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Showing posts from November, 2011

People from the Past: 2. Andrew Stuart Hibberd MBE (1893-1983)

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Above: Stuart Hibberd's memoirs, published in 1950 as This - is London...


Stuart Hibberd was one of the best known voices on radio in the early days of the BBC. He joined the Corporation in 1924 and was its chief announcer until his retirement in 1951. He settled in Budleigh Salterton, living in Westfield Road.  


Stuart Hibberd was born on 5 September 1893 in Broadstone, East Dorset, and educated at Weymouth College from where he won a choral scholarship to St. John’s College, Cambridge. He was always proud of his West Country roots and remained as Vice President of the Society of Dorset Men until the end of his life.


On the outbreak of war in 1914 he joined the Dorset Regiment, serving with distinction in the Gallipoli campaign and also with the army in India, where he gained the rank of Captain.

In 1923, he married Alice Chichester, a cousin of the future round-the-world sailor Sir Francis Chichester (1901-72). From a military family, she was the daughter of Lt Col Gerard Chicheste…

People from the Past: 1. Robert Proctor (1868-1903)

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Robert George Collier Proctor, bibliographer, was born in Budleigh Salterton. He is chiefly remembered for Proctor order, the method of organising incunabula - books printed before 1500 -  first by country, then by town, and then by printer and edition. It was this method, used in his Index to the British Museum and Bodleian collections which earned for him the title of 'the great bibliographer.' In his short life he managed to revolutionise the study of 15th century printing.


He was born on 13 May 1868, the only child of Robert Proctor and Anne Tate. A Robert Proctor is recorded as living at 2 Lawn Villas in Morris and Co.'s Commercial Directory and Gazetteer of 1870. Although his father had poor health the family had private means and the young Robert Proctor grew up in a bookish environment. His father, educated at Eton and Charterhouse, had "imbibed a strong love of the classics" according to his British Museum colleague and biographer Alfred Pollard, and it…

An absorbing read

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There's always something going on in Budleigh Salterton in spite of what some meanies say. 'Sponge throwing'? Why not? We'd heard it was a charity event involving local dignitaries, and there was even a rumour that one of them would be getting a soaking, standing in the stocks and wearing his regalia.


It was all happening in a local resident's garden with an exhibition set up in a marquee, and bizarrely the day's theme was sponges. Anyway off we went and sure enough there was the dignitary looking pretty wet and bedraggled but smiling away, calling out between sponges "It's all in a good cause! Come on, sponge my face!"Very sporting of him we thought.





The good cause was the Marine Conservation Society, and the sponge theme was all to do with the bicentenary of the man who used to live in this charming little cottage on Fore Street Hill. It's called Umbrella Cottage, apparently because the porch, now thatched, was originally in the shape of an u…