Details of some recent events Our calendar of forthcoming events is available on the What's On page.
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.
|23rd October 2019|
Alfred Cockerill, Northampton's Forgotten Philanthropist
Bob Farey gave us an excellent inspiring talk
about a very remarkable philanthropist, Alfred Cockerill. RLHS is
now supporting Bob’s campaign for a memorial to Alfred, who gave the
County Ground to NCCC and was a generous benefactor to numerous
Northampton organisations and individuals.
|25th September 2019|
Northampton's First Police Force; Misgivings, Municipal Mission and Misdemeanours
Alex Wood began the research which resulted in his excellent lively
talk after discovering that his ancestor, William Spencer, was one of
Northampton's first police constables.
The Force was established in 1836 and
was not welcomed by the public. The recruits were of very variable
quality and misdemeanours included drinking on duty. Some performed very
well. Others proved to be slow and unfit and the authorities soon
realised that it was not a job for old men.
| 22nd May 2019|
'Roade Remembered' & ‘Pianoforte Supplies Ltd’
After our AGM Committee member Ron Johnson gave an excellent slideshow
of photographs harvested from the 'Roade Remembered' and 'Pianoforte
Supplies Ltd' Facebook groups. The photographs were new to
most of the audience and we were able to gather useful information about
the people, places and events depicted. It was an enjoyable
evening which brought back memories for many and was interesting for
new residents as well.
|24th April 2019|
By Royal Disappointment
Tony Clarke with former colleague Ron Johnson.
Tony Clarke, MP for Northampton South 1997-2005, told a very interesting
and entertaining inside story about his experiences as a local
councillor and MP. His determination to represent the interests of
his constituents got him into trouble and even danger when he refused
to toe the party line. The machinations involved were shocking as well
as comic and it was good to hear that he sometimes had the last laugh.
|27th March 2019|
The Silk Road
Rowlson gave a fascinating talk about his travels on the Silk Road with
his wife Jenny. His wonderful photographs made us feel we had been on
the journey ourselves, seeing the beautiful scenery and buildings,
shopping in the markets, eating exotic food, meeting friendly people and
learning some history too.
|27th February 2019|
Roade’s Collector Cousins and the Auction of the Century
Roade residents Syd Humphrey and Humphrey Cripps were
hard working well educated cousins who made a significant contribution
to our village life. Their shared enthusiasm for personal hobbies
produced nationally important collections of butterflies, show birds and
postage stamps. Their successes included the famous Chartwell Stamp
Collection Auctions of 2011-2012.
Many thanks to committee member Peter Mawby for giving us such an
excellent talk - well pitched to interest and entertain everyone as well
as giving an insight into extreme philately.
|12th December 2018|
A Chistmas Collation
Our Christmas event was very enjoyable.
David Wortley gave us
a fascinating talk about his spherical videos and brought headsets so
that we were able to have a truly immersive experience.
Scroll down to
learn more about David's work including the videos he made of our
September Roade Cutting Event and the video and interactive map of Roade
on Remembrance Sunday.
We were then entertained by excellent
local group Jinx accompanied by Ron Johnson on guitar and the evening
closed with a merry Christmas singalong
|11th November 2018|
Roade Roll of Honour Exhibition
Please click here to see details of this event.
|24th October 2018|
The Women’s Land Army in Northamptonshire during the First World War
Helen Frost held everyone spellbound with her fascinating talk about the
Women’s Land Army in World War 1 and their role in combating life
threatening food shortages.
|26th September 2018|
Escape from Roaditz
John Dickie gave an excellent entertaining talk about his experiences as
a teacher at Roade School (now EWS).
John reviews Andy Johnson’s
homework 30 years on
|8th & 9th September 2018|
Roade Railway Cutting Exhibition
Please click here to see details of this event.
|11th July 2018
Visit to the National Leather Collection
Members and guests enjoyed a fascinating tour of the
National Leather Collection in the Grosvenor Centre, Northampton
worth a visit.
See https://nationalleathercollection.org/ for information and latest opening hours.
|23rd May 2018
Canons Ashby: Priory, House and Family
RLHS member Roy Phillips is a guide at Canons Ashby and gave a very accomplished and entertaining account of its history
“from Domesday to the Present Day via Reformation, Revolution and Restoration”.
delighted to discover that his great-great-great-uncle had worked as butler
for the Dryden family of Canons Ashby in the mid-19th century.
|25th April 2018
Cutting Remarks - Tales from the depths of Roade Railway Cutting
Chris Hillyard, RVM, RLHS committee member and former manager of the
Royal Train, gave a very popular talk full of new information and
stories of people connected with the Cutting at various stages of its
history - a great taster for our event on 8th/9th September.
|28th March 2018
Get 'em down - your memoirs that is
Kate Wills encouraged us to get down our memoirs with some lively
audience participation and examples of scenes from the past documented
by local people. We hope to run some reminiscence/memoirs sessions
at Roade Library once its future is assured.
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 took place on Wednesday 26th September 2018.
|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.
|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.
