- Wiltshire Council




Century Wiltshire

National Curriculum programme of study: Local Study a study of an aspect of history or a site dating from a period beyond 1066 that is significant in the locality.

OR a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066

Key dates

1914-1918 First World War thousands of Wiltshire men join the armed services and thousands of Wiltshire’s women involved in war work (Please see separate sheet)


–1945 Second World War included bombing raids on the county, large influx of evacuees to Wiltshire; dispersal of Spitfire production to Salisbury, Trowbridge, Westbury

1940s arrival of refugees from Europe including Polish community in Trowbridge

1944 Education Act heralds new school system with Secondary Modern and

Comprehensive Schools established

Post-war housing sees modern homes including council houses and tower blocks built in

Wiltshire’s towns

1948 creation of NHS, partly modelled on GWR health care scheme for employees First

NHS hospital is built in Swindon

1950s onwards arrival of large numbers of workers from Caribbean and Indian sub continent – part of the ‘Windrush’ generation

1953 people in Wiltshire watch t he Queen’s coronation on the TV

1960 onwards number of Wiltshire railway lines closed by Beeching, etc.

1960s Beatles and other 1960s bands play concerts in Wiltshire

1969 Swindon Town FC win the football League Cup

1971 M4 opens, Wiltshire’s only motorway

1982 closure of last of Wiltshire’s woollen mills

Places to visit

In your own town of village there may be good examples of 20 th century buildings, look out for 1930s council houses and other 1930s architecture (shops, cinemas, garages); post war council housing from 1950s, schools and hospitals from this period; 1960s style tower blocks; 1980s and 90s shopping centres in town centres; housing estates from 1930s through to end of the century.

Chippenham Museum – find out about Chippenham in the 20 th century www.chippenham.gov.uk/museum

STEAM (Swindon) – explore the railway works, find out about Second World War period http://www.steam-museum.org.uk/learning/Pages/discoverysessions.aspx

Trowbridge Museum

– find out about life in the county town in the 20 th century www.trowbridgemuseum.co.uk

Wiltshire Museum (Devizes) – find out about 20 th century Devizes www.wiltshiremuseum.org.uk

Museum of Computing (Swindon) see how computers changed in the 20 what impact they have had on us

– www.museumofcomputing.org.uk

th century and

Further contacts

Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre – for resource packs of local materials exploring your local area in the 20 th century including First and Second World Wars http://www.wshc.eu/education/history.html

Online Resources

Trowbridge Museum Local History website – www.trowbridgehistory.co.uk

Wiltshire treasures - database of photographs and information on collections held in

Wiltshire museums http://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/museums/

Community history

– history of your parish with detailed information on schools, industry, churches and population growth http://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/community/