Street nam­ing cer­e­mony keeps Kirby legacy alive

Gen­er­a­tions have been pro­duc­ing bricks in the area since the 1700s

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

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Parish coun­cil­lors cut the rib­bon to of­fi­cially name Kirby Close, a name en­trenched in the vil­lage’s history and one that goes back hun­dreds of years.

The new-build, three house de­vel­op­ment – lo­cated be­hind Yaldens Gar­den Cen­tre – has been com­pleted re­cently by lo­cal man Chris Kirby, whose fam­ily has been liv­ing in the area since the late 1700s.

His fam­ily has been pro­duc­ing bricks and tiles at Frog Hall, Bot­terells Lane, with the works orig­i­nally owned by Mr Kirby’s great, great grand­fa­ther Joseph Kirby – the kiln it­self was built in 1783.

Grand­fa­ther Ed­ward Kirby ran it next, fol­lowed by three of Mr Kirby’s un­cles un­til its even­tual clo­sure in 1978.

It is said that much of the vil­lage is built from Kirby bricks.

Speak­ing at the cer­e­mony, parish coun­cil chair­man Gor­don Pa­trick said: “I think we are some­what a unique vil­lage and over the years many of our fam­i­lies and res­i­dents have had their names in­cor­po­rated into the streets and build­ings, and this is be­com­ing more prom­i­nent.

“To­day we add an im­por­tant name to the list and I de­clare that Kirby Close is now recog­nised as part of the vil­lage.”

It is not just male mem­bers of the Kirby fam­ily who have played a prom­i­nent role in vil­lage life – Mr Kirby’s grand­mother, Mrs AE Kirby, was one of the orig­i­nal founders of the Wasps Foot­ball Club in 1922.

She was the club’s first pres­i­dent, a role in which she re­mained un­til at least 1946.

Her el­dest son, who died in World War One aged just 19, is buried in the church­yard and his name is en­graved on the war me­mo­rial.

Mr Kirby’s fa­ther, Jim, played for the Wasps and later be­came chair­man of the club.

Af­ter the cer­e­mony, Mr Kirby – who now lives nearby in Seer Green – said: “It makes me proud. It makes me think I have got a mem­ory of all the fam­ily that have been here for nearly 300 years.

Chal­font St Giles Parish Coun­cil chair­man Gor­don Pa­trick and Chris Kirby cut the rib­bon

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