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The Fairford Flyer

Fairford History Society
Newsletter No 2
January 2006

Other Newsletters:

Fairford Flyer No 1
Fairford Flyer No 3
Fairford Flyer No 4

FHS awarded grant of almost £25,000 from the Local Heritage Initiative!

Just before Christmas the exciting news was received that the FHS has been awarded a grant of £24.949 from the Local Heritage Initiative to produce a community play entitled ‘School Report’. This play will take place in May 2007 and will be a dramatic representation of education in Fairford over three centuries, including the story of the old Farmor’s School. The play will be researched and written locally and will be produced in association with Farmor’s School and Fairford Amateur Dramatic Society (FADS). A visual recording will be made of events leading up to the production, and the production itself will be recorded professionally. The resulting DVD will be available for sale and an historical booklet about three centuries of education in Fairford will also be produced. FHS will be able to record events with the new equipment acquired through the grant.

In conjunction with the announcement that the Fairford Community Centre Project is also to receive a significant grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, our grant is a great boost for Fairford and all the material resulting from the play will be available in the proposed Heritage Centre. The FHS is working closely with the Community Centre on this project.

The Local Heritage Initiative is a national grant scheme that helps local groups to investigate, explain and care for their local landscape, traditions and culture. The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) provides the grant but the scheme is a partnership, administered by the Countryside Agency with additional funding from the Nationwide Building Society.

Meeting dates at the
Community Centre 2006

Feb 9th 7.45pm
‘In sickness and in health’ a talk by James Turtle from the GRO. This talk will cover medicine in Glos from 16th-19th centuries - all manner of treatments from the hopeful to the bizarre.

May 11th 7.45pm AGM


Fairford Frogs
National news 400 years ago!
Kings Pamphlet
August 2nd 1600Kings Pamphlet
August 2nd 1600

“Strange newes from Gloucester, a perfect relation of the wonderful and miraculous power of God showed for injustice at Fairford, between Farringdon and Scicister, where an innumerable company of frogs and toads (on a sudden) overspread the ground, orchards, and Houses of the Lord of the town, and a justice near adjacent, and how they divided themselves into distinct bodies, and orderly, made up to the house of the sd justice, some climbing up the walls and into the windows and chambers; and afterwards how strangely and unexpectedly they vanished away.”

This curious story, recorded in the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, tells how a group of Anabaptists were roughly treated in Fairford and received no help from the Lord of the Manor, Esquire Barker and the local JP. The implication of the pamphlet is that the plague of frogs was the just punishment!


FHS News
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’.

FHS Committee
Keith Cottam (Chair) 711054
Brian Routledge (Vice Chair)
Alison Hobson (Secretary) 711768
Geoff Hawkes (Treasurer) 712053
Ian Westlake (Membership) 712329
Margaret Bishop (FCC rep)
Trevor Hing (FTC rep)
Roger Phillips (Fieldwalking)
Lesley Pincombe (Group Coordinator)
John Read (IT)

At the November meeting 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.
Membership Jan-Aug 06 £2.50
You can join at any meeting or by contacting Ian Westlake (Mem Sec)
Membership forms can be downloaded from here and given to any committee member or handed in at Fairford Town Council Office, 3 London Street .

To mark the 60th anniversary of end World War Two the first of a series of FHS monographs has been produced – Fairford’s War Memorial and Roll of Honour by Chris Hobson. It relates the history of the War Memorial, originally intended to stand in the Market Square, and also provides details of the Fairford men who died during World War One and Two. Copies of the monograph can be obtained from the Secretary. Additional information would be most gratefully received by the Secretary.

Fairford Archive. Since late 2004 a total of 375 items have been recorded on the database. There is still much work to do but if you have any interesting Fairford material, especially photographs, that we could borrow to record please contact Alison on 711768 or at the FTC Office Wed and Thurs (10-12). A quick and safe return is promised.