19th and 20th Century

19th and 20th Century

By the end of the 19th century the Kettlewells of Harptree Court were running the village in a paternalistic fashion.

They provided the villagers with jobs, housing, the shop, the hall, the playing eld, the district nurse and even ran the cricket team and the WI. The impressive landmark clock, situated at the top of the High Street, was given by them to celebrate Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897.

In 1927 Mrs Florence Balfour Kettlewell published Trinkum Trinkums of fifty years, jottings about her happy time in East Harptree.

At the beginning of the 20th century Cecil Sharp, founder and originator of the folk music revival, came here, by Kettlewell invitation, to collect folk songs from old men such as William King and to teach folk dancing to the village school children.

After World War I the adult village morris dancing team competed at national level. Austin Wookey (1902-1990) champion morris dancer, footballer, cricketer, collector, and raconteur extraordinaire, was still playing cricket in 1986, and never stopped telling his stories.

As the century wore on, the people took over, raising money by carnival, fete and whist drive, to finance the hall and field. The parish council pushed for village improvements.

In 1954 the women celebrated their freedom from domestic drudgery with the arrival of electricity by winning the Carnival Float competition with an entry entitled ‘Freedom from Slavery’, featuring SWEB appliances.

Our Heritage and History