Wargrave Local History Society

Latest News - November 2006

Wargrave then and Now

In a change to the previously advertised programme the November meeting of the Wargrave Local History Society  was a showing of the first part of a slide presentation on 'Wargrave Then and Now'.

Using a mixture of old pictures of the village - many lovingly restored by Geoff Briggs - together with modern views, the presentation began with a look at the village from pre-Norman times. The church was next 'explored', including some of the memorials inside, and the fire of 1914, followed by some notable features of the churchyard and Mill Green, and the activities that take place there such as the Village Festival, the Theatre Workshop and the 'pancake races'. A visit to the cemetery followed - with the school visible above the chalk pit, and the old cottage where the Bayliss family lived.

Church Street and Ferry Lane came next, showing several features that have long since disappeared, such as the bakery, and interesting features of the surviving buildings, notably the Woodclyffe Hostel, including its use as a hospital in World War I. The rest of this part of the presentation then looked at the High Street, from the St George and Dragon, (where the old inn sign was portrayed, as well as its later 1960s version) and the ferry, at the north end to near the Greyhound. Some of the many village pubs, the chapel, various houses and shops featured, with pictures showing how some aspects have remained virtually un-changed over decades, whilst changes to others are quite clear. The notable village residents in this part of the village had included Lord Wargrave and Lord Barrymore, whilst the then Prime Minister, Lloyd George had been a regular visitor, and Diana Dors the celebrity who opened the local fishmonger's shop. Village activities of the past included the Village Produce Association, and the dramatic productions in the Woodclyffe Hall of the Wargrave Society.

Some of the people pictured in the 'old' views were present in the audience, which added to the 'interest' ! The meeting ended with the customary refreshments, including a special cake pro-vided by Wendy Smith to mark the 25th birthday of the Society.

Part 2 of 'Wargrave Then and Now' - which continues along the High Street and then visits other parts of the village, will be shown at the meeting on March 13th 2007.