Gordano Civic Society

Founded 1956

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Posset Pieces

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No 17 – Summer 2015

Lost Buildings of Portishead

60 pages

Price £7.50 (£6.50 for members)


1.  Rackley House with White Lodge

2.  Bruton Manor, Down Road, formerly known as Hollywood

3.  Capenor Court

4.  Tucks' Cottage, High Street

A twice yearly booklet on local history from the Gordano Region of Somerset edited by Sandy Tebbutt. Can be bought at Society meetings or from Sandy Tebbutt on 01275 843566. Also available at the Summit Outdoor Leisure shop in Portishead.

Posset Pieces No 17 Posset Pieces No 16 Posset Pieces No 15

No 16 – Winter 2014

“Portishead Rocks!”

68 pages

Price £8.95 (£8 for members)


This edition has been written by local geologist Mark Howson and is the definitive guide to Portishead's famous geology.


1. Introduction

2. Traverse 1 - The oldest and the youngest rocks

3. How do we know the age of rocks?

4. Traverse 2 - Energetic sediments and fish

5. How do we know where Portishead has been?

6. Portishead’s time scale

7. Traverse 3 - Tropical Idyll with Rock-and-Roll

8. Traverse 4 - Upheaval

9. Traverse 5 - Driftwood on the beach

10. Continents, Mountains, Oceans and Portishead

11. Traverse 6 - The Triassic revisited

12. Traverse 7 - A celestial walk

13. Portishead underground

14. The finishing touches


No 15 – Summer 2014

40 pages

Price £5.95 (£5 for members)


1. Editorial

2. A tribute to Rodney Challands

3. The story of the Virgo family of Walton-in-Gordano

4. More goings-on in Weston-in-Gordano!

5. My recollections of Portishead

6. The curates

7. Map showing former Power Station layout

8. The listed buildings of Walton-in-Gordano

9. Some more information on Beryl's pot

10. May Day in 1925 at Walton-in-Gordano

11. The Clifton Suspension Bridge

12. Marsh Lane

13. The sad case of Hannah Wiltshire

14. Victor Haliwell and the disaster on Lake Windermere

15. The end of the story of Commander Eric Robinson, Peace Pilot

16. The Old Pier Railway Station

17. Walter Russell (1878-1960) and his family

18. From ‘Delineations of Somersetshire’ (1829)


Latest edition >> Latest edition >> Posset Pieces No 14

No 14 – Winter 2013

The High Street

80 pages

Price £7.50 (£6.50 for members)


 1. Introduction.

 2. Mrs Hannah Crane.

 3. Historic Maps.

 4. Stone used in the High Street building.

 5. Elizabeth Featherstone’s story.

 6. Reminiscences.

 7. Crime in the High Street.

 8. Results of High Street research.

 9. P C Simper & Sons - Cycles and toys.

 10. Map of High Street - 1915.

 11. Results of High Street research (continued).

 12. Early closing - Letters to the editor (1863).

 13. Acknowledgements.

Posset Pieces No 13

No 13 – Summer 2013

Price £5.95 (£5 for members)


1. The signal station at Walton in Gordano.

2. Rectory characters.

3. Redcliffe Bay in the 1950s.

4. Fire!

5. Archeological finds at Gordano School, Portishead.

6. Beryl Broad’s Indian pot.

7. Portishead Horticultural Society 1863-2013.

8. The “Prisoner” of Woodhill - the 37 year asylum of Owen Blayney Cole.

9. Sea bathing.

10. Malicious wounding at Weston in Gordano.

11. Connections with the White Lion.

12. The Redcliffe Bay estate.

13. Sid Stone.

14. Two excerpts from Owen Blayney Cole’s “Our Village”.

15. Walton in Gordano.

Posset Pieces No 12

No 12 – Winter 2012

40 pages

Price £5.95 (£5 for members)


1. “Ballarat”, Nore Road.

