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Frome Society Yearbook 21

Frome Society Yearbook 21 has just been published. 

The format is similar to previous years with a series of articles about Frome and its people interspersed by interesting anecdotes, and is beautifully illustrated; the front cover shows an outline of Boadicea, cast by Singers of Frome, against a backdrop of Big Ben highlighted by the night sky.

Eunice Overend, better known for her championing of badgers, describes the night when she helped to save Exeter Cathedral from total destruction during a Baedeker raid in 1940. Michael McGarvie gives an entertaining history of the garden at Longleat House including the instructions given to his gardener by Sir John Thynne in the 1540s. John Moxon recounts the changes in transport through the ages and how they have influenced both the methods and cost of travelling. This is followed appropriately by a description and photographs of all the surviving milestones in and around Frome by Janet Dowding. 

Life in the first half of the 19th century is recalled in Thomas Green’s diary of 1827 when he travelled from Nottingham to Frome and describes the life of successful non-conformist clothiers. On a walk with her dog, Shelagh Fleming discovered an isolated aqueduct which led to her   research on the branch of the Dorset and Somerset Canal which would have enhanced Frome had it been completed. 

There are two murder stories: Henry Cuzner killed another boy in Frome and, after he was released from prison, led an itinerant life until his death at 41 in Chicago. Peter Corbett describes the eventful day in 1861 when a young man from Buckland Dinham was murdered by his uncle on the way back from a day’s haymaking in Codford, east of Warminster.

David Smart analyses the ownership of a terrace of three cottages in Trudoxhill and shows the close relationships that existed in a late 19th century village, while there is an interesting article on the first camera club in Frome, although, apparently, it did not survive.

The difficulties of the suffragette movement in Frome are described by Janet Howard, while Peter Williams recalls Frome in the 1950s. John Payne’s walk to a derelict farm  gives rise to an enchanting poem of lost memories.

The book was designed by Cliff and Janet Howard and edited by Alastair MacLeay; it costs £10 and is available from the Hunting Raven Bookshop, Frome Museum, directly via the Frome Society website www.fsls.org.uk or from Alastair MacLeay, telephone 01373 836595. 

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