GMS Notes #30 - December 2010

Once more the snow has prevented me from getting photos of wild flowers, so I have taken a couple of pictures of the snow.



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Last Month's Meeting

A very successful AGM saw the election of John Bowsher as chairman and Audrey Pitchford as secretary. Steve Chappell remains as vice chairman.

The meeting was probably so well attended at the prospect of Alex Summers’ demonstration of a Mediaeval illuminated manuscript. We were certainly not disappointed. After Alex showed us how the manuscript was developed stage by stage using the same materials used by mediaeval scribes, colouring his demonstration with a narrative evoking the atmosphere of those monks at work we were able to examine at close hand the materials and to interrogate Alex further. He was well up to the task, most ably fielding questions on all aspects of his work and the historical background to it.

The meeting provided a fitting conclusion to what was an excellent year all round, and the programme Diana has put together for us for next year promises to be just as good.

Next Meeting

Because of the Christmas break there will be no meeting this month. Our first meeting of the New Year will be on Thursday 20th January 2011 when we celebrate old fashioned games for a new year. This proved very popular last year. More details next month.

The Story of Palmerston Villa (Part 7)

In the absence of documentation such as builders’ receipts or letters it is difficult to establish when houses were built. It then becomes a piece of detective work using whatever information is available. It is uncertain exactly when Elizabeth Tipper built Palmerston Terrace onto the end of Yeoman Cottage (as it is now known). I have tried to piece together a history from photographs; poor rate books; census returns and maps, but there are still uncertainties.alt

In the rate book of 1840 Elizabeth had just two tenants, William Bowman, who lived in Yeoman Cottage, and Phillip Foreman, a gardener who lived in a cottage next door and used the field behind presumably for his trade. However the census of 1841 places Foreman in Yeoman altCottage and lists tenants occupying three of the houses in the terrace, which suggests 1840-41 as the approximate time for building. They were typical two up two down labourers’ cottages and probably had a thatched roof as can be seen from the detail taken from an old photograph on the right. The bedrooms appear to have dormer windows. In the distance in the photograph left, taken just a few years later, around the turn of the century, Palmerston Terrace can just be seen. The roof now has the shallower camber. The photo at the bottom of the page, taken recently, shows this more clearly.alt

The ordnance survey map of 1870 shows just three houses in the terrace, which ties in with the record of the 1841 census. However the 1851 census suggests four houses, as is the current situation. At some time before 1851 the pair of semi-detached cottages called Palmerston Cottages was built, again two up two down labourer’s cottages. These too were most probably thatched, as it was a cheaper option than the hand made Kent Peg tiles. Use of slate as a roofing material had to await the arrival of the railways.




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