9th January 2013: Members' Evening

Sixty-eight people attended Members' Evening on Wed 9th January in the Sunley Music Room at the Lady Joanna Thornhill School. The programme was entitled 'Behind the Scenes' and gave opportunity for the normally unseen 'backroom girls' to share some details of all that they do for the Society.

Archivist Maureen de Saxe gave an overview of people involved, publications launched and other details, since the formation of Wye Historical Society in 1948. She mentioned the Gittings' glass photographic plates donation which led to the book, Images of Wye in 1999. Wye Local History was launched in 1978 and she paid tribute to Dr Paul Burnham who wrote an article for that first issue and has continued to produce articles, books and exhibitions over the ensuing 35 years. She contrasted the high cost of publication in the past and the comparably modest sums now required for desktop publishing; constant elements in all the Society's behind-the-scenes activities are the time needed and the effort involved.

Cilla Deeks, one of the archival team for three years, described her first task when she offered to help; Maureen had given her a box on the Lady Joanna School and among the various documents, accounts and photographs, she found a carpenter's bill dated April 22nd 1728, for work done on a farm owned by the L.J.T Trust, for £19..19..07, equal to about £3,600 today! Cilla then commented on a series of images of a number of interesting historical photographs from the archives.

Jill Wyld read Anne Findlay's text describing the most recent Graveyard Project to complete recording all of the graves in the churchyard including the Burial of Ashes area. The main Graveyard was recorded in 1985 led by Prof Bryan Keith-Lucas with a map produced by Ken Snelson. The present undertaking began in early 2009. Jill/Anne described the various stages since then, culminating in Summer 2011, after which the time-consuming transfer to a comprehensive database began.

The final contribution was from Paul and Ellie Morris who have just set up a WHS website; Paul showed pages from the various sections of the site which can be found on www.wyehistoricalsociety.org.uk and offers an instant, straightforward source of Society information. When complete, this latest facility will make details of all that the Society offers available to researchers beyond the former geographical limits.

Averil Clayton