Local history articles
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The Wolds Historical OrganisationThe Wolds Historical Organisation (WHO) was founded in 1987 to promote interest in the local history of the villages on the western side of the Leicestershire Wolds, specifically Wymeswold, Burton on the Wolds, Hoton, Prestwold and Cotes.
The WHO is now over thirty years old. Over the decades members have written a substantial number of articles and transcribed most of the relevant records, such as census returns. There are well over a hundred such 'pages' on this web site, all accessible via links on the left-hand side of this screen. The 'search this site' feature (at the bottom of the left hand column) helps find specific information.
WHO monthly meetingsThe principal activities of the WHO are talks on the third Tuesday of September, October, November, February, March, April, May and June. During the summer there is a trip to a local place of interest while in January there is an annual meal followed by a short AGM.
Meetings now take place in the Jubilee Room of Wymeswold Memorial Hall, Clay Street, Wymeswold, LE12 6TY and start promptly at 7.45 pm.
Non-members most welcome but will be asked to contribute £3.00. There is a lift to the Jubilee Room if visitors have difficulty with stairs.
For further information about WHO activities please phone 01509 881342.
The WHO's What's What is back!Most months there is a PDF newsletter with details of current WHO activities and also other forthcoming events which may be of interest.
The WHO's What's What needs contributions! Whether news of forthcoming events of possible interest to WHO members, or short 'snippets' of historical interest. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any contributions.
RAF Wymeswold post-WWIIA detailed history of activities at Wymeswold airfield in the 1950s and 1960s has been prepared by Richard Knight, who grew up at the western end of the runways.
Most of the information is about the activities of the RAF and Fields Aircraft Services, although there is also lots of previously-unseen photographs taken in the winter of 1944 and during the build up to D-Day, and photographs taken during public open days.
In total there is about 40,000 words and almost 400 photographs. And this is available as a free PDF: www.hoap.co.uk/who/raf_wymeswold.pdf Note this is about 97 Mbytes so may be slow to download.
F.W. Burbidge (1847–1905)F.W. Burbidge was once a well-known English horticultural writer, botanical artist and plant explorer. He was born in Wymeswold. As 'T. Burbidge'…
See Charles Nelson's article in Huntia: 'F. W. Burbidge: What were his forenames?' (Sadly FWB's date of birth is wrong in the title, though clearly stated as 1847 in the text.)
Burbidge also climbed mountains in his quest for plants – but should not to be confused with Charles Packe (1826–96) who also combined mountaineering and botany as his passions. Scroll down this page to 'Packe of the Pyrennes'. Plausibly Charles Packe was a childhood influence on Burbidge.
Ivor Brown (1927–2005)
Ivor Brown after winning the 1963 AH Trophy.
Speaking of childhood influences, Jim Tibbetts of Stourbridge emailed recently 'Ivor Brown was my boyhood hero at my local Cradley Heath speedway track, having seen him win the first speedway race that I ever saw, way back in August 1963.'
Jim says 'Ivor was a fabulous and fearless rider who was rarely beaten at the Dudley Wood Stadium and was very unfortunate to receive spinal injuries in June 1965 at the prestigious Wimbledon Internationale, when he was finally recognised for his talent and mixing-it with the world's top riders and averaging a very respectable 10 points per match – outscoring a lot of the league's best riders.'
Jim has scanned about 50 photographs of Ivor from speedway magazines of the relevant era and I have put together a preliminary PDF.
Do any WHO members have any memories of Ivor in his racing days? Any relevant photos or 'memorabilia' which could be scanned or photographed? Apparently his winnings paid for the first two lorries which formed the start of his haulage business. Does anyone have any photos or information about this side of Ivor and Sandra's life?
If you know anyone who might have more information then please pass on the link to this page or let me have their contact details. Either email email@example.com or phone me on 01509 881342.
Wymeswold people with Wikipedia entriesMy surprise at finding Wikipedia pages for Ivor Brown and F.W. Burbidge piqued my interest. Seems there are more people with Wymeswold connections listed on Wikipedia:
Greek copper alloy coin of Ptolemy VI found near WymeswoldHow many Egyptian coins have you spotted while walking footpaths around Wymeswold? How many Egyptian coins minted about 2,180 years ago with two eagles representing Ptolemy VI and his brother? If you've not found one then you're not looking hard enough! One turned up fairly recently (and it was while walking, not by a metal detectorist) and details, with a photo, have been entered on the Portable Antiquities Scheme database: finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/960604
Thanks to the finder, a mutual friend and Wendy Scott at the Portable Antiquities Scheme for all their assistance.
The big question is why did a Ptolemic Egyptian coin get lost near Wymeswold? No clear answers. But Wendy says she's seen several others from Leicestershire, though none close to the Wolds.
Walton on the Wolds recordsThanks to Louise and Bob Jackson and Joan Shaw the minutes of Walton on the Wolds Parish Vestry meetings from March 1873 to November 1894 and the minutes of Parish Meetings between December 1894 and March 1983 have been summarised.
