A Project by Ropley Primary School History Detectives about Ronald Childes - The Village Cobbler and his family

In the autumn of 2022 , some Ropley History Network and Archives volunteers worked with a new school activity group researching a local building, landmark or person – in this case , the village cobbler ( click on the the link to the PDF at the bottom of this page).

The  children were introduced to maps, genealogy and other resources to enable them to learn about their local history.

The children learnt to follow evidence found in their research, navigate research websites and plan the next part of their investigation to produce a project they would prepare for a display in the school and also on the this website.

The sessions were organised by a steering group member, experienced in genealogy resources, and a new volunteer – a newly retired history teacher, who assisted in the planning and teaching of the children.

The projects were the children’s choices clearly voicing their opinions of what they wanted to study. Carefully guided by the volunteers, they were encouraged and given the freedom to investigate and see where it led them.

The children used maps, both physical and online, to research their own houses and gained an appreciation of how the land and residential developments changed their local landscape over the years and were clearly fascinated. They also, as you can see from this particular project, learnt how to use the basics of genealogy research websites to investigate a local man’s burial, his family and their profession by follow historical evidence. All these new skills will hopefully benefit their learning at senior school


‘If the children can move on to Year 7, at Senior school,  with extra research skills in subjects not usually covered by the curriculum, this can only further aid them in independent research’ – parent of one of the children

History club is really interesting; we research and find out about our homes and local History which is fun. We’ve learnt about the cobbler who’s buried in the churchyard.”

“The big maps of Ropley are great – the club has made me enjoy History even more.”

“It’s personal to us so we want to learn more.”



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