2. Memories of growing up in Portishead.

3. Portishead Pottery and Miss Gwen Horlick.

4. History in the making - volunteering at the 2012 Olympics.

5. The Playtimers.

6. Shipwrecks and drownings off Portishead Point.

7. The organs at the United Reformed Church.

8. The Rectory.

9. The Portishead Rectory ghost revisited.

10. The Flour Mills of Portishead.

11. The Jubilee Bells of 1897.

12. Mr D Bransby-Dixon’s memories of Portishead.

13. Monica Russell’s letter to Father Christmas.

14. Brunel’s Broad Gauge railway carriage.

15. Begging in Portishead.

16. The Schimmelpennick connection.


Edition 1 to 9 >> Index >> Posset Pieces No 11

No 11– Summer 2012

Price £5.50 (£4.50 for members)


1. Someone to watch over me by Nigel Coombes.

2. Aubrey McGuire, holder of the Bristol Humane Society Silver Medal by Rob Campbell.

3. Doreen Harding’s Story.

4. The Ecclesiastical Census of 1851 by Sandy Tebbutt.

5. My Story by Alan Stonestreet.

6. Portishead Power Station by Johnny Johnston.

7. “Bravo Bristol” by Clive Burlton.

8. The Cherry Orchards of Clapton-in-Gordano by David Hounsell.

9. Beating the Bounds by Sandy Tebbutt (with notes from the late Trevor White).

10. The Naish Hill Climb and James Gordon’s Carriageway by Sandy Tebbutt (with help from Ian Salisbury and David Hounsell).

11. What Teenage boys were up to in 1949 by the late Jim Dyer.

12. Spencer Perceval, Prime Minister of Great Britain 1809 – 1812 by Sandy Tebbutt.

13. The Queens’ Diamond Jubilees.

Posset Pieces No 10

No 10 – Spring 2012

Mustad’s - The Horseshoe Nail Manufacturer at Portishead

48 pages

Price £6.50 or £5.50 to members


  1.   Mustad’s - The Norwegian Beginning
  2.   Hans Mustad
  3.   Fred Burris
  4.   Mustad’s of Portishead
  5.   Mustad Screws
  6.   The End of the Road for Mustad’s of Portishead
  7.   The Weston Clevedon & Portishead Light Railway
  8.   Evert Carlsson’s Story
  9.   Family connections with the Scandinavians
  10.   The Workers
  11.   Links with Portishead Urban District Council
  12.   The Last Word


No 18 – Winter 2015

44 pages

Price £5.95 (£5 for members)


  1.  The Poacher public house
  2.  The Bennett family
  3.  Old pilings in the mud
  4.  Portishead's Working Men's Clubs
  5.  Portishead Marine Baths
  6.  Local memories
  7.  Kew the builders
  8.  Snippet – No 1
  9.  James George Cole
  10.  Portishead radio station
  11.  The Haberfield bridge
  12.  A drinking fountain for Portishead
  13.  Snippet – No 2
  14.  Cricket in Portishead
  15.  Portishead commemorative souvenirs
  16.  Tuck's Cottage – High Street


Posset Pieces No. 18 001.jpg

Earlier Editions:

Posset Pieces No 19

No 19 – Spring 2016

50 Years of Portishead Youth Centre

32 pages

Price £5.95 (£5 for members)





No 20: Winter 2016

Personalities, Past and Present

70 pages

Price £6.95 (£6 for members)


  1. Visitors and passers-by at Battery Point
  2. Did Isambard Kingdom Brunel visit Portishead?
  3. Charles Kingsley 1819 - 1975
  4. Arthur Reynolds – Memories of Mr. Portishead by Bryan Stokes
  5. Dame Clara Butt: Commander of the British Empire
  6. Princess Christian of Schleswig Holstein
  7. Sir Compton MacKenzie
  8. Fay Inchfawn – Author
  9. Frances Hariott Wood
  10. George Fox, Founder of the Quaker Movement
  11. The Artist James Whistler – His time in Portishead
  12. Jim Dyer: 1932-2011 by Mary Dyer
  13. Edward Sharland, artist and engraver
  14. A man called Leslie Harrison by Vic Long and Rita Mitchell
  15. Joseph Walter, local painter 1783 - 1856
  16. Clive Staples Lewis 1898 - 1963
  17. John Fisher 1802 -1877
  18. Ken Windibank
  19. Martin Sterland, Channel Pilot from 1971 - 2007
  20. The Crocker family by Nigel Coombes
  21. The Story of Portishead's Christmas Lights by Judith Burrill
  22. Princess Henry of Battenberg
  23. The Sinnock family
  24. Who wants to be a ballerina? by Mary Dyer
  25. Vic Long (and son George) by himself
  26. Ray Herbert – Coxswain of Portishead Lifeboat by Joan Herbert
  27. Mrs Frances Freeling Broderip, author


Unless otherwise shown articles are by Sandy Tebbutt.



Posset Pieces No 20