Chapter 9:


Over the years there have been many different Groups and Organisations in the village.

We have reports of a Cricket Club as far back as 1898. There have been several other Cricket Clubs over the years. We find no records but a cricket pitch is marked on some old maps in the field south of the Rectory.

Piddlehinton Football Club pre 1st World War

Piddlehinton Football Team 1914

L-R, Back: ?,?,Charlie Dyke, Bill Smith, Waltre Jeanes, Bill Jeanes. Front: ?,?, Fred Way, Alf Dyke, Jack Dyke

Piddlehinton Football Club

Piddlehinton men have always loved football. We know they had a team before the First World War. We have a report that it was re-formed in 1938. Since then there has always been a Piddlehinton football club.

Piddlehinton Football Team 1948

Piddlehinton Football Team 1948

Piddlehinton Football Team 1949

Piddlehinton Football Team 1949

L-R, Back: Jack Way, Jim Davies, Cecil Watts, Ted Boardman, Ken Green, Wilf Saint. Front: Don Wightman, Arthur Trevett, John Gregory, Jim Willis

Piddlehinton Women's Institute 1918 - 1969.

In 1918 Mrs. Gwladys Belgrave took the lead in forming the WI in Piddlehinton.

Excerpts from the records include:

1919 the ladies became interested in rush-work classes, learning to make baskets and mats. Dozens of men's working baskets and many mats were made. Classes were held at West Lodge. At an exhibition held in London, Mrs Cornick, one of the oldest members, was awarded a gold medal, the only one awarded for this handicraft. The medal hung in a frame in the school.

Members took an active part in a pageant held in Colliton Park.

the W.I. in ?1925

The W.I. in ?1925

1921 it was arranged to have a gypsy picnic with music at West Lodge.

1926 It was planned to enter a singing competition. The first test was held in the Corn Exchange, Dorchester. The little choir did well and secured 182 marks out of 200 beating many other Village W I s. As a result they were sent to the Pavilion, Weymouth, for the final where they scored over 180. The choir was trained by Miss Way and the accompanist was Mrs Belgrave.

This year also, Mrs Churchill of Muston formed a Knitting Committee and quite an industry was developed knitting socks.

photocopy about sock knitting industry in the village
WI sock knitting group

WI sock knitting group c1926. L-R, Mrs Churchill, Mrs Newman, Mrs Saint, Mrs Millicent Loveless, Mrs Gerrard, Mrs Bill Jeanes, Mrs Baggs, two Mrs Gregory, Mrs Reid

During 1927 a sale was held to help buy beds in the Bath Orthopaedic Hospital.

Starting in 1933, annual summer Flower Shows were held at West Lodge. The show in 1939 had to be cancelled due to the war.

With the coming of the Second World War the WI members became very active. In 1940 they had a sale in aid of the Dorset Spitfire Fund making the sum of 14s., a stall for Red Cross funds made 11s. 6d. There is a report of knitting 122 garments for the services and a 'Social' was held for prisoner of war parcels. The WI made a lot of jam using a special sugar ration given to all WIs for this purpose. A secretary for jam making was appointed. The jam had to be made to specified recipes and sold at a fixed price. One recipe was for blackberry and apple jam. The school children picked large quantities of blackberries for this jam.

the W.I. 21st Birthday party

In December 1939 Piddlehinton WI celebrated its 21st birthday with a Christmas party in the school room [photo Right]. Miss Way, the president, gave a birthday cake and Mrs. Riggs, who had attended the very first meeting, gave a toast to the Institute. All members brought presents they had made costing less than one shilling and drew lots for which present they would receive. The presents showed great ingenuity on the part of the donors. Later the WI members from Charminster, Piddletrenthide and Cheselbourne were welcomed. A display of dancing was given by the pupils of Miss Abbott's School of Dancing. Games were arranged by the dramatic sub-committee and dancing was enjoyed. Some 120 people sang 'Auld lang syne'. Music for dancing was played by the Piddlehinton Dance Band.

In 1944 a Flower Show was held at the Rectory with 120 entries, which was good for late September.

Mrs. Churchill cutting the cake at the Golden Jubilee party

In 1968 the WI celebrated their Golden Jubilee with a Christmas Party. After the turkey supper, the celebration cake was cut by Mrs. Churchill, their oldest member [Right].

Sadly, in 1969 it was decided to close down for lack of members. It was hoped those who remained would join Piddletrenhide.

In 1979 the Piddletrenthide WI became the Piddle Valley WI incorporating Piddlehinton.

The Baden Powell Organisations

There have been Cubs, Brownies and Guides groups in the Village. There is still a Brownie pack today.

A Cub pack was started in the village in the 1920s by Mrs. Belgrave. They met at West Lodge. When Mrs. Belgrave became ill, Miss Mayo took charge of the pack. In 1938, although there were only five members, the pack entered and won the Dorset Singing competition in Dorchester. Many of their rival packs were 13 or 14 in number.

It seems that Scouts in Piddlehinton joined the Piddletrenthide group. The boys could often be seen packed into Mrs. Chute, the Rector's wife's car, some standing on the running board, being taken to their weekly meetings.

Guides also met at West Lodge for a short period; later they joined the Piddletrenthide group.

Brownie pack 1946.

