Wednesday 25th April - 7.30pm. St Mary’s Church Hall, Roade

Cutting Remarks

Tales from the depths of Roade Railway Cutting

Speaker: Chris Hillyard RVM

Entrance: Members £2, Non-members £3.    Children under 16: of Members FREE and of Non-members 50p
Refreshments will be available
Telephone enquiries 01604 862735 or 864498

N.B. our February event was to have been a talk by John Dickie: "Escape from Roaditz".
This was postponed due to bad weather and will now take place on Wednesday 26th September 2018.

Scroll down for some pictures and information about our recent events.

Our calendar of forthcoming events is available on the What's On page.

Projects  - help needed!
"Projects" are an important part of our activities and we welcome help with these.
Please see our current list of ongoing and future projects for more information.



Exhibition, Guided Walks, Stalls, Refreshments
8th and 9th September - Roade Village Hall

Roade Local History Society is busy planning our main event for the year. This will celebrate the 180th Anniversary of the opening of the London to Birmingham Railway in 1838. The event is to be held over the weekend of 8th/9th September, which will coincide with the National Heritage Week celebrations.
One of the most challenging and time consuming elements of the line’s construction was the excavation of Roade Cutting, which ranks as one of the major engineering achievements of its day. Your Society has applied to have this feat recognised by the Transport Trust by awarding it Red Wheel status, this prestigious accreditation being a highly sought after recognition of significant transport heritage. The Cutting was the last obstacle to the opening of the world’s first long-
distance intercity railway.  Another First for Roade!

Our event to mark this anniversary will include a representative scale model with a detailed history of the trials and tribulations which befell our community during its building and widening, and the social and economic impacts on the area.  We are grateful for the tremendous help we are getting with making the model from the Elizabeth Woodville Schools at both Roade and Deanshanger.

The event will also remember the significant loss of life which befell the Navvies and pioneering railway company servants, and include previously unseen film and images of the locality. Many other groups and individuals have been invited to support this event, including the Northampton Model Railway Society who are planning to display a period model of Northampton Castle Station. Please put these dates in you planner, it will be a weekend which the whole family will enjoy. Watch out for regular updates on this website and on the 'Roade Remembered' Facebook page.

If you would like to help with this project please contact Chris Hillyard at:

Since 2007 we have been interviewing local residents as part of our Oral History project and we have made these available for purchase on CD.
The interviews each last about an hour (though some are much longer) and can make excellent gifts. Income from these sales helps us to fund our various projects and exhibitions.


Benches and Memorials

RLHS is compiling a database of memorials

such as benches etc in the village, and details

of people so remembered. If you know of one, or have details (especially photos) of these villagers, please contact us.


Scroll down to see our most Recent Events

Earlier events can now be viewed on this link:
Earlier events

20th January 2018
Another excellent New Year Lunch at Roade Bowls Club

Nigel Elliott won the unusual objects prize.

Applause for Martin Brown and team.

13th December 2017
Evening of Christmas Cheer
Our Christmas event was a great success.  Many thanks to our two entertaining speakers:

Peter Bennett, who gave an interesting talk about his experiences as a young surveyor helping to install an oil pipeline in Gabon in 1966.

Peter Mawby, who brought us up to date with an excellent account of the rise and demise of Pianoforte Supplies Ltd.

Our archivist, Ron Johnson, produced an excellent display on Warwick House (once a school).

Roade Community Choir joined us for festive refreshments and carol singing.  Many thanks to them all for a great finale to our Christmas event.  Everyone thoroughly enjoyed both listening and taking part and we hope they will come again next year.

8th December 2017
Memorial to Dr John Gwilt, MBE at Roade Library

The John Gwilt Memorial Display Cabinet is now in place at Roade Library after a very pleasant event when John's son Dr David Gwilt unveiled the Cabinet and he and Alastair Inglis spoke about John’s life before and after he came to Roade.

John was awarded the MBE for services to the community in Roade.  He was a member and chairman of the Parish Council, governor of both schools, leader of Neighbourhood Watch for many years, a popular member of Roade Local History Society and supportive of the library and both churches in the village.

We are delighted to have the Cabinet, which was largely funded by Dr David Gwilt with contributions from Roade Parish Council and RLHS.  It will enable us to provide changing displays relating to our local history in a very appropriate place where they can be seen by all.

Alastair Inglis and David Gwilt

David and Blodwen Gwilt

Many thanks to everyone who helped, especially Marian Barber, Nicky Hall, Myra Inglis and Sylvia Mawby for providing delicious cakes in memory of John, himself a renowned cake maker.



Royal Canadian Air Force

Roade Local History Society has installed a small memorial to commemorate six Canadian airmen who lost their lives when their Wellington bomber was struck by lightning over Roade in 1944.

Full Circle - connecting people with the screen heritage of the Midlands.

Tucked away in boxes in attics and sheds, cupboards and garages are the filmed records of families and communities which are a uniquely important window into our local and community history.
The Media Archives for Central England (MACE), the regional moving image archive for the East and West Midlands, is seeking 60 partner organisations to look for this valuable material in their own communities as part of a project to find and uncover the hidden filmed heritage of the midlands.
The project will provide new copies of film for depositors and for community use in local schools, community archives and local collections.
It will ensure the long term preservation of the materials found so that it can go on being used by future generations. Roade Local History Society has received several films that qualify for free copying for the owners. We will be holding a film show in the New Year, but meantime would welcome talking to anyone who has potentially suitable films that they may no longer be able to view and would like converted to DVD.  This covers films of such things as public events, shows, gatherings, scenes, etc in Northamptonshire, but does not include films of holidays or family.

If anyone has film that should be preserved or you would like copying to DVD, please contact our Secretary (see the Contacts page).

The launch, in September 2009, of our publication ‘Roade Through the Camera’ was very successful and currently over 900 books have been sold. Copies can be purchased in the village at T & H Newsagents in the High Street or by post – please see our Publications page for further details.
We are building a comprehensive archive of photographs and documents about Roade for research and publication. To date we have produced 'Roade Roll of Honour’, ‘Roade Through The Camera’ and 'Roade Village Scrapbook 1953'.
We also have a library of back issues of various local history magazines and publications available on loan to members.

We have been organising events related to local history since May 2005. These normally cover Roade and its environs and sometimes the wider county. A feature of events has been 'Sons and Daughters of the Village": presentations by residents, past and present, who have created  history in their lifetime or have interesting reminiscences about their life in Roade.

Events take place every month (except August) and start at 7.30pm in St Mary"s Church Hall, unless otherwise stated. Non-members are very welcome. Entry is £3.00 per person for non-members or £2.00 for members and refreshments are available.

For details of our next event, please see What's On or Roade News or the Notice Boards around Roade.