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Limmer and Trinidad Lake Asphalt Company

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Limmer and Trinidad Lake Asphalt Company Buckinghamshire History Festival

Katherine Gwyn talks to Louise Allen about her involvement with Bucks Archives' Black History Research Group, and her research into the connections between a company based at Slough Trading Estate and Pitch Lake, Trinidad. **29 min**
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A Burial in Oving, 1946: the life of George Laurence Bazett Hull and his crew

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A Burial in Oving, 1946: the life of George Laurence Bazett Hull and his crew Buckinghamshire History Festival

Wing Commander George Laurence Bazett Hull died in an air crash in 1946, and was buried in Oving, Buckinghamshire.  When a team of archaeologists and historians found the wreckage of this crash in a field in 2017, they did not anticipate the journey that Hull, or 'BOK' as he was known to some, would take them on.  Here is that story.   **46 min**

Since 1999 the Field Detectives have forged trusting and lasting relationships with landowners, local communities, and heritage sector colleagues. By sharing the stories that we uncover from our field survey activities; we continue to inform a better understanding of how our farming landscapes evolved over the centuries.

Our field survey reports are an exact finds location record, and by working closely with our heritage sector colleagues, we are establishing a growing set of detailed historic collections. These detailed studies are held in trust by the respective landowners who act as heritage custodians; providing a unique set of rich historical landscape investigations for further study and collaboration.

Every field really does, have its own unique story to tell

If you have a field for us to investigate; give us a call.

http://Goadby Marwood History Group (goadby-marwood-history.co.uk)

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Mary does Marlow

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Mark Bateman (Buckinghamshire Libraries) interviews arguably Marlow's most famous resident, author of Frankenstein's Monster, and inventor of the science fiction genre, Mary Shelley.   **20min**

Mary Shelley 1797-1851 was a literary superstar, and sometime resident of Marlow, where she now gives walking tours:

www.marydoesmarlow.eventbrite.com

Mark Bateman is Reading Services Officer at Buckinghamshire Library Service. If you are interested in finding out more about the Mary Shelley books available through the Library Service, take a look at the catalogue, here: https://buckinghamshire.spydus.co.uk/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/MSGTRN/WPAC/HOME

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Black Bucks Lives: Samson Ethiope, the Herberts, Henery Pompey and Catherine Duleep Singh

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Black Bucks Lives: Samson Ethiope, the Herberts, Henery Pompey and Catherine Duleep Singh Buckinghamshire History Festival

Tony Sargeant talks Archivist Katherine Gwyn through some of his research into Black Lives in Buckinghamshire, conducted as part of Buckinghamshire Archives' Black History Research Group.  The lives discussed include Samson Ethiope, Pharo, Ann, John and Mary Herbert, Henery Pompey and Catherine Duleep Singh.   **33 min**

Tony Sargeant is the Secretary of Bucks Family History Society and researches local history of Buckinghamshire, especially the Stoke Hundred. He worked for the Post Office Telephones in West London before becoming an IT Technician at St Bernard’s Catholic Grammar School, Slough. Since retirement he has expanded his research in Buckinghamshire history. He is also a member of Buckinghamshire Archaeological Society and Buckinghamshire Record Society. At the moment he is researching Colnbrook as well as working for the Buckinghamshire Black History Research Group.

https://www.bucksfhs.org.uk/

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Top Tips for House History

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Top Tips for House History Buckinghamshire History Festival

Professional researcher and house historian Cathy Soughton gives us her top tips for starting your own house history. **7 min**

Cathy is a qualified architectural historian and accredited genealogist who has specialised in carrying out house histories for both private homeowners and commercial clients for nearly 20 years.

Living in Buckinghamshire, Cathy has researched the history of numerous houses in the county as well as many further afield. Local homes researched have been as diverse as medieval manor houses, old pubs, converted schools, farmhouses and Georgian townhouses. She is an expert on Rothschild estate buildings in the Vale of Aylesbury having studied them in depth for the dissertation for her architectural history qualification. Each history undertaken is bespoke and tailored to a client’s specific requirements. As well as carrying out documentary research on the history of a property, Cathy can also provide a structural overview. The history can be produced in different formats and she also works with a professional photographer to provide beautifully illustrated house history books.

