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By Philip Woodland

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Alfred Davis
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William Thomas Woodland

           In the fall of 1979 our daughter and her family were living in Buckingham Shire, about 40 miles from London.  We stayed with them for two weeks and then had a Britrail pass to travel on these wonderful trains for two weeks.


            So early one morning we put up a lunch and left for Somerset County.  England is so different from the USA.  Every minute there is something that makes a good picture.  Our son-in-law said the part of England around Puckington is one of the most unchanged, unspoiled and most beautiful of all England.


            There we can see about the same picture our grandparents and their parents lived, once village after another separated by winding narrow roads many hundreds of years old.  The Church in Puckington was one of the few now left unlocked.  We spent some time there.  The chapel is so powerful.  No one came in the hour or so we spend around the yard.


            My daughter and I were sitting on the back row talking when she said, “Daddy, look!”  There on the top of the railing directly in front of her was the name Woodland carved along with other names.  It had been varnished and rubbed over many times but still showed enough to take a picture.


            We tried to find someone who could tell us some of the history of Puckington.  We walked down and street and came to a home that said Post Office—it was only a home, not a Post Office as we think of one.  The Postmistress, whose mother was named Woodland, invited us in for “tea.”


            Her husband had been dead for many years and she lived alone.  All she could tell us about the house was that it was at least 200 years old.  We visited every village that was listed in the book of Woodland History.*  Each place was beautiful, we were invited in and everyone was related or knew friends named Woodland.


            That part of the country is off the Railroads and main motorways.  There is no way to describe the beauty.  Whenever anyone gets an opportunity, go see that part of the world. 


            Our trip was not so much of a visit for sightseeing but adventure.


(From handwritten notes of Philip Woodland dated 1979.)


*The Alfred Woodland Family, Woodland Family Organization, J. Grant Stevenson, publisher, 1978.


All the photos on this page can be seen by going to the Photos-Puckington Link or Puckington Church Link.