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Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Burton Green Local History Group

Monday 5th September 2011 saw the inaugural meeting of the Burton Green Local History Group.

This was an informal get together, to test the level of interest within the village, for a local history group. At the meeting there seemed to be quite a bit of enthousiasm, amongst those present. It's possible that some other residents (not present) may also be equally enthousiastic.

Just below are the minutes of the meeting, kindly prepared by Rona.

Those Present
Dr John Webb  - family resident since 1923; attended BG school
Anita Smith - resident since 1935; attended BG school
Shirley Howes - resident 60 years; attended BG school
Dorothy Raymond - resident 50 years
Betty Woodward - resident 46 years
Eileen Nisbet - resident 43 years; teacher BG School
Janet Court - resident 40 years
Rona and Archie Taylor - resident 36 years
Helen Hehir - resident 35 years
Lesley Tacon - resident 34 years
Anne Snelson - born in Red Lane; currently living in Balsall Common
Janet and Peter Stanworth  - resident 26 years
Barry Putnam - resident 26 years
Adrian and Janet Hickinbottom - resident 20 years
Michael Hibberd - resident 14 years
Apologies - Mary Webb (no relation to John Webb) - resident for 36 years

This was a very lively first meeting, with fascinating glimpses of oral history and a high level of interest in exploring all of BG' s past.

Interests Expressed at the Meeting
  • Oral History: to interview the longer term residents about BG's past, and present memories in a booklet. 
  • To prepare a Presentation for next Summer's Jubilee Celebration, June 2nd-5th 2012.  This will involve a display in the Village Hall and a living history event, with people in costume talking about village life in different eras. Hopefully the School will be involved. Lead people - Mary and Rona.
Cromwell Cottage
  • Buildings (houses and farms): to constuct a questionnaire for residents, as a basis for collating information, and identifying buildings for further detailed research. Lead person: Janet Hickinbottom.
  • School Log Book: to identify what the school log book shows about life in the village since the 1870s. This was a particularly interesting part of the meeting, we heard some unusual snippets from the period when the railways were being built. Lead people: Lesley Tacon and Eileen Nisbet.
  • The Village 'Green': to investigate the site, nature and use of the old Village Green. Lead people: Janet and Peter Stanworth.
  • Place names: to investigate names of roads, woods, and fields. Lead person: Helen Hehir.
  • Burton Green in World War II: to investigate the war time changes in BG and the immediate aftermath of the War. And what about WWI, and the Boer War? Maybe the school log might contain some interesting information. Lead person: Archie Taylor.
  • Residents' Association: to create an archive of the history of the Residents' Association History.  Lead people: Rona and Archie Taylor.
  • Web presence: to present our minutes and findings to a wider audience, both locally and to the wider world, through the Burton Green website. Lead: John Webb.
  • Some group members expressed an interest in the origins of Burton Green and archaeology. Lead person: Marlene Hills (not present).
  • Genealogy and family history research was also mentioned. This is not specifically in reference to Burton Green, but is a subject that might be of interest to members. The possibility of a guest speaker on this subject was mentioned.
The inaugural meeting gave an initial feel for the interests of those present. Other possibilities could include:
  • a more ambitious program, involving all the schoolchildren, could include a number of small 'digs', along the lines of the Kibworth Dig (see more just below, 'How Some Other Villages Have Approached Village History')
  • old maps - the tithe map - farms and farming
  • history of how BG became built up
  • the Welsh Road (an ancient path through the village)
  • Westwood School (a considerable number of children used to attend the school at Westwood)
  • the Peeping Tom (why was it called the Peeping Tom?)
  • did anyone attend a church? which one? where were people buried?
  • Westwood Church - any interesting gravestones? who were these people?
  • the BG Light Railway
  • the Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (1930s)
  • the Water Tower
  • history of the Village Hall
  • the archive at Kenilworth Railway Museum

Next Meeting of Burton Green History Group

Monday 7th November 2011, 7.30pm, Village Hall.

New members are welcome. Members don't have to be a long-established residents in order to be interested, and to take part.

Provisonal Agenda for Next Meeting
  • Short talk, to be arranged by Rona.
  • Show and tell. Everyone to bring one artifact - could be a document, old photograph, pottery, clothing, etc. Use your imagination. Small display and brief comment on each item.
  • Review of progress so far with projects, and requests for any help, support, or advice needed.