Street naming ceremony keeps Kirby legacy alive
Generations have been producing bricks in the area since the 1700s
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