Roade Local History Society.
Projects Update for 2021

Our objective is to collect, record and protect documents, images and physical ephemera, of a local historical significance for the benefit of residents, the wider community and future generations.

Whether you are a long-term resident or relatively new to the area, you too can be involved in building the collective knowledge. It is amazing what can be discovered spending the odd spare hour surfing the internet!

There follows a list of our active and embryo research projects. If any of these spark your interest, or you have any questions or queries on any aspect of the history of our village, please email:

Active Projects

New Society Website & Photographic Archive: Work continues on a new more informative Society website, which will include a comprehensive, searchable database of most of the donated and purchased photographs in the Society’s possession.

Pianoforte Supplies Limited (PSL):
The Company was formed in London in 1919, and thereafter established at Roade in 1923. Our objective is to collect as much history, memorabilia and memories as we can of this company, which had such a major impact on the social and economic development of our village and community. This will hopefully form the basis of a centenary exhibition in 2023. Past employees would be welcome to help and contribute.

Oral History Archive: We plan to continue our programme of interviews recording residents’ lives and memories of life in Roade. Details of these recollections are available here Oral History

Physical Archives: We continue to display items from our collection of memorabilia in a cabinet donated in memory of the late Dr John Gwilt MBE in the Roade Junction Community Group Library (subject to Covid restrictions).  Help is needed with cataloguing, researching and preserving our growing collection of interesting documents and memorabilia.

World Wars -Servicemen and Roade Roll of Honour: Following a successful exhibition in November 2018 research continues into the 50+ local residents who served in the conflict, and images of these men are being sought. We are also interested in obtaining images of local National Service personnel.

World’s First Night Navigation Flight: Claude Grahame-White made history when he took off from Roade in the early hours of 28th April 1910 during an air race from London to Manchester.  Following an exhibition in 2016 it is our intention to commemorate this World First in a permanent way. We continue to explore ideas, one being a community art structure.
Moving Images Archive: Our archive of films in various formats relating to Roade is growing slowly. These have been professionally converted to DVD. We have access to a free source of conversion for any further material we may acquire.

Family History: There is a link to Norman Tew’s archive for families of Roade, Blisworth, Stoke Bruerne and Ashton on the Home Page. It is the Society’s objective to expand this area of reference on the forthcoming new website.

Embryo Projects

Roade Remembered Walks: Consideration is being given to producing an interactive heritage walking route map of the village. We know what we want, but not how to do it! Help Required.

History of Roade Methodism: The Society has obtained a copy of an unpublished document which traces the history of Roade Methodist Church from around 1837 to 1924, which has now been transcribed. This, together with the Church’s 1975 Centenary publication, and articles from the National Newspaper Archive have now been collated. The 150th Anniversary of the opening of the present Church is in 2025.

The History of 72 MU RAF Roade: The former RAF spares and maintenance depot situated in Salcey Forest was active between 1942 & 1957. The Society is considering compiling a history of this establishment and seeks information, photographic images and former employee’s memories.