FHS Occasional Paper 5 – A Christmas tragedy. Price £1
On Christmas Eve in 1874 a mother and her two children caught the train from Fairford
station for a festive holiday in the West Midlands. Sadly, they never completed their journey.
This new occasional paper (printed in A5 format) tells the story of one of the worst accidents
in British railway history.
FHS Monograph 5 The Tracys of Toddington and Fairford. Price £3.00
The latest in the monograph series tells the story of the Tracy family which added Fairford
manor to their extensive estates at Toddington and Sudely in 1591. The monograph recounts the
turbulent history of the Tracys during the Civil War following which they had to sell their
rights to Fairford in order to pay the fines imposed by Parliament and retain their Toddington estate.
Geoff Bishop is continuing to produce oral history CDs this year. He has been busy interviewing
people who suffered from flooding in 2007 and together with pictures taken at the time (especially a
collection donated by Graham Young) this will make an important record. Syd Flatman has recorded
interesting reminiscences of Fairford in the Fifties.
Please contact Geoff Bishop (713747) if you would like to contribute to the oral history record
on any subject at all relating to Fairford.
All FHS publications are available from firstname.lastname@example.org
or by contacting the secretary on
01285 711768. They are also on sale at St Mary’s Church, Fairford and at the Community Centre, Archive Room.
Cotswolds at War by June Lewis-Jones. Revised Edition. June has added a completely new chapter
‘Seventy Years on’ as well as some new photographs The new chapter includes information about the Polish
Hostel in Fairford of which we learned such a lot last year. June is also publishing a reprint of her
cookbook this Spring entitled ’A Calendar of Cotswold Cookery’.
Waiting to be Heard, the Polish Christian experience under Nazi and Stalinist oppression,
1939-45 by Bogusia J Wojciechowska. Bogusia was at the Polish Hostel in Fairford and attended
the Polish event in May. She very kindly sent us her book from the USA. Although a daunting title
the book contains some very interesting accounts and pictures of the Polish exile experience
throughout the world and includes Fairford.
Descendants of Peter Kimber of Down Ampney by Vanessa Dixon. FHS was able to locate the house
where Elizabeth Kimber lived in Fairford from our 1841 Tithe Map and the author kindly sent a copy of
her family history—an excellent example of genealogical research.
See From Jackson's Oxford Journal and
the Parish Magazine
As said in the last issue the Fairford Archive is growing apace BUT if you have any Fairford
memorabilia we are very pleased to copy and record items and return them, especially photographs.
If you do not want them used in publications you can make this stipulation or if you want to
reserve the right to have them returned if the Archive is ever dismantled these provisos are
written into the donation form. Sources are always recorded.
In 2009 705 items were catalogued for the archive, most were articles and pictures but also
20 books and a few artefacts. My favourite artefact is a souvenir of Fairford in the shape of a
clog — about 12 cm long and dark green. Does anyone remember this and can date it approximately?
In 2009 FHS responded to over 35 family or local history enquiries. The strangest coincidence
was when a member of the Cowley family from South Africa made an appointment to consult the Archive
one Friday. This was a very pleasant visit and the lady was thrilled and moved to find the
headstone of Robert and Mary Cowley in St Mary’s Churchyard. On the following Monday another
visitor appeared in the Archive Room, a descendant of Isaac Cowley from South Africa. This
Isaac Cowley founded a Church in South Africa and conducted the marriage ceremony of the previous
visitor’s great[?] grandmother, neither visitor knew of each other until their visit to Fairford.
Apparently the Cowleys had a farm in South Africa which they called Fairford. We are hoping to
get pictures of the Church and the family farm later on this year from the latter visitor.
Most enquiries initially come via email through the website and FHS would like to thank
Suzanne Jones for continuing to maintain it for us.
The books and other items in the collection may be consulted in the Archive Room which is open
on Monday afternoons 2-4pm or at other times by special arrangement (01285 711768).
Fairford Flyer edited by Alison Hobson. From the Archives by Chris Hobson.
Thanks to Meg Perry for diary extracts, Alicja Christofides, WGS and June Lewis-Jones for
the pictures. Any comments or letters would be appreciated.