Sapsead, Ron (b.1919)
Ron attended the Board School, Street.  As a child he played games in the street outside his home in Glaston Road, with hoops and skipping ropes. His school headmaster used a cane on the tips of the children’s fingers, and they had slates to write on. In this clip Ron describes a Sunday school outing to Burnham-on-Sea. With the advent of the railways in the 1840s and 1850s, the Somerset seaside resort became a popular destination for day-trippers.
An outing of Glastonians to Burnham, 1920. The Somerset and Dorset branch line between Evercreech junction and Burnham-on-Sea could take villagers from the Somerset Levels to the seaside. An outing of Glastonians to Burnham, 1920. The Somerset and Dorset branch line between Evercreech junction and Burnham-on-Sea could take villagers from the Somerset Levels to the seaside.
Sound File
Listen to Ron Sapsead - 1.71MB Duration 3:43 min.

RS: Course on Sundays we had to behave ourselves.  We all had to go to Sunday School.  Everyone had to go Sunday School in those days, everybody.  Do you children go to Sunday School?


ES: No.


RS: No, don’t you.  Don’t you.  Well my goodness me.  Something’s being neglected somewhere isn’t it?  Well we had to go to Sunday School and because I lived quite near the Baptist Chapel over on Glaston Road, of course when I was youngster I had to attend the Baptist Chapel Sunday School Sunday morning, you see, and again Sunday afternoons.


And each every year, sometime about August time, we would have a Sunday School outing, which took us to Burnham. That was the great thing because the majority of children didn’t go anywhere.  Their parents just didn’t have enough money to take them anywhere in those days and to go to Burnham was the highlight of the year.  That was a great thing; it was a great outing do you see.


We all used to gather down on the Saturday morning about half past nine in the morning outside the Chapel and then along would come horse and carts in those days to take us to Glastonbury Station and we used to come down with a horse and a wagonette, you know, with seats in it at each side and that used to be driven by a farmer who lived just up the other side of the Cross, his name was Mr Difford and he would have a couple of these carts, perhaps.


Mr Difford and his son or somebody would drive us in there but they never met us when we came out at night.  Once we came back from our outing to Burnham we were never met at the station, we had to walk all the way back, do you see.  They did take us in there in time to get the train.  Of course, we were all quite happily singing.  We used to have a song, we were all off to Burnham to have a donkey ride, you see, that was the way the song went and we would all be singing quite happily all the way to Glastonbury.  Then we would get to Burnham.  In those days at Burnham they had bathing, what did they call them?  We used to wheel, them down on wheels.


Mr Flux: Bathing machines.


RS: Bathing machines, that’s right, yes.  They had bathing machines and people used to undress in these bathing machines and they would be pushed right down into the water on wheels and then you could come out of the bathing machine down a couple of steps and into the sea.  Which was great fun.  I am bound to say that I never used a bathing machine but the ladies did, you know the grown up ladies who swam in the sea, they would change their clothes in the bathing machines.


We could get an ice cream then for a penny which is what was half of one penny today, wasn’t it, we would get a good cornet then, a really good sized cornet of ice cream.  Not with a stick of chocolate stuck in it mind you, but you could get a cornet in those days for a penny and a big bag of chips for tuppence.


So we got on well and of course when the, when the Sunday School took us down there they also provided us with a tea.  That tea was taken down in the town, in either in a church hall or in a big tent, which was called a marquee.  And we, and we would have a meal there, you see, usually bread and butter and cakes but plenty of it, we’d enjoy that very much. Oh yes.

Copyright Information
Copyright. This recording was made by Elmhurst School Pupils, Glastonbury in May 1987. Photograph ©SRLM. For access to full interview please contact the Somerset Heritage Centre.