Old Images of Amersham, Buckinghamshire

Extract of an old map of Buckinghamshire 1813

Glimpse history through old images of Amersham, Buckinghamshire, England.

Hunt Meet 1925

Some parts of the countryside were still suffering the ravages of Foot and Mouth disease when this hunt meet gathered in 1925.

Hark Helloa Aka Hunting (1925) – British Pathé on YouTube

Dog Parade 1931

The Grand Parade (1931) – British Pathé on YouTube

Modern House 1931

One of the amusing aspects about this ultra modern home of the 1930s, was the expectation that the ease of cleaning and modern kitchen appliances would benefit the servants, rather than the lady of the house.

The House Of A Dream (1931) – British Pathé on YouTube

Society Wedding 1935

In 1935, Eton-educated Royal Navy officer and racing car driver Lieutenant Kidston married English socialite Lady Georgiana Curzon, the daughter of Francis Curzon, 5th Earl Howe and his wife and first cousin Mary Curzon, Lady Howe.

The year before the wedding, Lady Georgiana’s father had forced her to end a relationship with Roger Bushell. Her father also pressured her into the marriage with Home Ronald Archibald Kidston, his friend’s son.

Their son Glen was born two years later, but it was an unhappy marriage during which Kidston had an affair with his wife’s stepmother. The couple divorced in 1943.

Roger Bushell became a war hero during World War II; Richard Attenborough plays Bushell in the famous fim The Great Escape. Murdered by the Gestapo in 1944, Bushell had told his fellow prisoners that “Georgie” was his true love and that he would one day marry her. It was clearly mutual – marking his birthday for several years after his death, she placed an In Memoriam advertisement in The Times, with the words “Love is Immortal, Georgie”.

Curzon went on to have long lasting marriage with Lord Lewis Stanton Starkey, while Kidston married American heiress Eleanor Keith before having two children with third wife Erica Lanz.

Lieutenant Kidston marries Lady Georgiana Curzon at Amersham (1935) – British Pathé on YouTube

Pony Show 1939

Near Amersham Amersham Pony Show (1939) – British Pathé on YouTube

Vicki Coombs 1946

A look at the six puppies under the care of greyhound trainer Vicki Coombs.

No Dog’s Life (1946) – British Pathé on YouTube

Hairdresser 1961

Haircuts On Sale (1961) – British Pathé on YouTube

A Bit of Amsersham History

Extract from: “Pen sketches by a vanished hand, ed. by T. Taylor, with notes by the ed. and mrs. M. Collins – Volume 1“, by Edward James Mortimer Collins

Published in 1879

Pages 110 – 111

Amersham – another of those long Buckinghamshire
towns , another borough which the Reform Act disfran
chised is entered pleasantly by a road which runs
through Shardeloes , the seat of the Drakes , descendants , I
believe , of the great Sir Francis .

The house is high on
the right , and the green hill slopes from it down to the
river Miss , here widened to a diminutive lake .

were burned at Amersham three centuries ago , their own
children being compelled to set fire to the fagots : and the
tradition is that nothing has since grown where they were
barbarously slain .

Well , these are tolerant days , thank
Heaven ; and when we reflect upon those times of per
secution , it is rather their folly than their cruelty that
provokes our wonder . But fanaticism is immortal ; and
when a Dean of the English Church and Deans , having
comfortable incomes , should be mild and easy – tempered men
-calls tobacco ” a gorging fiend , ” I should like to ask what
punishment he would inflict on an incorrigible smoker .

Entering Amersham , I noticed the flowery luxury of
some quiet alms – houses , where ancient widows dwell by
the generosity of a Drake of Shardeloes .

At the Crown
Inn , right opposite the church – where Waller , poet and
M.P. for Amersham , was christened – I stay to lunch and
write a letter ; and I wonder at the civilisation of a village
inn where I can get bottled Scotch ale and a quill – pen .

I moreover observe from my window a great number of gentlemen wandering about in clerical costume ; perhaps ,
as the living of Amersham brings in the highly respect
able sum of £ 1331 yearly , the rector keeps numerous
curates .

While resting here , suddenly the sky blackens ;
the green trees upon the hill above the church seem
intensified in colour by the background of thunderous
sky ; and there come on lightning and rain , which soon
clear the long street , so that there is not a curate to be
seen .

There are some minor oddities at Amersham .

There is a barber’s – shop , with a wondrous waxen figure
head in its window , and the startling inscription ” And
at Richmond . ”

The hair – cutting fashions learnt in the
vicinity of the Star and Garter are doubtless applied to
the bucolic pates of Amersham .

Another shopkeeper
works in ” buhl and marqeterie . ”

There is also a public
notice that all ballad – singers will be taken into custody ;
so I hope Mr. Sims Reeves will not venture into the neigh
bourhood .

As I leave the town , a basket – carriage drawn by a
handsome pair of donkeys overtakes me an equipage of
Lord Grosvenor’s .

The ” moke , ” the costermonger’s friend
and slave , is by no means out of place in an aristocratic
turn – out ; well – bred , well – fed , and well – groomed , he is an
uncommonly handsome and docile animal . His intelli
gence nobody doubts ; indeed , he is often a good deal too
intelligent to please his rider .

And now, for the eleven miles from Amersham to Uxbridge, I have almost incessant rain. I pass Chalfont St. Giles, the quiet village where Milton wrote Paradise Lost, but am too damp to search for his cottage .

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