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Somerset & Dorset
Family History Society

Nether Compton

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...

Collecting and Sharing Family Photos

On Saturday (19 March) we will be holding our first Photographic Project Open Day at our Family History Centre in Sherborne (for details see below) Barbara Elsmore describes her own rewarding search for family photographs which she will be adding to the SDFHS database Imagine my surprise last week when I was leafing through  A Dorset Camera 1855-1914 in the library at the SDFHS Family History Centre, and a photograph of my great grandfather, George Collings, leapt off the page at me He was...

Tracking down John Deacon – basketmaker in Bristol

Barbara Elsmore is researching the Deacon family of basketmakers  and here describes how enlisting the help of other SDFHS members helped her to track down a missing son On Saturday 16 May Barbara will be talking in Sherborne about basketmaking as an occupation in the first of our occasional series of events What did your Ancestors Do The other speaker will be John Damon on 'Families in the Utilities': full details I have just read Patricia Spencer's excellent article in the latest Greenwood...

Making Baskets for Saddlers

While researching items in Sherborne Museum for a forthcoming exhibition on basketmaking I came across a photograph, donated by a member of the Deacon family, who made baskets here in Sherborne and in the nearby village of Nether Compton over four generations The photograph says on the back 'Our Workshop and the baskets we are making for Saddlers' If you look closely at this photo, I am sure you will find this as exciting as I do because you can see that the photographer has clearly set up all...

Grandad’s spade – another object with a story to tell

Barbara Elsmore tells the story of another of her family treasures - one that won't fit into her box and which 'won't buckle'! It crept up slowly, the need to get the boxes of family photos and mementoes down from the loft where I had stashed them hastily following my mother's death three years previously I soon found myself transported back in time, when I found a photo of my brother Roger standing in the wheelbarrow belonging to my grandfather Arthur Collings in the garden of the old house...

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