Home Page of Celfunde Inheritance

Celfunde Inheritance is a Chalfont St Peter based, local history and heritage volunteer group, chaired by Cllr Linda Smith and supported by the Chalfont St Peter Parish Council. We are currently applying for charitable status. Our aim is to promote and preserve the rich heritage of our village, educate and inform local children and residents about our local history and encourage tourism in this area. New members are always welcome, especially those with research, design and IT capabilities, or just bags of plain enthusiasm.  Also welcome are contributions of information, memories and old photographs.  We are happy to deliver talks and slideshow presentations on a number of interesting subjects, to local community groups, schools etc.

Newsletter Autumn 2014

This has been a really busy year for The Celfunde Inheritance and partners.

We have been liaising with Charles Overton, Vicar of St Peter's church, and with a Chelsea-winning garden designer to come up with ideas for improving St Peter's Garden and making it a more dignified memorial to our war fallen as well as a place for families to come and enjoy the tranquility of the spot. We had a wonderful ceremony of Remembrance at St Peter's, involving local schoolchildren, to honour and commemorate the fallen of World War One. The Summer saw our usual wonderful Feast of St Peter event, which must surely be Buckinghamshire's biggest and best summer fete.

Volunteer researcher DJ Kelly has published another book  - 'The Famous and Infamous of The Chalfonts and District' - which features 228 of the district's most celebrated and worthy residents, as well as some of the more notorious ones. The book is on sale at Office Direct, the stationer's on Gold Hill, and also via Gerrards Cross Book Shop, and will make a fascinating Christmas present. 

The Celfunde Inheritance still runs its monthly 'surgeries' at which folks can bring along artefacts, documents and photographs of historical interest to discuss them with the group and, if you wish, to have them scanned, photographed and researched further. The 'surgeries' take place on the first Saturday of each month, from 1000 am to 1 pm upstairs at the community library in Chalfont St Peter. One of the more unusual items brought along recently was a footstool with a manufacturer's label showing it was made by a long-gone local furniture maker. Another resident reported a large number of skeletons found buried in their garden - luckily, a local vet confirmed these were the bones of a large number of long-deceased farm horses.

DJ Kelly's next talk will be on 20 January to VOPAG, at the Community centre on Gravel Hill, and will be on the subject of 'Buckinghamshire Spies and Subversives'.

Newsletter Spring 2014

Celfunde Chronicles No 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

This year sees commemorations for the centenary of World War One. It is also the 75th anniversary of the commencement of World War Two. The Celfunde Inheritance will be working with the Parish Council, the Church, local schools and other volunteers to encourage Chalfont St Peter villagers’ participation in local commemorations projects [watch this space].

Local researcher and author DJ Kelly’s book ‘The Chalfonts and Gerrards Cross at War’ is now on sale at Gerrards Cross Book Shop. This substantial and well illustrated paperback is £12.99 per copy.

Local residents (past and present) are  invited to come along to Chalfont St Peter Community Library on the first Saturday of each month (10 am till 1 pm) and to bring along memories and memorabilia, photographs and documents, concerning either the two world wars or the history of the village in general.


Newsletter Summer 2013

Celfunde Chronicles, No3

Newsletter of The Celfunde Inheritance 5th May 2013

Welcome again our Newsletter - no you haven’t missed number 2, the Newsletter we sent you in April should have been “2”, not “1”

ORAL HISTORY or LIVING HISTORY – in the past we have used the term Living History for our interview project where we talk to people about their memories of the village in their youth, the buildings such as the many pubs which existed, the personalities, not to mention some of the celebrities who lived here. In the search for professional input we have come to realise that the term ‘Living History’ has a wider meaning and includes things like re-enactments (Roman, Civil War etc) – so from now we will use the expression Oral History

A professional from the Oral History Society will be coming to talk to us about this project in the next few weeks – watch this space

Meanwhile our Drop in sessions at the Community Library prove to surprise and our photo and document archive continues to grow

Some of the artifacts tell us a lot about the sacrifices this village gave when men of the village fought in two World wars. Denise Beddows is working on a book about the two wars. Fifty Eight servicemen from Chalfont St Peter died in WWII alone. Fortunately many others survived and one of them has been bringing in some fascinating WWII memorabilia including his D-Day ration pack, and some German medals and a scarlet sash incorporating the hated swastika

Back in Chalfont St Peter we have large numbers of photos of cricket and football teams dating from 1901. Just yesterday morning at the library we screened a few of these to our visitors who between them gave us the names of most of the teams from the 1940’s and 1950’s.

