Recalling Treasure Island's past glories
Many generations of Lower Weston children will remember in bygone years going over to the 'island' and buying their pennyworth of gooseberries from the lady in the old cottages.
To us children it was merely known as the 'island' but to the older generation it was called 'Dutch Island', after the Dutchman who had started the brass mill there in bygone days.
Like everybody else, I had always believed the old cottages were built after the island became an island but after reading a fascinating article in an old Chronicle recently, I believe this might not necessarily be the case.
The reporter, who went under the initials KGG, had taken a bus ride from town and entered the island from the Twerton side.
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KGG waxed lyrical about the hum of the machinery from Carr's calling it 'Treasure Island' because the high grade British cloth it produced was real dollar spinner, important at this time after the war (1950).
From here the reporter went on to the Bath end of the island and Logwood Cottages where KGG was to report carved above one of the doorways was the date 1667. If this is correct, then the cottages were there when it was part of the mainland.
The canal opened in December 1727. The Dolphin bridge bears the date 1728.
Was there anything else already on the island? In her book, Two Thousand years in the life of a Somerset Village, well known Weston historian, Joan Hargood-Ash, sketched a map of what she thought Weston looked like in medieval times and on the banks of the Avon was a mill.
So could the Weston and Twerton woollen industries have started at about the same time?
By the Thorpe map of 1742 the island showed mills across the weir from the famous Twerton Georgian factory, sadly a victim of the flood prevention scheme.
History is often lost or misplaced and there is nothing left now of the island's past glories.
PETER BURNS Avon Park Lower Weston Bath