The Guarlford Story
This has been the story of a small corner of Worcestershire just beyond the shadow of the Malvern Hills from earliest times to the present day. As for virtually every other English village, Guarlford's history stretches back over many centuries; but we know comparatively little of those who came before us until the last two hundred years or so. Guarlford as we know it does not, for example, appear in the Domesday Book of 1086, a standard early reference source for many English villages, including neighbouring ones, such as Hanley Castle, which has the distinction of two entries, one under Gloucestershire and another under Herefordshire. Similarly, the origins of the name Guarlford itself present historians with difficulty. Gradually, though, the record becomes fuller as we reach the age of photography in the second half of the nineteenth century and remembered family history. Our history concentrates on the last century, that time not long before changes of great significance in the middle of the twentieth century which went beyond almost anything occurring before, changes hastened if not entirely caused by the arrival of the motor car and television, leading to what is generally acknowledged to have been a fragmentation of lives and communities compared with earlier times. As remembered history, it is to this extent essentially an oral history, one which makes considerable use of the memories of older residents as told to the authors . . .