Street End Exhibition
Great success for annual exhibition - this year it was Street End
I heard nothing but praise from the people I spoke to
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Sheila Johnson the committee chair and main researcher said that it was good to meet some new residents and to clarify some of what we know. The vestry minutes entry for cottages built on the Stone Gravel Pits generated a lot of interest.
We have now sold almost a third of our new copies of Volume 1.
Event organiser Jackie Kerly gave tribute to Sheila after a such a huge effort to prepare everything. People all seemed genuinely interested.
Thank you all - a very good weekend for the society!
John Burton from the Society Committee commented:
"Congratulations Sheila. A great deal of hard work. Extraordinarily thorough.
I am most definitely looking forward to the next months bringing together what certainly looks like a really intriguing story about an area of Blagdon that is full of twists and turns for the past 200+ years, with as much folklore and interest in the 20th Century as the previous one.
I heard nothing but praise from the visitors I spoke to. "
Sheila Johnson subsequently wrote:
Blagdon Local History Society welcomed over 100 visitors to its recent exhibition held over three days. There was plenty to see – in fact some people came back for a second visit. This year the displays were all about a part of the village known as Street End, an area encompassing Street End, Rhodyate and Street End Lane. Some of the oldest cottages in the village are to be found in this area: some small cottages have now been merged to form single dwellings, extended and renovated but with many of their original features remaining.
The Society’s archivist Sheila Johnson has amassed a large body of knowledge together with photographs, oral memories, newspaper cuttings and old maps, much of which was on display. Shops, a blacksmith’s forge, a beer house, notable residents, a Young Women’s Christian Association hostel and the well known Mendip Bungalow Hotel (now the HQ of Yeo Valley) all featured.
Residents with particular interest in a house or family
were pointed in the direction of census documents,
electoral rolls and the ever popular ‘Domesday Book’
compiled in 2000 with owners’ entries and photographs of
every house in the village. It was also very pleasing to add
to the archive with memories of childhood from some of
our senior visitors.
The Street End area was known for its many small
labourers’ or miners’ cottages which often housed large
families in very basic accommodation. The rumours of
‘sundowner’ cottages, when a man could build walls and a
fireplace in a day and then claim it as legally his, have not
been proved but recent research has suggested that in 1821
several homes were certainly built without permission,
irking the local Vestry. There is an ongoing project to find
out more about the area’s houses by looking at deeds and
documents of house owners. If you can add to our
knowledge, please get in touch.
The latest edition of Volume 1 of A History
of Blagdon, with several new chapters by Mary
and Sarah Mead, Sheila Johnson and others
was on sale for the first time, and will now be
available from the Society or Blagdon Village
PO and Stores.