History of the Vale

Bishampton Bertie


One of the groups who joined us for our WW1 in the Vale events in October 2014 was the Bishampton History Society.

Mike Rickard and his team were successful in bidding for a £10,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund so that over the next 2 years, they can research the First World War history of their parish.

The team has already been hard at work, researching the names of the men on the parish war memorial and creating touring exhibitions for our events and to show off around the county.

Bishampton Bertie is the mascot that they have adopted for the project – as part of the project, the team are keen to make sure that there are plenty of opportunities for children and young people to find out about the lives of parishioners during the war.

As part of the project, the society is planning to produce two booklets, first about the men enlisted and their families, and the second on their findings about the wider impact for the Bishampton community.  Other plans include:

  • going out to interview members of the community about their family’s histories
  • working with schools on how to research ancestry and to produce commemorative art work
  • open days, and events to involve the local community and share memories, photographs and artefacts
  • planting a line of trees in memory of the village’s fallen heroes.

When Chairman Mike Rickard announced the news of their successful funding bid to his committee, he recalled the line in Churchill’s VE day speech – “We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing: but let us not forget for a moment the toil and effort that lie ahead”.

”The difference now”, Mike added, “was that the effort should all be, pleasurable, with the village community coming together in the quest for information about the village and its people a hundred years ago. We are really keen to find out if the cataclysmic effect of the war elsewhere was reflected in the village and its daily life, and to record those findings for the village and future generations.”

Mike is appealing to people to get in touch if they have any memories, or artefacts from relatives or friends from the conflict to make the project as meaningful as possible.  If you want to get in touch or find out how they are getting on, go to their website.

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