Cathy has written articles for various publications, given regular talks and provides ‘Ask the Expert’ advice on house histories at Family History shows. She is a Member and the current Secretary of AGRA, the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives which maintains and promotes high standards of professional conduct in the field of genealogy and historical research.

https://www.bucksresearch.co.uk/

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Dillibe Onyeama: A Black Boy at Eton

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Dillibe Onyeama: A Black Boy at Eton Buckinghamshire History Festival

In 1969 Dillibe Onyeama became the first Black pupil to finish his studies at Eton College, which was then in Buckinghamshire.  Three years later he published his memoirs documenting that experience.  Dillbe has gone on to have a long and successful career in publishing, and as an author.  Ahead of Penguin's new edition of his first book, Judi McGinley and Katherine Gwyn link-up with Dillibe from his home in Nigeria.   Pre-order A Black Boy At Eton here: https://amzn.to/32i6sMI

Dillibe Onyeama was born in Enugu, the second son of influential judge Charles Dadi Umeha Onyeama, and on the day of his birth became the first black boy to be registered to attend Eton College. Becoming a pupil there in 1965, and leaving in 1969, he wrote a book while still a teenager about his experiences of discrimination and bullying at the elite British boarding-school, published in 1972. In 2020 the school’s present headmaster, Simon Henderson, offered Onyeama an apology for the treatment he had received.

Onyeama obtained a diploma from the Premier School of Journalism, before returning to Nigeria In 1981, and establishing the publishing company Delta Publications, based in Enugu.

In February 2022 Penguin will be publishing a new edition of his first book, A Black Boy at Eton, which can be pre-ordered here: https://amzn.to/32i6sMI

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Where are the Black Lives at Bucks Archives? A conversation with Dr Caroline Bressey

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Where are the Black Lives at Bucks Archives? A conversation with Dr Caroline Bressey Buckinghamshire History Festival

Here at Buckinghamshire Archives we have been running a project during 2021: the Black History Research Group, with the aim of hunting through our collections to find Black Lives that date to before 1948.  But we were struggling – this is a hard ask.  So Katherine Gwyn reached out for help, and who better than Dr Caroline Bressey?  Caroline has researched black Victorians in London, and was sure to have some wisdom to share… **22 min**

Caroline Bressey was born and grew up in London.  In 1997 she graduated from the University of Cambridge with BA Honours in Geography. In 1998 she joined the UCL Geography department as postgraduate student and was awarded her PhD Forgotten Geographies: Historical Geographies of Black Women in Victorian and Edwardian London in 2003. Between 2003 and 2007 Caroline continued to research the Black Presence in Victorian Britain and the role of the anti-racist community as an ESRC postdoctoral student and research fellow. In 2007 she became a lecturer in human geography and founded the Equiano Centre to support research into the Black Presence in Britain. In 2009 she was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize.

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Gardening and Historic Garden Preservation: Turn End and Buckinghamshire Gardens Trust

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Gardening and Historic Garden Preservation: Turn End and Buckinghamshire Gardens Trust Buckinghamshire History Festival

Gardens are important but highly changeable elements of our physical and cultural landscape; can the needs of gardeners and historians ever reconcile?   Claire de Carle of Buckinghamshire Garden Trust talks with Jackie Hunt, Gardener at Turn End in Haddenham.  Claire and Jackie discuss recent research by the Buckinghamshire Garden Trust into mid to late 20th century gardens and designed landscapes in the county and focus on Peter's Aldington's Turn End, the only post-war English Listed house and garden created by the same hand. What other projects in Buckinghamshire have been proposed for recognition and protection? What was architect Peter Aldington's ethos for creating his village houses and garden in Haddenham in the 1960s?  How can we help raise awareness and recognition of post war landscape projects? https://bucksgardenstrust.org.uk/ https://www.turnend.org.uk/ https://local-heritage-list.org.uk/buckinghamshire   **18 mins**  

Jackie originally studied archaeology and worked as a museum curator in London, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire for 11 years.

Whilst working at Wycombe Museum in High Wycombe she developed a strong interest in furniture and studied furniture design at Buckinghamshire New University whilst re-training as a gardener. After running her own gardening business and working locally for the National Trust she became Gardener at Turn End in 2010.

