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Buckinghamshire’s Industrial Heritage

On Saturday the 6th of October, the BLHN had their Local History Fair and Conference at the Royal Grammar School in High Wycombe. Four members of AIM attended this event which was entitled Buckinghamshire’s Industrial Heritage.
The day was split in to three sessions with two speakers giving presentations in each session.
Dr David Thorpe started with an overview of the various industries that had grown (Furniture) and sometimes disappeared (Lace Making) in Bucks over the last few centuries.
We were then treated to a fascinating history of brewing within Bucks, by Mike Brown who took us back to the times when Ale Houses sold the beer they produced, up until the times that the larger breweries took over, and usually closed, their smaller competitors (RIP Wethereds).
After a break, we heard from Mike Hammett who explained the history of brick making from the Romans to the present day. The 100, or more, brick works in Bucks have now dwindled to three, but Dunton & Bovingdon are one of them, and they were demonstrating their craft on the ground floor below the conference.
Mike was followed by Trevor Dean who gave an animated slide presentation on Paper Making in Bucks. The information on Paper Mills was stimulating, with a profusion of moving graphics complimenting the sound content that Trevor had obviously researched so well.
Following a tasty buffet lunch, we reassembled to listen to Dr Clive Edwards who spoke about the Furniture Industry in High Wycombe. The famous photograph of the ‘chair arch’ in High Wycombe started this interesting talk. Of course, more information on Wycombe’s furniture past can be gathered at the Museum in Priory Road, High
Wycombe.
John Brushe concluded the presentations speaking on the industrial history of Wolverton. When John’s talk ended, various groups embarked on visits and walks around local places of interest, with ‘Penn village and Tile making’ being the top attraction.
During the breaks between speakers, we were able to see the many exhibitions that were present. Various Local History Societies exhibited, including Marlow Society’s Local History Group.
About 200 people attended this well organised event held in spacious surroundings (and High Wycombe is much closer than Aylesbury!).

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