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Programme 2019
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Thu 18th July 2019
Outing to Gloucester
Further details to be announced. (Coach to leave King St Car Park at 9 15am)

Thu 19th September 2019
Illustrated Extracts
from the late Peter Brown’s Memories plus "Melksham’s Market Place 1219 – 2019”. Two presentations by the committee

Thu 17th October 2019
Ken Merrett Memorial Evening
“A history of Avoncliff” Presented by Nick MCamley

Thu 21st November 2019
AGM & Social Evening

Recent Events

Thu 20th June 2019
A Walk Round Seend
Led by Anne Ewing. (leave Church St Car Park at 6.15 or meet at Seend Memorial Hall at 7pm)
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Thu 16th May 2019
A Visit to Chippenham Museum
Chippenham’s story from prehistoric times to the present day, arranged by Claire Selman. (leave Church Street Car Park at 6.15 or meet outside the Museum at 7pm)
more details...

Thu 18th April 2019
The Great and Not so Good
More stories from Arno’s Vale Cemetery Presented by Alan & Jane Bambury
more details...

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“Railway Navvies” presented by Chris and Judy Rous - Thu 15th February 2018

Presents at Melksham Assembly Hall

Thursday 15th February 2018
7pm for 7.30 start

“The railway Navvy, his working life”
A Slide presentation and lecture
by Judy and Chris Rouse.

Judy and Chris will portray a flavour of the life and working conditions of Navvy’s during the peak of the early railway building mania,

Association members have free entry to meetings
Guests £3

Report -


Our February meeting at Melksham Assembly Hall was Titled “The Railway Navvy, his working life”

Judy and Chris Rouse gave a very interesting account of the very hard life the Railway Navvies had during the early 1800’s, building the network of railways in England. At its peak there were over 100,000 “Navvies” building the railway network and contrary to what we assume, only a small proportion were from Ireland, coming here for work during the potato famine.

The navvy's tools were a pick, shovel and a wheelbarrow, all carried on his back between jobs. Needless to say they were very strong men who worked hard and and played hard and also drank large amounts of beer. Gangers sold beer to the workers, it was illegal at the time, but as it kept the workers happy, a blind eye was turned to it.

A lot of these navvies, previous to working on the railways, worked on the canal network around the country and they would roam the country with their wives and families looking for the next project to work on.

In our modern world, it is hard to imagine how hard a life it was in those days, building the railways and canal networks that we take for granted today, when there were no mechanical diggers or cranes to move earth and all had to be done by hand with help from horse drawn trucks etc.

Our next meeting will be on Thursday 15th March, at Melksham Assembly Hall, 7pm for 7.30start. When Gill Cardy will give a presentation titled “Listed Buildings of Melksham”

All welcome Members free, guests £3.

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