Roade Local History Society



Our Society was formed in 2005 with the objectives of “studying, sharing, recording and publishing matters relating to the history of the Parish of Roade and surrounding areas of Northamptonshire.”

Since then we have held 125 events, mounted ten Exhibitions, produced three publications and an oral archive of 19 residents’ memories, accumulated an ever increasing archive of photographs and films, and a diverse collection of memorabilia.  We run an annual programme of Events and keep up-to-date details of Events & publications on our website:


We now need to devote more time to progressing projects and cataloguing, storing and researching our archive material. For this we would welcome volunteers to join one or more of our Project Groups:



1.     Physical Archives – Our collection of memorabilia deserves to be on display. We have permission to do this in the Parish meeting room, but it all requires identifying, recording and preparing for display. We displayed a small proportion of our archives at our monthly meeting last December. We have a potential sponsor for a display cabinet and need someone to progress this.

2.     Village benches and other memorials – There are numerous benches, memorial stones & trees around the village commemorating past residents and events. We would like to produce a comprehensive illustrated listing of these with details of those commemorated.  One or more volunteers are sought for this.

3.      Photo Archive – We are in the process of producing a comprehensive, searchable database of all donated and purchased photographs in the Society’s possession. The objective is to enable us to put on more exhibitions and produce further publications and offer researchers, family historians and anyone with an interest in Roade access to our archives. Anyone who has local knowledge and is IT literate would be welcomed to assist this team.

4.   World War 1We are researching Roade men and women who served in the forces during WW1.We would welcome help with this project as well as the loan of photographs of, or information about, those concerned. We would be delighted if any of their descendants participated in this project.

5.     Canadian Bomber crew memorial – On 9th November 2014, a memorial was dedicated on Roade Memorial Green to the six RCAF men who lost their lives when their Wellington bomber exploded over Roade 70 years previously. We have since received further information about this tragedy and are keen to collect more to include in our Roade Roll of Honour archive.


6.      Oral History Archive – We wish to continue our programme of interviews to record residents’ memories of life in Roade in the past. We have completed 19 to date but are now in need of volunteers to help us continue. We would welcome a volunteer to assist with selecting material for a compilation CD. We would also welcome someone who can assist with interviewing, particularly anyone who has lived in the village for many years or has a sporting interest.


7.    Red Wheel plaque – A Transport Trust initiative to commemorate the opening of Roade Cutting, the largest engineering project in Europe in 1838. This was the first long-distance intercity railway in the world! The 180th anniversary in 2018 is our target date. A Red Wheel plaque was unveiled at the Stoke Bruerne entrance to Blisworth Tunnel in 2014. Further background information on the Red Wheel programme can be found at


8.    Pianoforte Supplies Limited (PSL) – 2019 will be the 100th anniversary of this company’s establishment in London before moving to Roade in 1923. Our objective is to collect as much history, memorabilia and memories as we can of the company which has had such an impact on the development of our village and community. We are planning to devote our May meeting next year to a preliminary exhibition and maybe a talk. Past employees would be welcome on this team.


9.   Moving Images Archive – We have a small archive of films relating to Roade that have been professionally converted to DVD. We have access to this free source of conversion for any further material we may acquire. We need assistance to review and document the current archive and publicise this facility.


Potential volunteers to assist with any of the above please contact the Secretary:

Vivian Blyth ӿ   Tel: 01604-864498   ӿ   Email: