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Wargrave Village Festival 2022


12 June 2022


As part of the Wargrave Village Festival, the Wargrave Local History Society arranged an Historic Wargrave Exhibition, in the Woodclyffe Hall.

On display were documents from 1635 to recent times, photographs from the 1870s to 2022, and a variety of objects relating to Wargrave’s past, including timber and bell-metal medallions from the 1914 church fire, part of the B17 Flying Fortress that crashed over Wargrave in 1943, and items relating to local businesses, amongst many others.

The topics covered ranged from the growth of the village, a history of the church, the village schools, wartime effects on Wargrave,to particular areas, such as the river, Victoria Road or the High Street, and a variety of activities including a wide range of sports, the history of the Wargrave Village Festival itself, and village public houses.

Visitors ranged from ‘under 5’ to ‘over 90’, and included the Rt Hon Theresa May, MP, who studied many of the items with interest during the afternoon.

The following day, the society also conducted the ever-popular Historic Village Walk, taking in the Mill Green, church and High Street areas. Participants - some long-time village residents, and others more recently arrived (including a family from Ukraine) heard about people and events from Wargrave’s past, and the places associated with them, as they had a gentle stroll.

At Wargrave Village Festival Fete on Mill Green, the Society display of aerial photographs of the village “Then and Now” attracted the attention of many visitors. The changes between the ‘then’ pictures of 1931 and much more recent ones showed how the village has developed over this time. Close inspection enabled people to identify their house - or the site where it was later built. Some also had not realised quite how the River Thames curves round as it passes the village. Other details that were noticed were a steam train making its way between Shiplake and Wargrave, or the chalk pit, where the part was still in active use to create lime.

This colour aerial photograph is looking westwards. Along the left hand half at the top is Waterman’s Way, whilst half way along at the bottom is the cemetery in the chalk pit. The church is towards the top left, about a third of the way across. Towards the top right hand corner is a large white house - Inverloddon - in Ferry Lane, with the High Street just below it - the end-on gable visible is that of the Woodclyffe Hall, with the village cross roads to its left. About a quarter of the way up right on the left hand edge is the Roman Catholic church, with the distinctive shape of Bayliss Road to the right, whilst there are several houses now on both sides of Station Road

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