Editorial, Sally Thomson

The palimpsest brass in Steeple Ashton church

The palimpsest brass in Steeple Ashton church

Some forty members of the Society gathered in the village hall of Steeple Ashton on the 2nd of June for the 2007 AGM and to hear committee member Kenneth Rogers speak, with his usual wit and erudition, on the history of the village. The occasion also saw the launch of the latest WRS volume (no. 59), Marlborough Probate Inventories , the posthumous publication of the late Lorelei Williams.

A delicious tea was provided as usual, and this was followed by an instructive walk about the village, led by Ken Rogers, during which he brought many interesting features of vernacular architecture to our notice. Steeple Ashton church was also included. It is a magnificent building, from which the architectural gems of the village radiate. Inside is a unique record, a small, palimpsest brass, originally a printing plate, recording on one side an 18th-century memorial, while on the reverse is etched part of a religiopolitical cartoon of the reign of Queen Anne.

There is an excellent guide to Steeple Ashton available in the church, written by Ken Rogers and with exquisite drawings by Alan Andrew, showing many of the houses viewed during the Society’s visit.

The other big event last year was the opening of the new Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, described elsewhere in this newsletter by Steven Hobbs. It would be interesting to know what members think of the new Record Office. Perhaps after a year’s use, members would like to express their views in the next Recorder. All contributions to the Editor, please.


Advert for national publication The Recorder, in August 1946 edition of Wiltshire Life

The History Centre was recently given a copy of the first ever issue of Wiltshire Life (August 1946), which neither they nor the present proprietors of Wiltshire Life had ever seen. It included this advertisement for a national newspaper, which appears to have been published from 1943 to 1953, and then in another guise until 1961. Thanks to Michael Marshman for copying it.