The Aims of The Hungerford Virtual Museum:
- To create an electronic local studies archive (website) focused on the history of Hungerford and the immediate surrounding area.
- To collect, research and display archives, artefacts and information from Hungerford.
- To work with the Hungerford Historical Association to make the resources of the HHA Archives available to all those in the town and elsewhere who are interested in its history and wish to extend their knowledge.
- To encourage active interest and participation by all.
The site was first set up (in Net Objects Fusion) on 14 February 2009.
By 2014, the original Virtual Museum website had grown too large for the software used. Through 2015 the website was re-built on a new (Joomla!) platform. There are many benefits - it's clean and uncluttered, and it works better on the various platforms used to view it - PC, tablet or smartphone.
Development is ongoing - there are currently over 1,600 pages/articles, with over 12,000 photographs and 1,900 documents, maps and articles available for download.
Whilst we are happy to share these files for non-commercial purposes, we would be grateful if you would acknowledge The Hungerford Virtual Museum as the source.
Hugh Pihlens, Website creator
Thanks for your help:
The website is a one-man band! I (Hugh Pihlens) have done all the website development single-handed. However, I am very grateful to the following for their help, contributions and support with specific areas of the Virtual Museum:
- David Abbott - re life on The Marsh 1940-47
- John Allen - past HHA Archivist - re Railway, and many other topics
- Richard Amphlett - re the stories behind the names on the Second World War memorials
- Clive Appleby - re Pte Charles Appleby
- Joan & Geoffrey Archer - re Riverside & The Cottage, Charnham Street
- Gerald Atkinson - for help with Black Legend
- Catherine Bancroft - re Marsh House
- Norman Barr - re Barr's Eddington Saw Mills
- Rob Bolton - re Church Lads' Brigade
- Michael John Bostock - re Dixon and Mills family History
- David Broad - re Adnams family
- Eileen Bunt - for her many transciptions of Hungerford's original documents
- David Burns - re Pte FC Vockins personal WWI diary May-Jul 1915
- Malcolm Camp - re his Great-uncle Tom Alexander
- Dr Chris Carlon - re Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church
- Dr David Cave - re Carriers
- Sue Challen - re the Wooldridge family
- Quentin Cook (from Australia) - re Pte C McCarthy
- Les Coverdale - re HMS Freesia
- Glen Culver (from Toronto) - re Chilton Electric Products Spin Dryer
- Ian Davidson - re Andrews family
- Alan Dawson - re Sgt Albert Cook
- Andrew French, Berkshire Yeomanry Museum - re Berkshire Yeomanry
- Stella French - re Croft Nursery School
- Roy Froom - re Prehistoric Hungerford
- Robin Gilbert - re Pocock family
- Graham Gould - re Kenilworth tumble stile
- Jery Green - re John Pearce of Standen Hussey
- Nick Griffiths - re Register of John Chandler, Dean of Salisbury 1404-17
- Keith & Yvonne Haddrell - re Miss Booth's School
- Steve Harrison - re Cycle Speedway Club
- Maj John Hathway - for Hungerford Toll Book 1890-1956, and various papers c1985-87
- Mick Hazell - re Royal Berkshire Yeomanry cap badge
- Joyce Hidden - for permission to use publish the Hidden Papers on the Virtual Museum
- Norman Hidden - who researched so much of the early history of Hungerford
- Tom Hine - re Watermills and Windmills
- Stewart Hofgartner of "Below Stairs of Hungerford Antiques" - re allowing me to photograph and share so many of his heritage artefacts.
- Alan Holland - re Undy's Farm
- John Hollister - re The Tuesday Club
- Elizabeth Holway - re Prior School of Dancing
- Alastair Honeybun (from Perth) - re Rev WAG Gray and Rev Tom Gray
- Humphrey Hope - re Henry Astley and the Berkshire Yeomanry
- Vicky Hummell - re Lambourne family
- Stella James (nee Mills) - re Mills family, and 51-52 High Street
- Amanda Johnston - re Swimming Club
- Richard Jones, Dubai - re Sgt CE Mayne
- Colleen Kent - re James & Co, Great Western Mill
- Nadine King - re documents relating to the Hungerford Home Guard
- David Lee - re John O'Gaunt School
- Andrew Macey - re Fire Service Scrapbook, 1890-1913
- Jane Malham - re Carnivals
- Roger Mardon - re Fire Service
- Kate Martin - for help digitising Parish Registers
- Roger Mason - re Sgt Vernon William Evans, RA
- Barry McGowan - re Boarden Carriage
- Mac McIntyre - re the stories behind the names on the First World War Memorials
- Mary Oliver (nee Neat) - re Bare Knuckle Fight, 1821
- George Palmer - re Sentences of Prisoners tried for "Swing Riots", 1830-31
- John Parry - re Royal British Legion
- Kathleen Partington - re Thomas Henry Alexander
- Gideon Pickering - re 40 Charnham Street and Hungerford Garages.
