Aug 302013
 

Swindon Heritage Magazine

This month Graham Carter from Swindon Heritage Magazine has written a great article about Coleshill and the Swindon connection to Auxiliary Units.

The two page spread features images of the new replica Operational Base at Coleshill and Graham was guided around by dedicated National Trust researcher Roger Green.

A hard copy of the article can be seen here.

Jun 092013
 

Coleshill House From The AirWe recently updated the GHQ Coleshill pages on the site and simplified the navigation of the site tour.

New content has also been added on the replica Operational Base, the tunnels and mines under the house and why the site was selected and used for training.

Well worth a new look here.

Thanks to Bill Ashby, our CIO for Coleshill, for all the info.

Feb 022013
 

Whilst preparing research material for a new information board CART is producing on Mabel Stranks and the Highworth Post Office, we came across this film from 2006.

It was part of the BBC’s ‘History Mysteries’ series and was aired on BBC2 on the 24/12006.

Whilst the film is fairly inaccurate in places they have interviewed some good people along the way and it gives you a go broad insight into the Auxiliary Units.

Well worth a watch. Learn more about Mabel here.

Jan 302013
 

As we were preparing a re-vamped version of our Weapons & Explosives DVD we came across a short piece of video which we have never shared with anyone.

It features the late Keith Blaxhall guiding Coleshill trained Auxilier Bob Millard around the Coleshill training Operational Base.

Keith was the Head Warden at Coleshill for many years and he loved sharing all his knowledge. Bob explains how things were done in his OB.

Enjoy

Jan 092013
 

Mabel StranksHighworth Post Office in 2012.

We are pleased to say that after a very positive meeting with the new owner of the old Post Office in Highworth, we have been granted permission to erect a few information panels in the public corridor.

At this stage we plan to design one on Mabel Stranks, the secretive post mistress and one on the Auxiliary Units and Coleshill.

Highworth Post Office was the secret gateway for all Auxiliers on their way to Coleshill.

They will be created by Lee Hiom a Highworth based Graphic Designer.

You can see more on the Post Office and Mabel here 

More info to follow over the next few months.

Jan 022013
 

Auxiliary UnitsEric Grey was a Technical/Mechanical Transport Clerk at GHQ Coleshill with the Royal Army Service Corps.

The RASC contingent was responsible for driving the officers around and delivering stores all over the Country.

Eric provides a great background to what went on at Coleshill and his records have been able to verify many postings at the GHQ.

Read Bill Ashby’s full report on Eric here

Dec 072012
 

Today we added a real insight into life at GHQ Coleshill.

Cpl Joan Welborn worked in the stable block as a Typist during the war.

Read the full report and see images of her and others taken at Coleshill here

Our thanks to Joan and CART CIO for Coleshill Bill Ashby for preparing this page.

 

Oct 012012
 

We are pleased to announce that CART membership has now re-opened.

We are working towards a full revamp of our website which will offer greater disability access and a whole range of improved features for web visitors. This is an expensive procedure and sadly not one that can be created in-house using volunteer time. We desperately need to raise as much funding as possible and CART membership fees will contribute greatly towards this.

We hope you will want to support us and can see the value in the hard work we are all putting in to keeping this important history public and freely accessible.

You can see all the benefits of new membership and sign up here

Please do share this with other interested parties as well.

Sep 162012
 

As the sun sets over Coleshill and the re-enactors pack up their tents we look back at the past 48 hours and say well done to everyone who took part.

The weekend follows months of planning by the National Trust at Coleshill and was a vast improvement on the previous event in 2010.

There were many catering retailers this year and the food options were very tasty. Entertainment was provided by the Warneford Big Band and there was plenty to do for children and families from face painting to code breaking.

On Saturday the new replica Operational Base was opened by Coleshill trained Auxilier Bob Millard and after a brilliant speech he cut the ribbon with his Fairbairn Sykes dagger before taking the time to talk to young and old about his training and service.

Crowds then queued for hours to have a sneak peak inside the unfinished building.

CART researchers wandered around the vast estate answering questions and helping people find the key parts of the site.

On both days there were three talks given. Bill King spoke about how the Auxiliers were formed. Karen Fielder spoke about the architectural masterpiece that was Coleshill House and Chris Pratt from the British Resistance Museum at Parham educated listeners on the three elements to the British Resistance Movement.

The talks were full on both days.

Auxiliary Re-Enactors brought the sites wartime use to life with weapons displays, loud bangs and hands on practical education of weapons and explosives used. Tony Salter brought his excellent mobile Aux display and fired up the children’s imagination.

The 70 year old original Operational Base set deep in the Coleshill woods was also open and National Trust volunteer

Roger Green provided guided tours and more than comfortably filled the boots of the late warden Keith Blaxhall.

There were many vintage vehicles on display with the Austin 7 club and the Military Vehicle Trust (MVT) present.

On Sunday CART researchers set up a small display in the Granary and answered many questions from the public.

Impressionist, playwright and comedian Rory Bremner even popped in and picked up a CART flyer. Later he posted on Twitter.

More information on the weekend and all the images can be found here

Thanks to all who took part and all who attended and special thanks to Keith Blaxhall who kept the Aux fire burning at Coleshill for over 30 years.