New book provides fascinating insight into Amersham in the 1940s

New book provides fascinating insight into Amersham in the 1940s

 
Although the independent Amersham Museum is a community-centred host of lively events for
the young and old, it also contains an interesting archive of documents and ephemera relating
to people and places in Amersham.
Some years ago during a routine audit of the document collection a handwritten journal was
discovered written by a local resident. The journal had been donated by a lady in Norfolk who
had found it in the drawer of a piece of furniture she bought at auction. The museum is very
grateful that she did not just throw it away, but thought to offer it for the collection.
The name of the journal’s writer was evident from the correspondence placed within the pages
of the journal, and it matched the name of an author of a book in the museum’s library. The
writer was Mabel Richmond Brailsford, a writer of historical biographies of religious
personalities, such as William Penn and John Wesley.
Thanks to a research volunteer transcribing the journal and a volunteer typographer designing
the book, this journal has now been published by the museum to enable everyone to learn at
first-hand about life on the homefront during World War Two. Within the journal are 40,000
words of wonderful stories of Amersham residents, descriptions of war-torn London, tales of
national personalities, the trials of providing a home for bombed-out Londoners and general
uninformed gossip. The well-educated writer splatters her entries with French, Italian, German
and Latin phrases. She writes with intelligence and wit, but still displays her prejudices,
admiration for her favourites and an undercurrent of cultural snobbery. This lucid and
entertaining account of her thoughts and descriptions of events and people give us a vivid
account of life in Amersham during World War Two.
As well as the journal, the book includes a biography of the author, researched in archives in
Manchester and Ilfracombe; a bibliography of her published work; and mini biographies of the
150 people and places contained within the journal. It is an exciting new addition to the
understanding of the deprivations and conditions endured on the homefront during world war
two.
Copies are available from the publisher, Amersham Museum, for £10 each. Proceeds will
support the museum’s development project into the neighbouring building.

http://www.amershammuseum.org

Entry is £2.50 per adult and under 16s are free.
The Museum is open March to August Thursday – Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday afternoons
2pm – 4.30pm The Museum is also open from 10-4.30pm on Saturdays.
There are guided walks of the town every Sunday at 2.30pm April to August. The walk lasts an
hour and a half and costs £2 per adult with under 16s free. Martyrs walks to the martyrs
memorial are led by guides in Tudor costume on the last Saturday of the month at 2.30pm,
April to September. The martyrs walks last two hours and a quarter and cost £2 per adult with
under 16s free.
The Museum is located at 49 High Street, Old Amersham, HP7 0DP. There is free parking on
the High Street. The nearest car park is located just off the Broadway, about 350m from the
Museum

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Old Murder Mystery in Amersham – Can Anyone Help?

I have received an email asking if I can help with a possible old mystery about a murder in Amersham many years ago.  The writer tells me “I recall that a popular woman GP was murdered in the woods above Old Amersham, her name might have been Davison.  On the widely held belief that a murderer always returns to the scene of the crime, my father was allocated the night watch, which he spent up in a tree, my guess quite high.  Probably to his intense relief the murderer did not appear and I believe was never caught.”

Can anyone remember this case and what the outcome was?  A Google search has not revealed anything, but it was probably reported locally.

Mystery Amersham Craters – Anyone Know What they Are?

I have recently been sent the attached picture and map.  The picture shows 3 indentations in a field, which are in a line and look unnatural. I am wondering if anyone knows what they might be?

I don’t think they would be bomb craters from WW2, perhaps they are where clay was dug out ages ago.  They do seem to be a mystery, so if anyone knows, please let me know.

They are marked on the map, (they are across the valley from the A&W college).

 

fields1 map1