RICHARD SIMS was born in Crewkerne, where his interest in railways and their history developed during the last days of steam. In 1976 he moved to a teaching post in West Dorset, which allowed him to focus on its railway history, especially that of the GWR’s route to Weymouth. He moved on to study Bridport’s industrial past in the 1990s. He has produced a series of leaflets on the Industrial History of Bridport for the local museum, which were illustrated by Marion, his wife. Early retirement from teaching has given him the time to concentrate on researching the history of Bridport’s textile industry. He has contributed some of the research for Bridport and West Bay, the buildings of the flax and hemp industry, published by English Heritage. His research into the history of Palmers Brewery was the main source used in their recent book, Palmers, the Story of a Dorset Brewer.