Saturday 19 May 2018

10 am – 4 pm at Devizes Quaker Meeting House

Sussex Wharf, The Nursery, Devizes SN10 2AE

10.00 am       Arrival and welcome

10.15 am       Getting started using Facebook for a local history society

– John Dymond, Aldbourne Heritage Centre

10.50 am       Practical tips for using Social Media to promote local history 

– Naomi Sackett, WSHC

11.25 am       Coffee break

11.45 am       Working with new audiences for local history 

– Shahina Johnson, Create Studios

12.25 pm       Using the Know Your Place website to put your community on the map 

                        - Claire Skinner, WSHC

1.00 pm         Lunch Break

2.00 pm         Workshop on the future of Wiltshire Local History Forum – please bring your ideas on what you want the Forum to do and how we might achieve that!           

3.30 pm         AGM

4.00 pm         Tea and close

COST FREE!Lunch included

Please book via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / 01249 705510

Please let me know if you have any special dietary requirements

Or write to Claire Skinner C/O WSHC, Cocklebury Rd, Chippenham SN15 3QN

News from Bradford on Avon Area Board
All the latest news for Bradford on Avon and the surrounding villages

Bradford on Avon – A Working Town for Young People

Bradford on Avon – A Working Town for Young People Save the Date – Wednesday 23 May, St Margaret’s Hall from 6.30pm Join us for an Open Forum entitled “A Working Town for Young People” Discussing: – affordable accommodation; decent jobs; quality of life issues for young people Featuring: Community First (Land Trusts), Selwood Housing, Wiltshire College, BoA Business, Career Direct Solutions, Wiltshire Music Centre, Wiltshire Rural read more...


Film maker Will Sansom has spent the past 18 months following the Iron Duke's restoration process. By interviewing retired workers and speaking to local historians he began to understand the vast significance of the rubber works and their role in global industrialization. He says he has really enjoyed following the Iron Duke on its journey back to Bradford on Avon and has met many interesting people involved in the restoration. The grand unveiling will be the culmination of a truly fascinating project and he hopes the Iron Duke monument will provoke the interest of residents and visitors about the town's illustrious heritage. 

The Iron Duke's Progress is available to watch here on Vimeo.com:


The Avon Works Archive Project began when former Avon Rubber workers donated memorabilia and photos connected with the factory, and began to write about their workplace memories, following a meeting organised by Jim Lynch in April 2015.

After reading an article in the Wiltshire Timesin March 2016, Margaret and Andrew Shipley, former-workers of Avon Rubber, Bradford on Avon, were appointed to not only look after the donated material, but also to take forward and control an Avon Works archive, which included research into material from the factory now stored at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre in Chippenham. They have since spent many hours cataloguing their findings from the rows and rows of storage boxes on an Excel spreadsheet, and Andrew’s colleague has photographed many items for use both on this website and in a newspaper project about the factory by students at St Laurence School. They also identified factory plans and photographs of use to Trowbridge College IT students tasked with developing the digital, 3D Avon Rubber factory.

There is much more cataloguing work to be done, and Margaret and Andrew would welcome anyone who has an interest and would like to help.

Recently uploaded are some Pictures from just before the Bradford Factory Closed and the machinery moved to other sites. Circa Oct 1991 to March 1992. Most of the pictures are from scanned proof sets and the letter and number identifies the set.

Click here to see the gallery of images

Remembering the Avon’ records the reminiscences of some of the men and women who worked at the Avon Rubber Factory.  It’s a mixture of interviews and conversations between family members.  In one example, three generations of men from the same family discuss the influence of the factory on Bradford on Avon and the subsequent impact of the factory’s closure.   Others describe how the development of technology affected the lives of the workers.  Some explain how handling noxious chemicals involved in the rubber process damaged their health.  Their working lives were sometimes repetitive, sometimes dangerous, and often incongruously humorous, and their memories of those days are detailed, painfully honest and at times playful and funny. 

Remembering the Avonis available to watch here on vimeo.com.




The first of the Iron Duke-related community engagement projects to begin in 2016 involved the Bath-based performance poet Hannah Teasdale, who worked with young people, in particular those at Bradford on Avon Youth Group, to explore the health issues involved with working at the former Avon Rubber factory (especially those associated with the notorious ‘Black Hole’ mixing department), and any contemporary issues faced by young people living in a post-Avon town. The starting point for this project was the poem The Grim Reaper’s Snuffby Bradford on Avon’s Merv Grist. 

Hannah commented that three of the girls who produced their own pieces of writing about their experience of life in Bradford on Avon had never written voluntarily before, and the workshops became very person-centred and therapeutic for them.

The resulting work was showcased at a Bradford on Avon Arts Festival event on Saturday September 10th2016 – some written and performed by the young people, and some written by Hannah and performed by the young people. Some of the performances from that evening, plus other work by the young people, were filmed and edited by James McQuade, the resulting film, Our Black Hole, being showcased at the official unveiling of the Iron Duke.

Click here to watch the film: Our Black Hole