With this publication in 1993 the Society completed its study of Clevedon’s history. Once again the format was to invite members to write articles, while the illustrations were again provided by Michael Horsfield.
Lady Margaret Elton, the president of the Society at the time, provided the foreword in which she noted the opening of the Clevedon Heritage Centre the year before and regretted the loss of so much of our local historical knowledge, particularly about our many producers and processors of wool and the craftsmen who supported our local industry.
The new book was dedicated to Gray Usher who was not only a local journalist writing in the Clevedon Mercury as ‘Moorman’ but also contributed a regular column in the Bristol Evening World.
Gray Usher was also a prominent local archaeologist and a founder member of the Clevedon Archaeological Society.
The current president of that Society, Jean Dagnell, appropriately supplied the first item for Clevedon Past – an article called The Archaeology of Clevedon starting way back in prehistoric times and ending with the building of roads and houses in the 19th century.
Starting with a quote from the Complete Clevedon Guide of 1879 saying that ‘Art has done much to render Clevedon a desirable residential place’, Margaret Elton’s excellent article detailing the artists, poets, novelists and potters of the town, along with the music and architecture, is alone well worth the price of the book. This item is followed by a page listing the history of the town’s drama societies.
Our prolific researcher and writer of all matters of Clevedon history, Derek Lilly, then appears with three articles: the first about the Kenn Hangings of 1830, the next, written with his niece Jane Lilly, called The Builders of Clevedon and the third telling the tale of An Expensive Lesson.
The drinking troughs and fountains of the town, a second part of the history of the pier (started in the previous book) and the Stephens Car, which was made in a small factory in the Triangle, complete the other subjects in this the last of a trilogy of history books the Society has published - unless someone reading this is ready to write a forth such tome?
Geoff Hale (this review was first published in the Spring 2012 edition of ‘The Clevedonian’)