Jackie enjoys the very varied work, mostly hands-on gardening but also helping manage the estate, hosting group visits and events and working with Turn End Trust on strategic planning and fundraising.

https://www.turnend.org.uk/

Claire de Carle MA is a garden historian, with a keen interest in horticulture, art and social history. She was instrumental in the establishment of the Buckinghamshire Gardens Trust Research & Recording project in 2013 which has produced reports on around 100 locally important historic gardens, her work for the project includes mentoring and training the volunteers. She now advises other county garden trusts on setting up similar projects.
For the last two years she has been the vice chair of the trust and she will shortly take over as chair.

She enjoys writing articles about her research into little known historic landscape gardens and more recently she has set up two other projects: Artists and their Gardens and Public Parks in Buckinghamshire. She also lectures to local groups about Buckinghamshire gardens and Maud Grieve, the herbalist who was the subject of her dissertation.

https://bucksgardenstrust.org.uk/

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Loving High Wycombe: Jay Blades in conversation with Helena Chance

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Loving High Wycombe: Jay Blades in conversation with Helena Chance Buckinghamshire History Festival

The Repair Shop's Jay Blades talks to Design Historian Helena Chance about his time based in High Wycombe, as a student, leader of youth engagement projects, and learner furniture restorer.  The conversation covers Jay's love of High Wycombe furniture by Gomme and Parker Knoll, his time at Buckinghamshire New University, what life's like in the Repair Shop Barn, and his pride in his Dyslexia. **25 min**

Brought up by his mother on a council estate in Hackney, Jay’s journey has taken many twists and turns. Jay is dyslexic and, after leaving school at 15 with no qualifications, he eventually managed to get back on track studying for a degree in criminology and philosophy at Buckingham Chilterns University. He then found his true vocation in restoration and supporting vulnerable people in our society through his former charity, Out of The Dark.


Jay Blades is a man whose personality, enthusiasm, and empathy shines brightly every week in millions of homes across the UK as the host of BBC One’s extraordinarily successful ‘The Repair Shop.’


The six-foot three dapper furniture restorer with the flat cap, bold glasses and gold tooth is a truly unique presence on mainstream television. He is the antithesis of the throwaway culture that surrounds us, believing that the old can become new, the worn can shine again, and the broken can be fixed. It is perhaps no coincidence that his belief in the restoration of objects stems from a belief that humans too can be repaired, fixed and rejuvenated. He is the living embodiment of that.


A man whose backstory will give you an idea of the hurdles that he has had to overcome, and how those considerable challenges make the ascent to where he is today seem all that more impressive.


Jay’s forever driven by doing better.

Check out Jay’s furniture https://www.jayand.co/

Helena began her career in 1979 as art editor and picture researcher for book publishers, moving on to teach the history of art and design at a number of institutions in Oxford. She joined Buckinghamshire New University as an Associate Lecturer in 2000 and, following the completion of her DPhil in 2010, she became a full-time member of staff. Now, her main role is leader of the ‘Woodlanders Lives and Landscapes’ project, a Bucks New University and Chilterns Conservation Board partnership.

Her specialist knowledge has led Helena to work with Wycombe Museum and The Chilterns Conservation Board on heritage projects, offering new understandings of the Chilterns furniture industry and to connect people more closely to their landscape heritage. She is also working with The Museum of English Rural Life at the University of Reading and other stakeholders on a project to draw more attention to the archive of the Landscape Institute located at the Museum.

https://www.bucks.ac.uk/about-us/our-staff/helena-chance

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Two House Historians Through Time

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Two House Historians Through Time: Melanie Backe-Hansen in conversation with Cathy Soughton Buckinghamshire History Festival

All around the country people are itching to learn about the history of their home.  This is driven by the success of the BBC series 'A House Through Time', which takes a property and over four episodes, explores the lives of some of the people who lived there.  Historian Melanie Backe-Hansen is consultant to that show, and has co-written the book of the series with its presenter David Olusoga.  In this podcast Melanie chats to fellow house historian Cathy Soughton, about the show, how she got into this line of research, and some of her favourite houses.   

