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9:30am Wednesday 5th December 2012
Corsham Civic Society member Patricia Whalley delves deep into the history of the town in her new book, Corsham Memories 2: The Prefab Years 1930/40. The book, which features interviews with people who moved to Corsham in the 1930s and 40s, is the follow-up to her previous work with the CCS, Corsham Memories From 1910-50. After the release of the first book, lifelong resident Mrs Whalley was approached by several people who had lived in the ‘prefabs’, special prefabricated housing built for war evacuees and MoD employees. She spent 18 months interviewing and collecting stories from individuals who had grown up in the Corsham prefab estates, using her own resources and funds to put the book together. Mrs Whalley said: “It really was an interesting time in Corsham’s history, with the people who were living in the prefabs building small, close-knit communities. “What really struck me while I was talking to some of those who feature in the book is just how much freedom the children had back then compared to today. “They would simply go outside and play together while the mums were at home and the dads were out working. They had total freedom and that is something that you wouldn’t say of today’s children. “It says a lot about the spirit of the communities that many of them are still in touch with each other today and I believe that spirit still lives on in Corsham now.” One of the stories Mrs Whalley tells is that of David Barry, who recalls how he played happily and safely in the town as a child. Many of the people living in the prefabs worked for the MoD, at the Corsham Ammunition Depot, or at Spring Quarry, while others had been evacuated from Bristol, Bath, and London. Mrs Whalley, of Elm Hayes, was born in 1941 in Corsham’s maternity home, now Alexander House on the High Street. The book is now on sale at Corsham Bookshop, the tourist office, Barnett Brothers newsagents and Hawthorn Post Office, price £9.99.
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An article in the Wiltshire Times last year asking for information on the history of Rood Ashton Manor led to a meeting thousands of miles away between a historian working on a book which features the house and its present owner.
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Your Say Your Times
It has been heartening to see the coverage of the new Wiltshire Council market being opened in Trowbridge and, as a Wiltshire Council market trader of long standing, I wish it every success. New markets are needed in these straitened times and it is only right that stallholders at new markets are offered special reduced rates. − Name and address suppliedRents rising on quiet »
I have an office in the small trading estate at the top of Westwells Road, Hawthorn Hill, near Rudloe, in Corsham. Traffic flow on Hawthorn Hill – and, as a consequence, office access – is currently in a state of chaos, thanks to work being carried out by Bardon Constructing. − Geoff Fry, NestonOver by Christmas »