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.




Researching a book entitled: ‘Return to War: Bisley and Chalford Civil Parishes 1939-1945’
A small group have been working on this project for nearly five years, collecting information about the men who died, those who fought and those 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 the profits going to The Royal British Legion) then please contact the Secretary, using the Contact Form.



Cataloguing 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.





CPLHG booklet: Brownshill and Bussage Heritage Trail

In late 2021 onwards a group of members have been researching for this booklet, which it is hoped will be published in the Spring of 2022.




Heritage Interpretation Boards

Chalford Parish Council is working with  CPLHG to develop some outdoor Heritage Interpretation Boards. The aim is to celebrate the rich history of the area and encourage interest in local heritage. The first board has been developed for Chalford Vale and is situated in the bus shelter at the bottom of Marle Hill. It is suggested there might be boards in each of the six village.



Hammond Collection

It is hoped to begin cataloguing this large collection at The Gloucestershire Archives in the Spring of 2022. Fred Hammond was a very keen local historian who used live in Thanet House, Chalford.

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