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Hilltop History – Episode 6

Listen to episode 6 of Alfred’s weekly ‘Hilltop History’ show, presented by Elaine Barratt.

On this week’s show:

  • Claire Ryley continues with her selection of fifty objects at the Gold Hill Museum which tell Shaftesbury’s story. Claire tells Nick Crump about four items found at Hod Hill. “Each one sheds some light on what was happening at Hod Hill, about 2,000 years ago,” says Claire. One of the items is a Roman bronze shield. (00:54)
  • The Crown Incident at Fontmell – with Dave Hardiman. In May 1900, a thatcher and a shepherd were summoned to court for intimidating the village policeman at The Crown Inn. (12:41)
  • Rosie King features another woman of Shaftesbury Abbey. This week, she takes us back to 1217, when 9-year-old Henry III was on the throne. The King’s appointment of an abbess didn’t go down well. Sides were taken and the pope was brought into the argument. He appointed someone to adjudicate. “It sounds like a footballers’ wives’ demonstration,” observed Rosie. “Our Shaftesbury nuns were not all saints,” she remarks. (21:25)
  • Cath Toogood tells us about the ‘twinkly-eyed sage from Gold Hill’. It’s a poem about her father, Charlie Gumbleton, written by former town crier Stanley Mansbridge back in 1980. (28:00)
  • Brenda Crabbe was born at 77 North End and still lives in Motcombe. Brenda tells Chris Goodinge about her childhood in the village, including her days at the village school. In 1954, at the age of 15, Brenda went to work at the village’s egg-packing factory, Prideaux’s, as a telephonist. (30:37)
  • Alfred’s Bob Kelley has been looking into Motcombe’s parish death records. He’s discovered that Elizabeth Coward was buried in a woollen shroud in 1730. His research found that this was a requirement. Relatives of poorer villagers who could not afford the shrouds had to pay a fine and their records stated that the deceased was buried ‘naked’. Bob explains why this odd custom came about. (41:09)

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