Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A Talk and a Tea Party

So, what is it like growing up with a famous suffragette in the family? What was the family view on her militant activities? Did they support her, or was she an embarrassment?

These are some of the questions we will be asking Tamara Dugdale, Edith New's great niece, at A Talk and a Tea Party at St Saviour's Hall, Ashford Road on Saturday March 19, 12.30 to 2.30.

Edith was born on March 17, 1877 at 24 North Street, Swindon and we will be celebrating her 139th birthday in style with Tamara in conversation with Leah Bevan-Haines and Frances Bevan. Sadly Edith died when Tamara was very young but did she grow up hearing about her famous great aunt, we wonder?

Tamara will be telling us more about Edith's family and what she thinks inspired her to take up the Votes for Women cause.

Another opportunity for us to wear our suffragette costumes, so don the purple, green and white colours ladies (banners are optional) and let's wish Edith many happy returns.

For further updates and to let us know you are coming, visit the Swindon Suffragette facebook page.

Here are some photos from the October 2015 events.

Our fab banner telling the story of Edith New

A guided walk of Old Town saw us visit Christ Church. Here we are standing by the grave of Edith's maternal Frampton grandparents.

Organiser Leah Bevan-Haines

Tamara wearing Edith's original sash

Swindon Suffragettes, 2015 style, get ready to march

Perry Barrett wearing an original Edwardian police uniform - and he grew a moustache in honour of the occasion

Saturday, March 12, 2016

33,000 stories - telling them one at a time.

Join our guided walk at Radnor Street Cemetery Sunday August 14. Meet at the cemetery chapel for 2 pm.

This is the story of Alice and Frederick Legg, told on a previous walk.

Alice Legg was not a local girl. She was born in Wimbledon in 1886, the daughter of Frederick and Catherine Lovegrove.

Her first job was as a kitchen maid at a private girl’s school in Wimbledon. The duties of a kitchen maid were many and varied and involved a lot of cleaning and some cooking under the supervision of the cook. In this her first job, Alice was roughly the same age as the pupils at the school.

At the time of her marriage in 1911 Alice was working as a domestic servant for a Wine & Spirit retailer. Her husband Frederick was born in 1887, possibly in Faringdon.

They married at All Saints Church, Wimbledon on June 5, 1911. Both Alice and Frederick give their address as 65 Norman Road. The UK Railway Employment Records state that Frederick had begun working for the GWR here in Swindon On May 29, 1911 as a Boilermakers Helper, just weeks before his wedding.

Frederick later worked as Watchman in the Loco Manager’s office. He left the Works on Jan 4, 1943. The couple’s last home together was at 75 Okus Road.

Alice died at the Isolation Hospital. Frederick died at 432 Ferndale Road,most probably the home of one of their children.

The couple died within months of one another. Alice in June 1961 and Frederick in October of the same year.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Spring is in the air at Lydiard House and Park

It might not have felt very Springlike today, with squally showers and a chilly blast, but the forecast for the rest of the week is looking promising and I feel in a buoyant Lydiard House and Park mood.

Next week sees the last in the Behind Closed Doors series of events on March 16 at 7 pm when Jane Rutherfoord will talk about ancient wall paintings and her fascinating conservation work at St Mary's Church, Lydiard Tregoze. For more information visit the Friends of Lydiard Park website.

Lydiard House, which has been closed since before Christmas, reopens on March 19 with a new exhibition called Lydiard at War.

And then yesterday yet more information arrived concerning future events at Lydiard House including the Friends AGM on May 7.  Mike Bowden, Chairman of the Friends, writes:

"Given the very serious threat Lydiard House and Park is currently under and the uncertainty of its future remaining in public hands, we will devote our afternoon to this issue, providing you with an update on events including the formation of the Lydiard Park Heritage Trust and its bid to take over the management of the House and Park. This will also be an opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have on the subject."

The Friends annual summer outing will be to Croome Court, Worcestershire, home to the Coventry family, among whom was Barbara St John, the daughter of John St John, the 11th Baron St John of Bletsoe. Barbara married George William Coventry, 6th Earl of Coventry in 1764. Read more about them on the Good Gentlewoman blog.

If you love Lydiard why not join the Friends? Membership costs £10 per individual and £18 for a couple. Under the present arrangements friends continue to have free access to the House and Walled Garden.

Barbara St John, Countess of Coventry

Summer 2014 edition of Swindon Heritage and the story of Frances Winchcombe

Lydiard House

Walled Garden

View across the lake

Sun dial in the Walled Garden

More views of the Walled Garden

Time travelling in Lydiard Park with the Woodvilles

The State Bed

18th century view of Lydiard House and Park

Classical bust in the Grand Hall, Lydiard House

Croome Court, Worcs.