Italian shape.

DH  Now that is wonderful on the back………….. (Laughter) 

(unclear text)

MF ? ……….my family history

DH  No, it’s not, it’s about the church.

JC  Christ Church, dedicated October 20th, 1846, organ opened about 1903.  Heating apparatus first used Christmas Day 1909, cost £70.  Part new churchyard taken in 1904, new standard lamp Easter 1906.  First banner 1925.  Wonderful, little potted history there.  On the back of a postcard.

MF  My family were very good weren’t they.

DH  On the bits………………….  (phone rings in background making following text unclear) That church, as I understand it, was built because it was expected  there would be a lot of people coming to Melplash I think to work in the Flax…………. and then it died…..  and never ………..?

JC  Well, that’s a lovely little piece of history.

MF, DH and JC all talking together. (unclear text for some time)

MF  I think there might be more inside the packet.   (Laughter)  I don’t know what it is, whether it’s anything………

JC  Oh, that’s about the late Mr. Trevett 

MF  He’s the one who had …. …..(unclear)

JC  Melplash celebrations 100 years ago.  Arthur James Shiner of The Laurels, Whitcombe Road, Beaminster.

DH  Oh that’s Miss Shiner’s father I think.

MF  Uncle.  (Extremely noisy and several people all talking and laughing at once.  Very unclear text)

I think I’d better let you have the whole book.


DH  See, that’s inside.  You’ve been inside recently Helen?

MF  I’ve been inside recently since they altered it

JC  So its completely different?

MF  I mean, I was married in Melplash Church before it was altered.

JC  These are just marvellous

MF  I knew a lot of them just personally because about a hundred years ago, it would be, postcards seemed to be the in thing when they were, sort of young, you know, sort of teenagers.

JC  Nice sort of fancy dress ones in the car which we……………..

MF  That would have been at Melplash I think.

DH  You’re going to keep me occupied for several weeks.  (Laughter) (unclear text)

MF  I don’t know really where to look.  picked out most of the Melplash ones again……  I mean…. probably I’ve got some here – choir outing………..

DH  Ah yes.  Now, doesn’t say on the back so I’ll put that charabanc…………..

JC  Choir outing.  Difficult to say where it is, could be Sidmouth or Seaton maybe?  Possibly?

MF  Probably Weymouth I think.   That’s where they usually went.

DH  That’s what I gather was the usual route.  And that, is that solid tyres?  Oh, yes I think it is.  See it could be 20s I would think.

MF  Yes I think it would have been before ’24 because my mother was there so it was before she was married.

DH  And that’s the same again isn’t it?

MF  No, I think that was probably a different year.

JC  Yes, it’s different people and, in fact, the headwear if you look is different Duncan.  These are much more of a flat style cap and straw boaters which are very different to the trilby style….

MF  Oh so there may be several years between.

DH  Yes, but the vehicle is the same 

JC  The vehicle is the same vehicle but there is certainly a difference in date I would think by the headwear.  Penny Ruddock might know ………..   (unclear name).  We have a lady who also volunteers at the museum and she was the Curator of the Museum of Costume in Bath.  She recently did a little talk on how you tell the age of photos by what people wear.

MF  I don’t know how fashion conscious they were in that time.

JC  She seemed to think that the people got the fashion a lot quicker than we imagined.  She suggested that………. I always thought that perhaps they’d be wearing things a decade out of date….. but particularly the women got them quickly.  That is fascinating.  But they clearly went to exactly the same places because the position of the house is the same.

DH  Is this another of the wagons?  

MF  No, (unclear text)…..the farm where Mr Buckler owned everything around, that was the farmhouse.  This is at the time my father lived there you see 1911, that would have been the front of the house then. But it’s different as it appears now because it’s not thatched anymore is it.

JC  It’s interesting to look and see how the thatch is very different then because it’s like in thin lines along.  It’s different to modern thatching.  There’s some old pictures of Beaminster where some of the houses have thatch that looks like that.  