These and other historic documents held by Walton on the Wolds Parish Clerk have recently been deposited with the Record Office for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (accession number DE9796). Click here for summaries of all the documents deposited.
WHO updatesIf you're not already on the WHO's email update list and would like to receive news of what's happening then please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the message 'Add to WHO update list'. Your email address will not be revealed to anyone else or used for any other purpose.
Programme for 2019
Meetings take place in the Jubilee Room of Wymeswold Memorial Hall, Clay Street, Wymeswold, LE12 6TY and start promptly at 7.45 pm.
Non-members most welcome but will be asked to contribute £3.00. There is a lift to the Jubilee Room if visitors have difficulty with stairs. For further information about WHO activities please phone 01509 881342.
The first LinkAnyone living in the villages of Burton on the Wolds, Cotes, Hoton, Prestwold and Wymeswold will be familiar with the parish magazine, The Christian Link. But when did this start? All is revealed in this PDF of the first issue. But I doubt if we will ever know if the Sparrows of the Spirit ever returned to 'roost' at the Rectory...
Many thanks to Joan Shaw for digitising the copy discovered she while 'tidying up' in Loughborough Library's Local Studies Collection.
Memories of a Country GirlhoodJust a reminder that the WHO has stocks of all four books written by Ellen 'Nell' Smith and illustrated by Susan Jalland. These were published in the early 1980s and describe life in Wymeswold during the seventy years from around the First World War until nearly fifty years ago.
Sets of all four books cost £10 per set (the first two volumes are editions printed in 2005; the third and fourth volumes are the original 1980s editions) plus p&p.
Email or phone Bob Trubshaw email@example.com / 01509 881342
Packe of the Pyrennes
In an article published in the 1960 edition of The Alpine Journal Robin Fedden tell us that:
'Charles Packe (1826–96) was geologist, botanist, cartographer and scholar (climbing with Horace in his pocket). He was also the squire of Stretton Hall, the Leicestershire gentleman who found the Pyrenees more exciting than the hunting field. Much of this was concealed by a brusque manner, for though a modest man he was perhaps not an easy one. He began his systematic exploration of the chain in 1859. When his companion was killed on the Pic de Sauvegarde in the same year, while no doubt perturbed, he was clearly not deflected. Noting Jurassic limestone, greensand, names of rare flowers, barometric pressures, and making in uncharted country expedition on expedition, he accumulated knowledge. It found expression in the first guide-book to the Pyrenees and the first map of the Maladetta area.'
Charles Packe was the eldest son of Edmund Packe who lived at Prestwold Hall.
In a different article in the 1987 edition of the same journal Kev Reynolds draws attention to Charles Packe's own contribution to The Alpine Journal, back in August 1884. By that date has also been Secretary of the Alpine Club. Reynolds notes Packe's obvious disdain the attitudes of his fellow members:
'The travellers who during the summer months throng Cauterets, Luchon, and even Gavarnie are of a very different class from those whom we meet at Chamonix and Zermatt. Even members of the Alpine Club in the Pyrenees seem to have turned Sybarites; they have left behind them love for climbing, and are content with the usual routine courses at the tail of a guide.'
Reynolds informs his readers that 'By the time he wrote this, Packe had been a noted mountain connoisseur for more than 30 years and an influence at one time or another on various leading figures from the world of mountaineering.'
Charles Packe's interests were not simply concerned with exploring the terrain as he also a botantist and 'collected curious specimens of alpaca paramante (papaver alpinum).'
Thanks to Hellen Jarvis for spotted these articles on the www.alpinejournal.org.uk website.
Brown's pharmaceutical day bookChris and John Brown own a handwritten journal prepared by the Brown family of Church Street in Wymeswold – perhaps better known for running the Post Office and for Philip Brown's photographs. The journal gives details of over two hundred prescriptions prepared over a seventeen-year period between 1869 and 1886, as well as a number of formulations used in the grocery business.
Chris kindly digitised the pages for the WHO and Philip Denniff has spent much of this last winter trying to decipher the abbreviated Latin.
The scans, verbatim transcription and Phil's interpretation are now online, along with an introduction which sheds light on why the journal was kept and how different members of the Brown family helped looked after the well-being of local residents in Wymeswold during part of the nineteenth century. Download the PDF for free.
So far as we are aware this is the first time a pharmaceutical 'day book' of this period has been fully transcribed, interpreted and made available online.
Big thanks to Phil for a considerable amount of time and effort he contributed to this project, and to Chris for preparing the scans and assisting Phil with the Brown's family history.
WHO publicationsThe WHO has published five booklets and a book:
In addition, between 1991 and 2002 an annual WHO Newsletter has recorded details of the organisation's activities and research by members. All articles relating to Wymeswold from the WHO Newsletter are included in this Web site (see articles about Wymeswold's history). Starting in 2004 the WHO Newsletter was replaced by The Wolds Historian.
Download Bob Trubshaw's extended look at Six Hills and Vernemetum The Especially Sacred Grove (2 megabyte PDF file)