Lacey Green is a thriving village, closely associated with the other hilltop villages of Loosley Row, Speen, and the hamlets of Parslows Hillock, Highwood Bottom, Turnip End, Coombs and Flowers Bottom.
For present day residents, it is a good place to live, a bit expensive, but with a fantastic school, and within commuter range of London. There are many clubs and societies, a wonderful environment and friendly residents, so what more could you want?
But it wasn't always like this. Life without gas and electricity; when the soil was heavy clay; when there was only natural water and the area was really only useful for growing trees and hunting game with a few small areas cleared for arable crops, is hard to imagine today.
Lacey Green and Loosley Row both developed from small hamlets. The way in which they developed was driven by a few visionary people, and they should not be forgotten.
So why have a Local History website?
In the last 50 years the population has expanded dramatically, but some village families are still here, and they have a tale to tell.
If you have an enquiring mind, have bought an old house or just love puzzles, there's a start. Three friends originally (now six)- the members of the Village History Group - have long dreamed of preserving what is known of the history of Lacey Green and Loosley Row, before the old ways are completely forgotten.
We have been working on different aspects of this for a long time keeping in touch and sharing information, but not publishing our knowledge. So now here goes with little or no cost for the world to access!
A picture with many gaps will be painted. If you have information to add or can make corrections we would like to here from you!
About a hundred million years ago what is now Lacey Green, along with the rest of the Chilterns and most of Britain, was lying on the bed of a shallow sea. In fact the chalk which makes up the body of the Chilterns was formed over a period of millions of years by the skeletons of microscopic sea creatures, which rained down on the sea bed. The inhabitants of this lost sea, including shells, sea urchins, sponges and sharks, can still be found locally today in the form of beautifully preserved fossils.
Hunter gatherers left no noticable impact
Last Ice Age.
This caused deeply frozen ground which thawing surface ice could not penetrate.
Running water caused rapid erosion to form deep valleys - the well known Chiltern Bottoms.
Trees began to colonise and new hunter gatherers came. They used flints for spearheads and axes to make clearings and for hunting.
Flints are still found in chalk hills left after the ice age. Nuts and fruit have also been found.
Separation from mainland Europe.
Permanent settlements and cultivation was beginning. Farmers cleared scrub woodland, made and worked fields and kept animals.
Joan has recently retired from being the farmers wife at Stocken Farm.
In 1971, while stripping out the 17th century farmhouse, she began to wonder exactly when it was built. She has yet to find the answer, but in tracing it back through owners and tenants, she became interested in the village families. Studying the school log books lead to publication of her book "A Chiltern Village School".
Witnessing the decline of old village families and often seeing critical information relating to the villages destroyed on bonfires, made her spring into action. She began to collect and make copies of photographs and deeds. She is grateful for the generosity of those she approached for the loan of these important pieces of history.
Local history became a hobby, which could easily become an obsession, but she says she just doesn't have the time!
Douglas Tilbury was born in 1934 at No.1 Hillock Cottages, Lily Bottom Lane.
He started school at St. John's, Lacey Green in 1939, at the outbreak of World War II. He later attended Mill End Road School in High Wycombe. After that he began work for his father on their small tenanted farm at Parslows Hillocks.
He was called up for National Service in the R.A.F., and became an Engine Mechanic (Turbine) with 56 Squadron, working on the Meteor Mark VIII.
When demobbed back to the family farm, he began working for a contractor on hedge trimming and combining, and later developed his own business.
Douglas was on the Parish Council for 8 years, and the P.C.C. for 20 years. He was a Churchwarden for 10 years.
Now retired, he retains his keen interest in World War II aviation, especially local flying activities. He is a member of the Royal Air Force National Service Association. He was a founder member of the Princes Risborough and District Historical Farm Machinery Club.
His family has local links, which go back many generations.
Rosemary Mortham (nee Oliver) was born in High Wycombe, and moved to the village at the age of six, soon after the second World War. She attended St. John's School, and now feels almost like a local.
She has long been interested in village history, especially the history of the church the school and bobbin lacemaking. She was concerned that there was no record of how the village used to be. She had heard many stories from old village folk, and realised that her fellow writers had a wealth of knowledge which could easily be lost.
When it was suggested that all this information could be put onto a village website, Rosemary saw the opportunity to encourage and cajole the three village historians to finally write up at least some of what they know. She is now an informal secretary to the group.
Rosemary looks forward to seeing the results of their many years of research, and feels sure that others will also enjoy reading it.
Dennis couldn't claim to be a true local, since he was not born in Lacey Green. However, he has spent most of his life in the village. He started school at St. John's, and later transferred to High Wycombe.
Members of the Claydon family have resided in Lacey Green for well over 200 years. This stimulated in Dennis, from a very early age, an interest in local history. From the initial examination of family documents his hobby had led to a far wider study of general village history. His pursuit continued to grow over the years and he had done considerable research whenever time would allow.
He was a member of Princes Risborough Area Heritage Society, Risborough Countryside Group and the Bucks Family History Society. Lately he was a serving member on Lacey Green Parish Council, a position which he held for over 20 years.
Rita was born in Ealing, West London and moved to Buckinghamshire with her parents in 1956. They were jokingly told then that 50 years would have to expire before being accepted as 'locals': that 'apprenticeship' has now been served!
From schooldays in London, Rita always had a very keen interest in history, which eventually progressed to genealogy. With more spare time on retirement after 25 years as secretary for the Thames Valley Police at Aylesbury, family history became almost a full-time occupation.
Since being invited to join the Lacey Green History Group, this has been further extended to include local history.
Rita enjoys living in Buckinghamshire, the countryside in general and is also a member of the local walking club.
Gordon was born in 1933, the youngest of three boys. They lived in the little hamlet of Darvills Hill between Lacey Green and Speen, in a house with no gas, electricity, mains drainage or running water.
He attended Lacey Green School from the age of 4 to 14, throughout the 2nd World War, and he belonged to the Local Boy Scout Troop.
From an early age he attended Lacey Green Methodist Chapel and as an adult, he held several church offices. When the building was closed in 2001, he had been a member for 70 years, 37 of them as Superintendant of the Sunday School.
Gordon also played football and cricket for Lacey Green for many years.
For the whole of his working life he was employed in the retail trade in High Wycombe.
Local historic book now available
by Maurice James Saunders