Old Merriott Photos

David Gibbs’ Anecdotes (continued)

Old Merriott Photos from David Gibbs


Arthur Gibbs (seated) and William Osborne. Soldiers in WW1. Best friends since school days. When young, they liked their cider I’m told!  Being one of the many Osbornes, William (Billy) was known as Utchem, or more precisely, Billy Utchem. They both survived WW1. Billy was also a soldier in WW2 and died during the war years. He is buried in Merriott churchyard, his grave marked with a War Graves Commission headstone. I think he was in his early forties when he died. My father lived on to the age of 80.

Tail Mill, the sailcloth factory, circa 1888. The ladies wore bonnets and clogs, like the Lancashire mill workers. My grandmother worked there and is in the photo. My sister still has her bonnet. You can see the sluice gates used to control the water flow from the pond to the mill wheel although by the time this picture was taken the chimney suggests that steam power was being used.

Incidentally, I once worked for Merriott Mouldings at Tail Mill, in the 1950s. At the present time, planning permission is being sought to develop the site for yet more houses. How sad!

The Spanish refugees at Moorlands House, 1939.

One elderly refugee died whilst at Moorlands and was buried in Merriott churchyard.