We have talks in Autumn & Winter and trips in Spring & Summer each year. For further details see the current Contact magazine (via the Bookshop page).
2020 Talks & Trips
Frome Society for Local Study (Registered Charity 292340): Annual Report and AccountsThe 61st Annual General Meeting of the Society was to be held virtually via Zoom on Saturday 31st October 2020. AGM Papers 2020
Many apologies but there now will not be a Zoom AGM on saturday 31st October as it has been decided by the Society Committee to cancel this virtual event. When we looked into the technical complications it seemed too much for us Zoom novices so we hope by next March we’ll be able to have a face to face AGM. However we will be having the Saturday afternoon zoom lectures as advertised in Contact and below.
We also pick up members at the Memorial Theatre on Christchurch Street West, at the Bus Stop Opposite to the Memorial Theatre, which will also be the returning drop-off point. The advertised Coach Departure Time is for the Rugby Club, to which ten minutes is added to determine the pick up time for the Memorial Theatre.
Guests pay £3 supplement. Please mention any dietary needs when you book and remember you are responsible for your own insurance.
TALK DETAILS FOR 2020
Sara (Chair of the FSLS Committee)
October 10th 2020. Nick Hersey – Emma Sheppard: Going where a lady should not go?
The talk will begin by describing the families of Emma Brown and her husband-to-be George Wood Sheppard and the way in which religion played an initial and ongoing explanation of the motivation of Emma Sheppard. The reasons behind the passing of the 1834 Poor Law and the concepts of the deserving and undeserving poor are also examined. The core of the talk will focus on Emma Shep- pard’s ‘small deeds of kindness’ and various groups that she sought to help: children, the elderly and prostitutes.
October 24th 2020. Murray Jacobs – Charles Darwin in Cambridge
November 7th 2020. David Wilkins – Schoolboy, Servant and GWR Apprentice
The talk is based on David’s 2017 book of the same name. It is edited from a personal memoir bought at auction in 2014. The memoir described the childhood and adolescence of a Somerset lad in the late 19th century.
Although it described real events, the memoir was written anonymously and detailed research was necessary to un- cover the identity of the original author – Alfred Plumley, born in Burrington in the Mendips in 1874.
The book tells Alfred’s story in his own words as he goes to the village school, becomes a boy servant at the “big house” and eventually goes off to seek his fortune with the Great Western Railway. David adds short sections and footnotes describing the socio-historical context for the events in Alfred’s life.
Using photographs from the book, David’s talk will tell Al- fred’s story. David will also describe the ‘detective work’ necessary to identify Alfred and will talk about the editing process that was required to turn Alfred’s original words into a book.
December 5th 2020. Yvette Staelens – The Lost Somerset Singers
In August 1903 when Cecil Sharp was visiting his friend, the vicar of Hambridge, near Langport, he heard the gardener, John England sing ‘The Seeds of Love’. This was a catalytic moment, and for five years Cecil spent nearly every day of his spare time in Somerset travelling hundreds of miles by train and bicycle, meeting more than 300 singers and me- ticulously collecting and recording more than 2,000 tunes in his notebooks. Yvette Staelens has for many years re- searched the work of Cecil Sharp, and in 2004, with the help of the Somerset County Council, she published the Somerset Folk Map. Yvette also organises the Voice of the People Community Choirs and singing workshops and in this talk, will be telling us about the story of Cecil Sharp in Somerset and singing some of the songs that he collected from local people, who he also photographed. Copies of the Somerset Folk Map and CDs for sale can be found on her web site http://www.yvettestaelens.
December 19th 2020. Peter Clark – Winston Churchill and the West of England
There are thousands of books written about Winston Churchill. The Society’s former Chairman, Peter Clark, is adding to the literature with an unexplored angle. He has written about the places in the UK (including Ireland) that have some association with him. Churchill’s Britain: from the Antrim Coast to the Isle of Wight is being published by Haus in September 2020. Peter will focus on Churchill’s associations with Somerset and Bristol. He will talk about Churchill’s first political speech, where he was publicly whipped by a suffragette and will illustrate some lesser known aspects of the Churchill story.
Zoom lectures are new territory for both Frome Society and for some of our lecturers. There might be problems as we learn but please bear with us. A decision on whether the talks after Christmas will be by Zoom or face-to-face will be taken later and members notified in December.
The following talks have been planned and will happen either by Zoom or in person: Stephen Lisney – Doris Hatt: Revolutionary Artist; Michael Davis – Adelard of Bath; Amy Frost – William Beckford: The Extraordinary Collector
A trip to Southampton for the Mayflower 400 was planned for September 2020, this had to be cancelled but it is hoped that we will be able to run this trip in 2021. Tudor House Museum have organised a Zoom-only talk which we plan to show.