West Hagbourne Village History Group
Review of Windsor Hakeborne - the Story of West Hagbourne

Group projects

 

Here are some excerpts from the review by James Bond, an historical geographer. He reviewed nine millennial Oxfordshire village histories in the 2002 summer edition of the journal Oxfordshire Local History, Vol. 7 No. 1.

" West Hagbourne's cover in particular is a lovely period piece - a Helen Allingham painting of c.1900 showing a cruck-framed cottage on the square, which is also illustrated by a couple of good early photographs in the text ...

This volume has a particularly evocative collection of views of its older cottages before 'modernisation' ...

A simple test of the topographical awareness of any study is often the number and quality of its maps. In range and clarity, West Hagbourne scores particularly well ...

Only Benson and West Hagbourne attempt a balanced chronological coverage of their village from its origins. West Hagbourne provides a time-chart setting the village against the background of national events ...

West Hagbourne covers manorial descent most thoroughly and provides lists of incumbents ...

West Hagbourne is particularly strong in recording local memories: some poignant, like the tale of a Hagbourne labourer reputedly sacked for picking up a windfall apple, who emigrated to New Zealand; and some amusing, like the conviction that Hitler's decision not to invade Britain was largely due to the formation of the village's unit of the Local Defence Volunteers ...

A notable feature is the placing of families in particular houses; this is done in West Hagbourne, which employs the imaginative device of tracing the journey of the census enumerator of 1851

each book reviewed here is a very creditable effort, and they will remain of value long after many more costly millennium celebrations have been forgotten."