HIDDEN HIGH STREET HISTORIES
A POINT IN TIME
Its long been a recreational area for the townspeople of Chard
Skating, swimming, fishing and picnics have all been enjoyed especially during World War 2 with “Holidays at Home” weeks. Its history does include bleak episodes though. In December 1879, two boys from Combe St Nicholas, Charles Mitchem (17) and John Dunham (15) died when they fell through the ice. Efforts were made in 1895 to provide lifesaving equipment, when Mr Gillingham and Mr Indge raised £5 17s 9d. It was stored in Mr Bondfield’s shed. These were damaged by “some evil-disposed persons”, so, the shed was locked!
In December 1901 Eric James (6) fell through the ice and Lawrence Hussey (15) died making a brave attempt to save him. The Chard & Ilminster News report included the feelings of the jury, endorsed by the Coroner, it said “a subscription should be raised to place a memorial stone on Lawrence’s grave”.
A committee was formed to raise money for another memorial. February 10th 1902 an approval is recorded for an application to lay on water a granite drinking trough near the Jubilee lamps and to place life-saving equipment at the reservoir. “Thanks were given to Mr Hockey for the boat he built and to Mr Gillingham for his interest and trouble”.
If you would like to share or you have different memories of the Chard Reservoir you can message us on the Museum Facebook page, email us at email@example.com, or visit us at the Museum or any Chard Revealed event.