The Annual General Meeting of Datchet Village Society was held at 7.30pm on Wednesday 25 April in the dining hall of St Mary’s School. There was a talk by Janet Kennish and updates on our various projects followed by drinks and nibbles.
New (old) paintings of Datchet
Alison has been keeping a watch on eBay and recently came across two lovely small watercolours of Datchet, painted around 1850-1860. They are not signed or dated but are the earliest pictures of the village yet known. The Barker Bridge House Trustees were very interested in them as well because one shows The Royal Stag before its Victorian front blocks were built. Using the last of our legacy plus a generous grant from the BBH Trust, both paintings have now been bought, restored and framed. These paintings were on display at the AGM with three of the 1870s’ Corden paintings and the earliest photos of the village. Janet talked about what they all reveal and how we can date them.
Also from eBay, we recently bought a Victorian Jubilee medal. These medals were minted to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee on Tuesday 21 June 1887. There was a church service and procession through the village and the Victoria Oak, a gift from the Duchess of Buccleuch, was planted on the village green. There was much rejoicing and singing of the national anthem and when the school children returned to school they were all given a Datchet medal on a blue ribbon. ‘Our’ medal, see pictures below, was on display at the AGM as was the WWI ‘Dead Man’s Penny’ in memory of John Marcus de Paravicini, bought a couple of years ago.
Archaeology at Riding Court
As you may have seen in the local or national papers, Wessex Archaeology has begun to excavate the Cemex gravel site at the far side of the M4 at Riding Court Farm. (Click here for more details.) We are in touch again with Alistair Barclay, who was involved with us at Southlea and is now managing the work at Riding Court. He and his team are keen to keep the local community informed so that later in the year they plan to run displays and talks for Datchet, as they did at the huge Horton Site a few years ago.
Adding names to the memorial
Also on display was information about the ‘missing’ soldiers from Datchet’s War Memorial and the names we propose to add as part of the memorial restoration project.