PURTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY
MEETING VENUE - PURTON METHODIST CHURCH, PLAY CLOSE
Last month was a sad one for the Society in that three of our members died,
Paul Booy, Ernie Paish and Hector McClean. The Society sends its deepest sympathy to their wives and families.
THURSDAY 27TH APRIL 2023, AT 7.30 PM
THE LYDIARD ARCHIVES: LYDIARD TREGOZE FAMILY HISTORY PROJECT
SARAH FINCH CRISP
Launched in September 2021 The Lydiard Archives is a freely accessible digital collection of items relating to Lydiard Park, its former owners, the St.John family and the people who lived and worked in the Parish of Lydiard Tregoze. In just 18 months there are already over 1,000 items you can view including previously unseen photographs of local families, together with their stories. Sarah’s talk will concentrate on the Lydiard Tregoze Family History Project, revealing some of the remarkable photographs and objects that have come to light.
THURSAY 25TH MAY 2023, AT 7.30 PM
THE ROMAN INVASION, OCCUPATION AND COLONISATION OF BRITAIN
The talk outlines the reasons why the Romans chose to invade Britain and the strategies adopted in progressively subjugating the population of the British Isles. The progression from Invasion to Occupation and eventually to Colonisation led to a Roman presence lasting some 400 years. The influence of the Romans lasted longer than their physical occupation, the evidence of which can still be seen in the course of the major road networks and the names and locations of the principal towns. Bill King will explain the progress of Roman influence throughout Britain and how Britannia became the northernmost province of the Roman Empire extending from the Straits of Dover to the River Tay and how its population became citizens of Rome.
The talk is illustrated with maps and images and shows examples of the way in which the impact of the period of Roman influence can still be seen around us today.
SATURDAY 17TH JUNE 2023
VISIT TO MARLBOROUGH - DISCOVERING MARLOBOROUGHS'S HISTORY: AROUND THE HIGH STREET
“Discovering Marlborough’s History: Around the High Street” introduces the town’s fascinating past.
Beginning at the Tourist Information Point in the George Lane car park (SN8 1BE), the High Street is reached via the town’s Priory Gardens, the site of a medieval Carmelite Friary.
Notable for its diverse range of building styles: the prevalence of Georgian reflects Marlborough’s wealth during the golden age of coaching, which saw up to 44 changes of horses daily.
Opposite the town hall, with its fancy stone facings, is Chandler’s Yard. The ancient, timber-framed buildings here connect us with the medieval town. We can almost smell Marlborough’s deep history.
The 1653 great fire began in a tannery, now “The Wellington” inn, destroying most of the High Street. Marlborough had been sacked by a Royalist army in 1642 determined to teach Marlborough’s “notoriously discontented” people a lesson. It was thanks to the Protector Cromwell that it was rebuilt after the fire.
The walk finishes at St Peter’s Church (SN8 1HQ) notable for its 15th century perpendicular gothic, T H Wyatt’s restoration, and the place where Thomas Wolsey was ordained priest.
The walk covers generally flat terrain with a few very gentle gradients. It involves easy walking throughout and is suitable for wheelchair users. Dogs are welcome provided they are kept fully under control.
The length of the walk is approximately 0.75 mile. The duration is one hour.
Public toilet facilities (20p charge) are available at the start of the walk next to the Tourist Information point in the George Lane car park.
Meeting at Tourist Information Point, George Lane, SN8 4BX car park at 11.00am until 12.15pm. Distance ¾ mile.
Places limited to 16. Fee £5 each.
Please share transport or use Purton Minibus.
To book contact Marion Hobbs 01793 770185
SATURDAY 1ST JULY 2023 - BRADON BOUNDARY WALK
Meet at Cricklade Rugby Car Park at 10.00am.
As we look forward to celebrating King Charles’s III’s Coronation, it is also interesting to look back at how Purton marked the coronations of King George VI in 1937 and Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.
A Carnival Procession from Purton Station to Pavenhill started the festivities on the 12th May 1937, followed by an afternoon of sports on the School Playing Field. The ‘Boys under 16, pillow fight on a pole’ must have been highly entertaining and the ‘Men and Women, thread-the-needle race’ quite a challenge! The coronation gave the fledgling BBC Television Service its first major outside broadcast, although cameras were not permitted inside Westminster Abbey. The excitement in the school at 7.20pm for the broadcast of the Coronation Speeches must have been palpable as for many Purtonians it was probably the first time they had heard their monarch’s voice. The festivities concluded with a bonfire at Stratton Hill, the field behind Stratton Court which is opposite the entrance to Willis Way in the High Street.
Sixteen years later and the programme of events for Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation on the 2nd June 1953 are very similar but with the venues being the Red House and the Purton School Recreation Field. The sporting events of ‘Girls 11-13, 40 yds Deportment’ and ‘Boys 13-15, 60 yds Slow Bicycle’ are intriguing and no doubt the ‘Greasy Pole’ and ‘Inter Village Tug of War’ were hotly contested! There must have been a great deal of merriment at the end of the day when villagers gathered to admire the bonfire and firework display. Unfortunately, the photograph of the decorated Institute Building is the only image the museum has of this momentous day which is a shame as it would be wonderful to see photographs of entries in the ‘Best Decorated House and Garden’, Carnival Procession and of Old Folks enjoying their lunch of cold meat, pickles and creamed potatoes at the Red House Memorial Hall.
These Souvenir Programmes, and other coronation memorabilia, will be on display in Purton Museum until the end of June.
Purton Museum is open on Saturdays, commencing 1st April, from 10.00 am -
12.30 pm and also on Tuesday 2nd May from 3.00 - 6.00 pm.
Please note the museum will be closed on Saturday 6th May 2023.