2000 to Present Day
The village celebrated the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in great fashion. Please click on the Diamond Jubilee tab to the left for the full story and photographs.
George Horatio Sealy Memorial
George Horatio Sealy
The group attending the dedication on 12th July, 2010
The memorial stone
George Horatio Sealy was born 1846, in Kington St Michael to William and Elizabeth Sealy and together with his wife Annie, raised their family in the village. In 1904-06 the family emigrated to Canada to start a new life there, homesteading in the southern part of Saskatchewan. Today, many Sealy families and their descendents live throughout Canada.
On July 12th 2010, twenty-one of his descendants met at the Macrorie Cemetery, Saskatchewan, Canada, to honour him and dedicate the grave marker that had been installed at his resting place. These descendants had travelled from Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, some to meet for the very first time, others to renew acquaintances from times past. Present in the party was Betty Goodwin, granddaughter and oldest living descendant of George Horatio Sealy.
Introductions were made in the Macrorie Rink, followed by a ceremony of prayers, hymns and Bible readings. Lunch, provided by the village ladies, came next and with it an opportunity to view the displays which Ted and Barb Sealy had made featuring the family tree, many photos of both ancestors and descendants and the picturesque village of Kington St Michael. It is hoped that many will visit Wiltshire in the future to experience for themselves.
Unlike the days preceding and following the event, the gathering was blessed with perfect weather, if a little windy, to make their way to the cemetery where a marble stone had been installed. Once again this provided an opportunity for people to reminisce, and contemplate the lives of those early settlers to the area, and give thanks that indeed they did settle there. (With thanks to Ted and Barb Sealy).
Pte Jack Sealy. Jack's grave in Villiers, Frence, with descendants of
George Horatio Sealy. Jack was George's eldest son.
(In the photo: Garth Hampson, great grandson from Canada, with his daughter Diana
and grandaughters Jessica, Abby and Chelsea).
Sealy Family Reunion, June 2018(centre, kneeling, is Gareth Hampson - see account, below)
On June 25th and 26th the Sealy family had another reunion in Macrorie to honour George Horatio Sealy and his son John Alexander (Jack), who gave his life in World War I. Please click here for an account of the event.
BBC at the Christmas Fayre
Visitors to the Christmas fayre were surprised to see a film crew in the village hall, who were there to film the judging of the sloe gin competition for a programme with Oz Clark and Hugh Dennis and is called Oz and Hugh Drink to Christmas. The programme’s subject was Christmas drinks past and present.
The film crew in action and Oz Clark & Hugh Dennis
check the judging criteria for the sloe gin competition.
After spotting Robbie Duckett's name on this website, various descendants of Richard John Duckett 1821-1896 & Elizabeth Ayres 1821-1889 e-mailed the website administrator. Having been put in touch with each other, the family members decided to meet up at The Jolly Huntsman on 18th July for lunch and to share their family trees and other information.
10th March 2009 - the website received the following information, via Chippenham Museum (which had an exhibition on the village at the beginning of the year), from Mr Gordon Lewis, who believes that he has solved the mystery of the Spanish coins found on the recreation field:
"I've just read about the Kington St Michael exhibition that recently ended, and may be able to give one possible solution to the mysterious central American coins. It very much depends where they were found as to whether my theory is likely to have any weight.
My 6x great grandfather, Francis White, was born at Kington St Michael in 1726/7 - most likely at Kington Manor as his family were Lords of the Manor until the early 19th century. Around 1746 Francis White was a Lieutenant in the Colonel Trelawney's regiment and was sent to Jamaica (formerly a Spanish colony until the English took control) to fight against a slave uprising.
His military career was short lived, and by 1748 he had married Elizabeth De Lyon, the daughter of John De Lyon; a physician and Hispanic Jew living in Jamaica. De Lyon's ancestors were expelled from Spain around 1495 as part of the Spanish Inquisition, although the period from the late 15th century through to the very early 18th is undocumented as most Spanish Jamaican records were destroyed by the English!