Another door opened with meetings with both the NSE who are hoping to build an archive of their amazing records, and the League of Friends of the Hospital whose photo archive includes a number of famous celebrities. Prime Minister Edward Heath visiting Margaret Rutherford at the Chalfont hospital’s centenary is just one of many remarkable pictures

MONTHLY MEETINGS – last year we began splitting the business side from the monthly meetings – from now on all business will be disposed of at a separate monthly meeting. This enables us to use Friday evening meetings to enjoy our local history, selecting topics, short talks and presentations for these meetings. You and friends or neighbours are welcome to attend these monthly meetings

Meanwhile a reminder that the displays created by Sandy Warren continue to be on view in the entrance lobby to the Parish Council office.Sandywill be there on the last Wednesday of each month between10amandmiddayif you wish to just turn up, but will also meet you there by arrangement at other times. You need to phone her on 01753,885529

NEW WEBSITE DRAWS CLOSER – Some time ago we commissioned construction of a rather sophisticated website – we set up a temporary site whilst this continued to be developed but at last we now have the completed software – even as this newsletter goes out domain names have been acquired and the new site could go live within the week. Do have a look at it, it is a remarkable website and great fun. We will be adding new information and updates of calendars & projects

VILLAGE APPRAISAL : Celfunde is a member with nine other groups of Village Appraisal. This is an important forum as it keeps us at the centre of activities in the community and provides essential funding links with eg Chiltern District and Bucks County Councils. The ANNUAL MEETING takes place this Tuesday 7th May, at7.30pm, in the Community Centre. Anyone can come along. Celfunde are giving the keynote presentation, a quick walk round the village by slide show. There will be refreshments afterwards and most of the groups will be there to talk to you about their work

FEAST DAY – Celfunde is now gearing up for Feast Day on the 29th June. We will have a section in the Parish Council tent – come and see us and look at our maps and books

Phil Donaldson has been commissioned to design the map to go with the Heritage Plaques – we met with him recently to agree some of the details and hope to publish the map within a few weeks

BELOW are dates of our DROP IN sessions (to the end of December). If you are interested in belonging

to Celfunde please do not hesitate to ask more about what we do and when we meet. We tend to

have a general meeting towards the end of each month. Admin and business are now dealt with at a

separate meeting. The Friday meeting will have a selected topic, with speakers and film or slide shows on

We look forward to your support whether just as interested visitor, or if you can help us as a member

In particular we need more members to join our team of Living History interviewers; if you are comfortable

talking to people about their memories of their youth you could find this project very rewarding 

WE ARE FINALISING A STRUCTURE FOR ‘MEMBERSHIP’ and a separate not will go out very shortly


Fri        May 31st          Community Centre                                            1930 hrs

                                    topic: TBC

Sat       June 1st Drop in and Scanning (Library)             1000-1300hrs

Sat       June 29th          FEAST DAY   Gold Hill Common                    All Day

Sat       July 22nd          Drop in and Scanning (Library)             1000-1300hrs

Sat       Aug 3rd Drop in and Scanning (Library)             1000-1300hrs

Sat       Sep 7th             Drop in and Scanning (Library)             1000-1300hrs

Sat       Oct 5th             Drop in and Scanning (Library)             1000-1300hrs

Sat       Nov 26th          Drop in and Scanning (Library)             1000-1300hrs

Sat       Dec 7th             Drop in and Scanning (Library)             1000-1300hrs 

            contact us by email at celfundeinheritance@hotmail.co.uk

            or c/o 18 Eleanor RdChalfont StPeterSL9 9LZ

           The Celfunde Inheritance is a Company limited by guarantee registered number 7851201                                 www.celfundeinheritance.org.uk


News Letter No: 2 (23/03/2013)

SNOW might have put paid to our first Workshop a week ago but we think those who braved the arctic conditions will have enjoyed themselves nonetheless. It was a first opportunity for us to test our achievements on a new audience and if our speakers were limited by short time slots they certainly managed to send out some important messages. We took away your thoughts on a book and map to accompany the Heritage Trail which John Hatton had kicked off ably assisted by our own members Denise Beddows and Ian Convery. 

The breakaway session was a vital part of the workshop for us and it confirmed our own thoughts as to where we should concentrate our efforts for the time being. A big thank you to everyone who took part 


THE JUBILEE HERITAGE TRAIL: Have you seen our  plaques around the village? They number 27 so far and we think there might be space for a few more. Please tell us if you think of any deserving sites or buildings, for example the Tithe Barn, Chalfont Park, the site of Chalfont’s own motor manufacturer Fairthorpe Cars. 


LIVING HISTORY: goes hand in hand with ARCHIVING and we are keen to be introduced to anyone who has memories of their youth in the village or perhaps whose parents or grandparents lived in the village. Perhaps we should run a competition to find out which family can go furthest back whose previous generations lived in Chalfont St Peter? 

MEG Sheppee has taken over the task of supervising our archive, from Sue Amos. We have a growing library of photographs which we have been scanning when some of you called into the library – they number hundreds and we will not be surprised if the tally reaches 1,000 or more. 

It is truly fascinating how new facts come to light every time we talk to visitors – for example the WWII bomb crater which is now Croft Road, the captured Messerschmitt fighter which was paraded through the village during the war, the diminutive cars made by Fairthorpe from a site where Budgens store now stands; all these and many more add to the magic of discovering what it was like to live in Chalfont St Peter in the late 19th and the 20th centuries. 

Living History will never be able to look back more than 2, perhaps 3 generations, BUT scroll forward a hundred years from now and I wonder what the then residents of the village will think of the old photos and historical material we have been able to preserve. 

