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I am trying to trace a copy of 'English Villagers - The British people how they live and work'
It was produced in 1944 by the British Council and the village featured was Lacock and in 2005 the National Trust put on an exhibition based on this book "Lacock as Propaganda" at the Fox Talbot Museum. their Photographic Museum at Lacock. I am searching for a copy as it contains pictures of my great grandfather Frederick Bird. If any one does have a copy could they please email me on peter.bird248@hotmail.co.uk

Lacock 'Then' and 'Now'

Being retired, I have for the past three years been dabbling (for want of a better word) in watercolour painting. Recently while searching for inspiration I was browsing through an old photograph album belonging to one of my wife's long passed on relatives. This album dates from around the 1850's and has a lot of pictures of Lacock. We dated it because it contains a picture of the last broad gauge train to go through Swindon.

Looking at some of these photos I thought I should come back up to Lacock and make a few sketches and take some photographs, (after all my wife was born and brought up in Reybridge). Accordingly Reybridge was the first port of call, where we were amazed at how low the river was and the amount of reed growth that was evident. Having done the necessary with the thatched cottages, we pressed on into Lacock itself.

Our next stop was St. Cyriac's church. Again, sketches and photographs were taken, so we decided to look inside (and why not? We were married there after all by the Rev. Brocklebank). I didn't notice any difference but Mabyn (my wife) immediately noticed that some pews had gone and we spent quite a little time looking for the kneeler that she had embroidered when she was in the choir. We did not find it on this visit as time was pressing but we will have a more thorough look on our next visit (and there will be one!).

Feeling a little thirsty we decided on a cup of tea in King John's Hunting Lodge, where to our amazement the teapot contained leaf tea and was accompanied by a tea strainer! What a refreshing change in these days of tea bags. As I said, time was pressing, so regretfully we had to make our way back home to Bristol. One thing did strike me though, and that was except for the fact that the roads have been tarmaced and a flagpole erected in the churchyard, everything was basically the same as it was in the 1850's, except for the cars of course!

Ah well - time to get some pristine watercolour out and proceed to ruin it by drawing and painting on it.

Gerald and Mabyn Rees (nee Wootten)

Many of us will remember Mabyn Wootten when she lived with her family by the bridge at Reybridge, and sang in the choir.

And it used to be Eight Shillings a Week!

Lacock residents fear spiralling rents on homes in the village will shatter their community.

The National Trust who own most of the houses in the village said" As a charity, The National Trust is obliged by law to make the best use of our assets. "The policy has changed to offer the properties at full market value. "This only applies to vacant properties, not people that currently have leases,"
The Chairman of the Parish Council said that recently a large three-bedroom home in Lacock went for £1,300 per month rental and a smaller two-bedroom would be around £600 per month.

Thank You

Very many big thanks for all the kindness of friends to me, for all the cards and letters to get well, for all the really good things everyone has done for me since I have been home - it has taken all the worry away - for the friends who looked after my two cats so that I did not have to worry over them. Thanks for everything especially food. For me it has all been wonderful. I s hall soon be about again and fit.

Thank you very much all

Betty Jennings

A Request

I understand that in the past Bowden Hill has had its own Parish Magazine. Would anyone still have any?

Also, there was a North Wilts Church Magazine called The Sign, issued monthly, definitely in the 1950's - again would anybody have any?

Please contact Sue West on 730930 if you can help.

Thank you.

Bring on the Double Yellow Lines

Broken, all over the place, dirty, tatty and unsightly, lets get rid of the cones and have more double yellow lines in place. Especially along by the cemetery and the abbey wall by the play park and tennis court. The movie makers always put down dirt or sand so it would make no odds to them, but would certainly tidy up the village.


Has anyone got any old or new ‘House for Sale/Rent’ details for within Lacock Parish, i.e. Notton, Showell, Corsham Road, Reybridge, Bowden Hill?

Think before you throw them away - they’re part of Local History.


(01249 730930)


Every laugh that’s echoed purely
Makes the world a better place,
You’ve a smile about you surely,
Why not wear it on your face.

Winter Warmer

Logs to burn, logs to burn,
Logs to save the coal a turn.
Here’s a word to make you wise
When you hear the Woodman’s cries.
Never heed his usual tale
That he has good logs for sale,
But read these lines and really learn
The proper kind of logs to burn.

OAK will warm you well if warm and dry.
LARCH of pinewood smell, but sparks will fly.
BEECH for Christmas. YEW heats well.
SCOTCH is a choice for anyone to sell.
BIRCH will burn too fast, CHESTNUT scarce at all,
HAWTHORN are good to last if cut in the Fall,
HOLLY burns like wax, you should burn them green,
ELM logs are like smouldering flax, no flame to be seen.
PEAR and APPLE will scent your room,
CHERRY smells like flowers in bloom.
But ASH, all smooth and grey, burn green or old.
Buy all that comes your way, they’re worth their weight in gold

(Contributed by Jo Parsons)