Melanie Backe-Hansen is an independent historian, writer, and speaker, specialising in the social history of houses across the United Kingdom. Melanie is a research consultant for the popular BBC programme, A House Through Time, and to accompany the series Melanie has co-written the new book, A House Through Time, with historian David Olusoga, released in paperback on 2 September 2021. She was series historical consultant and on-screen expert for Phil Spencer’s History of Britain in 100 Homes (More4). She is also the author of House Histories: The Secrets Behind Your Front Door and Historic Streets and Squares: The Secrets on Your Doorstep.

The main focus of Melanie’s work involves original research for homeowners across the country to provide research reports and bespoke house history books. Melanie regularly contributes to national media and appears on television, radio, and online media. She is also a regular speaker at events and festivals, as well as universities and history groups. Melanie is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Member of the Royal Historical Society, and an Honorary Teaching Fellow at the University of Dundee. 

http://www.house-historian.co.uk

More details of Mel’s book: A House Through Time https://bit.ly/3kkaMBi

Cathy is a qualified architectural historian and accredited genealogist who has specialised in carrying out house histories for both private homeowners and commercial clients for nearly 20 years.

Living in Buckinghamshire, Cathy has researched the history of numerous houses in the county as well as many further afield. Local homes researched have been as diverse as medieval manor houses, old pubs, converted schools, farmhouses and Georgian townhouses. She is an expert on Rothschild estate buildings in the Vale of Aylesbury having studied them in depth for the dissertation for her architectural history qualification. Each history undertaken is bespoke and tailored to a client’s specific requirements. As well as carrying out documentary research on the history of a property, Cathy can also provide a structural overview. The history can be produced in different formats and she also works with a professional photographer to provide beautifully illustrated house history books.

Cathy has written articles for various publications, given regular talks and provides ‘Ask the Expert’ advice on house histories at Family History shows. She is a Member and the current Secretary of AGRA, the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives which maintains and promotes high standards of professional conduct in the field of genealogy and historical research.

https://www.bucksresearch.co.uk/

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A History of the Festival of Lights

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A History of the Festival of Lights Buckinghamshire History Festival

In September 2021 Katherine Gwyn sat down to talk virtually with Vicky Jackson and Poonam Gupta, two members of the team behind Aylesbury's annual Festival of Lights.  They talk about Diwali, what it means, who celebrates it, what to say to acknowledge it, and most importantly, what to eat.   24 min episode. 

This year’s Aylesbury Festival of Lights is on 13th November, more details here https://holycowcommunityevents.org/about-the-event

Poonam Gupta
Poonam had the idea to organise a community festival to mark Diwali and is the founder of Aylesbury’s Festival of Lights. Her positivity and enthusiasm are at the heart of making this annual event a fantastic success.

Poonam is a business owner, managing Holy Cow Home, an ethical boutique in Aylesbury and recently launching Holy Cow Tea. She sits on several community committees and is also a wife and mother.

As a Hindu, Poonam has relished the annual Diwali celebrations and she would love people of all cultures and faiths to unite and share a joyous experience.

Vicky Jackson

Vicky joined the Board in 2020, bringing her wealth of experience in event organisation.

She has held several roles in the investment banking sector from Foreign Exchange Prime Brokerage Client Services, to her current role as a Fixed Income Relationship Manager. Alongside this role, she chairs and hosts an internal network promoting personal and professional growth, wellbeing and networking.

Vicky graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in Sports and Exercise Science and has recently completed the Ivy House leadership course. She lives with her fiancé and dog, Luna.

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Hidden Things, Oving: a Spine-Tingling Podcast

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Apr 2021: Hidden Things, Oving Archive of the Month

Boots, Bottles and Blouses.  That's what this month's episode is about.  Or more specifically a photo Judi McGinley found in our collection depicting these items, amongst others, that were discovered during building works, hidden in a chimney breast in a pub in Oving.  What's going on?  Judi tells us more!  

The photograph in question…showing the chemise, boot and strap, which were found within a chimney place in Oving, Bucks.

Judi McGinley is an archives officer who joined Buckinghamshire Archives back in 2018. She has previously worked and volunteered in various heritage organisations including the Museum and Library of the Order of St John, Clerkenwell, the London Fire Brigade Museum and Library and the British Red Cross Archives. Judi’s hobbies include World and Independent cinema, watercolour painting, visiting museums, galleries and heritage sites.