Tuesday, 1 March 2011


Shapwick is a very small village on the River Stour in Dorset, overlooked by the ancient hill fort of Badbury Rings.

Despite its size, Shapwick has many a story to tell. This web site will try to recount some of these, along with my memories of my childhood days in the village during the 1950s and 1960s.

I arrived in Shapwick as a toddler in the very early 1950s with Mum and Dad and at first we lived with my Gran in a very small house called New Barn Cottage. Soon we all moved to a bigger house, the old farmhouse at King's Farm or King's Dairy. This was a super house for a toddler. Flagstones on the floor and an old farmyard with chickens, surrounded by black wooden thatched barns.

When Dad left the farm and joined the Railway, we moved to a brand new Council House, with all the mod cons of the day! Gran stayed put for a while but soon moved to the next Council House, beyond Hathaway's thatched cottage.

My schooling was all at Wimborne, first at the Infants, then Primary and then Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School (this was Queen Elizabeth I which shows how old the school was!). We were taken by Billy Budden's blue coach, and later by Hants & Dorset buses who provided a fantastic variety of single decker buses and coaches.

When not at school, we lads mooched around the village, much like William Brown, doing this and that, having great fun in the big outdoors.

Celandines grew in profusion along the ditches and boggy areas and will always remind me of my days at Shapwick.

I will include photos and maps and hope that more will come to light through contributions from other Shapwick people.

This Blog replaces the previous website in a bid to encourage more comment, discussion and comment; also to ease content maintenance for me.


  1. very interesting site, my grandfather charles kerley b 1876 son of martin kerley & ann singleton, married elizabeth down.i have a large kerley family tree which i can send to anyone interested.

    john kerley.


  2. Great site , It brings back many childhood memories .
    My old fella worked on a farm in Shapwick in 1950s ? I think , some summer holidays he would take us back down there for a week or so and for us scruffy little urchins from Liverpool it was a culture shock , we used to stay with Mrs Chalk in Hawkpit cottages on the High st , this was in the 60s and apart from Mrs Chalk and her family , Bill , Gord , Tony , Pam and Barb and her wonderful husband Frank who I hero worshipped I remember lots of lovely people who always made us feel welcome , watching milking and visiting a pig farm , Badbury rings and lots of wide open spaces was mind blowing for us as kids , and I wish we could of stayed there and never went home , a beautiful village that has a special place in my heart .

    1. Thanks for the memories, Alexander. My family lived two doors up from Mrs Chalk. Who knows we might have kicked a football about during your stay in Shapwick. Steve.

  3. Cheers Steve , I do remember having a game of footy on the fields at the back of Hawkpit cottages with local kids , I even picked up some of the local lingo and went back to Liverpool using loads of ...do ums ? and does ums ? atb Alex