Oral History Project
Late in 2016 a small group of volunteers met and agreed to launch an oral history project. We are setting out to record and collect the memories of long-standing residents. This will provide a great resource for local people, helping us all to understand the character of the villages many years ago – the people, the way of life and the houses and buildings. With the permission of those who contribute, we will use parts of the recordings (or the transcripts made of them) in several ways:
- In exhibitions and displays around the community
- Here on the Chalford Parish History Group website
- In books or articles about the parish
Many people enjoy taking part in such discussions. After an initial conversation to explain how it works, we arrange for someone to meet you or the person in their home (or elsewhere if preferred). The conversation would focus on recollections of life in the parish – family, school, work life, significant events and so on. Whilst we talk we record the conversation. Afterwards we send each person who participates a copy of the recording (on CD or on a memory stick for a computer), so that their family and friends can listen to their memories. If you, or someone you know, might be interested in participating, please get in touch by contacting the Secretary, Hilary Burgess using the Contact Form.
CPLHG Book: Chalford Parish in 42 Stories
Authors from left to right.
Back Row: Tony Hudson, Jim Ridge, John Dawson, Haydn Hunt, Michael Mills, John Loosley, Peter Drover, John Hudson and Philip Pearson.
Middle row: Roger Carnt, Steve Beioley, Juliet Shipman, Peter Ashcroft, Muriel Parsons, Juliet Stewart, Rob Airton, Hugh Conway-Jones, Graham Hobbs and Jim Bocock.
Seated: Caroline Sheldrick, Jennifer Tann, Jacqueline Cribley, Camilla Boon, Maureen Cornwell and Hilary Burgess.
This fascinating collection was published in November 2018. The book paints a portrait of the parish of Chalford (Brownshill, Bussage, Chalford, Chalford Hill and France Lynch) by bringing together varied pieces of research and investigation. It covers a wide range of topics from churches to specific houses, historical events and interesting local inhabitants. 28 contributors, ranging in age from 25 to 85 included some who were new to research and writing about local history, and others who are established local historians. A small editorial subcommittee (Camilla Boon, Hilary Burgess and Roger Carnt) oversaw production. By September 2019, 650 copies had been printed. It is now sold out locally, though there are a few for sale at The Family History Centre at The Gloucestershire Archives. Alternatively, please contact the Secretary, using the Contact Form.
Return to War: Bisley and Chalford Civil Parishes 1939-1945
A small group worked on this project for nearly five years, collecting information about the men who died, those who fought and those who were left behind. The villages covered not only include Brownshill, Bussage, Chalford, Chalford Hill and France Lynch but also Bisley, Eastcombe and Oakridge. The book was published in November 2021. If you would like a copy (420 pages and only £10, with all profits going to The Royal British Legion) then please contact the Secretary, using the Contact Form.
The Stan Gardiner Collection of photographs at the Gloucestershire Archives
A small group volunteered, with suitable training, to handle the photographs and catalogue them correctly so they can appear in the Archive online catalogue. The nearly 7,000 photographs took nearly a year to catalogue – we finished shortly before the first Lockdown in 2020!
CPLHG booklet: Chalford Heritage Trail
Written by a group enthusiastic of members, this was originally published to complement Stroudwater Textile Trust’s opening of St Mary’s Mill in Septemeber 2020, which had to be cancelled as a result of the Covid regulations. It is on sale at The Chalford Village Shop or by contacting the Secretary, using the Contact Form.
CPLHG booklet: Brownshill and Bussage Heritage Trail
In late 2021 onwards a group of members have been researching for this booklet, which was published in the spring of 2022. It is available by contacting the Secretary, using the Contact Form.
Heritage Interpretation Board
Chalford Parish Council worked with CPLHG to develop one outdoor Heritage Interpretation Board. The aim was to celebrate the rich history of the area and encourage interest in local heritage. The board has been developed for Chalford Vale and is situated in the bus shelter at the bottom of Marle Hill.
Fred Hammond Collection
A group of members catalogued this large collection at The Gloucestershire Archives in 2022. Fred Hammond was a very keen local historian who used live in Thanet House, Chalford.
Michael Mills Collection
A small group have catalogued many pictures and other material kindly donated by Michael’s widow, Margaret Mills.
Hilltop and Valley
Another book, similar in nature to ‘Chalford Parish in 42 Stories’, is being written by a group of members. It is hoped to publish it later in 2023.