Memories light up village life of past century
Interviews and photos add colour
A HERITAGE group has held interviews with elderly people for more than a year to discover the history of a village.
Volunteers of Celfunde Inheritance host sessions on the first Saturday of every month in Chalfont St Peter Community Library.
Since the project started a year ago, villagers have attended every session to share their memories. The group also visits elderly people who wish to contribute to the research.
Now it has hundreds of photographs and a catalogue of interesting tales to bring the village’s history to life.
Chairwoman Linda Smith said: “In over a year we have never had a meeting when nobody has turned up. It is amazing how many people who were born in the village are still here. It is a very interesting project.
“Hopefully we will put together a good idea of what the village was like.”
Mrs Smith says the research has offered fascinating insights into the life of village characters from the 20th century. The group spoke to postman John Clark, who was in his 80s when he died recently.
Mr Clark told about his tea and toast mornings with renowned theatre and cinema actress Dame Flora Robson when he delivered her post in the village.
People have inquired after the fate of old shops and businesses.
One woman asked about the name of a dentist from years ago, and then emailed the group with a long list of previous characters and places in the village.
A 91-year-old woman talked about her life in the cottage opposite the library while others have commented on a cinema which used to be in High Street.
“The information just keeps coming from everywhere,” said Mrs Smith. “We are calling it living history. A gentleman says he goes away so happy when he has told us about his childhood.”
A former pub called The Bakers Arms, which was once opposite The White Horse in High Street, was once popular with villagers.
Celfunde members also assisted the parish council with earmarking conservation areas and listed buildings in response to a Chiltern District Council consultation.
What are your memories of Chalfont St Peter? Email us at bucksnews@ trinitymirror.co.uk.