In September 1760, Ayliffe White, the father of Francis, became ill and made his will, stating that Francis would only receive an inheritance on his return to England. This suggests that Ayliffe was not in support of his son's adventures! A message was presumably sent to Jamaica that Ayliffe was dying, as Francis together with his own 11 year old son, were back in Kington St Michael by early 1761 when Ayliffe died. By March of the same year, Francis had also died and was buried alongside his father in Wiltshire.
Henry Boswell White, son of Francis, was placed in the guardianship of his uncle, also named Henry Boswell White, and never saw his mother or baby sister again, as they had remained in Jamaica. However, there appears to have been some communication between Jamaica and Wiltshire, as Henry's baby sister later named a slave after her brother and Henry was also aware that his widowed mother had remarried. Henry eventually farmed at The Plough.
With Jamaica formerly being a part of the Spanish empire, this definitely links the village with that part of the world. The De Lyon's were also very wealthy, as indicated in the will of John De Lyon, and so it is not improbable to suggest that the coins made their way to Wiltshire through one of my ancestors.
Hopefully this will be of assistance to both yourself and the village, and please feel free to forward this as appropriate.
Mr Lewis has very kindly said that he is quite happy for any villagers to contact him if they have additional information or wish to know more about his own connections; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit by the Duchess of Cornwall
The Duchess of Cornwall, Patron of Community First (recently amalgamated with Youth Action Wiltshire), visited Kington St Michael Village Hall on 11th May 2009. Her Royal Highness learned about the charity’s activities and met local residents and members of community groups who use the hall. She was presented with a bouquet by Doyle, who attends Acorns pre-school. Her Royal Highness also toured the village shop before leaving to a farewell from local schoolchildren and villagers.
In 2008 the playing field was levelled in order to provide a suitable football pitch. During the works parishioner Tim Storer carried out metal detection on the site. Please click here to view his report and photographs taken. Items found included Roman artifacts, Elizabethan half groat, medieval buckles and spanish coins - causing much thought as to how they arrived in Kington St Michael.
Former Headmaster's visit
Elfreda & James Frapwell
Mr James Ivor Frapwell, former Headmaster at Kington St Michael School, visited the village on 3rd October 2008, together with his wife Elfreda and daughter Jane. Mr Frapwell popped into the village shop, which, together with the village hall, is housed in part of the former school and schoolhouse. Having admired the community-run shop he was tempted into making several purchases.
Mr Frapwell, who now lives in Chippenham, was Headmaster from September 1954 to May 1956. Whilst teaching, he was approached by the management of the Heidelberg Printing Company, which used to be situated at Kington Manor, and subsequently left to work for them. He has fond memories of his time in the village and recounted several names of village families; Duckett, Doughty and Sealy amongst them.
Thank you to Connie O’Hare (formerly Fricker) for the following information:
“My cousin, Marvis Harris took over from Ivor Frapwell as Headmistress and lived with her sister Betty in the school house; Betty then worked for Heidelberg (Printing Company) up at the Manor [Kington Manor, now privately owned]. Marve moved back to Abercarn in South Wales where she were born. I was born in the same village and Marve and my sister started school the same day, they became bosom friends and died within a day of each other.
The Frapwells were close friends of ours and we spent many happy hours in each other's houses. My husband and l lived on the London Road in Chippenham for nine years and l used to walk over to see Frieda or my cousins.
Betty, who many years before had had a lung resection, became unwell whilst in Kington, and sadly died in Bath Hospital.”
Post Office - End of an Era
After decades of almost continuous service, sadly Kington St Michael Post Office was no more. Despite its recent resurrection in 2004, following a year without it, our post office was an unlucky victim of the round of closures. Our last sub-Postmaster, Howard Greenman, wished the community shop every success for the future.
