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.
Sir Julien Kahn at Stanford Hall and a View from the Co-operative College by David Lazell
One of Heart of Albion's earliest booklets, first published in 1993, is now available as a free PDF.
When this booklet was first published in 1993 Stanford Hall was still in use as the International Co-operative College. And Sir Julien Kahn's impressive 'makeover' had been merely fifty years before. Now, after a £300 million transformation Stanford Hall has become the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre.
The idyllic grounds of Stanford Hall look out over the Soar valley near Loughborough (although the Hall is just over the Nottinghamshire county border between Rempstone and East Leake). Bought by the furnishing trade magnate and philanthropist, Sir Julien Cahn, before the War and transformed into a showplace home, the Hall subsequently became the home of the Co-operative College. The contrast between these two owners makes the history of this building full of interest.
David Lazell describes both these eras, drawing upon his own experiences as a student at the College in the 1950s, combined with accounts from various members of staff who helped establish the standards for work and pleasure which went hand-in-hand. He describes Sir Julien's elaborate taste in interior decoration, his fondness for staging conjuring tricks, the names of the long-gone sealions – although their pool still survives – and above all his devotion to cricket. The early years of the Co-operative College, in its transition from Manchester to Stanford Hall, are brought to life with personal reminiscences and previously-unpublished photographs from the collections of the College and the author. They portray a vivid picture of an era of education that, to a great extent, has already been lost.
Wymeswold Washdyke Community OrchardRichard Ellison has compiled a short history of the development of the Washdyke field into a village amenity. No less than 63 committee meetings, mostly between between 2007 and 2015, involved a wide-range of villagers and funding organisations.
This is available as a free PDF: www.hoap.co.uk/who/washdyke.pdf
Planting day in autumn 2008 – it was very wet!
The minutes of AGMs, copies of questionnaires, spreadsheets about the trees, and a copy of a tree certificate will soon be added to the WHO archive.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or phone me on 01509 881342.
WHO 'projects'Joan Shaw has picked up preliminary information on some local interest topics. Do any WHO members want to delve a bit deeper? Just the sort of amusement you might be looking for as the evenings draw in! You do not have to be a member of the WHO, or even live in the area, to help.
Are you looking for a 'little project' to keep you amused? The WHO committee would like to increase the range of information available on this website and is aware of several opportunities to add information that will be of interest to members and those living 'wider afield'.
For further information – without making any commitment! – please email email@example.com
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 2020
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.
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)