THE CLOCK by Volunteer Alan Clarke


Now where’s that clock?

A real mystery and your help sought…

We have managed to scan around 16,376 of Austin Underwood’s negatives which were donated to the museum.  This is probably about half of them, but further scanning awaits the return of behind-the-scene Volunteers to the museum.  However, there is one photograph that readers might be able to help us with now.

The photograph is thought to have been taken during the 1976 Bishop Wordsworth’s School (BWS) Founder’s Day celebrations.

This shows the turret clock that was previously in the stable block of the Bishop’s Palace, i.e. the present Cathedral School.  Salisbury museum has Austin Underwood’s photographs of the stable block being demolished.  Prior to that, the same clock was in the tower over the North Door of the Bishop’s Palace, and a dial can be seen in an old engraving.  

The stable block was demolished in 1964 and the clock moved to the museum of Bishop Wordsworth School, where it was restored and set up in the BWS Archaeology Society building, in number 11 grounds.  Michael Snell’s book has a photo of the clock in the school museum, which he took himself.  

His photograph shows the back of the clock with the count wheel and lead off work for a dial (see pages 195 and 196).  However, on the demise of the BWS Archaeology Society, the clock was moved, but we do not know where.  We would appreciate any leads that readers of this blog could supply.

A NEW QUIZ from Mary Crane


Answers to earlier quiz….(about which Margaret Kirby says, on our comments page, “Very enjoyable. Thanks Mary”)

  7. -A– MARY
  10. -A-E JANE

And something more challenging from Mary Crane this week….

Match these people to a house associated with them:

  1. William Morris
  2. Isaac Newton
  3. William Henry Fox Talbot
  4. Winston Churchill
  5. Agatha Christie
  6. Edward Elgar
  7. Beatrix Potter
  8. Walter Raleigh
  9. Rudyard Kipling
  10. Colonel Lyle (Tate and Lyle)
  11. Patrick Lichfield
  12. George Bernard Shaw

a. The Firs (Worcestershire); b. Red House (Bexley Heath); c. Hill Top (Ambleside); d. Chartwell (Kent); e. Woolsthorpe Manor; f. Shaw’s Corner (Welwyn, Herts); g. Sherborne Old Castle (Dorset); h. Lacock (Wilts); i. Shugborough (Staffs); j. Greenway (Brixham, Devon); k. Barrington Court (Somerset); l. Bateman’s (East Sussex)

Photos : National Trust

Have fun! Thank you Mary.

Museum Miscellany



Nearly thirty Volunteers enjoyed Director Adrian’s Zoom presentation this morning, centred around some new Pitt-Rivers material. It is all a bit ‘under wraps’ at the moment, being to do with some items recently lent to the museum by the family, and with Adrian only just having a chance a look himself. There may be a volunteering opportunity around it when we all get back to normal however. Exciting stuff.

More to come. Coffee and Conversation: Wednesday 3 February, 11am to 12 noon. Roman Technology, a presentation by Alan Clarke. We are steeped in Roman history in Wiltshire. This should be fascinating.

On the topic of opportunities, you may have seen this recently, from Rachel, Volunteer Co-ordinator:

“I wanted to flag up an excellent freelance opportunity that has arisen as part of an upcoming inter-generational community project. More information can be found on the website:

The closing date is Monday 25 January 12 noon.

If you know of anyone who might be interested in the role, we would be very grateful if you are able to spread the word.

If you have any questions please do get in touch with Sarah Gregson:

This is surely a great opportunity, in difficult times, for someone hoping to find a role extending museum experience, or hoping for a start on the ladder. There will be people recently out of work, or just starting in the sector, that you might know. Have a think.

And, again, keep smiling! I don’t know where these clever ‘jokes’ come from but they are a credit to the individuals who think them up in difficult times:

Perhaps this will be the version of the popular board game next Christmas, to follow on from the Salisbury version in 2020!

And another one….

The Daily Telegraph. Cartoon after John Constable

Dates for the Diary:

Virtual Coffee Break: Wednesday 27 January, 3pm to 4pm – Check in for friendly chat with fellow volunteers.

Virtual Coffee Break: Wednesday 10 February, 3pm to 4pm – Check in for friendly chat with fellow volunteers.

THE CIRCUS IS IN TOWN by Volunteer Alan Clarke


Salisbury museum image archive contains a hundred or so images concerning the circus.  The circus used to arrive in Salisbury by train.  The highlight was the elephants walking through the town to their site.  The elephants, whilst here, were often used in other Salisbury parades.

