Brian Routledge covered the life of RAF Fairford in 1944. His illustrated presentation included details of the difficulties of starting up the new RAF station and the momentous events of the D-Day and Arnhem airborne operations.
The talk has been produced in book form. See Publications
On 15th September, over 60 people attended the talk by June Lewis, Fairford’s historian and the Society’s president, on the topic of “Fairford at War”. Among the subjects covered were the Home Guard, the Fire Service, and how Fairford’s residents pulled together to cope with the wartime situation. Mr Hedges at Farmor’s School had to cope with an influx of about 90 evacuee children from London. This was especially interesting for two ex-evacuees as they had travelled from their homes in Wales and Herefordshire especially to hear the talk. They found their names on the list of evacuees attending Farmor’s School and one evacuee, Mr Harris, was able to identify himself in a photograph in June’s book ‘The Cotswolds at War’.
An excellent array of photographs entitled “Fairford at War” from Edwin Cuss’ collection were displayed and aroused a great deal of interest.
Also on display were some nostalgic items (for some of the audience) that had been loaned from the wartime collection of the Corinium Museum. Refreshments included biscuits, which were made according to wartime recipes, i.e. not quite as sweet as we are used to nowadays!
Nearly 70 people enjoyed going back in time to experience a school dinner in what used to be Fairford’s Free School, then became Farmor’s School and is now Fairford Community Centre. Transport was provided by the Fairford Community Bus to bring some of Fairford’s elderly residents to the event.
Dinner ladies Alison Hobson and Pam Nelmes served up traditional cottage pie and vegetables followed by rice pudding and jam. Thanks to Alex and Luci D’Elia and all the staff at The Bridge Restaurant for providing the food.
Headmaster, Trevor Hing said grace at the start of the meal and kept order throughout, dishing out the punishments to the naughty boys and girls!
February 24th 2005: St Mary’s Stained Glass Windows
Despite the inclement weather, 40 people attended the Fairford History Society meeting on 24th February to hear Denys Hodson give an entertaining and informative account of the history of the stained glass windows in St Mary’s. The speaker explained how the glass was made and the method of colouring, how it was probably made in London and brought up the river Thames to Lechlade and thence to Fairford. The majority of figures depicted on the windows are in biblical dress of the times, but there are occasionally very well dressed people, who are thought to represent prominent people of the period. One other notable fact is that all the ladies have blonde hair and all the men brown hair! If anyone would like a tour of the windows, Denys is at the church on Saturday lunchtimes.
The newly formed Fairford History Society met on 9th September to agree a Constitution and elect officers. Over 30 people heard:
Keith Cottam elected as Chairman,
Alison Hobson as Secretary
and Geoff Hawkes as Treasurer.
June Lewis-Jones was unanimously voted in as President
and former Mayor, David Perry as Vice President.
Keith Cottam said that he was pleased with the turn-out for the meeting and membership had now increased to 76 members. “There is enough history in Fairford” he said “to run a University faculty.”
When the official business had been completed, Colin Watkins gave a talk about “How Education came to Fairford”.
At FHS’s first AGM on 4th May, members enjoyed a lively and interesting evening, when a panel of long-standing Fairfordians recalled what Fairford was like when they were young. The panel, consisting of Peter Egerton, Maurice Jones, David Perry, Meg Perry and Peter Yells, chaired by Brian Routledge, discussed their schools, the town’s pubs, the railway, wartime experiences and Fairford’s former shops.