• David Lloyd

The Gillingham Historian June 2020

Updated: Mar 23

The Newsletter for Gillingham Local History Society and Museum June 2020 Vol.10 No. 7

This photograph above was featured on Bygone Dorset Facebook in mid May 2020.

The owner knew that her great-great uncle, William Penfold was on the back row, far left, and that he became the landlord of the Red Lion Hotel in Gillingham. The photograph was by Chas. Johnson of Gillingham but the date and venue were unknown. I established that it was taken at Wyke Hall probably between 1901 and 1910. William (b.1868) was at Wyke Hall in 1901 (Electoral Roll) and became landlord of the Red Lion in early 1910. I have researched William’s time in Gillingham but would be interested to know if anyone recognises a relative in the above photo.

The Census of 1901 for Wyke Hall details the staff as Lydia S Harding (41, a widow and nurse), Jane Passmore (40, cook), Selina Freere (33, parlour maid), Elizabeth Thomas (38, house maid), Violet A Rendell (20, under parlour maid), Blanche Shave (19, under house maid), Edith M Passmore (18, Kitchen maid). The 1901 Census for Wyke Hall Stables lists Frederick Cove (single,27, coachman), Charles C Bovey (single, 20, Groom) and Herbert Belgian (single, 26, helper and stables). The owners of Wyke Hall between 1898 and 1910 were Major and Mrs Birch (are they in the photo?) Replies to David Lloyd, please.

100 YEARS AGO Seaside Outing—Conducted by Mrs R Moore and Mrs Hosmer a party of 30 Bourton women parishioners and friends went to Weston-Super-Mare by motor char-a-banc. Starting at 7.00am the excursionists first paid a visit to Wells Cathedral, afterwards proceeding to Cheddar Caves. Weston being reached by mid-day. The return journey started at 7.00pm. Bourton being reached about 10.00pm. The weather was fine throughout, and a most enjoyable time was spent. (Western Gazette 11 June 1920)


The greatest of courageous acts

Are shown by those with clearest eye Of the grimmest of all certain facts – The knowledge they themselves could die

Yet who, undaunted, still proceed –

Own lives at risk and so aware – To nurse those in the greatest need Whom fate’s entrusted to their care

Each time they don a mask or glove They too confront the terror rife

Exists therefore no greater love

Than that of those who risk their life

Let those who follow not forget The selfless love each carer gave For we will, forever, be in debt To the bravest of the brave. Paul Hooley 2020

............................................................ We hope you are keeping well during the Coronavirus lockdown. We are only too aware of the sacrifices made by NHS staff to ensure those that are hospitalised receive the best treatment. The verses above written by Society Member, Paul Hooley recognises those carers.

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