Monday, January 30, 2012

April 19-25, 1940

The Ashton Keynes Bruderhof community made the news this week in 1940. First established in the village in 1936 the Bruderhof was an Anabaptist group founded in Germany in the 1920s.

The brotherhood, whose aim was to overcome self seeking,competition and strife among men, came in for criticism when they bought two milk rounds in Swindon.

The Society of Brothers, whose members received no wages, sold milk, garden produce and other commodities daily in Swindon where tradesmen declared they could not compete with them, reported the Advertiser.

Mr g. Sweetlove, chairman of the association, told an Evening Advertiser reporter that the Bruderhof had acquired two milk rounds because the previous owners had been so badly hit by the war that they could not carry on.

"We feel that by producing all the foodstuffs which we are able, and by distributing them to our neighbours, we are rendering the best service which we can to England and the British people at this time," E.C.H. Arnold and Arnold Mason of the Cotswold Bruderhof said in reponse to the accusation of 'unfair trading.'

"Our farm work and our sales organisation has been developed and encouraged by all the authorities, both at the Ministry of Agriculture and the local county authorities, and we are surprised that anyone should not recognise the importance of food production of this nature."


Described as 'Swindon's oldest woman,' 98 year old Caroline Sharps died at the Falcon Inn, Westcott Place where her son William was the licensee. Prior to moving in with her son in 1939 Mrs Sharps had lived in the Almshouses near the parish church for nearly thirty years.

And Swindon lost a colourful and romantic personality according to the Advertiser, with the death of Angelo Vitti, another well known local resident. Mr Vitti, who was a provision merchant and proprietor of a lodging house in Albert Street, died just a few weeks before his 79th birthday. Originally from Settefrati in a province of Frosinone just south of Rome, Mr Vitti had lived in Swindon for more than fifty years.


Images - top - children from the Bruderhof Community and bottom - Angelo Vitti and Caroline Sharps

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