Roade Local History Society.
Projects Update for 2022

We live in rapidly changing times which makes it important to collect, record and protect documents, images, physical ephemera, and events in our past of a local historical significance. RLHS collects them for the benefit of residents, the wider community and future generations. Projects are an important part of our activities as they concentrate on specific areas of significance. Past projects, some of which are still current, have included:

Society Website & Photographic Archive:

Our comprehensive, searchable database of all donated and purchased photographs in the Society’s possession is nearing completion. In the near future we hope to make as much as possible available via the ‘NEW WEBSITE’: due late Spring/Summer.

Reigns & Coronations Exhibition June 5th 2022:

Roade Parish Council’s celebration of HM the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is being actively supported by the Society. We will be staging an exhibition displaying memorabilia  from the reigns of monarchs from Queen Victoria to the present day. This will feature commemoratives, ceramics, stamps, ephemera and unique items from the private collections of local residents. It will also highlight residents, past and present, who have been recognised by the award of a UK Honour.

Establishing of Roade Remembered You Tube Channel:

A collection of historic moving images depicting past events in the village and recording the changes to the community resultant of new developments. A must for ex-pats Access here.

Current Projects under Research

Pianoforte Supplies Limited (PSL):

The Company was formed in London in 1919 by Cyril Cripps (later Sir Cyril) and established at Roade in 1923. Our objective is to collect as much history, memorabilia and memories as we can of the company which had such a major impact on the social and economic development of our village and community. This will form the basis of a centenary exhibition in 2023, which we hope will include the reinstatement of the pipe-bender, an iconic landmark that stood outside the Blacksmith’s shop.

The History of Roade Methodism:

The Society has transcribed a copy of an unpublished document which traces the history of Roade Methodist Church from around 1837 to 1924. This, together with the Church’s 1975 publication celebrating the Centenary of the second Methodist Chapel in Roade (now the Church Hall) and articles from the British Newspaper Archive have now been collated. The 150th Anniversary of the opening of the current Chapel is in 2025. A time capsule was concealed in the foundations when this first opened. Input from congregation members welcome.

Past Project Updates


The History of Roade’s Railways and Cutting through the Ages:

Delayed due to the Covid 19 pandemic RLHS launched this publication in November 2021, it has been well received by residents, the rail enthusiast fraternity and those interested in rural and social history. The Society is actively engaged in publicising its availability to the wider audience.
To obtain your copy click here

Physical Archives:

We continue to display items from our collection of memorabilia in a cabinet donated in memory of the late Dr John Gwilt MBE sited in the Roade Junction Community Library.We are desperately seeking a storage facility for our large collection of items. CAN YOU HELP?

80th Anniversary of Roade Cutting Grand Exhibition (2018):
The exhibition coincided with the award of a National Transport Trust ‘Red Wheel'. This exhibition was awarded the Northamptonshire Heritage Foundation’s ‘Best Event’ at the 2019 awards. The model of Roade Cutting through the ages constructed by members was ‘Highly Commended’ in the L&NWR Society/British Railway Modelling Magazine awards 2010. Society member John Martin was voted ‘Volunteer of the Year’ at the 2019 Northamptonshire Community Foundation awards 2019. The model of the Cutting will shortly be on public display at Rushden Historic Transport Museum.

World’s First Night Navigation Flight

(Claude Grahame-White) Exhibition 2016:
The story of the village’s part in the achievement of the world’s first ever night-time navigational flight. It is our ambition to commemorate this World First with a representative sculpture sited close to the landing & take off site on former PSL land.

World Wars – National Servicemen, Roade Roll of Honour

 & Canadian Airmen Memorial:
The Society continues to update the Roll of Honour, copies of which can be found in the Reference section at Roade Junction Community Library and in St Mary’s Church and Roade Methodist Church. We are grateful for the help received by the local Royal British Legion Branch and continue to support the annual Remembrance commemorations.

Oral History Archive:

The long term objective is to have these recollections integrated within this website. Details of how to obtain CD copies are available here.