Kington St Michael Phonebox
In July 2007 the Parish Council heard from English Heritage that, following the PC's application, the Secretary of State has decided to list our one and only telephone box (Grade II). The listing took effect immediately and means that it is protected against unauthorised demolition, alteration or extension. There are now over 25 listed kiosks in North Wiltshire District with over 65 in total in the whole of Wiltshire. All are the K6 model with similar list descriptions, which do not generally differentiate between the pre-1952 structures and the post-1952 structures. Kington St Michael's appears to be post 1952 based on the crown. Nationally, over 2,258 kiosks are listed and about 2,100 of these are the K6 type.
Our kiosk hasn't always been situated outside the old village hall - it was previously outside what is now the old post office (85 Kington St Michael) and was moved at some point in the 1950s or replaced by a new one:
60th Anniversary of VE Day Celebration
On Sunday 8th May a celebration was held to commemorate the 60th anniversary of VE Day. Almost 100 people attended - some bringing memorabilia, some wearing period costume. Everone enjoyed the afternoon - listening to music of the era, swapping stories and consuming copious quantities of tea and cakes! An amazing £252.85 was raised, divided equally between The Royal British Legion and Acorns Pre-school, which organised the event. On behalf of Acorns, Linda Durno thanked everyone who kindly loaned their memorabilia, donated cakes or raffle prizes and/or supported the event.
Looking at memorabilia Enjoying tea and cake
Metal Detecting Rally
On Sunday the 16th January 2005 Tim Storer organised the second metal detecting rally on the outskirts of the village. With the sun beginning to shine 47 detectorists set off to various parts of the fields to ferret out the history of the area. The finds slowly began trickling back to the finds table for identification and recording. These details have now been passed to Katie Hinds who is the Finds Liaison Officer for Wiltshire. If required, these will then be recorded under the Portable Antiquities Scheme.
The finds dated from the Roman period onwards and some had survived 2000 years of being rolled around by the plough surprisingly well. Unfortunately all the medieval coins had not been so luckily and only small pieces of them were found. In addition, there were numerous coins from 1700 onwards, buttons, a Roman mount, a barrel key and various buckles dating from 1450 onwards.
The photos show a late medieval fob seal depicting a running dear, a Roman brooch,
a jetton, a medieval mount, and a second Roman brooch.
The Post Office Re-opens
There is always something happening in Kington St Michael, including the re-opening of the Post Office and shop in March 2004. Local people were the driving force to ensure that the village could once again boast this important focal point for village life. They pulled together to secure grant funding and held local events to raise over £10,000 themselves. The £35,000 project reached its target when the new Post Office and shop opened for business on Monday 29th March 2004.
The previous Post Office and shop closed in February 2003 and since then the Parish Council worked hard to restore this important facility in the village. An enormous amount of work had gone into converting the back of the village hall (formerly the old church school) into a building suitable for a new Post Office and shop. Plans were drawn, advice taken (from VIRSA and many others) and fundraising started. Initial estimates showed that between £25,000 to £45,000 was needed for the conversion works.
Local villagers joined in the fundraising with coffee mornings, whist evenings, a Promises Auction, a boule tournament, a progressive supper, buy a "brick" donations and wine & cheese events. The Post Office Sub-Committee were also able to secure grants from the Parish Council, North Wilts District Council, the Countryside Agency, Post Office Ltd and Rural Revival.
Robbie Duckett, Parish Council Chairman: "The community has really pulled together to make sure this project was realised. We have been determined that Kington St Michael should have this important facility that it so rightly deserves. It has been a project that has united the community in a common goal; we are proud that we have all worked so hard to see the Post office and shop open once again."
Post Office Opening Ceremony, 26th March '04
Fundraising for a New Shop
In Monday 3rd June 2002 Kington St Michael celebrated Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee, with a fancy dress parade, a street party, a go-kart race and various tournaments amongst other things. Click here to view the programme of events for the day and a selection of photos.