My mother, Milly Ingarfield, was sent from London to Shapwick with two of her sisters by the Children's Country Holiday fund in the thirties.She stayed with Mrs Cuff and her sisters stayed with Mrs Harding. During the war she and some of her sisters stayed in Shapwick for a while but I don't know much about it.
My parents took me to Shapwick when I was a girl and we stayed with Jim and Margaret Taylor, nee Harding. Brenda used to write to me and I think young Jim came up to London to stay with us once. I remember old Mrs Harding and Iris very well, especially because their cottage did not have electricity or running water, which was very interesting to a London child.
Mrs Harding lived in a cottage on its own along a road to the left as you go towards the cross. She was Margaret Taylor's mother and she had another daughter Iris who had a physical disability. They are both buried just over the wall in the cemetery. Margaret lived in the cottage facing the church, in Church Street in fact. I think her husband Jim was a thatcher but he had a lot of other country skills.
I was friends with two lads called Alan Kerley and Gordon Marsh, who took me and my friend Carol on the river in a punt with another boy nicknamed Plum. When we were all grown up and married, my husband and I visited Alan and his wife in a tiny cottage when they had a little baby in a pram in the garden. It was a hot day and we all bathed in the river.
Those beautiful days in Shapwick were the start of a lifelong love affair with Dorset and I now live in Sherborne, having left London far behind me.
I have some photos and cine film of the village if anyone would like to see them, and I would be very glad to hear from anyone who remembers me.