Our next meeting is on Wednesday, 19th February at 7.30 p.m. in Holy Cross Church Hall, Butts Road, Chiseldon, SN4 0NJ, when Chris and Judy Rouse will be presenting on “Riots, randies and women not their wives; the Railway Navvies, their social and living conditions”.
Some 20,000 miles of railway track were laid in Great Britain before the end of the 19th century, using technology that was limited to simple block and tackle lifting gear and copious amounts of gunpowder for blasting through solid rock. The rest of the work was done by armies of men using picks, shovels and barrows. Many of those men were known by the generic term “navvy”. The word is a contraction of “navigator” and harks back to the great construction projects of the previous century, namely the building of the canals, or “navigations”, which were now being superseded by the railways. Many of the new “navigators” were direct descendants of the canal-builders, and they were proud to carry on the traditions that went with the job. Much of their activity was “piecework”, paid by the yard or ton rather than an hourly wage – and they were sometimes paid in beer! Large numbers of navvies descending on a community had a very large impact. Chris and Judy will tell us about the life of the “navvy” and what it was like to live alongside them. Imagine the impact of the navvies as they made their way through Chiseldon in 1879-1881….
... is now due for the new year 2019 - 2020. All members are asked to fill in a Membership Form. It can be downloaded here (.pdf).
Please bring your completed form to a meeting, together with your annual subscription of £10 (cheques to Chiseldon Local History Group) or post/deliver them to:
Membership Secretary, CLHG, 27 Home Close, Chiseldon, Swindon SN4 0ND.
We can offer talks to interested groups on the village and its history, and on Chiseldon Camp. Please get in touch via the website, email or phone for more details.
Chiseldon and The Great War
CLHG has recently published a new book! 'Chiseldon and The Great War' has been compiled by Elaine Jones, using material shown in the Museum over the past 4 years to commemorate the men whose names appear on the Memorial Tablet in Holy Cross Church, together with interesting details of village life, institutions and personalities from that time.
It is NOW AVAILABLE at a cost of £7.50. You can order your copy by clicking here. Or you can buy a copy at Oakleys Spar in the village.
This year, 2020, marks the 75th Anniversary of V.E. (Victory in Europe) Day on 8th May, which will be a Public Holiday (Friday). CLHG plan to take part in the village celebration. Do you have any memories of this event? Or family stories from the time? We would be delighted to hear your account.
Programme 2019 - 20
The programme of talks and events for the coming year has been published and is available here.
The Museum in The Old Chapel, Butts Road is open every Saturday afternoon until the end of September. Details here.
Chiseldon Station Information Board
The Information Board was installed near Oakleys Spar, after a ‘grand unveiling’, on June 16th 2018 by Eric Shaw, attended by a number of villagers. It was made possible by grants from Chiseldon Parish Council and the Calley Memorial Hall Fund.
Further Information Boards are planned. Watch this space!
Talk & Tours
Chiseldon Camp trained thousands of British, American and Commonwealth troops in both World Wars. David Bailey, author of two books on the camp, gives an occasional talk and tour of the site.
'The People in the Church'
Indiscretions, a duel, violence, dodgy dealing, royalty, tragic deaths, gallantry - all these in the stories behind some of the family monuments in Holy Cross Church!
The next Talk and Tour will be published here.