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Programme 2024

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Thu 18th July 2024
Proposed Coach to Tiverton with Horse Drawn Barge Trip
Limited to 50, so Members have priority. Please book your tickets from February

Thu 26th September 2024
An evening remembering The Avon Rubber Company in Melksham
(note 4th Thursday)

Thu 17th October 2024
Atworth – The Romans to the 3rd Millennium
Presented by Gervase O’Donohoe

Thu 21st November 2024
AGM & Social Evening

Recent Events

Tue 11th June 2024
Town Walk led by Paul Carter
Meet at Rachel Fowler Centre at 7pm
more details...

Thu 16th May 2024
Further display of our local Artefacts & Social Evening
(7pm – 9pm)
more details...

Thu 18th April 2024
Working for the Melksham Urban District Council
Presented by Gill Butler
more details...

View All Recent Events

Melksham and District Historical Association 
A brief history of the association 

During the early 1960’s there were great changes taking place in Melksham with new development within the town centre and changes to factories and commercial premises. 

In November 1962 a group of 10 people who had an interest in preserving the town's heritage met in the town hall, presided over by Councillor W.A.Catte. During this meeting it was proposed by Mr Cooper that “Melksham and District Historical Association” be formed. This was agreed unanimously by all attending. 

The aims of the society were to preserve and record for posterity the events and buildings etc in the town and surrounding area, also to probe past records, to bring to light items and past events of historical interest. 

In February 1965 meetings were held in the lecture room of the newly opened Library in Lowbourne and membership grew to approximately 40, with an average meeting attendance of 19. 

Over the next 10 years membership increased to approx 80 in the mid 1970’s. With an attendance at meetings of about 50 members, it was apparent that the lecture room in the Library was just not big enough and the committee researched alternative venues for the meetings. The result was that from September 1996 meeting were held at the Assembly Hall. The move to better facilities in the Assembly hall reflected in an increase in membership in 2001 to 120. 

From September through to April, meeting are arranged in the Assembly Hall with guest speakers and slide shows of local interest, which are very popular. May, June and July are reserved for visits to local places of interest and our annual outing, which takes place in July. 

Exhibitions of photographs and artefacts have always been a feature of the Association’s aims. To this end a three day exhibition was held in the Town Hall in 2002 to celebrate the 40th anniversary followed by a four year stint of running the Round House in Church Street as a History Centre. Both were well supported by the public but it was necessary to eventually close the History Centre due to lack of stewards. Various pictorial displays were mounted over the years in the lounge area of the Assembly Hall, St Michael’s Church and other venues when asked.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Association eleven blue plaques were mounted on some of Melksham’s historic buildings along with a Blue Plaque Trail publication which gave brief details of the history of the buildings. This booklet is still available to purchase in the TIC.

Over the years the Association members have been responsible for producing a number of papers and publications on local history. The most prolific writer of papers was Mr Peter Brown, who was one of the founder members of the Association and was the President until he passed away in 2014. John Holness then accepted the presidents position, following his many years as the Association Chairman. Our current president is Tony Fivash.

Attendance at meetings always reached 50/60 but it became impossible to recruit committee members to run the meetings mostly due to our ageing membership so the future did not look very bright. However at the January 2022 meeting a visitor pointed out how difficult it would be to start up again if we allowed the Association to close. Renewed effort was made to recruit a Chairman and Treasurer. Both are now in place and our future looks set fair.