Chard and its Villages Through Time by Frank Huddy
'There is some deep satisfaction in being born in a place like Chard', said Margaret Bondfield the UK's first female cabinet minister, in her book A Life's Work. 'The old cloth trade of Chard - the lacemaking industry - the dyeing houses - the iron foundries - the old radicalism and nonconformity of Chard - these must somehow have got into the texture of my life and shaped my thoughts, long before I had a thought or will of my own.' Much of what she wrote is still true today. The area around Chard has catered to various trades, many of which are still operating today, although on a smaller scale than in those days when this was the most industrialised small town in England. Some of the factories have been put to other uses, many have vanished, and some new ones have appeared. This book records examples of great change, alongside some changes that are not so great - Chard may not be what once was, but for many it will always be home.