Our Talks

Our talks and presentations cost just £30 each and we can provide the following: projector, projector screen (if required), projector table, extension power lead and PA speaker. The Rodbourne Community History Group has Public Liability cover up to £5,000,000. Please make cheques payable to the Rodbourne Community History Group.

Click here to book one of our talks or call Gordon on 01793 616558.


Pastures to parlours & A tale of three shops

This presentation utilizes two self-produced videos outlining the development of residential and commercial Rodbourne. The first is an investigation into why two streets are different to illustrate the ownership and development of the land through the 19th & 20th Centuries. The second video uses personal memories and photos to show the many and varied shops Rodbourne has had through the ages.

The talk culminates in a short video & commentary showing the changing face of the area.

Presenters:  Gordon Shaw & David Lewis
Duration:      about 30 minutes


The history of Rodbourne and the Rodbourne Community History Group

This PowerPoint slide presentation with the aid of maps, documents & photos gives a flavour of how Rodbourne has developed into a village within Swindon. The development of the Rodbourne Community History Group from a pilot project by English Heritage to a thriving community history group is shown giving hopefully help and encouragement to other fledgling Community groups.

Presenter:  Gordon Shaw
Duration:    about 1 hour


The quiet engineer – a history of Thomas Richard Guppy

The audience is taken on a journey through the life of this remarkable little known engineer and great friend of I. K. Brunel. The journey starts from an investigation into the names of streets in Rodbourne, via the rich merchants of Bristol and Thomas’s involvement in the Great Western Railway and Steamship Co. to a villa in Naples.

Hopefully this presentation will readdress histories lack of appreciation of Thomas’s exploits and fulfill the presenter’s crusade to have him more widely recognized.

Presenter:   Gordon Shaw
Duration:     about 1 hour


Open all hours

With the aid of a PowerPoint presentation the audience is taken on a journey around the back streets of Rodbourne showing the locations of small businesses and shops, some long gone. It charts the ownership and decline of these businesses from the late 19th century to the present day.

Presenters:   Gordon Shaw & David Lewis
Duration:       about 30 minutes


On the square – boot makers and masons

The history of the changes and owners of properties in and around the Market Square, Old Town, Swindon

Presenter: David Lewis
Duration:   about 1 hour


Rodbourne then and now

This DVD presentation shows the changing face of Rodbourne from its early days as a community providing mainly workers for the Great Western Railway Works and incorporating schools, working men’s clubs, shops & small businesses from the late 19th century to 2010 when the DVD was made.

Many buildings are shown which are no longer standing and the rich community life is also illustrated.

Presenter:  David Lewis
Duration:    about 25 minutes


Images from our archive

This is a presentation showing a selection of images from our digital archive. All of these were donated by past or present Rodbournites or their relations. Industry, Education, Leisure, Transport and Business are all encapsulated in this presentation.

Presenters:  Gordon Shaw & David Lewis
Duration:      about 25 minutes


St Augustine’s Church, Rodbourne

This video captures the history and the architectural significance of St Augustine’s Church. Interviews of parishioners from the past and present and choristers reminisce about their time at St Augustine’s and its Parish Hall located on Rodbourne Road.

Presenters:   Gordon Shaw & David Lewis
Duration:       about 25 minutes