There are many of us who lament the loss of our heritage, I feel these little reminders are a welcome addition to our village
– Chalfont St Peter Parish Councillor John Hatton
HERITAGE plaques have been put up throughout Chalfont St Peter in a bid to raise awareness of the village’s history.
Parish councillor John Hatton said he was inspired to initiate the move after looking through books of historic postcards and photographs.
He approached the village’s Celfunde Inheritance Group over two years ago but met a number of challenges along the way, such as material, size, design and value for money, among others.
The initial series of 25, produced in 2012, were installed to form the way points on a Celfunde Inheritance heritage walk and because of popularity a further 16 plaques have been created.
The design was the brainchild of Phil Donaldson of Clockwork Creative Company, a local graphic design company.
He said: “When I was first approached by John back in 2011 before the Diamond Jubilee celebrations I was very excited.
“I love architectural history and I had an extensive collection of old photos of the village myself – I even live in a house that was built from bricks and timbers from Barrack Yard when it was demolished in 1938.
“There are many of us here who lament the loss of our heritage I feel these little reminders are an essential and very welcome addition to our village.”
A small team selected photographs from peoples’ collections and from Audrey Wheelband’s book on the village, some of which were over 100-yearsold.
Mr Donaldson described it as ‘time consuming, patient work’ and but said he is pleased with how they have turned out.
He added: “I am honoured to have been involved in a project and I feel rather proud when I see someone reading one of our plaques.”
Mr Hatton said that it will take several months to put all the plaques in place but pointed out that there will be copies of them on display in the parish council tent at Feast Day on Saturday (June 25).
The plaque project is part of a larger plan to keep the village’s heritage alive, and the parish council is also hoping to create a conservation area in partnership with local councils.
Mr Hatton said: “We feel that residents, old and new, should have a chance to appreciate what the village had once been.
“And we also hope that we might encourage people to stand up for our heritage and to try and safeguard the little that we have left.”
Then and now: Phil Donaldson and John Hatton next to the Fairthorpe plaque where the Budgens supermarket now stands. Right, the Vicarage of the Parish Church of St Peter