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By Wells Journal  |  Posted: November 15, 2012

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100 years ago

The 15th annual parochial conversazione in connection with the St Cuthbert's Church was held at the Guildhall on Wednesday evening and, as in previous years, this popular event in the life of the parish and of the city proved as attractive as ever. There were about 300 people present.

The Dean of Wells, the Very Reverend J Armitage Robinson, has opened a fund to install proper heating apparatus in the cathedral. At present the only form of heating are four stoves which are both ugly and inefficient. The appeal is for £3,000.

50 years ago

There were many objectors when the South-Western area transport users' consultative committee met at Wells on Thursday to consider objections to the British Transport Commission's proposals to discontinue the local passenger train service on the Cheddar Valley line.

The inquiry, which lasted for nearly five hours, was held in the Crown Court of the town hall and the panel of nine members of the users' consultative committee was presided over by Alderman F G Williams.

The case for the principal objectors was put by W J W Hunt, senior administrative officer of the Somerset County Council who, in addition to appearing for the county council also represented Wells city and Wells Rural District Council.

Mr Hunt said that this was a developing area, being close to Bristol, Bath and Weston-super-Mare. The area had grown in population by nearly 4,000 in the last 10 years.

The line catered for an important agricultural area, while Wells and Cheddar had an importance of their own.

The passenger line's closure would restrict the recruitment of labour to the area. At present it was a means of communication and feeder to the Bristol, Taunton and Westbury lines.

The loss would render long distance travel very much more difficult and would involve long and uncomfortable bus journeys to the main rail heads.

25 years ago

Former Mayor of Wells Harry Parks' mountaineering exploits have raised more than £300 for local charities this year.

Harry has collected sponsors for holiday climbs, both here and abroad, which have raised £160 for the mid-Somerset branch of Across, which provides holidays for the disabled and handicapped, and £153 for the Wells branch of the RNLI.

In his 14 ascents he has tackled peaks in Switzerland, Austria and Snowdonia.

The new Bishop of Bath and Wells, Dr George Carey, will be consecrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury in Southwark Cathedral, London, on December 3.

He was elected by the Dean and Chapter of Wells following the retirement of the present Bishop, the Reverend John Bickersteth. The enthronement will take place in Wells Cathedral on February 6.

10 years ago

Wells Stonemasons' apprentice Martin Smith, of Cheddar, is in Manchester this week to take part in assessment for the British squad for the International Skills Olympics in two years time.

Martin, aged 19, started at the Cheddar-based Wells Stonemasons at the age of 16 and will qualify as a stonemason shortly.

The Skills Olympics recognises the ability of tradesmen and women in a variety of different careers from hairdressing to plumbing and is designed to encourage more young people to take up a trade.

Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve will be televised from Wells Cathedral.

The preacher will be the Bishop of Bath and Wells, the Rt Rev Peter Price, and the service is expected to last 70 minutes.

The programme will go out on BBC1 and is expected to start live transmission at 11.30pm, but the congregation will have to be seated 30 minutes earlier.

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