MF  That was at the back……….

JC  Was that the same house?

MF  The same house yes.

JC  And that’s with the horse and wagon.  A lovely wagon.  

DH  Two horses isn’t it?  Am I right?  No it isn’t.  Somebody holding a horse’s head.  I’m looking at a……….

Is that Melplash as well?

MF  That’s, so that would be, not the same time obviously, but that’s taken from there looking back towards ? see that’s across the road, which – I don’t think that’s thatched now is it?  I can’t remember, don’t know who lives there.  But I’ve lost touch because since my family went, which was about 1969, I sold the house so you see I’ve lost touch with anything to do with Melplash now.

JC  Yes, we’ll have to have a look closely there Duncan.  There’s an inscription on the ……………

DH  There’s an inscription on the cart but whether we’ll get anything out I don’t know.

JC  No, but we could have a look with a glass.

DH  This is the school again is it?

MF  Yes, that’s another of my aunts with her infants.  That would have been early ’30s because they were all about my age.  (Laughter)


JC  Marvellous.  Look at that.  Again, look at the change in clothing and so on, it’s really interesting.  A striking woman.

MF  I think I started off wearing a pinafore when I went to school.  (Laughter)

DH  Mmmm.  I went during the war  (Laughter) (confused text)  Funny little peaked cap thing………..

JC  And short trousers…..

DH  And short trousers, grey.  That was when I  went to (?) school.    Eight.

(confused text, laughter, etc.)

JC  Yes, I think any of these. These are really interesting because in fact we don’t, I don’t think we have any local postcards of Melplash at all.  So these are so interesting because we just don’t have any.  There may be some in the late curator’s box of photos we haven’t ……….. (confused text)…… But this is 1928, the church and rectory.

DH  There’s the Court looking across the grounds.

MF  Oh that’s the, excuse me, it’s written down along the……..

JC  It has, along the edge there

MF  August 1911.  That’s when many of those sepia coloured photographs would have been taken. 

(general talk about photos, very unclear as obviously looking and talking at the same time)

JC  Looking across the fields .  It looks like there’s a fire in the corner of the field, smoke coming across.  I’m sort of trying to pinpoint it so that we can date it from the tape.

MF  Oh there you are, must have been a choir trip to……

JC  Visiting Gough’s Cave.

MF  1925

JC  Cheddar Gorge.

JC  Oh look, that…..  Choir trip to Glastonbury, Wells and Cheddar.  July 1925.  

DH  Isn’t the same vehicle again is it?

JC  I don’t think…..  (unclear text) ….. The other one had those funny little handles.

MF  It would be a bit later.  Those others were before that.  That is planting the tree at, although it doesn’t say on the back, at Jubilee……. Coronation.  That’s the Hon. James Best…….

JC  Is that 1953 would you say, Coronation?

MF  It could have been our Queen’s Coronation, it could have been one of the ones before I think.

JC  Looks a little like 1950s.  Perhaps, it’s difficult.

MF  Yes, I think it probably was.

DH  Is that Rupert’s father or grandfather?

MF  Grandfather.

DH  Grandfather.  Yes.  Because his father was an admiral wasn’t he?

MF  Yes, Toller Best.  Yes, that’s right.  (unclear text and noise) Oh what’s these.  Melplash     ? which, if you haven’t got it you’ll want it. 

JC  Well, no, this is where again it’s so interesting …………… this one’s dated 1932,

MF  I mean that’s when we were first married .  Yes, that’s when it was posted so……… That’s a funny one with the church all up in the corner.  

JC  That’s a photograph, isn’t it.  It’s printed in a postcard format.  Very nice picture actually showing the field shapes and so on around it.


(unclear text)

………. shall I put it there.

MF  If you want it.  Oh I’m not sure. Is this, I had one somewhere of the new vicarage.  I’m not sure if this is the same place.  I mean not the new………… the middle one Laughter) no, the middle one.