A Brownie pack [Left, in 1946]was formed by Miss Susan Churchill (now Mrs. Williams) early in the war. They met in the old Reading Room. After Susan Churchill's marriage, Miss Haydon, the village schoolteacher, ran the pack. They then met at the Rectory. We still have a flourishing pack today.

Church fete
George Darren and Family with a horse and cart decorated for the fete

George Darren and Family with a horse and cart decorated for the fete

Every year there is a fete in aid of church funds. They were always held at the Rectory, and this continued when the Church sold the Rectory to Mr. and Mrs. Rex Lovelace. When Rex Lovelace became ill the current pattern of alternating with West Lodge began. When Lady Lister-Kaye (formerly Mrs. Rex Lovelace) first came to the village, teas at the Rectory were served to the gentry for 1s. on the front lawn, and to the village folk for 2d. on the back lawn. A marquee was used in which to serve teas in later years until the cost for its hire outstripped the takings. Now we have to chance the weather. Piddlehinton used to have annual tug-of-war competitions against Piddletrenthide across the river at the fete. There was always a fancy dress competition but in later years only children took part. There are many stalls and sideshows and it is always an enjoyable day with good profits.

Other groups

There were the usual Church Groups, the Choir, the Women's Union, the Sunday School (run by the Rectors' wives on Sunday afternoons) and the Bellringers. There were outings for all these groups in most years.

In 1939 '30 aspirants' are recorded by the Rector as 'attending a weekly dancing class for chaps. Also in 1939 there was a Men's' Club with 40 members. They hired the school for their meetings where they played darts, bagatelle, shove ha'penny, draughts and cards.

'The Bright Sparks' was a very successful Theatrical Group in the 1930s and 1940s. The members entertained our village and many others with singing, recitations (often in Dorset dialect) and short plays. They were very popular and much in demand. Among their members were Wyn Gerrard, Vera Vincent and Betty Joyce who all remember what a lot of fun they had.

In the 1940s there was a very strong Youth Club run by Miss Rose Way. Dances and Whist Drives were held most weeks in the school or the Reading room but profits in those days were small. The Youth Club once represented Dorset at a Folk Dance Festival at the Albert Hall. For most of them it was their first visit to London. Shortly after the war they used to go to play table tennis and other games with the 'Displaced Persons' in their camp at the top of Cerne Hill where the Land Girls had been living during the war. These 'displaced persons' were mostly people from Latvia and Lithuania.

Records tell us that there was a Slate Club and even an Octogenarians Group who met at the New Inn every week back in the 1930s.


Piddlehinton people love to celebrate. Over the years we have celebrated Jubilees, Coronations, Royal Weddings and war Victories with wonderful tea parties, sports, firework displays and dancing. The various organisations have gone on outings to the seaside or to shows - every year there were Christmas parties to look forward to.

Pyddle Hinton Parish magazine August 1897 re Diamond Jubilee.
Pyddle Hinton Parish magazine February 1898 re Sunday School party.
Pyddle Hinton magazine August 1898 re Choir and Band of Hope excursions.
Char-a-banc outing to Weymouth 1920

Charabanc outing to Weymouth 1920.

Inlcudes Mrs Baggs, Bert & Saint Mabel, Mrs Read, Mrs Gundry, Jack Gerrard, Florrie Jeanes, Mrs Bob Gregory, Mrs C Gregory, Mrs Riggs

Pyddle Hinton Parish magazine July 1899 reporting the Choir and Women's Union outing

"On Thursday, June 9th, the Choir together with some members of the Women's Union, had a most enjoyable trip to Weymouth. Everyone having assembled at the Rectory, after prayers the party started for the station, some in a brake, some on bicycles, and the remainder in the Rector's pony carriage. By the courtesy of the Stationmaster and Mr Reed, the Superintendent, who always takes a kindly interest in outings from Pyddle Hinton, comfortable seats were speedily obtained, and shortly after Weymouth was reached. The party then dispersed to amuse themselves as they liked, meeting again at one o'clock and at five for dinner and tea, which, as before, was well provided for at Lumley's."

Sunday School outing to Weymouth 1927

Sunday School outing to Weymouth 1927

Bert Saint, Wilf Saint, Mabel Saint, Jack Gerrard, Mabel Gerrard, Florrie Jeanes, Bill Jeanes, Ted Jeanes.

Bellringers outing 1950

Bellringers outing 1950

L-R back: Ben Cheeseman, Capt Paul Field, Fred Davis. Front: Dorothy Warden, Ruth Jeanes, Christine Davis, Doris Warden

In 1934 to celebrate the centenary of the Tolpuddle Martyrs, an Old Fashioned Wedding was staged in the Rectory garden.

Photo of the whole “wedding” group

Photo of the whole "Wedding" group

L-R Back: Fred Hawkins, Arthur Jeanes, Tommy Cosh, Florrie Jeanes, Jim Jeanes, George Hansford, Mrs Murphy, Mrs Read, Molly Jeanes. Front: Cubby Hawkins, Margaret Jeanes, Grace Ford, Mrs Hawkins, Mrs Gregory, Frank Jeanes (Groom), Annie Jeanes (Bride), Mrs Ellen Gregory, Miss Neal, Miss Neal, Alf Dyke