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This year's programme of WHO lectures

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Burton on the Wolds




Six Hills

NEW Walton on the Wolds

Wymeswold census returns 1841 to 1901

Wymeswold parish registers 1560 onwards

Wymeswold marriage registers 1560 to 1916

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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 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 meetings

The 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.

See details of this year's programme below.

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.

Download Sir Julien Kahn at Stanford Hall and a View from the Co-operative College for FREE (25 megabyte PDF)


Wymeswold Washdyke Community Orchard

Richard 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-WWII

A 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.

RAF Wymeswold cover

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.'

According to Ivor's Wikipedia page his track nickname was 'Hovis, the Brown Bomber'. (Clearly a blend of Ivor's day job and the fighting name of the boxer Joe Lewis.)

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 bobtrubs@indigogroup.co.uk 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.

  1. The Sporting Magazine for August 1834 contains fragments from the life of James Ella of Wymeswold. No idea if The Sporting Magazine is available on line anywhere, there certainly isn't a copy in Loughborough Library. Anyone fancy tracking down a copy?
  2. In 1834 Joseph Perry took over the Three Crowns, John Tyers was probably the previous licensee. Can we find out more about these landlords and/or others at the Three Crowns?
  3. Wymeswold was one of the places that refused to pay church rates. This seems to a rate intended to be paid by all residents, whether C or E or Nonconformist. It seems some Wymeswold residents felt that the congregation of St Mary's should pay for its upkeep. Is any more information available?
  4. Last but not least, there are advertisements in 1839 for The Works of Dr Donne written by Henry Alford, the vicar of Wymeswold at the time. This publication which apparently extends to six volumes but little more is known. The Dr Donne is the metaphysical poet, John Donne (1572–1631). Can anyone add any detaiils?
  5. The local historian and Wymeswold resident T.R. Potter (1799--1873) has never featured in WHO publications. There is a book of his poems in the Local Studies section of Loughborough Library and a potted biography online so shouldn't be difficult to weave together his life and times in the Wolds.
And a reminder from a year ago:

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'.

  1. Indexing the main topics in St Mary's Wymeswold Church Council Minute Book.
  2. Indexing the main topics in the Wymeswold school log books.
  3. The WHO has a photocopy of a printed broadside with the headline 'Horrid murder'. The dreadful deed took place somewhere in Wymeswold and the names of the alleged perpetrators are given, though not the name of the victim – a child. But we don't know which year this was published. Internet search engines shed no light. If you fancy a spot of 'sleuthing' through relevant parish registers and court records then please get in touch with Bob Trubshaw. This would make a good project for someone new to doing local history research – Joan Shaw will happily provide advice.
  4. Contact the Women's Institute office in Leicester to establish what records they hold for the disbanded Wymeswold WI. As a follow up a short history of the branch's activities could be prepared. Ideally the person doing this would be a former member of this WI branch; if not Bob can put you in contact with one of the long-standing committee members.
And, last but not least, can you think of anything else which the WHO has yet to research? Especially if it relates to villages in the Wolds other than Wymeswold!

For further information – without making any commitment! – please email bobtrubs@indigogroup.co.uk

WHO updates

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 bobtrubs@indigogroup.co.uk 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.

21stJanuary  annual dinner and AGM
18th FebruaryMartin Tingle Digging the dirt: archaeology in the East Midlands and beyond
17th MarchVicki Score Buildings, burials and bones: The lost chapel of St Morrell
21st AprilRichard Knight Sharing memories of activities at RAF Wymeswold
19th MayMartin Speight Loughborough and surrounds water
16th June
Richard Knox Donington le Heath: The making of the 1620s house and garden
21st Julyfield trip Donington le Heath Manor House
Note there will be small admissions charges for both members and non-members
18th Augustinformal social evening The Windmill, Brook Street, about 8 p.m.
15th SeptemberBob Trubshaw Ironstone quarries of Leicestershire
20th OctoberRoss Parish Holy wells of Nottinghamshire
17th NovemberPhil Thorpe A selection of toys from yesteryear
8th December
Note this is the second not the third Tuesday in the month
Eddie Smallwood Medieval medicine and herb lore

older news from the WHO

WHO publications

The WHO has published five booklets and a book:
  • 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)
  • Discovering the Wolds [2017]

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)