- Lois Pihlens - for all her valuable research over several decades
- David Pollard - re the stone cladding on 41 High Street
- Brother Anthony Porter - re Inglewood House
- Alan Potter, South Molton - re "At the Back of the Front" magazine
- Sarah Quill - re Capt Philip Pinckney
- Andrew Radgick - re Pte Arthur Smith
- Warren Read - re his gt-gt-grandfather Charles Green, and the Swing Riots, 1830
- Jane Rees, Sutton - re her gt-gt-grandfather, William Smart, Bellman 1872-75
- Ed Richards - re The Lady of Lions
- Alan Rutter - re Pte Henry James Cook, WWI
- Victor Sharman - re Reg Cook and 2nd Battalion Royal Berkshires
- Clive Sheppard, Melbourne, Australia - re The Three Tuns
- Maureen Shettle - re Sun Fire Insurance records for Hungerford
- Julie Shuttleworth - for permission to include her book "Elizabethan Hungerford"
- Mark Sijlmans, The Netherlands - re Lt Pulleyn (and submarine E34, WWI)
- Jim Sluszny, France - re Children evacuees during 2nd World War
- Ann Smith - donated the Church Diary of 1959
- Ashley Strachan - re Matthew Bance 1743-1805, Clockmaker and Watchmaker
- Ken Staplin - re Beard family
- Rosemary Simons, Texas, USA - re Roger Napper, Vicar of Hungerford 1403-1422
- John Taylor - re Holliday Family and Rumballs, Butchers
- Patricia Thomas, New Zealand - re Emigration to New Zealand, 1840
- John Toman - re Dr Michael Rowlandson, Curate of Hungerford 1797-1809
- Celia Turner - re Cox family
- Jonathan Welfare - for encouragement to embark on the Virtual Museum
- Jim & Astra West (nee Champ) - re Champ family
- Roland Whaite - re Stype and Stype Grange and Derbyshire Yeomanry in Hungerford
- Joanna Wheatland - re photo of Charnham Street floods, 16 May 1932
- Warren Whitby, Alabama, USA - re Hoskyn family, teachers at National School
- Jim Wildhaber - re Price family
- Jack Williams - re the Fire Service and 2nd World War
- P Williams - re Charles Low, RBA
- Ross Wood - re Croft Cottage, 1 The Croft
Some of the accolades we've received:
"I do want to congratulate you on your work on the Virtual Museum which is really splendid and most evocative. You have made a brilliant addition to our knowledge of Hungerford." VGF, UK, Mar 2019.
"May I congratulate you on the website - a wonderful site and exceedingly useful to historians and other interested people. Your work is really something else and must have taken hours and hours of time - well worth it tho' as it is a really fabulous site." SH, UK, 2018
"Thank you for the fantastic resource you’ve got with that website, it’s very useful and we cross reference it often." Senior Archaeologist (Planning & Management Advice, Public Protection and Culture West Berkshire Council Nov 2018.
"Your Hungerford website is a beauty to behold - so user-friendly and so fascinating. I do congratulate you." VGF 2018.
"... a lot of my research into Hungerford is leading me to the Virtual Museum – you really have a very comprehensive and impressive record of Hungerford’s history!" RH (BBC TV), 2017.
"I had a browse through the new re-vamped site on Friday. Fabulous! Well done on all the hard work you have put in to the site." AH, UK, 2015.
"Thank you for a VERY informative website which has helped me considerably in tracing my family background." JT, UK, 2015.
"You are doing a wonderful job tracking the history of times and people of Hungerford. Your website is great, so accessible and informative." VH, UK, 2014.
"Just wanted to say how much and how well this site has grown. So much wonderful information. Being Hungerford born (but now ex resident) I always regard it as home and this site keeps it close. Thanks again for all the hard work!" AJ, UK, 2014.
"I have just been wandering through your delightful web-pages with my main focus on Chilton Lodge (where my ancestors lived in the 16th century). Thank you for your time and efforts to make this website available to those of us who are unable to travel to the sites where our family once lived. Your dedication and appreciation of the historic value of these homes is truly evident." MH, California, USA, 2014.
"This is really to say I think you have a fantastic virtual museum. I have used it as a resource for ages." RF, Curator, Market Lavington Museum, 2013
"Thank you for alerting me to the Hungerford Virtual Museum. Quite fascinating looking up long forgotten names, events and places. I spent a whole evening "surfing" it." CJ, UK, 2013
"I must really congratulate you on a first class website. I naturally come across similar sites during my ongoing researches for mill/ miller history... but none of them come anywhere near the standard of yours." TH, UK, 2013
"The website is fascinating - I've been looking at things for hours!" JS, UK, 2013
"The Hungerford Virtual Museum makes available a huge number of resources, indexes, lists and links. The scope of the site runs from Muster Rolls 1522, Quit Rents 1676-1836 to Family Histories & a Names Index. This site is 5 star and is an example of what can be done by a local group with a passion for history. Well done Hungerford Historical Association!" Mad About Genealogy, Sep 2012.
"Congratulations on an absolutely amazing site - please keep up the good work." AT, UK, 2011
"I must congratulate you for having such an impressive and comprehensive set-up. It really is." JS, France, 2010
"I congratulate you on the site, in particular the coaching section. Your section is far and away the most comprehensive and interesting site I have found to date. It is excellent." BJ, UK, 2009
"I've greatly enjoyed spending time visiting your virtual museum! Thank you! I found the museum to be most comprehensive and very well done, as well as very interesting." KM, USA, 2009