As the centenary of the end of the First World war approaches in November this year, the History Group will be focusing most of its efforts during 2018 on looking at the soldiers from the village who went to war, their lives, and what the village was like at the time. In November, we hope to stage an exhibition in the church. We have the names of the 57 village men who went to war and some information about them (such as service records) and we know, of course, the names of those who sadly didn’t return. But if you have any information or memorabilia relating to this time (letters, photographs, diaries, etc.) and would be willing to share this with the group, please contact us. We offer secure storage if needed (and can arrange for archiving with Staffordshire Records). And if you have any ideas or family history
memories you can talk about, please do get in touch.
As part of our activities, we are arranging a bus trip to the National Memorial at Alrewas on Wednesday 18th April, which will cost £15. This includes the coach, entrance, and the option to use the Arboretum’s Land Train, to make exploring the site easy, or take a guided walking tour. If interested, please let us know as soon as possible (and by 28 February latest) so we can finalise the booking numbers – call Susan Wilding on 310025 or Martin Snodin on 310121. Cash or cheques payable to Alstonefield Local History Group.
If you’d like to know more about what the Group does or would be interested in joining in our activities, please do come along to one of our meetings, which are generally held on the second Wednesday of the month in the village hall (or someone’s home). Check the Parish Newsletter or this page.
The new group’s first AGM took place on 11 October 2017 in the village hall, when Susan Wilding (Chair) summarised the year’s activities. The accounts were presented and some small changes were agreed to the constitution. The AGM was followed by the normal discussion meeting.
Do come along to any of our meetings if you’d be interested in joining the Group or simply interested in finding out what we do. We meet most months in the hall (or someone’s home), normally on the second Wednesday of the month – but look out for noticeboard posters or look in the village newsletter to confirm the date and location.
2017 – Wakes Weekend
Now in its second year, the History Group was in the village hall on Wakes Weekend (Saturday 24 June) to provide visitors with an update on our activities.
In addition to a new fireproof cabinet and an A3 scanner (see below), we now have an online, searchable, database that will be available to anyone with access to a computer. This was on display and demonstrated, with other historic records on display, such as family trees, registers and census information.
We were also joined by Matthew Blake from Staffordshire Record Office, who brought along along some items from their archive collections and was available to take questions about Staffordshire records in general.
General information about the Group
The aims of the ALHG are, in short, to capture and collate the history of our village for the future. (Full details can be found in our Constitution on this link. n.b. this is a PDF file.) From time to time, exhibitions, talks or other presentations take place, to engage and inform those with an interest in the history of the area.
There is some general information on the history of the village in the About Us section of the site here. You can also find information on village family history including links to detailed information on church headstones, memorials and the wartime remembrance books here.
A key priority for the Group is the digitisation of documents, photographs, videos and oral memories, to limit, as far as possible, the loss of historic information that exists in the area. We also want to provide a secure local repository for documents or other items that people are willing to donate or loan, whilst keeping in mind the extensive archiving services also provided by Staffordshire Records Office (which we particularly do to wish to duplicate or detract from). Any documents or small items retained locally are kept in a specially-purchased fireproof cabinet. A database of all items is maintained, such that information can be readily-accessed using a variety of search methods.
So we are pleased to receive – or discuss options for – any items for potential loan or deposit; or documents that could be copied/scanned and preserved in a digital format. If you have anything that you think would be of interest to the group and are able to scan it yourself, please do so and e-mail it direct to firstname.lastname@example.org. All items should be fully labelled, including who, what, where and when. If you do not have the facility to scan items yourself, then please contact Gordon Campbell on 07919 353 800, who will arrange for the items to be scanned on your behalf. Please note we own a dedicated scanner that can scan from above a variety of documents up to A3 size, so there is no risk of damaging the spine of books etc. during the process.
We also have a Facebook page, to which information, photos and documents will be published from time to time. Do visit the page and follow what we do.
*published jointly by the Alstonefield Local History Society and the Alstonefield Commemoration Group.