Fairford History Society

Monthly Archives: February 2016

10 February 2016: the famous well-travelled Union Flag

On 10 February FHS hosted a reception for Sarah Schantz, a visitor from the States. It was her grandfather, Wally Glavor who ‘liberated’ the Union Flag during the VE Day celebrations in the Market Place. Wally was a US Army Serviceman from the 186th Military Hospital in Fairford Park, 1944-45.

In 1998 Wally had a fit of remorse and returned the flag via Ralph Wilkins, who lives in Cheltenham, whose cousins Cynthia and Sheila went to America to live in 1948 and were friends of Wally Glavor. The flag was kept first by Fairford Town Council and then in the care of Fairford History Society and has since been framed.

Sarah was able to meet former Town Councillors who were in the original picture that appeared in the newspaper in 1998, members of Fairford History Society, present Councillors and also former US Airman Frank Dailey, the RAF Fairford site director.

Sarah was presented with a copy of ‘Fairford Images’ by June Lewis-Jones, which has had article about Wally Glavor, a 1955 Frith print of Fairford Mill and a baseball cap worn by Wally at one of the 186th Hospital reunions, which had been in the FHS Archive.

Edwin Cuss presented Sarah with a set of photographs of the Military Hospital which he had compiled and she was then taken up to Fairford Park to revisit the site of the former Hospital, which then became the Polish Hostel.

During the week Sarah was taken on a tour of places that her grandfather might have visited and she returned to San Francisco a few days later. 

Sarah being presented with the print and Wally's hat_opt(1)Sarah at the back with original members of the 1998 photograph_opt

Sarah and Jennie Fairford's Mayor Jennie Sanford_opt

February 17 2016: Along the River Coln by Edwin Cuss

At a well attended February daytime meeting Edwin Cuss gave a slide presentation of pictures of the River Coln from Mossy Bridge near Quenington to the Broad Boards south of Fairford. Edwin was as usual, extremely informative about the history, people and places on and by the River.

In the bad winter of 1947 there was severe flooding in Fairford and after that the road at Mill Bridge was raised 18 inches. Edwin mentioned that this really spoilt the whole symmetry and line of the Bridge. He also showed change in the Mill House buildings. During the War it had housed a generator and pump for Fairford Park which his father had to monitor daily. During this time the Mill House fell into a state of disrepair.

He also showed the method of clearing out the River of unwanted fish, (e.g. pike and coarse fish) in the early days by netting and then layer by charging the water with electricity and stunning the fish. The ones wanted were thrown back and the others eaten if suitable.

Fishing in the Broadwater by Fairford Park