The Wolds Historical Organisation
The 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 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. A new 'search this site' feature has been added to help find specific information.
The principal activities of the WHO are lectures on the third Tuesday of September, October, November, February, March, April, May and June. Currently these take place in the back room of the Windmill Inn, Brook Street, Wymeswold, LE12 6T. However as from December 2017 meetings will take place in the upstairs room of Wymeswold Memorial Hall, Clay Street, Wymeswold, LE12 6TY. Meetings start promptly at 7.45 pm. In August there is a trip to a local place of interest.
For further information about WHO activities please phone 01509 881342.
The WHO's What's What
Most months there will be a PDF newsletter with details of current WHO activities and also other forthcoming events which may be of interest.
Download the current WHO's What's What
If 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 2017:
||AGM and annual dinner|
|21st February||Mel Gould
||1916 Zeppelin Raid on Loughborough|
|21st March||Frank Earp
||Nottingham Goose Fair|
|18th April||Philip Thorpe
||Antique Maps of Leicestershire|
|16th May||David Bell
||Murder Cases of Rutland and Leicestershire|
|20th June||Brian Johnson
||The Story of the Driving Test|
||guided walk around Shardlow Heritage Centre please note earlier start time of 7.30|
|19th September||Lee Timmins
||The English Highwayman|
|17th October||Peter Liddle
|14th November||Ivor Perry
|19th December ||Bob Trubshaw
N.B. this meeting will be held in the upstairs room of Wymeswold Memorial Hall
Discovering the Wolds
The Wolds Historical Organisation is thirty years old in 2017. To commemorate this anniversary the members have compiled a book about various aspects of the history of the Wolds villages, from the Anglo-Saxon era onwards. The title is Discovering the Wolds and it will be launched at the WHO's meeting on 19th September. More details – including how to get hold of a copy – at the time of publication.
William Fox property deed
Katheryn Timmons, who heads up the Barrow on Soar local history group, kindly allowed me to photograph an original indenture, or 'conveyancing deed', dated 5th April 1780 which assigns land in Wymeswold parish near Burton 'great field' (this is before Enclosure) to William Fox. If anyone is willing to transcribe the main parts of the text – the handwriting is quite legible – or knows more about this William Fox then please email email@example.com. The original deed will be donated to the Record Office.
Three Crowns: as it was
Local history must keep up with the times. Isobel Parr took some video of the Three Crowns in May 2016, before the 'revamp'. It's on YouTube at
WHO Archive catalogued and online – plus a 'virtual museum'
Over the last thirty years the WHO has built up a collection of research notes, old photographs, a few artefacts and such like. Collectively it has been named the 'WHO Archive'. Until now few people knew what was in this archive and even fewer knew where to find it! However now there is a PDF which can be downloaded and searched (use CTRL+F if there's no obvious search button on your PDF viewer).
Please note that the archive is stored in six different locations, few of which are easily accessible. So requests to provide more details or to view anything 'first hand' will take time and effort.
Anyone who can add extra information please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Download the WHO archive catalogue
A member has suggested that the photographs of artefacts would make a suitable web page. So here it is: the WHO's 'virtual museum'.
St Mary's Wymeswold Church Council Minute Book
and Wymeswold school log books
The Church Council Minute Book for St Mary's, Wymeswold, covering 1932 to 1955 forms part of the archive, although it is in a rather fragile condition. This has now been digitised. There are too many files to make this available online but they can be copied to a memory stick or such like if anyone wants to read through. Note that the handwriting is often rather 'cramped'. If anyone is willing to read through and index the main topics this will be most helpful. From a quick skim through it seems there's plenty of information on the church restoration of the 1950s.
The school log books for Wymeswold school covering the period from 1875 to 1982 are now in the Record Office for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. But before they were handed over they too were digitised. Again they can be copied to a memory stick or similar if anyone thinks they have relatives at the school during this period. These log books were helpful to Ivor Perry when researching Bringing Them Home as they revealed both the good and bad sides of the village 'lads'.
