Sun, 21 Apr 2019
THATCHAM residents can now vote on a new way to celebrate the town’s history.
Led by the heritage working party, Thatcham Town Council asked for suggestions on people, places or significant events that should be commemorated with a blue plaque.
People can now vote for the eight shortlisted historical items online or drop by the council’s offices in Brownsfield Road.
Carters Rope Manufacturers, one of two key businesses still running today.
Dunstan House, the manor of Thatcham stood through three generations of the family before being demolished in 1801. Its materials were used for other Thatcham landmarks such as the current United Reformed Church.
The French Gardens were established in 1907 as a nursery called the Henwick Fruit and Flower Farm. It was given its name because it used French methods of cultivation.
Thatcham’s motor racing legacy is also included, featuring Bryan Gush who developed the Gush Special in the 1930s. Harry Lester operated from the same premises; designing the Lester-MGs and also achieved a number of first places at Goodwood.
The Reading Cooperative Building – the first of the main national shops and introduced the dividend systems for customers.
Thatcham Town Football Club played its first recorded match in 1894 on The Marsh, known today as Dunstan Green, with The Plough serving as the clubhouse. It purchased its first home ground in 1948 on land to the east of Northfield Road.
The town’s first female councillors, Mrs AM Ashman and Mrs JS Pike, can also be voted for. On April 7, 1919, two women were elected to serve on Thatcham Parish Council; Mrs AM Ashman and Mrs JS Pike; as well as Lady Frances Winchcombe, who spent her life supporting the ancient parish of Thatcham, founding the Bluecoat School in 1707.
The town’s first blue plaque was unveiled outside the King’s Head pub last year, to mark where Britain’s first mail coach changed horses at the old coaching inn between Bristol and London on August 3, 1784.
More details can be found by visiting www.thatchamtowncouncil.gov.uk/thatcham/heritage