Current projects & research interests
The Battle of Langport
In 2020 we sought permission from Huish Episcopi Parish Council to erect an information board about the battle in their car park at St Mary’s Church. The board, which is currently in production, will be half about the battle and half about the history of Huish Episcopi.
We are planning a second interpretation board about Bagehot, to complement the one in the Walter Bagehot Town Garden. It will be located in the churchyard of All Saints’ Church, where he is buried. We have obtained the requisite permissions from the Diocesan authorities and South Somerset District Council.
Our interest in this topic was sparked off by our collection of digital photos. We are trying to document the various triumphs of the Langport carnival. We have many photos of individual floats, but rarely does anyone put the names of the subjects and dates on the back.
We presented a display of carnival photos in Langport Library in November 2013. Many people were able to put names to some of the faces, and we can now begin to build up a picture of this lost community event. After the Library it spent a week in a local care home, Ashleigh House, in The Avenue, where it proved a popular talking point.
Our next task is to locate reports of each carnival in local newspapers, and use the descriptions to put dates to some of the images. Many carnival photos are in the Langport Carnival pages of the Langport History section.
Our past work
Not just names
Working in partnership with the Langport Branch of the Royal British Legion, we researched the life stories behind the names of the men who died in the First World War and are commemorated on the memorials of Langport and Huish Episcopi. We put an exhibition of our findings on display in All Saints’ church, and then in Langport Library. In 2018 we published our results in Not just names. Details are on our Publications page.
When we were gathering photos for our book, Langport & Huish Episcopi through time, we found some images of workers in the glove factory. We were intrigued, and wanted to discover more about it.
In 2013 we hosted a tea party for the self-styled ‘gloving girls’, bringing them together so that they could share their reminiscences and memorabilia with each other, and with us. A great success, this helped us to put names to faces in the photos we already had, and led to more contributions of photos and stories. In 2017 we were able to publish the results of our research in Hand in glove: Langport’s gloving history. Details are on our Publications page.
In 2012 we were asked to compile an interpretation board to be placed in the Town Garden, which the Langport Town Trust agreed to rename The Walter Bagehot Town Garden. More information, and an image of the board, can be found in the page on Interpretation Boards.
The pump that saved Langport
In 2011 the Town Council asked us to research the history of the Gwynne’s Invincible Pump, which they have had restored and put on display in the Town Garden. The work took us to Lincolnshire as well as the Somerset Heritage Centre, and we prepared an interpretation board and a leaflet. You can read more here.