Wednesday evening talk

On Wed 21st Feburary, we will be holding our first talk of 2024, entitled The George Bayntun bookshop and bindery.

Many of you will know the antiquarian bookshop “Geo. Bayntun” on Manvers Street. We are delighted to welcome the owner of this venerable bookshop and bindery, Edward Bayntun-Coward, great-grandson of the founder and a longstanding member of the Heritage Society. Edward will take us behind the windows of the bookshop to the Bayntun-Rivière bindery, the last of the great Victorian traditional binderies still in family ownership and which has been hand-crafting books in Bath since 1829.

The talk will take place as usual in the Combe Down Primary School Hall in Summer Lane, BA2 5JX. The talk itself starts at 7.30pm, and the doors are open from 7.00pm. CDHS Members £1, Visitors £3. All tickets on the door.

Programme for the next few months

All talks are held at the Combe Down Primary School Hall in Summer Lane, BA2 5JX.   Events start at 7.30pm. CDHS Members £1, Visitors £3. All tickets on the door.

January(There is no talk in January.)
February21stEdward Bayntun-CowardThe George Bayntun Bookshop and bindery
March13thSally HelveyBeau Nash, legendary Georgian bon viveur

Book sale!

Christmas is now only a few weeks away, and you are thinking “Oh no! What can I possibly buy XYZ this year?” Well, perhaps they would like one of our range of interesting books on local history!

We have introduced discounts right across the board, which will remain until the end of 2023. (The eShop will add £3.50 postage & packing.) Follow this link to our CDHS eShop and start browsing now! Alternatively, books will be available to buy at the reduced prices at our December 13th Quiz and Wassail event.

Let us keep in touch!

Not a member (yet!) but you find interesting the local history that you see here? Let us put you on our “Friends of CDHS” email distribution list. That way, even as a non-member, you will get to hear about our talks and other events in good time.

To do this, click here to go to our email address entry form.

CDHS Guided Summer Walk – WW2 trenches in Hog Wood

We will be conducting a guided walk to see the WW2 Anti-Invasion Defences at Hog Wood, Hinton Charterhouse. This will take place on 9 August.

In 1940, construction of massive defensive works was initiated across the country to hinder the anticipated Nazi attack. Hog Wood has one of the most complete sections of anti-tank ditch, slit trenches and pillbox remains still existing.

The walk is flat over about 2 miles and will take about 2 hours. Wear footwear suitable for rough footpaths, and wear or bring clothing according to the weather forecast.

We will meet on Wednesday 9th August at 2pm at Freshford Football Club, opposite the entrance to Homewood Hotel on Abbey Lane, Freshford BA2 7TB. No pre-booking required – just turn up (and bring a friend if you wish!). Parking available in the Club car park. Please contact if you need a lift.

Price £5 per person, cash on the day.

Pines Express in verse

Your Society’s committee contains a veritable wealth of talent! One of our members, Dave Bishop, has been inspired by Colin Maggs’ talk in September to pen a poem celebrating the famous rail route, the “Pines Express”. He writes:

The origin of the poem is born out of my passion for local railways, esp. the Somerset & Dorset.

My father was very keen on steam trains, and would take me down to Midford station where we were quite often invited up into the signal box.

The recent talk by Colin Maggs plus the commemoration of the Last Pines in the Somerset & Dorset Railway Trust’s recent magazine inspired me to start putting the words together. I have tried to do the Bath area justice with a line-by-line description of a southbound summer holiday express trip.

Dave’s poem is to be found as one of the items on the Combe Down top menu.

Next Wednesday Evening Talk

On Wednesday the 9th November, we have the next in our regular talk series:  Pyronaut and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant.  This depiction of the historic boats in Bristol Harbour will be given by Clive Brain of the M Shed, Bristol.

The talk will be in Combe Down Primary School hall as usual, whose entrance is on Summer Lane, BA2 5JX. The talk starts at 7.30pm; doors open at 7pm. CDHS Members £1, Visitors £3. All tickets on the door.

CDHS at the Jubilee Celebrations

On Saturday 4 June, Firs Field will be transformed for Combe Down’s celebration of Her Majesty’s 70 years on the British throne. Your heritage society will be there too! come rain or shine. Please drop in and visit us under the shelter of the green gazebo (you can’t miss it!).

There will be a fascinating display of photographs from Combe Down’s past, and an opportunity to enter our new Cookery Competition!

Programme for the next 6 months of 2022

All talks are held at the Combe Down Primary School Hall in Summer Lane, BA2 5JX.   Events start at 7.30pm. CDHS Members £1, Visitors £3. All tickets on the door.

April6thCourtney Fleming (chair)Panel Discussion to mark World Heritage 50th Anniversary, with Prof Barry Gilbertson, Sarah, Simmonds and Paul Simmons
May11th CDHS Annual General Meeting (to immediately precede the talk)
May11thDan MerrettRare Flora and Fauna on Bath Skyline
June8thTrevor OsborneBuilding Development on Heritage Sites
September14thColin MaggsSteam Trains: the Pines Express

Black GIs in the West Country

Monday 8 November saw a webinar on local wartime history. This fascinating evening brought two stories of how America’s racial relations and civil rights movement came to the West Country during the Second World War. Although not organised by CDHS, we are sure that these talks will be of interest to our members.

To begin, Professor Mary Louise Roberts from the University of Wisconsin, USA, related the amazing story of Leroy Henry, an African-American soldier who was saved from a hanging after an incident in Combe Down.

This was followed by Kate Werran, who talked about the dramatic ‘wild west’ shoot-out that took place in Launceston, Cornwall between black American GIs and military police.

Thanks to Tanya Parker of the South West TUC, we can now post the recording of these two talks on our website.

More details of the Leroy Henry case can be found on the website of Robert Walsh, a freelance writer based in Cornwall.