Sawston Village History Society

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The Sawston Community Archive Group (SCAG) now has a strong nucleus of members drawn from the Society, but is also open to non-SVHS members. Our mission (as they now say) is to create a digital archive of anything relating to Sawston. Contact Liz Dockerill on 835127.

WWII Evacuees

The Sawston Village History Society is helping with a project to remember names of evacuees who came to Sawston in WWII - 1939-45. For those of us who were at school then, the mention of a name that we recognize often recalls a picture of what they looked like, how they dressed or other memories. Contributions will be welcomed either by dropping a note to, or visiting the Parish office on Monday mornings. We've already had about a dozen names so far, from only three people interviewed.

Comments from visitors

Geoff wrote: I looked up your site after seeing an old newsreel from 1925 about the pea custom. I just thought I would drop you a line with the link in case you don't already know of it. As it may be an extra weapon to help you fight the bureaucracy that is threatening the event. British Pathe film of Sawston Peas.

Dot wrote: I am trying to trace the Samuel family for a friend. James Samuel lived in Great Shelford and was a miller and I believe there was a steam flour mill there. His children moved to Sawston and also became millers and one ran the pub in Sawston High Street. Could you tell me please - are you aware of any flour mills in Sawston? I have seen mention of the Dernford one and wondered if they ran that? Thanks for a wonderful site.

Can any of our readers and members help Dot? We look forward to publishing any of your contributions. Our thanks to Geoff for pointing us towards the fascination film - a real window on our past. Ed


Readers may recollect Bruce Milner's report in the October 2012 Sawston Scene about the Chinese TV crew descending on Sawston and filming a house in London Road (almost directly opposite the Medical Centre) where the famous Chinese poet Xu Zhimu lived for 2 months back in 1921. The first of twenty 15 minute episodes was shown on Chinese TV (funnily enough in Chinese) in late April and featured several minutes of Kings College where Xu was a student. The part featuring Sawston will be shown in a later episode.

Xu's grandson, Tony Hsu has kindly emailed the link to the series on-line - see below.

This link will give you access to episode #1 and future episodes (20) of the Xu Zhimo documentary. I am not sure how many episodes will be shown each week. You can either watch the documentary as the TV broadcast on-live show on Channel 11 of CCTV or you can watch on the above website at a later time. Broadcast times for each day are the same time 9:25 PM Beijing Time (on Monday,Tuesday,Thursday, and Sunday)


The Society was recently approached by a retired film producer, offering his services on a voluntary basis to make a film of any interesting happening from the village’s past. This seemed to be too good an opportunity to miss, and 19th century Sawston with much hardship caused by one employer in particular and those who resisted him would make a good story. The suggestion was well received, and the production of a film could involve local talent in researching, script-writing and acting under professional guidance. Anyone interested in helping with the project can call in the History room in the Parish office on any Monday morning for more information, or contact Bryan on 0122383396, email:

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