Historian reveals the real Candleford tale in his new book on the Lark Rise village

The original post office in Lark Rise To Candleford
The original post office in Lark Rise To Candleford

A well-known local historian is launching a new book about the real Candleford, made famous by Flora Thompson’s classic work.

Martin Greenwood has compiled the book, The Real Candleford Green: the story of a Lark Rise Village, described as a lively and knowledgeable new study of Fringford.

Fringford was author Flora Thompson’s fictional Candleford Green, in her trilogy Lark Rise to Candleford, and Martin has uncovered new facts about the village and its people.

Martin will have signed copies of his book for sale in Fringford Village Hall, on Saturday, May 14, from 1pm to 5pm during Fringford Fayre.

The book contains details of previously unseen letters from Flora herself, Kezia Whitton the real post mistress, and Sarah Butler Rennison, who succeeded Flora as a letter carrier, and these all add very personal insights to the story.

The letters have also uncovered the lives of four of Sarah’s brothers, all born in Fringford but who later emigrated to Australia.

Another rare insight into village life is provided by the surviving business ledgers of the Price family, who were local painters and decorators.

There will also be an exhibition, Fringford as Flora knew it, with a display of old photographs and a pictorial guide around the village.

Refreshments will be available with teas in the Candleford Cafe, a barbecue and bar.

Martin’s other works include Fringford Through the Ages (2000), Villages of Banburyshire (2006), In Flora’s Footsteps: Daily Life in Lark Rise Country 1876-2009 [2009) and Pilgrim’s Progress Revisited: the Nonconformists of Banburyshire, 1662-2012 (2013).