Mem­o­ries light up vil­lage life of past cen­tury

In­ter­views and pho­tos add colour

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Lor­can Lovett lor­can.lovett@trin­i­tymir­

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@ trin­i­tymir­

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