Diary insight into lace ace

AN exceptional addition to the lace-making exhibition is a diary unearthed by former Branscombe resident Geoff Squire. Found by Geoff about ten years ago in an antique shop, the diary is written by a Miss Green, who records a visit to Branscombe when she

AN exceptional addition to the lace-making exhibition is a diary unearthed by former Branscombe resident Geoff Squire.

Found by Geoff about ten years ago in an antique shop, the diary is written by a Miss Green, who records a visit to Branscombe when she was on holiday with her sister.

Miss Green, a teacher at St Anne's School in Bournemouth, stayed in Seaton from August 25 to September 6, 1947.

She visited Branscombe and was invited into May Somers' house to watch her make lace.

Miss Green describes how her "fingers fly weaving the bobbins in - out".

And she also mentions that the daughter of May Somers was ironing "for her baby"- a reference to Betty Rowson and her son, Barry.

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Now 83, Betty, who is looking forward to seeing the diary, said: "It's amazing to be mentioned in it.

"Lots of people used to come and watch my mum because she used to do it next to the window.

"She was a brilliant lace maker- a perfectionist. When some people did it, it didn't look tidy. Mums was the only one I saw that looked neat and tidy."

Geoff, who found the diary in Twyford, near Reading, said: "It was extraordinary to find it and it was completely by chance.

"It has been in the garage for the best part of ten years but I had a vague memory that Branscombe was mentioned in it."

In the diary Miss Green also notes a second trip to Branscombe when she visited the beach and watched people collecting pebbles, which were then used in various industries.

A piece of cream lace- a corner of a handkerchief- carefully wrapped in blue tissue paper, given to Miss Green by May Somers, was also in the diary along with return bus tickets from Seaton to Branscombe, postcards and photos taken on the beach.

These will also be on display with the diary during the book launch and exhibition.