If you would like to have copies of any or all of these then email Bob Trubshaw. Note: please supply your own memory stick or SD card! The church minute book is under 1 gigabyte and all four school log books are just over 2 gigabytes.
Philip Brown's historic photos of Wymeswold and the surrounding area, taken between the 1890s and 1920s, are available again. Contact Chris Brown email@example.com for details.
The Brown's shop, and former Post Office, in Church Street, Wymeswold.
Betty's demob party
Carolyn Dee emailed to say her partner, Leo Carter, served at RAF Wymeswold with No 9 Squadron from 5th June to November 1945. She sent a scan of a photograph, with Wymeswold written on and ' Betty's demob party, Wymeswold about November 1945' . She assumes Betty is in the middle. The other photograph with people sitting in the garden may also be Wymeswold or Burton on the Wolds. but Leo didn't add any information. Were they taken at the The Greyhound Pub?
Carolyn wonders if anyone recognises anyone else in the photographs. If so please email Bob Trubshaw.
Similarly, Gordon McKenzie emailed. 'I used to be a telephone engineer who serviced the Wymeswold area from 1975 to 1977, I loved the place but had to move on. Anyway, I was in the ATC in the late 60s to '71 and I used to make mosaics for various RAF Squadrons. Here is a picture of myself standing next to the CO with our ATC Squadron (1F) presenting the mosaic to 1 Squadron RAF . The details are:
Wymeswold 18–20 May 1970
This picture was taken on the peri-track adjacent to the Wymeswold Road. The Mosaic presentation was from No. 1 Sqn ATC to No 1 Sqn RAF 18–20 May 1970. The Pilot is Brian Baker and the CO, Group Captain K. Hayr to the right of the mosaic was killed in an air accident at Biggin Hill in June 2001.'
Again Gordon wonders if anyone recognises anyone else in the photographs. If so please email Bob Trubshaw. Click on the image for a higher resolution version of this image, if that helps to recognise faces.
Gary Burnett emailed October 2016 to say:
During a web search I found your site and was blown away to find a photograph of an event at which I was present - the visit of 1(F) Squadron ATC to our illustrious and heroic name bearers 1 Squadron RAF at RAF Wymeswold.
Our Flight Lieutenant was rightly tight-lipped about the whole trip, and gave nothing away to us ordinary ranks beforehand. On the coach we made guesses and surmised that we were off to a Bloodhound missile site. We drove off the road through a wood and came into a little clearing, and there sat the Harrier. I think the modern phrase is gobsmacked. Most of the squadron were inner-city kids from Leicester; not easily impressed, but gobsmacked we all were.
The pilot (who went onto become) Squadron Leader Brian Barr put on a flying display, just for us – just for us – of its vertical and short take-off and landing capabilities. I can honestly say that it was one of the best nights of my life.
I can recall the photo hanging on the squadron hut in Leicester. I'm the young man kneeling below the Group Captain. Sadly I'm terrible at names these days following a surgical trauma, but the chap immediately below the RAF roundel on the engine nacelle was Flt Sgt Jim Leadbetter. He joined the RAF and eventually became a test pilot himself at the Empire Test Pilot School (EPTS) at Boscombe Down.
The other special thing about the photograph is that the aircraft in the photo was XV744, one of two RAF Harriers that competed in the Daily Mail Transatlantic Air Race in 1969, flying from central New York and landing behind St Pancras station. It was later upgraded to GR3 status and had a distinguished service career, and is now permanently sited in Tangmere Aviation Museum in Kent.
Happy days indeed!
Inside Sister's Well
Back in March Sandy Haddington made contact with photographs taken inside Sister's Well, on the edge of Wymeswold Airfield. One of them showed an intriguing inscription. Details in this new article.
The WHO has published five booklets:
- A Portrait of Wymeswold Past and Present (1991)
- A Walk Around Wymeswold (1994)
- Wolds Reflections (1997)
- 2000 Years of the Wolds (2003)
- The WHO's What, When and Where (2007)
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 back issues of The Wolds Historian
Download Bob Trubshaw's extended look at Six Hills and Vernemetum The Especially Sacred Grove (2 megabyte PDF file)