Fairford History Society

Monthly Archives: October 2007

RAF FAIRFORD, 1944 – A MOST MOMENTOUS YEAR

by Brian E Routledge
(FHS Monograph No 2)RAF

Published by Fairford History Society. 2007
Price 4.00

RAF Fairford had a fairly brief life as an operational World War Two airfield, being active only for about eight months. However, during this time, it played its part in one of the most critical days of the entire war – D-Day, and what has subsequently been called a magnificent failure – Arnhem.

September 20th 2007: Farmor’s School – in transition

Hugh Dudley, deputy head teacher at Farmor’s School gave an interesting insight as to how Farmor’s made the change from a school of a few hundred when it moved to the Park site in 1961, to a comprehensive school in 1966 and in 2007 has 1094 pupils. It also gave an insight to the great changes in education that were happening when some of the audience were at school and was also an exercise in nostalgia for ex teachers and former pupils present.

Mr Dudley gave the Society a metal box with Farmor’s Endowed School printed on the side which was used as safe storage for registers and also the school cane!

Gloucestershire Annual Local History Afternoon, Saturday October 6th 2007

Religious non-conformity in Gloucestershire was the topic for this year’s meeting. About 20 local history societies from all over the county, including the FHS, brought their displays relating to non-conformity in their own particular area. Interestingly, Charlton Kings only had one chapel, whereas Fairford had at least five in the mid to late 19th Century.

There were two informative talks: the first from the Rev Ernest Clark about John Wesley and George Whitefield, who were almost contemporaries at Oxford University and both members of the Society of Methodists movement but who developed their ideas in different ways. Both Wesley and Whitefield went to Georgia, USA as missionaries. Wesley came back after year but Whitefield maintained his strong links with the United States and returned many times and when he died there in 1770 he left the wish that if a memorial service be held in England that John Wesley should take the service, which was fulfilled. Both Whitefield and Wesley preached all over the Gloucestershire area.

The second talk was from Averil Kear from the Gloucestershire Record Office on ‘The Power of the Chapel’ relating to her own particular area of the Forest of Dean but it could have related to any area of the County. She gave the historical background of non -conformity in the late 17th Century when alternative religions were banned from 1662 until 1672 when Charles II attempted to introduce a greater degree of religious tolerance with his Declaration of Indulgence which Parliament forced him to withdraw.

The Nailsworth society won the prize for the best display. The Bryan Jerrard Award for the writer of the best published article on local history in the past year was won by an article about Early District Nursing in Gloucestershire by Carrie Howse in Gloucestershire History No 20, 2006.

Gloucestershire Local History afternoon, 2007