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The Fairford Flyer

Fairford History Society
Newsletter No 6
January 2008
FHS Logo

Other Newsletters:

Fairford Flyer No 1
Fairford Flyer No 2
Fairford Flyer No 3
Fairford Flyer No 4
Fairford Flyer No 5

Lizzy Farmor’s Edifying Circus

Lizzie Farmor Community Play

Superteachers, (Maureen Partington and Nicky Clare)
with Farmor’s School children
and ‘Sir’ (Hugh Dudley) and ‘Miss’ Jean Kilgarrif
in the background.
Photo John Lang

I expect that many of you who read this will have either seen or taken part in our Community Play, so generously funded by the Local Heritage Initiative. It was a huge effort by everyone who took part and the numbers were very large. Over two hundred people were directly involved on stage and behind the scenes and 800 people saw the show on four nights. There isn’t space to name all the people who took part but Fairford History Society do wish to give special thanks to all three schools, FADS, the Town Council, the Post Office, St Mary’s PCC and Blenheim Antiques. This was a true community effort and one which we will all remember for many years to come. It is a requirement of the grant that any profit made should be put towards a ‘heritage’ project. The FHS Committee have agreed that the money should be put towards equipping the Heritage Room and Archive Room in the Fairford Community Centre. JR

If you want to recapture the show why not buy the DVD which is on sale in Blenheim Antiques price £8.50.

Community Play DVD

‘God Sent a Plague of Frogs to Fairford’

Dr Andrew Warmington’s fascinating talk in November told a tale of media manipulation, religious differences and social tensions in Fairford in 1660. A plague of frogs may well have visited Fairford but this was a common occurrence due to local conditions and the incident was used as propaganda by both Anglicans and nonconformists.

2008 events are:- FAIRFORD LIBRARY at 7.30 pm (change of venue)
February 21st 2008 Edwin Cuss – Crawling to Concorde - transport
May 15th AGM - Fairford in Canada by June Lewis-Jones
and back in Fairford Community Centre
September 18th
November 20th

Fairford Community Centre

Work on the Community Centre is progressing well. The builders hope to finish at the end of April; May will be a month of equipping and moving in and it is hoped the Centre will be open for business at the beginning of June. There will be various opening events to which the Community will be invited.

The refurbished building will have Council and Parish offices and an Information room and Conference chamber as well as rooms for community and youth activities, and will be fully accessible to the disabled. The former church tea room will provide Visitor/Heritage Centre facilities. There will be a small exhibition with items on display, a timeline round the room, and an audio visual presentation. At the top of the building FHS hopes to have an Archive Room where all the historical material collected so far can be stored. The Archive Room will used for research purposes and will be open to visitors by request. MB


All FHS publications are available from fhs@cotswoldwireless.co.uk or by contacting the secretary 01285 711768. They are also on sale at St Mary’s Church, Fairford.

NEW is FHS Monograph 3 – The Raymond Barkers of Fairford Park

The long and complex story of the Barker and Raymond Barker family of Fairford Park is told in this new monograph in some detail. The story starts at the end of the English Civil War when Andrew Barker arrived in Fairford and built his grand new house at Fairford Park. The Barkers and their relations the Farmors and the Micos were intimately involved in the creation of Fairford Free School which later bore the name of Elizabeth Farmor, one of the benefactors. In addition to being lords of the manor, major landowners and JPs of Fairford the family was also very active in county and national affairs and many of them became prominent in business and commerce as well as the church, both Anglican and Presbyterian. The family was not without trial and tribulation including the tragic death of John Raymond Barker’s first wife Martha who died when her hairpiece caught fire after dinner one night in 1796! The surviving wills of the family have proved to be a useful source of information. For example John’s second wife Margaret held very strong views on her burial: “It is my very particular desire that wherever I may die that my remains may be removed to Fairford Church in Gloucestershire for Interment there by the side of my late dear husband John Raymond Barker Esq of Fairford Park deceased and that such removal may take place by a hearse in the old fashioned mode and not by railway or steam boat which I consider unkind, indecent and showing great want of respect and feeling to the departed …”

June Lewis-Jones has published a new book “Fairford Images”

which contains 250 evocative images to create a visual outline of the town’s history over the last 100 years. £12.99 ISBN 978-0-7524-44758.

Enid Johnson

All will be touched by the news that FHS should benefit from some of the money donated to Enid’s memory. We have received £700 which we will spend on a suitable project in remembrance of Enid’s kind generosity.

Membership Sept 07-Aug 2008
Members can join or renew at any meeting or by contacting Ian Westlake (712329) or by downloading a form from the FHS website and giving it to any committee member or handing it in at the FTC Office, 3 London Street . £3.00 p.a.
www.fairfordhistory.org.uk e-mail: fhs@cotswoldwireless.co.uk

FHS Committee

Sadly we have lost a valuable member of the Committee, Lesley Pincombe has moved from Fairford to a new job but we hope she will still be able to attend meetings. Our thanks go to her for her invaluable support. The result is that there are now two vacant places on the Committee; please contact any committee member if you are interested. Someone with an artistic bent is also needed to help with setting up the displays in the new Heritage Room in the Community Centre. Officers: Keith Cottam (Chair) 711054, Brian Routledge (Vice Chair), Alison Hobson (Secretary) 711768, Geoff Hawkes (Treasurer) 712053, Ian Westlake (Membership) 712329, Margaret Bishop (FCC rep), John Read (IT), Maurice Jones (FTC rep).

See Situations Wanted from the Archives
Wills from the Archives