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Wootton Bassett

Wootton Bassett photos

Displaying the first of 43 old photos of Wootton Bassett.   View all Wootton Bassett photos

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Wootton Bassett maps

Historic maps of Wootton Bassett and the local area, hand-drawn by Ordnance Survey and Samuel Lewis.   View all Wootton Bassett maps

Wootton Bassett area books

Displaying 1 of 14 books about Wootton Bassett and the local area.   View all books for this area

Memories of Wootton Bassett

Wootton Bassett memories
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Displaying a selection of personal memories of Wootton Bassett.
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Grandmother's House

High Street c1965, Wootton Bassett
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I have so many fond memories of my grandmother's house.  The house is on the left of the picture and has two bay windows and is painted white. As a child I would play with the turkeys which were kept in the stables at the rear. They were surprisingly companionable! My grandmother had a raised pansy garden and to me they all looked like velvet! I remember enjoying the smell of the old lilac tree in one corner of the garden.

I can remember from 1956ish, when I was 6, we had huge Christmas parties and all the family would come from far and wide. The table would groan under the weight of food. We would have a new outfit and everyone would "do a turn"! Grandmother was a lovely pianist and we had some good singers!  

The back servants stairs, which led from the small back room down to the kitchen (as servants then, did not use the main stairs) were a source of fear and... Read more

Wiltshire memories

Kate Hunt - Tockenham Wick

My aunt, Kate Elizabeth Sarah Hunt, was the District Nurse in the Tockenham area covering Wootton Bassett and Lyneham for several years in the 1930's and she lived in Tockenham Wick. She lived in one of four small thatched cottages in the road towards the Wick. It would be interesting to know whether anyone there still remembers her. Arthur Head

Renovating The Old School House

This was the year my wife and I took a big gamble.  Looking for a DIY challenge and a move into the countryside from Basingstoke we decided to buy the Old School House in Clyffe Pypard.  The Victorinan house, dating back to 1854, needed total renovation, inside and out, but what potential!  It had a magnificent hall with beatutiful beams, attached to the headmaster's living accommodation - a two up and two down layout (bathroom and toilet outside, of course).  We did not realise at the time what a mammoth task we had taken on and five years later when the 'ruin' had been turned into a great house we were, well, putting it mildly, exhausted, but had a great feeling of satisfaction.
We hired an architect and local builder to work through the main structural work while I struggled with the plumbing and electrics.  It was a real adventure into the unknown, pulling down false ceilings, rebuilding the fireplace in the hall, cleaning the massive old oak doors, installing... Read more

Working in Clyffe Pypard

I came down from Scotland when I was 16 & was a nanny in Broad Hinton for a year for Mr & Mrs Huddy (can't remember the name of the house), & then I decided that I wanted to work with horses, so I got a job at the Home Farm behind the Goddard Arms (was the owner's name Zona???). It was perfect, I had my own caravan in the yard, but had my meals in the farmhouse. I remember that my employers had a little grey pony who used to be able to undo gates, so he would get out the field & take all the the other horses with him! Many's the time we had to run down the road to gather them up!! Mind you, most of the time the pony (Partridge ) would go to the Manor where he could get into the food bin!! The pub featured quite strongly in the evenings, there used to be a lot of racing people (owners, trainers etc)... Read more

Holidays

my grandparents used to live in church walk in purton , my father and his brothers and sisters grew up there and every summer we used to go to stay there for our holidays.
they had feather beds and gas lighting and we used to go to bed with a candle.
the milkman used to come and fill up the pewter milk jug each morning.
we all got up early in the morning and went looking for mushrooms over the fields then go home and cook up a good breakfast. There was a well in the garden and we used to get water to wash our hair and it came out really shiny and healthy.Our grandfather used to take us on long walks over the fields.
we laughed and loved and were very happy there.
Purton is still a beautiful gentle little village, i visited there last year and saw my grand parents house , i havent got a house now, i am renting , and am thinking of... Read more

Tree in Brinkworth Church Graveyard.

I cannot remember what year it was. I climbed the tree that was in the graveyard while watching my mum who was in the school playground supervising the children in the playground at dinnertime. The only problem was the branch I stood on was not as strong as I thought it was. It snapped and I fell down on to the round-topped wall that was below. The man that worked at the post office came out and saw me laying there and called my mum who came and found me and took me home.

RAF Lyneham, 1947-48

My first job, after leaving Chippenham Secondary School in 1947, was in the Met. Office at RAF Lyneham. I sometimes cycled there from my parents' home at Box, between Chippenham and Bath. Airfield security seemed almost non-existent in those days, and one could go straight onto the station from the main road without even going through the main gate. As we were doing shift work at the office, the staff had to live on or near the airfield except on our days off. The senior civilian staff lived in the Officers' Mess, but junior staff members like myself were in the Sergeants' Mess, where I think we were regarded with slight disapproval by a few of the older NCOs.
At that time, RAF Transport Command was operating Avro York aircraft, replaced by the Handley-Page Hastings a year or so later. There were frequent flights from Lyneham to Malta and North Africa, and of course there was the Berlin airlift in 1948.

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