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Somerset & Dorset
Family History Society

Graham Bendell

Tales of Local Railways

We were in for a treat as we assembled for two railway themed talks in the Raleigh Hall in Sherborne last Saturday This was the first time our talks were held in this hall and while we clearly regret leaving our Family History Centre in Sherborne, it was good that this, new to us, ground floor venue turned out to be so very convenient and pleasant With the emphasis on local history, the talks attracted many other people as well as members and we would all discover that underpinning these...

Washing Day

For centuries ‘Washing Day’ was always women's work and in cottages and houses up and down the country it was usually done on a Monday You may see the name 'Laundry Cottage' on your travels which reveals that this would have been an early and vital cottage industry This photograph of the laundry in the Dorset village of Nether Compton (by kind permission of Michael Goodden) was taken around 1904 and it shows in the foreground the long cottage where all the work was done and where the...

The Pasley Engine Company, Sherborne

On Saturday 21 November 2015 we held our second successful 'Sherborne's Industrial Archaeology' day, chaired by George Tatham and with talks on several fascinating topics by Barry Brock and Graham Bendell Here Graham summarises the history of William Henry Pasley and his Sherborne-based engine company William Henry Pasley was born in Ireland in the late 1850s By 1871 he was an apprentice ironmonger Clearly he learnt his trade well as, by 1881, he was an ironmonger employing five people in...

William Rowland – iron founder of Sherborne.

William Rowland, one of Sherborne's iron founders, whose name can still be seen on gratings around the town, featured in one of Graham Bendell's talks at our Industrial Archaeology Day on 22 November William Rowland was born in Bristol about 1840 By 1851 his family had moved to Salisbury where his father was in business as an engineer and iron founder employing three men William was working for his father in 1861 as an engineer An advertisement in The Western Gazette, dated 11th October 1867,...

Industrial Archaeology Day

Our last Saturday event of the year was a real tour de force by Graham Bendell and Barry Brock who described aspects of Sherborne’s industrial heritage in a series of short illustrated talks which contained a positive wealth of information ‘Industrial Archaeology Day’ (held at our Family History Centre in Sherborne on 22 November) was chaired by George Tatham who said in his introduction that the afternoon could only provide a ‘taster’ of the subjects to be discussed and that he...

Member and Guest Blogs Welcome

We welcome guest and member blog posts on any topic with a family history connection and invite you to send your contributions, which should include photo/photos, to the editor Barbara Elsmore