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The Elsworth Chronicle 1900-1943

A Review

The Cambridge Chronicle and University Journal was a weekly newspaper first published in Cambridge in 1762. For its village news it relied upon the local correspondent be he schoolmaster or clerk, who would record the significant local events and send his notes to Cambridge, in the case of Elsworth, by the carrier. The village news was, in many cases, an eyewitness account of events that had happened in the village of Elsworth.

Some years ago, the staff and volunteers in the Cambridgeshire Collection at the Cambridge Central Library completed the task of listing the headlines, and indexing the old files of newspaper reports for every village in Cambridgeshire.

With that task completed local village historians began extracting the reports relating to their village and publishing them as Village Chronicles

In 1982 Swavesey & District History Society, which meets at Swavesey Village College, published its first book called `The Swavesey Chronicle’.

The demand for the book was overwhelming and it encouraged members of the Society to embark on the task of extracting and publishing chronicles for all the villages in the catchment area of the Swavesey Village College.

In 1994 the fourth in the series, `The Elsworth & Knapwell Chronicle’, was published. This covered the period from 1773 to 1900 and gave a glimpse of what life was like living in Elsworth, a typical agricultural village, in Cambridgeshire, during that time.

Now, Dorothy Bienek, a past member and secretary of the Swavesey History Society has continued the series by extracting the entries from 1900 to 1943 for Elsworth. During this period the First World War took place, and the Second World War began. Over sixty of the young men of Elsworth joined the forces in the first conflict, with the death of about a third being reported in the news columns for the village.

Accidents, wedding, and deaths of Elsworth Families had become a regular feature in the village news. With the motorcar becoming a common sight in the village, the speed of change was increasing.

Members of old village families had begun to move away from the village to new employment elsewhere. Others moved into the village.

The population of Elsworth was about to increase and a new way of life begins.

© John Shepperson. March 2006. President. Swavesey History Society