Aldbourne Archive is the catchy name for my personal musings on village history and matters further afield.  I tend to delve into archaeology, WW2 and industrial heritage (especially Crofton Beam Engines). The journey started with an exhibition for Aldbourne Civic Society in 2000.  The idea since then has been to collect and safely store information about our village; and to make that information as accessible as possible.

I must pay tribute to all the others who have had the same idea, past and present historians who have worked hard to preserve village history.  Even after twenty years, I still consider myself to be the ‘new kid on the block’.  Our parish magazine ‘The Dabchick’ and the Aldbourne Carnival Committee have been really supportive along the way.

Many thanks to the Wiltshire Museum, the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre and Swindon Local Studies for their help, advice and support over the years. In more recent days, it was fantastic to visit Swindon Museum & Art Gallery to explore the Modern Art Collection founded by ‘Jimmy’ Bomford of Laines, Aldbourne; plus the chance to see the Herbarium bequeathed to the Museum by Miss Emily Sophia Todd (1949) being unboxed and conserved.

The  Community Archives & Heritage Group have also given me loads of support, including brilliant training sessions.

I’ve contributed to exhibitions, village celebrations and (with a considerable amount of help in the early days from my children) made the leap into the digital age via Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Instagram.

So what does the future hold for Aldbourne past?  The most exciting development has been the formation of an Aldbourne Community Heritage Group to Explore the Village Story, and establish a Heritage Centre in the former public conveniences next to the Crown in the Square.   Find out more about ACHG and the Heritage Centre on their website http://aldbourneheritage.org.uk

Jo Hutchings – April 2021

Email: history@johutchings.co.uk