John Chipperfield on left, Dicky Chipperfield in centre with eight elephants in big top circus rink

In later years, Hudson’s Field was the site that most people will remember for the circus big tent, but before that a field at the end of Exeter Street, by the river, was used.  This is the field that is now used for car boot sales on Sunday mornings.  We have an image of the circus on this field before the roundabout and the dual carriageway were built.

Circus at Salisbury

An elderly lady, whose father had worked for the circus, visited for tea and cake, whilst we scanned her photographs and added her comments to them; a valuable addition to the archive.  In 100-years’ time people will be able to see the unbelievable images of elephants wandering around Salisbury.  

I expect such ‘trunked’ visitors will not be seen ever again in Salisbury’s streets, unless, of course, the elephants return to roam the plain, when the results of climate change make the city Salisbury-on-Sea, a coastal resort in the tropics!

One of the things (just one of many) that I love about Alan’s photographic items, is how varied they are, and how unexpected some of them are! Thank you Alan, as always.

Beautiful Things To Enjoy


, , ,

‘Museum Crush’ – a website that highlights the work and collections of all and any museums countrywide – has a delightful piece out this month. We can’t go and visit at the moment, but we can plan! Click on the blue to go there.

Mary Rose, Portsmouth

We can also donate. An alarming story is about the Florence Nightingale Museum. It lies within the grounds of St Thomas’ Hospital in London, and, like The Salisbury Museum, relies on income from visitors, especially foreign tourists. Like us, and many others, it is struggling.

Florence Nightingale, aged 34, soon after she returned from the Crimea

Lets do what we can, home and away.

Too Easy?


Answers to recent quiz…

Muddled Monarchs

The vowels are missing from these names of English monarchs AND the names are printed backwards. Who are they?

  7. NN ANNE

Try These…!

The consonants are missing from these names of queens, but they are the right way round. Who are they?

  1. -I–O-IA
  2. –EO-A–A
  3. -E-E–I-I
  4. -OU-I–A
  5. E-I-A-E–
  6. -UI-E-E-E
  7. -A–
  8. -A-I–A
  9. -A–E-I-E
  10. -A-E

As always…thank you Mary Crane!

Comment – thank you Peter Saunders



Peter writes:

Anyone interested in learning more about Harrison’s Butchers is recommended to read John Cox’s article “Harrison Bros, Family Butchers” in Sarum Chronicle issue 18 (2018), 129-33″

Yes, indeed. John Cox writes there that the photograph we had on the blog recently, of Percy Harrison outside his shop, was taken circa 1910. The first question we received about the photo was whether it was noisy (and dare we say odorous?) living next door in Park Street? It wasn’t until after 1954 that the National Union of Farmers and the Fatstock Market Corporation enforced regulations that there was to be no slaughterhouse within the city boundary…

One of the things that the shop will be remembered for, according to John, is the “positive atmosphere” – conversation, help for the elderly, deliveries when necessary – as well as high quality meat.

Well worth a read…. Thank you Peter.

Not To Be Missed!



‘Father of Modern Archaeoloy’: Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers

Coffee and Conversation: Wednesday 20 January, 11am to 12 noon – Pitt Rivers, an informal presentation of new material by Director Adrian Green. We hope you can attend. The necessary links can be found in Rachel Coman’s (Volunteer Co-ordinator) recent email.

The session will be recorded if you are unable to make it or would like a copy of it.

And more goodies in the coming days:

Wessex Museums – Wildlife in the Red lectures: Thursday 21 Jan, 7.30-8.30pm 

The keynote presentation for the ‘Wildlife in the Red’ online lectures is a talk being given by Professor Ben Garrod. Ben is an evolutionary biologist, primatologist and broadcaster (many will know him from Baby Chimp Rescue!). In his talk, Ben will introduce you to fascinating animals threatened by extinction, not only exotic species, but those we can find right here in Wessex. And crucially, he’ll outline ways we can all help restore the biodiversity of our planet.

Ben will talk for 45 mins, then you’ll get chance to ask questions. Sign up here – it’s free. Please share with colleagues, family and friends, but hurry because Ben has a huge social media following and places are likely to run out fast.

Virtual Coffee Break: Wednesday 27 January, 3pm to 4pm – Check in for friendly chat with fellow volunteers.

Coffee and Conversation: Wednesday 3 February, 11am to 12 noon. Roman Technology, a presentation by Alan Clarke.

Virtual Coffee Break: Wednesday 10 February, 3pm to 4pm – Check in for friendly chat with fellow volunteers.

Coffee and Conversation: Wednesday 17 February, 11am to 12 noon – Subject to be announced.