Relatives, family and staff gather for centenary celebration of Worle family

PUBLISHED: 18:00 25 July 2019

Skidmore family celebration, (left to right front) Carol Richardson, Muriel Skidmore, Anita Skidmore, (rear) David Skidmore, Brian Skidmore and Mike Skidmore.    Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Skidmore family celebration, (left to right front) Carol Richardson, Muriel Skidmore, Anita Skidmore, (rear) David Skidmore, Brian Skidmore and Mike Skidmore. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

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One of Worle's oldest families gathered to celebrate a century of living in the town.

Guests at the Skidmore family celebration.    Picture: MARK ATHERTONGuests at the Skidmore family celebration. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

More than 300 members of the Skidmore family enjoyed a party at Hornets Rugby Club on Saturday to mark 100 years since Edward James Skidmore opened the independent furniture retailer, which bears their name, in the centre of Worle High Street.

The Skidmores have a deep-rooted history in the area after Edward's son, Stanley, was shot during World War One and was sent to Ashcombe House in Weston to recover.

Edward visited him and liked the area so much, he decided to move his family here.

An 18-metre-long family tree was unveiled on Saturday which contains 1,800 names, with at least one family member from each line represented on the day.

Guests at the Skidmore family celebration.    Picture: MARK ATHERTONGuests at the Skidmore family celebration. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Organiser David Skidmore said it was a 'brilliant day'.

He said: "I began looking into my family history a couple of years ago but the more digging I did, the more fascinated I became and it is now a big hobby of mine.

"We had a lot of family and extended family who had not seen each other for decades, including one set of cousins who last saw each other in 1959, plus relatives meeting for the first time.

"It was a very rare opportunity where we could get so many people together and it was great to share the day with our staff members, traders and sellers, too.

"People really enjoyed hearing the history behind our family and learning new fact, it was a brilliant day."

EJ Skidmore And Sons was set up in 1919 in the same building the business is in today, although it began life as a building firm in Oxfordshire.

Skidmore's was a hardware and ironmongery store which also sold paint and furniture.

It later became a sweet and tobacco shop and café which also sold homemade ice cream around the area from the back of a van.

Worle Operatic and Dramatic Society performed a Skidmore's 100-year concert, which featured songs from every decade.

The Lamb Inn served up a harvest lunch and a cake was cut by the youngest and oldest Skidmore family members; Muriel, aged 90, and 92-year-old Vera doing the honours with six-month-old Bertie.

There are plans to host a centenary display in Weston Museum in January and David is writing a book on the family.

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