History comes to life in Syderstone

Old Syderstonian Avril MacArthur, chairman Norman Riches and Sheila Riches examine one of the Family History Day displays MLNF16PB08440 ANL-161008-142823001
Old Syderstonian Avril MacArthur, chairman Norman Riches and Sheila Riches examine one of the Family History Day displays MLNF16PB08440 ANL-161008-142823001
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The restoration of a series of old photographs in Syderstone 11 years ago still continues to deliver a heritage bonus for villagers.

That small start has led to annual Family History Days, held every other year in the Amy Robsart Hall, where the photographs were found.

The third one on Saturday drew in a constant stream of visitors including many from far beyond Syderstone.

“They were historic photos and we invited locals to a rehanging ceremony,” said Sheila Riches.

“That prompted residents to look out more old photographs.”

The idea to rediscover more of the village’s past blossomed from that beginning in 2005.

The following year the Old Syderstonians was formed and now in their tenth year hold twice-yearly reunions in April and October.

A decade later new people are still becoming involved and more old photographs and memories are still joining the archives of the organisation.

“We’re getting between 30 and 50 people at each reunion,” said Mrs Riches.

The Family History Day goes back to the First World War. Displays bring back to life families that were once the backbone of the village.

Thick folders stuffed with old documents about scores of residents from the 20th century provide more than a brief snapshot of a village that having successfully evolved during the industrial revolution then had to face up to distress of two world wars.

These folders include census records, military histories, births and deaths certificates, photographs, and personal memories.