Keen to see what village used to look like in the old days?

Helena Aldis with the few pictures the group have of the Boyden family whose descendants they would like to trace. MLNF16PB05216 Peter Bird ANL-160405-165422001
Helena Aldis with the few pictures the group have of the Boyden family whose descendants they would like to trace. MLNF16PB05216 Peter Bird ANL-160405-165422001

Many local visitors were keen to see what their village looked like in bygone days.

Where photographs, some more than 100 years old, exist, member Paul Hewitt had travelled around the village photographing the sites as they are today providing a pictorial contrast between then and now.

Helena Aldis said: “They show how much the village has changed and, in some respects, stayed the same.

“For example, the east end still retains a lot of the old buildings.”

One valuable aspect of the group’s work is an ever-expanding collection of the taped reminiscences of older residents.

Oral historian, Michael Strutt, said that they were encouraged to remember their childhood, their experiences of World War Two, what it was like working on farms which were once labour-intensive, or working for Wagg’s Bakery, an important local business which closed in the mid-seventies.

The recollections collected from some 20 residents so far – some in their 80s and 90s – have also been transcribed on to paper so that visitors could read about a world, now gone, by people who lived through it.

Intriguing, too, was a section, describing the roots and origins of village surnames.

Names still well-known locally today such as Skerry, Playford, Pitcher, Crisp, Pooley and Playford for example. Research so far has traced some of the names back more than a thousand years.

“We had a continuous stream of visitors over the two days. I’m very pleased, yet again, with the interest shown,” said Mrs Aldis.