A unique photographic record of Winsham in 1938

The Winsham Web Museum has obtained permission to reproduce a unique series of photographs belonging to Joyce Hayball. They present a picture of Winsham before the  changes in village way of life that occurred after  WWII. They are accompanied by a commentary that resulted from long conversations with Joyce and her life-long friend Marj Fowler, both now in their  eighties, and who have lived their lives in or around the village. These conversations have been supplemented by information from Richard and Anne Rose, Michael Hebditch, Bob Willman, Jennie Clampett and Stella Abbey and many other village people. It is hoped that the contents of this photographic record will attract further information about the village and the people who lived in the parish at that time.
     The photographs were taken in the summer of 1938 by Collie Burland, Joyce's uncle by marriage. Collie and his wife and children used to visit Winsham each year on holiday. Before the children arrived they used to come down from London on a tandem bicycle. On several occasions they also brought a friend in a sidecar attached to the tandem!
      Collie was a remarkable person. A working class lad,  he was born in 1905,  in the Notting Hill Gate area of London. As a child he attended the local L.C.C. Collie BorlandCouncil School and acquired an ongoing interest in Primitive Man. Unable to afford further education, he left school at 14 years of age. Later, and as a result of pursuing his interest in humankind's history, he was persuaded by a lecturer at the Natural History department of the British Museum  to apply for a job  as  an Attendant. He worked for the Museum for forty years, starting as what we would now call a porter. However, because of his interest and perseverance, he gradually rose through the  Museum's ranks and eventually acquired the status of a world class specialist in ancient Mexican pictorial manuscripts. He  was the author of a number of books with ethnological and anthropological themes, some of which are still available.

Life in Winsham in the years before World War II was by today's standards (2012) could be described as very basic. In 1938, none of the cottages had piped water supplies or mains drainage. The locally sourced water supply in the village was not considered safe by Local Authority standards until the mid-nineteen twenties, and mains water was supplied by stand pipes around the village and a pump by the Village Cross. The locations of the stand pipes can be easily seen in Back Street and Fore Street, and collected as needed in buckets or whatever containers were available. Waste also had to be disposed of  via a system of cess-pits.
Mains electricity was not generally available until the mid -1940s, although the Council Houses (Social Housing) built in the twenties and thirties had mains water, mains drainage and electricity. St.Stephen's, the Vicarage and Jubilee Hall had mains electricity in the mid thirties. The public telephone box on the corner of Church Street, Fore Street and Back Street was installed shortly before these pictures were taken in1938. Street lighting did not reach the village until 1993!
If you have information that can supplement the brief summaries that accompany the pictures, please pass it onto the Winsham Web Museum.
Ivy Cottage 1938rscomp

Ivy Cottage in Back Street in 1938 was the home of George Peadon noted for his cider making abilities. The Peadon family  lived there for many years, and the cottage provided two homes for the family, but in 1984 it was sold. Purchased by Steve Packham, a local Master Thatcher, Ivy Cottage underwent a major but sensitive renovation that included a new thatched roof. He and his family then lived in the house for some years. Click on picture above for  recent image. Note that the Porch (and front door)  and a Chimney have gone, and a different style of thatching has been used. The Sullivan family lived in Ivy Cottage from 1993 until 2006.
Gospel Hall Chapel House

Winsham's Gospel Hall was run by the Plymouth Brethren, a conservative Evangelical Christian movement. After WWII the Chapel was used less and less, and slowly fell into disrepair, and eventually sold for development. In 1984 , local builder, K.D.J. Slade & Sons carried out the rebuilding,  leaving in position some of the original walls. Since 1984 it has been owned by two families, originally the Smiths, and in 1996 the  Marcantonio family followed by their daughter Janet Sullivan in 2006.

For more information about the Gospel Hall
Click HERE
Church St
Shop & Church St

This view from the top of Church Street shows Mrs Charlie Churchill taking a lace bundle to the lace mending hut at the corner of Colham Lane and Back Street. The shop was owned by the Appleby's in 1938, in 2012 it is owned by the village through a system of village share holders. In 1938 the telephone had just been installed, and The Kings Arms was still a pub  being run by the Acklands. After Mr Ackland's death The Kings Arms ceased to be a pub, and was sold.
Lace Mending Hut

The Lace Mending Hut was purchased by George Peadon after WW1. It was used for occasional village 'hops' and weddings but also used  to distribute lace made in Chard by Giffords of Chard, to some twenty outworkers in the village who were employed to carry out post-manufacturing repairs prior to distribution to retailers, etc.
Lace repairs continued until it was demolished around 1953 ,  along with the tall brick barn seen at the far end of the hut, enabling the two bungalows now on the site to be built in the 1954 & 1964.
In its latter years , part of the Lace Hut was used as a practice room for the Winsham Band.
The  young girl in the picture is Joyce Hayball.
The tall building in the background was where the P
eadons made their cider. It was also where Jack Churchill conjured out of the air the first TV pictures to be seen in Winsham in 1946.
For more information about the Winsham Band
Click HERE

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