New book covers 150 years of Glemsford life

Glemsford Local History Society has written a book on the village which has now been printed.  Pictured: Jenny Wear, Patrick Hemphill and Rowland Hill  PICTURE: Mecha Morton
Glemsford Local History Society has written a book on the village which has now been printed. Pictured: Jenny Wear, Patrick Hemphill and Rowland Hill PICTURE: Mecha Morton

Shops that have long since gone, colourful characters from the past and recounted tales of village life are all told in a new book on Glemsford.

Glemsford Memories 1866-2016 has been written by three members of Glemsford Local History Society.

It is a compilation of research by members of the society, together with oral histories and written memories taken over the last seven years.

Jenny Wears, editor of the society’s newsletter and one of the three authors of the book, said: “We got quite a lot of quotes from people who lived in the village and some from people still here.

“We’ve got a little bit on the characters the village has had over the years.

“We also mention the industries in the village, shops and businesses that have long since gone and recount life in the village as remembered.

“Two of the members who had been going and recording memories said ‘what are we going to do with this?’ So we thought it was time to produce another book.”

Much of the authors’ research focused on the testimonies of residents’ memories, which the authors found sometimes differed.

The society previously published a book in 2012 on Glemsford’s history, but this was more of a pictorial look at the village.

This book is more text-based, sharing the history of the village, but it is supported by photographs of factory workers, old businesses and new buildings.

As with many villages, there has been some characters not so easily forgotten.

One such memorable figure was ‘Shocking Smith’ who kept a general store.

“‘How is trade, Mr Smith?’ one would ask, with the inevitable reply ‘Shocking, just shocking. I’ve been all the way to Hawkytown (Hawkedon) and I’ve only sold a box of matches. Shocking trade, shocking’.”

As well as Mrs Wears, the book was written by fellow society members Patrick Hemphill and Rowland Hill, all residents of the village.

Memories of Glemsford 1866-2016 is available for £5 from Hunts Hill Stores, Willow Tree Farm Shop and Glemsford Library, as well as Sudbury Tourist Information Centre.