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West Berkshire Living Landscape

What’s been happening in the West Berkshire Living Landscape? Jacky Akam, Project Manager, BBOWT, July 2009 The West Berkshire Living Landscape is on the edge of Newbury and Thatcham. It covers 26km2 and is a mosaic of land rich with history and wildlife. Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) and West Berkshire Council (WBC) have joined forces in an initiative to celebrate this landscape, create more opportunities for people to enjoy it and expand the wildlife habitats within it. The ground-nesting birds on Greenham and Crookham Commons got some extra support this summer. Rare ground...Read more

The Oldest Roman coin found in Britain

Malcolm Langford, who gave the society a talk in May entitled "The past in Stone and Metal" and a Metal Detectorist from West Berkshire, has unearthed the oldest Roman coin found in Britain.The coin, a silver roman coin, dates back to 207BC. This makes it the oldest found in Britain. Read more on the CBA website .Read more

Thatcham: an historic town in a changing world

A new publication on Thatcham’s heritage is to be launched this October. The publication is a direct result of a study that was instigated by Peter Allen under his role as the Thatcham Vision Project Manager and has been undertaken jointly by Thatcham Vision and Thatcham Historical Society . Sadly Peter passed away in May. The whole team has put every effort into making this publication something Peter would have been proud of and have dedicated it to him. The publication summarises the historical processes and events that have resulted in the town we know today. It also highlights some areas...Read more

Remembering Peter

Members of the public are invited to send in photographs, anecdotes, memories, articles and any other material suitable for collation into a large bound volume to remember Peter Allen who has just recently died. Please send any suitable material to Thatcham Town Council, Brownsfield Road, Thatcham RG18 3HF . Alternatively, please email enquiries@thatchamtowncouncil.gov.uk . Peter touched so many people’s lives in Thatcham and beyond in so many ways. A book of memories to be entitled “ Remembering Peter … ” will be a very special reminder to his family of the very great and lasting...Read more

History Month Fact 31: Spelling of Thatcham

The earliest spelling of Thatcham is Thæc-ham : it is so spelt in the copy of a will belonging to the latter part of the tenth century ; while in the Domesday Survey of 1086 it is spelt Tace-ham. The name may originate from the Saxon settlement, possibly from a chief called Tace. Thus creating Tace’s Ham, evolving over the centuries to become Thatcham. Thakeham in Sussex is also recorded as being known originally as Tace Ham, as no doubt others have.Read more

History Month Fact 30: Bells re-tuned

The six bells in the tower of Thatcham parish church are re-tuned in 1929 and two more are added to complete the octave. Men working in the tower find a tiny coffin containing the mummified remains of a baby. There is an inquest but no explanation has ever been found.Read more

History Month Fact 29: Ladies elected

The Parish Council has long been male dominated. This changes in 1919 when ladies are elected for the first time to Thatcham Parish Council. The first two being Mrs. Ashman and Mrs. Pike.Read more

History Month Fact 28: lady gardeners

Miss Elizabeth Hughes-Jones established one of the first schools for lady gardeners in the country in 1906. The school was originally known as Henwick Fruit Farm and later as Henwick Fruit and Flower Farm School as well as Thatcham Fruit and Flower Farm School. The school survived in various forms, including a mushroom farm until 1982 and was eventually redeveloped in 1989 with the current Wyevale Garden Centre.Read more

History Month Fact 27: British School Closes

The British School in Church Lane closes in 1913. This is because it is too overcrowded. Pupils move to the new Council School on the London Road, later called the Francis Baily School.Read more

History Month Fact 26: Coach and van works

In 1911, A.H and C.G Brown expand their business and open a "coach and van works", called the Broadway Motor Works, in the Broadway next to the King's Head. The company managed to keep training until 1990...Read more