Two new publications by local writer, Angela Hodges “You and You Only” and “Miss Chave’s Diary”
Stoke sub Hamdon
A lot of Stoke sub Hamdon people will know of William McCutchan’s marvellous Victorian photos of Stoke and its people. They are in Alan Richards’ history of Stoke. They are in “Photographic Memories of Stoke”. They have been used in all the history group exhibitions.
What’s fascinating about these photos is that they were lost for 76 years! Dr McCutchan (known as ‘Mac’) took them with him when he left the village in 1895. They were discovered – 1,000 glass plate negatives - in the attic of a house in Hereford in 1971 and rescued by a Mr John Soulsby. He sent 500 to Somerset Record Office, but the other 500 were portraits of unidentified Stoke people and these were going to be thrown on the tip. Luckily, they were rescued by a photographer in Hereford who was amazed by their quality and used them in his lectures about Victorian costume. I met this photographer in the course of my research, and he has kindly given me the negatives as well as prints made from them. He thought they should return to our village.
The house where the photographs were found belonged to ‘Mac’s’ fiancée, Miss Florence Chave, who died, unmarried, aged 104 in 1971. “You and You Only” is a novel about “Mac” and “Flo’s” love affair. Signed copies will be available at the Priory Café on Saturday 27th August from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Some of the 500 portrait photographs will be on display. It would be great if someone were to recognise one of their ancestors.
Also, for sale is the edited and illustrated diary of Florence Chave (1897-8) covering the time when she became engaged to “Mac”.
“Mac” worked as medical assistant for Dr Walters at the Gables. The villagers gave him a new medical bag and a purse of gold when he left. He was as kind to poor people as to wealthy ones and they loved him for it. It would be great if his Stoke descendants could get to know him again.
Miss Chave’s Diary ISBN 978-1-9996978-2-2 £9.99
You and You Only ISBN 978-1-9996978-1-5 £7.99
Both available via YPD Books, 64 Hallfield Road, York YO31 7ZQ Tel: 01904 431213
Find Stoke sub Hamdon
24 High Street, Stoke-Sub-Hamdon, Somerset, TA146PS