Tring Rural Villages in the Twentieth Century

Our website – – was created in the summer of 2021 after the Chairman of our Parish Council asked for volunteers to create a new website to cover the history of the three villages within Tring Rural Parish – Long Marston, Puttenham and Wilstone. The website initially included a timeline, picture gallery and contributions from local historians; we had 4350 separate visitors in the first 18 months.

The content was, at an early stage, supplemented by reports of interviews with long term residents who remembered the villages during World War II, including the day a bomb fell on Long Marston School. A further initiative to bring history alive was the describing of local historical events in story form, including the UK’s last ‘death by ducking’ of a witch in Wilstone and the adventures of William the Conqueror’s brother as Lord of Puttenham.

These two initiatives led to a development that was not expected when the site was first developed.

First Tring Local History Museum suggested that the wartime interviews should be collected together in book form and sold to the public. Herts County Council, having heard of this venture agreed to provide the funds for this book to be supplied free of charge to every home in the three villages, as a way of improving community integration

Then a local benefactor, John Bly of Antiques Roadshow fame, asked to publish our stories, also in book form, as a way of raising funds for local charities. Both publications came out in February 2023.

The lesson from these developments is that websites and books are not in competition or are mutually exclusive; they are just reaching different audiences. Long Marston School are still using the website but the books have attracted the attention of the many residents who are less likely to go online.

Copies of the book are avaiable to purchase at Tring Local History Museum.

The Long Marston Auxillary Fire Service 1940s

Left to right:

Sid Stevens, Dick Green, Gordon Savage, Duncan Mead, Ray Pheasant, Freddy Chandler