NEW BOOK ON BYGONE ASTON
RELEASE DATE WAS EASTER 2007
Click on relevant page above to learn more
The previous book:
SOE'S SECRET CENTRE
Is selling well and is available at all book shops
and can be purchased at
www. amazon books
THE LAST ASTON HISTORY EXHIBITION TOOK PLACE ON 17/18
As well as the usual large number of old Aston photographs
on display, there were wonderful old postcards of the neighbouring village of Benington. All enlarged to A4 size.
They were positively stunning!
WELCOME TO DES TURNER'S ASTON HISTORY AND PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION
Des Turner and his family
moved to Aston village in 1966. As soon as he arrived he began taking photographs of village life and recording the village
history. This started with audio recordings on cassette tape of the oldest villagers memories with the object of publishing
a book on the history of Aston. During the process of the interviews he was offered old photographs of the village, family
photographs and documents etc. and also valuable artifacts.
Among items he saved was a 14th Century sword, a 17th
Century clock movement, a plough, a pillar drill and double blast bellows and hand tools from the forge etc. and deposited
them in Stevenage Museum on permanent loan. The oldest artifact in the collection is a Neolithic hand axe and there are many
Roman and pre-Roman finds. The collection comprises hundreds of photographs, slides and newspaper cuttings, etc. Over a 1000
years of Aston's history.
He began research of Aston history in the British Museum, county record offices and museums,
arranged exhibitions, slide and talk shows and a multi-projector audio/visual show to raise money to help keep the project
going and also to help charities in the village such as the church and womens institute.
He is now a pensioner and virtually
all the people he interviewed have since died They included a blacksmith, wheelwright, school teacher, farmers, farm workers,
WWI nurse and veterans, a cobbler, Commanding Officer of the local WWII Special Operations Executive secret establishment
Station XII, publicans, domestic servants, parish councillors, gentry, etc. there are many hours of taped memories and hundreds
It is his aim to preserve this primary documentary evidence of the lives of people from the village
to keep the memories of Aston's past alive: to continue to record, document and disseminate the voices and images of Aston
and to make this available to a wider audience. He formed a trust and made applications to the National Lottery for funds
to assist with publication of the material but was unsuccessful. So the expense of the whole project still comes from his
Why bother with it? Well he loves the village and enjoys living in Aston. He feels that he needs to give
something back to the community for all the help, pleasure and fun he and his family receive. He has served on the local parish
council the village society council, been a member of the 'Fund Raisers', the theatre group, cricket club, etc. and has provided
historical information for local publications.
You too can help. If you have photographs or information that you would
like to donate to the collection, please contact Des via e mail at firstname.lastname@example.org