Sara has asked me if I will post on her behalf but has given me permission to ‘tidy up’ her text. I fully expect this to be the last time I am given editorial licence but hope you support her very popular event. Guy.
This year, again, I am displaying all and warmly invite you to my greatest exhibition EVER! As well as historic photographs of Catherington, Clanfield, Lovedean, Horndean and people from 1890 on (photo – right) there will be a selection of historic records of births marriage and deaths (Quite possibly including me if the records are fully up to date and Sara reads this blog…) There is also a special display about Blondie Haslar, a Catherington Resident, who was one of the Cockleshell Heroes who lived quietly and anonymously in our community until he passed away in 1987. There is also a display of local artefacts going back to the Ice Age!
This will be at Catherington Church Hall on the Bank Holiday Weekend on Sunday 28th and Monday 29th of August from 10am to 4pm each day with a suggested entry fee of £2.50 which will be donated to Catherington Church to help maintain the building.
There will be a selection of priceless Church records from All Saints Church, Catherington and St James’ Clanfield giving an idea of life in small communities over 300 years. I am also hoping to display some Blendworth and Finchdean church record books. If you want to research any family history be sure to bring paper and a pencil to make notes as no ink is allowed near the books.
Catherington Archaeological Group have also been busy throughout the summer on a dig locally and will have on display many of the artefacts they have discovered from Stone Age tools to a Roman spur. It would appear that there was a Romano British site within Catherington with quite a bit of industrial work going on in the area. Catherington appears to have been more or less continually inhabited since the Iron Age. It is a really exciting discovery so if you would like to ask questions, local archaeologist Chris Healey and his long suffering wife Pauline will try to answer them. If you have an interest in local history and have the time to volunteer in the future they would be pleased to see you.
Come along and hold stone age tools, Bronze age artefacts and Roman pottery.
Local hero, Herbert George ‘Blondie’ Hasler OBE DSO CdG RMA, leader of Operation Frankton now known as the ‘Cockleshell Heroes’ film, lived in Glamorgan Road, Catherington. He led the Cockleshell Heroes on their vital operation to disable Axis shipping in Bordeaux in December 1942 during WW2. Having paddled up the Gironde river under cover of darkness over a period of five nights, Blondie and his men attached limpet mines to the vessels. Only two men returned from this daring expedition, two were drowned before they reached their target and six were captured, interrogated and executed by the Germans. Churchill was reported as saying this act of bravery probably shortened the war by six months. There will be a stand with photos and information about this act of bravery.
Tea and coffee will be available and you can sit and chat with people you maybe haven’t seen for years. In the past years people have discovered cousins living locally and one year a group of five men who hadn’t seen each other since they were at school over 50 years ago had the opportunity to share memories and recall past events. Many people like to remember how things were and the photographs really help to jog memories. People new to the area are keen to see how things have developed over the years. Everyone is welcome.