FHS’s first experiment of a morning meeting in February attracted a bumper turnout of over 80 members and visitors. This was an opportunity for the whole community to investigate the history of retail in Fairford.
Firstly, local postcard and photograph collector Edwin Cuss gave a presentation of images of former Fairford shops, which stimulated memories for many audience members. The images showed the High Street, London Street, Bridge Street and Milton Street at various times during the mid-20th century and this was also the route we would later take on our walk.
During the coffee break the room was abuzz with discussion. The interval also gave us a chance to look at the display of pictures, and town and carnival guides (containing adverts for local shops) from the Society’s archives. The Society’s Vice-President, David Perry, presented a large display of invoices for former businesses. Gloucester Archives also loaned a display of images relating to Herbert Hayes saddler’s shop in Back Lane.
After the interval we split into two groups respectively led by Edwin Cuss and knowledgeable volunteer Syd Flatman and went out for a walk around the town. We were favoured with good weather and the fact that the resurfacing works closed the road to traffic. The walk enabled us to see the locations of former shops and whilst the images in the earlier presentation had stimulated memories, the relaxed walk caused the memories to flood back.
With the evidence and memories recorded at this event we hope to be able to produce an archive of information on retail in Fairford by the community of the present for the community of the future.