recent talks have been well attended by both members and non-members and we
hope to see even more people at our events in the coming year.If you haven’t been to one, do come along – you will be very welcome.
evening of Christmas Cheer
thanks to everyone who took part in and helped at our lively
Christmas event, which was very well attended and packed with
displays and presentations. Excellent presentations were given by:
Stuart Shrubb re 1st Roade Scouts who have been celebrating their 60th birthday
Elizabeth Dyke re Roade
Secondary Modern School (now EWS Academy), which also recently
celebrated its 60th anniversary, and Jay Mainprize who gave us a
student’s view of the school today. There was also a popular display of
memorabilia kindly lent by the school.
Peter Mawby re the history of Pianoforte Supplies Ltd. Lack of time prevented him from completing his talk and it will be
continued at a future occasion. Peter also showed a film of the PSL site
from the air by drone kindly lent by a member’s son-in-law.
A display of PSL items recently donated to the Society.
Other displays included items from the recent exhibition about Claude Grahame-White, artwork sent home by Vic Johnson
during World War 2 and a replica of the AA Roade road
sign that was originally located in the area of Roade Secondary School.
evening finished with some very enjoyable carol singing led by members
of Roade Community Choir, joined by two members of Hartwell
Heart and Soul Choir and Village Technician and Jinx singer Andy Johnson- many thanks to all.
23rd November - The NHS Then and Now
There was a very good turnout for Dr Alan Sutton’s talk - a personal
reflection of over 40 years of ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’ in the
NHS. He gave us an entertaining account of his training, work at
Northampton General Hospital and recruitment as a Roade GP following a
chance meeting with Dr Bull outside Brierleys (a fore-runner of
B&M). He reflected on the many changes in the NHS during his career
and commented that if you don’t want to work at weekends and nights
“don’t become a doctor”. He was warmly applauded and thanked by many
appreciative ex-patients who flocked to speak to him.
26th October - My Father's Journey Through WWII
Andy Tennet gave us an excellent and absorbing account of his father
William's experiences during WWII. He was unable to reach Dunkirk and
had to find his own way back to England. After witnessing the sinking
of the troopship Lancastria, which he had tried to board, he returned
home in a French fishing boat. Later he travelled through France, Belgium and Germany with Montgomery's staff,
ending up in Berlin. William kept many interesting documents, such as
Montgomery's strongly religious letters of encouragement to the troops.
We also heard about William's family life and were touched by this warm
tribute to a likeable man who had served his country well. No wonder
his release papers recommended him as "a very useful man" who had met
"in a willing spirit, all demands made upon him".
28th September - Joined at the Hippo
In September Kevin Varty gave a very entertaining talk about the lives
and music of Michael Flanders and Donald Swann, who first worked
together at a school revue in 1939 and gave their last performance
in1967. As promised it was a gnight of gnostalgia and gnus and we
all joined in the chorus of "Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud" at the end.
September - Visit to Hyde Farm House
Hyde Farm House originated as a 14th century hall house
and is the oldest secular building in Roade. The Hyde estate then belonged to the Augustinian abbey of St James,
Northampton, and had its own openfield
system, water mill, fish ponds and dovecote.
thanks to Mr and Mrs Nola for a delightful visit and to Mr
and Mrs Stockdale for letting us see the dovecote.
July - Exhibition celebrating the World's First
Night Navigation Flight
(combined with Roade Scouts 60th
Anniversary Celebrations and Family Fun Day)
at Roade Village Hall
made history when he took off from Roade early on 28th April 1910
during an air race from London to Manchester. He had landed in a
field by the railway the evening before and took off at about 2.50
am with the aid of lanterns and car headlights. Crowds flocked to
Roade and it was said that the pubs remained open all night.
Grahame-White was a
celebrated pioneer and entrepreneur in the early days of
aviation and motor vehicles. The exhibition included a rare
Grahame-White car, various classic cars, a model Sopwith Camel and
a display about Roade in 1910 and 1911, including information from
the 1911 Census.
Our May speaker, Roy Smart, gave
a very lively and entertaining account of the life of David, 1st Earl Beatty
and his central controversial part in the battle of Jutland. This was well-timed as the centenary of the
battle was on 31st May and Roy’s
talk gave us a good background for the many articles and debates about the
Beatty had great charm,
courage and panache and was constantly promoted over men of senior rank and
much wider experience. He became a great
celebrity but we know now that he was less than honest about his conduct of the
battle, which might have gone better if he had been more experienced.
In April Dr Cathy Smith gave an excellent talk on ‘Lunacy
and the Victorian Asylum’ including details of the often surprisingly
enlightened treatment patients received at Northampton General Lunatic Asylum
(now St Andrew’s Hospital) which
opened in 1838.
The talk drew a large audience, including18 non-members, and
the number and variety of questions they asked showed how interested they
Our March speaker, Angela Malin, is known to many, as she lives in Hartwell and is
a supporter of our Society.
She is Vice-Chair of
Northamptonshire Family History Society and gave a very informative, helpful talk
on researching family history and the surprising variety of resources
available. Many of the sources
mentioned are also useful for local history.
Information about the Northamptonshire
Family History Society can be found on their website:
Our New Year Lunch in January was held at the Bowls Club
with food provided by highly regarded chef Martin Brown. It was a great success, which we hope to
repeat next year.
Sheila reading a poem
by Pam Ayres at the New Year Lunch
In February we were given a
very erudite talk on ‘The Recorders of Northampton’ by His Honour Judge
Rupert Mayo. A packed hall listened to
the ups and downs of the various Recorders since 1478, and were fascinated to
learn of the development of the role, and the ‘dangers’ faced by the
post-holders if they fell out of favour with the monarch of the day. He also
explained the roles of the different courts, and gave an insight on how
important our county town had been in days gone by.
are very grateful to him as he had researched the subject specially
for our event.
Unless otherwise indicated, all events take place at 7.30 pm at St. Mary’s Church
Hall, where refreshments are available.Admission charges for talks and visits are £2 for members (annual subscription £5), £3
for adult non-members, 50p for children (up to 16) of non-members.Members’ children up to 16 are admitted free.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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.
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 70 years ago.
people with the screen
heritage of the Midlands.
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
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
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
THIS PROJECT FINISHED IN MARCH
2013, FILMS ARE STILL BEING
has film that should be
preserved or you would like
copying to DVD, please contact
our Secretary (see the Contacts
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.
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