Thousands of readers who eagerly await their copies
of the West Somerset Free Press turn first to Notes by
the Way. Instigated by Clement Kille in 1881, at first it
was personal, political and critical; but over the last
eighty years under the authorship of first Herbert
Kille, succeeded by Jack Hurley and then Glyn Court,
it has become a forum for local history, tradition and
Hilary Binding took over the column fifteen years
ago and this book contains a selection of her most
memorable and intriguing pieces. They range over a
wide area from Old Cleeve, Watchet and Stogumber
in the east to Culbone, Challacombe and Lynton in
the west. Memories recorded include those of
the late Fred Partridge of Luccombe, of Sydney
Whitehead who visited Porlock first in the 1920s and
Will Widden of Ilfracombe, a regular correspondent
for many years.
The book investigates Minehead in the eighteenth
and nineteenth centuries, recounts the tale of
Farmer Nicholas Snow’s acrimonious meeting with
R. D. Blackmore, tells the story of the restoration of
Dulverton church and records seasonal customs.
George Hosegood, farmer at Rodhuish; John Bennett
of Cutcombe, carpenter and dentist, and Parson
Froude of Knowstone all feature plus sheep-stealing
at King’s Brompton and Dunster’s hidden depths.
All this and more – including a number of
photographs which have not been reproduced
before – come together to produce a fascinating
cornucopia of “Exmooriana”, which can be dipped
into or read from cover to cover, with huge
pleasure again and again.
Hilary Binding has lived in West Somerset
for more than forty years, her maternal
family originating from the Quantocks.
After teaching History and Outdoor
Education in Oxfordshire and Somerset,
Hilary became a freelance educational
consultant working for clients such as
Exmoor National Park Authority, the
National Trust and Somerset Record
Office. She is keen to make history
accessible to both adults and children and
has written a number of local books. She is also the Editor
of Exmoor The Country Magazine and has
contributed Notes by the Way to the
West Somerset Free Press since 1994.
Imprint: Halsgrove. ISBN 978 1 84114 950 9, paperback, 210x148, 128 pages. Published October 2009.
Other formats available: Amazon Kindle.