Temple Cloud Mutual Improvement Association
On Thursday 17th January 1895 Doctor Martin presided and two papers were read.
Mr A. G. Ford presented a paper on “Africa”. This included an outline of the physical geography of the dark continent, with some particulars about its animals, minerals, vegetables, forests and human inhabitants, including a few of the more curious facts about each. On what experiences Mr Ford was able to speak about Africa is not known, it may have been due to service in the Army, but in any event to the inhabitants of Temple Cloud it would have been a mysterious place indeed. The second paper was entitled “Town & Country Life” given by Mr W H Cooper, a local but educated man. He compared the advantages and disadvantages of living in the Town and Country respectively, showing that the Town gave greater scope especially as regards learning and labour, whilst the Country had beauties which the Town lacked, and which went far to counterbalance the extra attractions of the Town. A hearty vote of thanks was passed on the motion of Doctor Martin to the essayists for their papers. Travel to the nearest big town/city of Bristol was comparatively easy due to the railway stations at Clutton and Hallatrow but whether Temple Cloud’s inhabitants were frequent travellers is not recorded.
On the following Thursday, 24th January 1895 the meeting was presided over again by Doctor Martin. He introduced the Revd. W. Hippisley who gave a lecture on Electricity. The evening proved very enjoyable and practical. The different parts of the telephone, telegraph, microphone and electric battery being exhibited and explained and the many present had the pleasure of a hearing a fly walk (on what or how is not recorded) and a watch tick in the distance. All present were able to feel in a very conclusive manner the power of electricity. A very hearty vote of thanks was on the motion of Doctor Martin passed to Revd. Hippisley for his lecture and for the trouble taken in bringing and exhibiting the instruments.
It was of course going to be many years before the majority of the villagers were to have mains electricity in their homes. However, the telegraph was by then available soon to be followed by the village telephone exchange sited in Woodfield House. Doctor Martin had the telephone number Temple Cloud 5, still reflected in the 21st Century number for the Surgery and probably still using the same wires! However, it is said that the Hippisleys had their own telephone link between Cameley and Ston Easton back in the 19th Century.
On 14th February 1895, Mr A G Ford presided over a meeting when four papers were presented.
Mr A. Free gave an interesting account of the horse and its history, the development of the breeds of the English race and heavy horses by the introduction of choice breeds from Spain and Arabia. He commented on the evils of betting on horse racing and advised on the most useful horses for all work.
Mr. H. Pollett gave an instructive paper on Poultry, the various breeds, their points and crosses, with useful hints on the management and breeding of Poultry.
Mr. Bowditch gave a useful essay on Temperance, with statistics in respect of the consumption of alcohol, its evil effects and the good effects of strict Temperance.
Finally, that evening Mr C. Maggs read a paper on Football, its popularity and its good in physical development.
By this time, 1895, Temple Cloud Football Club had come into being and football was probably the main sporting activity for the young men of the village in the winter months.
To be continued.