If you remember or have information about the bomb or the Messerschmitt or any other wartime connections the village has, please let us know.                                                                                     



DROP IN to see us at the Chalfont St Peter Community Library – we are there on the first Saturday morning of every month between 10am and 1pm. There will always be someone there from Celfunde to talk to you and someone scanning documents and photos, although if we are very busy we may not be able to scan everything on the morning

You will always be welcome to come and find out more about our work, joining us, or just talking to us about your contributions to Living History.     


BELOW are dates of our DROP IN sessions (to the end of December). If you are interested in becoming a member of Celfunde please do not hesitate to ask for detail of what we do and when we meet. We hold a general meeting towards the  end of each month although admin and business are dealt with at a separate meeting. We can provide guest speakers on a variety of topics involving local history and plan to arrange special evening events, with speakers and film or slide shows on particular aspects of Chalfont St Peter's history. 



Sat       April 6th           Drop in and Scanning (Library)                      1000-1300hrs

Sat       May 4th            Drop in and Scanning (Library)                      1000-1300hrs

Sat       June 1st            Drop in and Scanning (Library)                      1000-1300hrs

Sat       June 29th          FEAST DAY  Gold Hill Common                 All Day    


Sat       July 22nd        Drop in and Scanning (Library)                      1000-1300hrs

Sat       Aug 3rd            Drop in and Scanning (Library)                      1000-1300hrs

Sat       Sep 7th             Drop in and Scanning (Library)                      1000-1300hrs

Sat       Oct 5th             Drop in and Scanning (Library)                      1000-1300hrs

Sat       Nov 26th          Drop in and Scanning (Library)                      1000-1300hrs

Sat       Dec 7th             Drop in and Scanning (Library)                      1000-1300hrs



Newsletter - Summer 2012

  • Our latest publication has now arrived from the printers.  'FAMOUS AND INFAMOUS RESIDENTS OF CHALFONT ST PETER' a paperback book, will shortly be on sale from Chalfont Bookshop, the Chalfont Community Library and Chiltern Open Air Museum.  If anyone has any additional famous or infamous individuals who might be added to any future reprints, do e mail Denise, Celfunde Inheritance researcher, via this site.
  • The Celfunde Inheritance team, led by Deborah, Ian & Tony will be holding local LIVING HISTORY sessions at village locations, including the Parish Church of St Peter, commencing in July (watch this space for dates and times).  If you or any of your senior relatives, would like to record your memories of the 'Old Days' in the village, your recollections of days gone by, or if you have old photographs of the village and its notable or eccentric residents, do come along and meet us.
  • Our archivist, Sue, is maintaining and cataloguing a growing collection of documents, photographs and artefacts (including Roman coins discovered in the village)  and is keen to  source new items.  If you hold any old photos, maps, documents etc you would be happy for us to copy, kindly get in touch.
  • We do not as yet have a museum but hope one day to have at least a  'virtual museum' on our website, through which to share some of our research and findings.  We have some highly professional historic displays, arranged by Sandy, which are available to display in existing village locations.  The Parish Council hall recently hosted a magnificent display on the Victoria Cross holders of CSP and currently is hosting our display on  the village's connections with the Tower of London (open to the public on the last Weds of each month from 1000 till 1200). We hope to erect further displays at other locations around the village, possibly the Community Library etc. 
  • We have a series of powerpoint presentations, and enthusiastic speakers to deliver them, on a variety of subjects pertaining to local history, eg 'The Literary Luminaries of CSP' (highlighting the many famous writers who have lived, worked and found their inspiration in Chalfont St Peter and beyond).  We would be happy to deliver these presentations to local schools, community groups etc.
  • The beautiful plaques are shortly to be erected as part of the village's Jubilee (2012) history and heritage trail.  Big thanks go to John Hatton, Chairman of the Parish Council and his team for the hard work they have done on this project, and thanks also to Phil Donaldson of Clockwork Creations, for the wonderful design work. Maps to enable walkers  to follow the trail will shortly be appearing at vrious locations around the vilalge (eg Community Library - where would we be without a community library?)
  • Future projects include making available copies on CD of old film taken in the village. 


Newsletter - Spring 2012

Our ongoing projects this Spring include:-

  • A new publication 'Famous & Infamous Residents of Chalfont St Peter' due for publication by June
  • A new display at the Parish Council Offices (open to visitors on the last Weds of each month, from 10 am to 12 noon, or by appointment) on The Tower of London and its connections with Chalfont St Peter 
  • Living History - we need YOUR memories to be recorded for posterity and any old photos to be copied by us.  Please get in touch if you would like to contribute.  You can e mail us at: celfundeinheritance@hotmail.co.uk 
  • or approach our stall on Gold Hill Common at the Feast Day or pick up one of our flyers from the community library or Parish Council offices.
  • Feast Day filmshow - we have some lovely old films taken in the village in early 20th century and hope to show these at our stall in the marquee on Feast Day 30 June 2012
  • To mark Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee, a Village Heritage Trail with maps to take you to all points of interest, where you will find plaques displaying old images of each location 

Coming soon: photos of some of our earlier events.  Many thanks to all who participated.