JC  The middle vicarage (Laughter)

(unclear text)

MF  Is that the same house because if so it’s a better picture.

JC  Yes it is the same house.  So this is a better picture of the 1908…. 

DH  And it has people in front, both have people in front.

JC  Would you know who the people are or do you not?  Are they not relatives?

MF  So, no, it wouldn’t be relatives.

JC  The vicar.  Brilliant.   I’ll put those two together so we can keep them.

MF  I thought that could have been taken from the top of Warren’s Hill but ….

JC  That is very similar to this little range isn’t it?


MF  Yes, and that is taken looking down at Barbridge Farm. 

JC  You can see all the stooking in the field

DH  How do you spell that?

MF  Barbridge? (spells it out) which is up the lane on the left as you go up through the lower part of the village.

DH  It’s the front and back of that isn’t it?  

(long period of unclear text)

JC  It’s really kind of you to trust us with us with your………….

MF  Well, it’s quite nice that someone is interested to keep them.  I never throw anything away.  Why do I keep it?

JC  But it’s so interesting.  Because. you see one photograph, I mean Duncan is getting a good overview of exactly what’s in the collection now and one leads you to another and you think ‘Ah, yes………now’…

JC and DH talk about scanning the photos, etc.

(unclear text)

JC  I mean, one of the things that Duncan is hoping to do is, which is forward planning over the next couple of years…..(unclear

DH  1997

JC  2007!   Is to have a book, to try and publish a book of photographs of Beaminster and the surrounding villages from the collection and the photos that we have in the museum, and so, he could include some of the Melplash ………. (unclear text) …..but I do think that there are pictures here that would fit wonderfully in a book of the surrounding villages.

MF  And it’s so good now that you can enhance them ………..

JC  And I think that’s what will make it so interesting because you said this would extend it to Melplash which I don’t think we would have been able to do anything with.

DH  No, we wouldn’t.

JC  But, lovely and crisp…………….

DH  Yes.  But that might even come out a little bit crisper.

JC  Really.  Lovely.  We even know what hymns they were singing.

DH  Was it English Hymnal or was it Ancient & Modern?

MF  I think it was Ancient & Modern you know.  (Laughter)

DH  Depends on whether its High Church or Low Church.

MF  I think it was Ancient & Modern.  That…….I can’t put the year……….. it would be ……the vicar and his churchwardens so I expect it’s a Harvest Supper.  It was when….. my Aunt Alice was there, and it was not long before she died because she’s looking very elderly.

JC  Is this your aunt here, in the floral print top?

MF  That’s right and she died in ’68?  In the 60s.  I mean these are just all the things I remember…………


JC  So, which initials was this aunt?

MF  She was Alice.  There is actually a memorial to her in the church, a plaque.  (unclear)

JC  Unless someone’s taken it away.(Laughter)

MF  Because she was organist for many years.

(unclear text)

DH  Do we know the name of the vicar then or not?

MF  I do but it’s just not coming.  (Laughter)

(unclear text)

JC  What I’ll do, I’ll write out a receipt to say that we’ve borrowed it all.  Oh, we have to.  I’m the lady in charge of the paperwork. It’s very important.  (Laughter).  We get shot if we take things into the museum that we can’t account for.  And the way we go some days I don’t think we manage to account for some things.  (Laughter)  I think the photographs have been a bit of a headache haven’t they Duncan for you?  Because I’ve only been helping at the museum for a couple of years and there’s been boxes of things brought in and photographs and so on – well, people haven’t sat down and talked, or written on the back or whatever and you think ‘Where have these come from?  What are they?’

DH  Then you have to ask an elderly person in Beaminster, whose memory may not be as good as it was, so you’re not quite sure whether you’ve got the right answer.

(Clarification of whether Blagdon Farm is Broadwindsor or Beaminster)

(A lot of unclear discussion about the photographs to be taken away, size, descripltion, etc)