22nd November 2017
Domestic Order: Families, Wives and Husbands
Dr Cathy Smith's talk was her third to the Society. She gave us a
fascinating account of the domestic life of ordinary people in the 16th
and 17th centuries. Marriage was not private and communities interfered
when behaviour was considered out of order. They would bang pots and
pans outside the houses of offenders and humiliate men who were
dominated or cuckolded by their wives. A nagging wife might be made to
wear a scold's hat. Divorce was not available but there was a
practical solution - unfaithful wives could be sold to their lovers.
25th October 2017
ERNIE (His word is his Bond) The story of the first Premium Bond machine
Roade resident Phil Hayes is the chief engineer of the Colossus
Rebuild at The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park. He
gave us a very interesting and evocative talk about the development of ERNIE
1 (Electronic Random Number Indicator Equipment) and the first Premium
Bond prize draw in 1957. It brought back many memories.
27th September 2017
The fall and rise of the country houses of Northamptonshire since 1880
Neil Lyon’s very accomplished and entertaining talk outlined the many
difficulties faced by landed families since the start of the
agricultural depression. Houses have been lost and estates have been
broken up but a surprising number survived and prospered.
Saturday 22nd July 2017 - Roade Village Hall
Exhibition at 1st Roade Scout Group Family Fun Day
In spite of the changeable weather the
exhibition was well attended and people greatly enjoyed seeing the Now
and Then photographs. Some former residents had travelled long
distances to see it.
Many thanks to Ron Johnson and family and everyone else who helped to re-create the photographs.
Andy and Ron Johnson
Lucy and Sam of Roade Post Office
The Find the Treasure competition
was also well supported. The booty (£5) was won by Nigel Elliott
and the second prize (chocolates) was won by Kristy Stoneman.
Many thanks to Peter Mawby, who organised the competition, and Izzy Mawby, a member of 1st Roade Scouts, who helped.
Many thanks are also due to 1st Roade Scouts for providing all the
village organisations with an opportunity to meet the wider
17th June 2017 - Visit to Delapré Abbey
41 members and guests enjoyed a very interesting private tour of Delapré
Abbey, which was not yet open to the public. The main reception rooms
have been splendidly restored and there is much fascinating information
about people and events. Visitors are encouraged to handle items, sit on
chairs and generally get a feel of what it would have been like to live
in the house - highly recommended.
After lunch 22 people went on a delightful sunny walk round the grounds
led by Peter Mawby. They saw at least 50 new-born blue damselflies, all
the usual song and water birds, heron, a wagtail (not pied) and a tree
creeper. One person, Terry Deane, even saw an otter, which ran out of
the brush across his feet
24th May 2017 - AGM followed by
A History of Leather and the National Leather Collection
Our AGM went well and the Committee were re-elected en bloc.
The Chairman’s Report included thanks to the many members and supporters
who have helped us during the year: Alan Atkinson for designing our new
logo, Pat Brittle and Denise Calder, who have recently restarted
interviewing people for our oral history archive, Patrick Barlow and
Alan Mott for their assistance with the development of a forthcoming new
website and all those who help with our events. We still need help with
projects and archiving our growing collection of documents and
We then enjoyed an excellent talk by Philip Warner, Curator of the National Leather Collection.
Philip is developing a museum and leather craft centre in the Grosvenor
Centre, Northampton and would welcome assistance from volunteers. If you
are interested in helping, please email:
firstname.lastname@example.org. Philip’s talk was
inspirational - lively and informative with illustrations we could all
relate to. The museum promises to be fascinating and a great asset to
the town and we look forward to visiting it when it opens.
26th April 2017
Victorian Gardens - ingenuity and hard work
was a very successful event shared with Roade Gardening Club.
Christine Stones is an excellent speaker and her lively, entertaining
and informative talk was much appreciated by a large audience. One
visitor who happened to be staying in the area enjoyed it so much that
he gave a generous anonymous donation towards the cost of the wine. He
is a keen gardener and was impressed by the co-operation between the two
groups. We have always been well supported by other village
organisations and look forward to some more enjoyable shared events in
The Cooper Collection: Three Generations of Northamptonshire
Another entertaining talk by Gary Shaeffer with
many photographs of Northampton town and county.
22nd March 2017|
Charles II and the Dukes of Grafton with emphasis on their Northants connections.
A very interesting talk by Charles FitzRoy, who brought a variety of rare maps and
January 2017 - Members’ New Year Lunch
Our New Year Lunch was again held at Roade Bowls Club with excellent
food provided by popular chef Martin Brown and his team. Many thanks to all who helped to make this
such an enjoyable occasion. The raffle was
well supported by donors and punters and helped to make the event viable. Particular thanks are due to Chris Hillyard,
Marian Barber, Alastair Inglis and Sheila Fitchett for their entertaining
readings and to Marian Barber, Jean Balderstone and Sylvia Mawby for the
beautiful table arrangements.
Brown & Alastair Inglis
23rd November 2016 - 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 2016 - 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 2016 - 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 2016 - 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 2016 - 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.
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.
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.