Fairford History Society

Monthly Archives: July 2013

July 18th 2013: FOGA visit to Fairford

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On a very hot July day Edwin Cuss and Syd Flatman gave thirteen members of the Friends of Gloucestershire Archives (who braved the heat, the pre-airshow bustle and aircraft noise) a very interesting historical tour of the town. A post visit quote was “Lovely to be shown around an area by locals who know all the hidden gems.” Two of the members who had been on a town walk on a previous occasion had a tour of St Mary’s Church by Geoff Hawkes, they were delighted to be shown round by the expert. All the members then had a tea provided by the Society in the Heritage Room.

FoGA was established in 1993 to provide help and support to the Gloucestershire Archives (then called Gloucestershire Record Office) and to educate people in the importance of preserving the county’s archives. See www.foga.org.uk for more information)

June 22nd 2013: Caldicott’s visit update

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Since the Fairford Flyer 17, Tony Malin has emailed to say that Agnes Rose was his grandmother and he is Richards’ great great grandson and now has 7,000 names in his family tree! This is a picture of him and his wife Liz, the family presented them flowers to mark their appreciation for arranging the family reunion. (It just proves the justifiable mistake to his age!)

June 20th 2013 : AGM 2013 Early postcards: a local history resource?

After the short business meeting when the Chair, Geoff Hawkes reported that the Society is in good health financially and has over 140 members. Maurice Jones has resigned from the Committee and Gill Peachey and Sue Middleton were welcomed as additional new members. He thanked all who had helped FHS during the year.

imgpcard2John Higgs then showed a selection of early picture postcards. In Great Britain the first post card (pre-stamped) appeared about 1870. The divided back postcard was issued in 1902.

John explained that although postcards can be a useful local history resource, pictures are not always what they seem and the postcard makers were not always truthful. A splendid ‘real photograph’ (obviously an impossibility) of a Zeppelin being shot down highlighted by searchlights with surrounding explosions was variously captioned as being over the North Sea and over south east England. They had a supply of picturesque clouds to insert over a plain sky. The same oarsman appeared superimposed on different views of the River Lea. Many picture postcards were issued showing aspects of World War 1, most looked extremely posed

However, the practice of making personal photographs into postcards is of great benefit to the local historian. Pictures of large houses, long since disappeared, their servants, views of cities and villages, streets, buildings, rivers etc. are all very informative, but the local historian must be aware that photographs were sometimes not always what they seemed.

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