John Kibble published Charlbury and its Nine Hamlets in 1927 and Charming Charlbury in 1930. Re-issued for the first time in a single volume, these two books give a tantalising and unique insight into two hundred years of life in this quiet corner of the Cotswolds, conveyed in the memories, stories and records of the people Kibble knew and met.
Kibble was born in Finstock in 1865, moving later to Charlbury where he died in 1951. His father and grandfather were stonemasons, unusually literate and
well-versed in local affairs.
Kibble draws freely on family memories, but also on countless conversations with people he met from childhood on, many of whom showed him family heirlooms and lent him documents from which he quotes. Some of the old men and women he listened to as a boy will have been born before the French Revolution. Kibble describes many trades and crafts, including those of the baker, blacksmith, clockmaker, glovemaker, mason, slater, shoemaker, pipemaker and
woodworker, and includes a fascinating guide to local dialect. Among countless other stories, he recounts the legend of the Rollright Stones and Charlbury's involvement in the Battle of Otmoor, and describes many games he played as a child.
As well as Charlbury, the places included in this volume are Chadlington,
Chilson, Chipping Norton, Churchill, Coate, Fawler, Finstock, Kingham,
Pudlicote, Shorthampton, Spelsbury, Tappewell and Walcot.
The book includes some personal reminiscences from people who remember
Kibble, and photographs of some of his work.
£10 paperback 224pp 978-1-902279- 05- 3