Adrian Rudler

Letter from Lady Johanna St.John to her steward, mentioning head gardener “Ruddler”

Adrian Rudler has an impressive connection to Lydiard Tregoze.  His family have been linked to the parish for some 400 years.  Here he tells us what he has discovered about his ancestors, the genes he seems to have inherited and his passion for classic cars:

‘The history of the Rudler family and Lydiard Tregoze can be traced back over 400 years. The earliest record I have is of John Rudler. I believe he is my 9 X great-grandfather who had sons Richard (b1622) and John (b1625 d 1685).

There are letters in the Lydiard archives circa 1661 that mention the Head Gardener at Lydiard House was Richard Rudler. In one letter from Lady Johanna St.John to her Steward, Thomas Hardyman, there is a discussion about Rudler’s dismissal due to an indiscretion of some sort! There are also gravestones and a Chest Tomb in St Mary’s churchyard of my relatives.

My 3X  Great Uncle Henry (b1805 – d1884) was Landlord of the Prince of Wales Inn at Coped Hall (now The Royal Wootton Bassett) in the 1850’s. Later 3X Great Grandfather Richard (b1797 –d1875) and 2 X Great Grandfather Thomas (b1841 –d1915) were Landlords up until circa 1900.  2X Great Uncle John Rudler (b1822) was landlord of The Sun Inn, Lydiard Millicent. There follows a theme here that my ancestors all liked a drink or two, a trait that my wife says goes down the family line to this day!

Alfred Rudler with his pigs 1950s.

My Grandfather Alfred kept pigs on the land between Bolingbroke Close where they lived and Clarendon House. Many of the other Rudlers were farmers or farm labourers, but with the arrival of the railway in Swindon several moved from the land to work in the railway works.

Most of my family lived in or around Hook. My father, Frank and Mother Diana attended St Mary’s Church and I was taken to church every Sunday, not something I enjoyed. I have memories of Rev. Carne and going to Sunday school with Mrs. Large in her Austin.’

Frank had a house built on what had been the village allotments in Hook, he named it after the builder, William Gaze, Will Gaze Cottage. During the construction of Will Gaze a pair of cottages 36 & 36A Hook to the left of the gateway were demolished, these were previously home to my Great Grandfather Joseph (b 1869 d 1944) and his wife Kate (b 1871 d 1957). Great Uncle William (b 1905 d 1984) and his wife Edith Annie (b 1907 d 1958) lived in 36A. William later owned the bungalow next door, the site is now the two houses 21 & 21A Dianmer Close.  The plot of land in between was sold in the late 1970s when another bungalow called The Arches was built.

In the 1980s, Frank then built another house in the garden of Will Gaze and named it after the allotments, Queens allotments and an old English word for a furrow, hence Queenslaines. This house has since been renamed Double Dutch.  Queenslaines was sold in the 1990’s and so ended the period of the Rudler family living in Lydiard Tregoze parish, although I still live in a neighbouring parish.’

Adrian Rudler and his prized Lancia Aurelia

After leaving school in 1979 Adrian worked at an outdoor pursuits center and then as a trainee surveyor, so he only lived in Hook sporadically from then onwards. He tells us his real passion had always been cars:

‘I remember dad buying his first Lancia in 1965, a brand I have always remained loyal to. I have owned many models of them from 1920s models through to modern day ones, but my favourite is the 1950s Aurelia, the first production car with a V6 engine. My current one is used for classic car rallies throughout Europe. Since 1991 I have organised the world’s largest rally for pre 1960 Lancias.

I have turned my interests into my work, since the 1980’s I have worked in classic car transport, I have a HGV license and International Transport Manager qualifications.

Keeping the Lancia company in my garage is a 1961 Lamborghini tractor, I tell myself it is in honor of our families farming/gardening background. I have a large garden at home and an allotment in the village, so the tractor is very useful going back and forth with produce, but really, it’s just a big boy’s toy!

Frank died in 1986 and Diana earlier this year. They are buried with Frank’s parents Alfred and Dorothy in Hook cemetery. As far as I know all other Rudlers in our immediate family line ended with female decedents, so I am pleased to have a son to hopefully continue the family name.’

The Rudler grave in Hook Cemetery

See all Lydiard Friends