People of Note
For a small village with a modest population, Calverton has managed to produce a number of luminaries and a couple of dubious notoriety; including a Queen’s thegne, a prominent supporter of William the Conqueror, several Knights, Earls, Dukes and Lords, a Roman Catholic Cardinal, an Archbishop, two Lord Mayors of London, a sex-craved Duchess and a murderer!
On a more prosaic scale there have been generations of farmers, agricultural workers, manual and skilled labourers, self employed craftspersons, publicans, and even a few shopkeepers – in fact all the usual pursuits of people who have their individual parts to play in a small community but one that, in the past, was inevitably slanted towards a basic rural economy. It is to the memories of these people that we turn when we want to build up a picture of what the village was like in the past, rather than Good and the Great (and the notorious), who tend to remain remote.
Collecting Personal Memories
It used to be frustrating at village events to get into conversation with a long time resident and then start to hear wonderful stories coming out only to find that one is totally unprepared without pencil and paper let alone recording equipment!
We have come on considerably since those days and have managed to apply some of the lessons learned at the Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre (MKCDC) on how to collect as many reminiscences on tape of long-time residents as we can. We are also fortunate in that people have come forward with their own stories to add to those that we already have.
But we still need lots more help and ideas. If you have a little time to spare, and this is something you would like to get involved with, please let us know.
We need help with making recordings, indexing and transcribing them; then help with photography and drawing and editing.
Lastly many thanks to the interviewees for their patience and their memories and support.
Researching People and Family History
Although many members of the Calverton Records Project had researched their own family histories, few had used the techniques to find out about their village history and the houses where they lived. Julia Bowtell’s article traces her personal quest to find out about the women and children of Calverton through the occupation of Lacemaking.