Review of the Year 2023History Society

As the year drew to a close, it finds the Society in a good state of health. The number of members increased during the year and one result of this is that we have been able to hold the membership fees for the next twelve months at the same rate as 2022/3.  We are always pleased to welcome new members, however, so if you have been thinking about joining the society, let 2024 be the year you do it.

We usually meet during the day, starting at 10.30 in the morning.  However, we held two evening meetings in the year, in May and September, a first for us.  They were well attended by the loyal regulars as well as a few visitors.  These meetings also presented the opportunity for some members to attend who might find daytime meetings difficult.  We will repeat this ‘experiment’ in 2024.

We mounted our first display in the cabinet in the village hall, on the subject of the local school.  Sue Killingbeck worked with the school, visiting it to talk to some of the pupils and encouraging them to write about their experiences.  These were judged and awarded prizes by the society.  The second exhibition was ‘coronations’ to coincide with the coronation of HM King Charles III and the final one this year was ‘collectibles.’  Our display was complimented by officials using the hall for the district council elections in May.

We were, as usual, present at the Bank Holiday Fete in August with an exhibition using ‘going to school’ as our theme, which tied in with the project to collect personal accounts of schooldays for our archive, in order to provide material to future local historians.  The subject for 2024’s display has already been chosen and will be “farms and farming.”  At the Annual Parish Meeting in April, we presented a talk on the history of Wisborough Green.

There was a tinge of sadness to the year.  In August came the news that past lady-chairman Ann Beasley had died, age 99, and her funeral service was held in St. Peter’s that month.  Her obituary in the Society’s August newsletter told of a full life.

It has been a plentiful year for accessions to the archive with both members and non-members alike donating items.  If you have any memorabilia relating to Wisborough Green and its history, we would be very grateful to receive it, or copy it.  We are presently cataloguing and digitising the archive.

Our monthly 10/12-page newsletter continues to publish new, original, material, and previously published or unpublished work relating to Wisborough Green’s history, much of it written by local historians from days gone by.  In September, the newsletter was given a name – the Wisborough Green Historian.  Membership of our Facebook page grew during the year, and we currently have 288 members.

The end of the year saw another first for us, a Christmas social gathering for members and their partners and a few invited guests.  This was well received and there is already talk of repeating the event in 2024.

The Wisborough Green Village History Society meets on the first Tuesday of every month in the Committee Room of the village hall.  Meetings start at 10.30am or at other times as notified during the year.  If you would like to attend one of our meetings, or join the society, you will be made very welcome.  Subscriptions are £12 a year for full members, and £6 a year for associate members.  All members receive a copy of the society’s newsletter, the Wisborough Green Historian.

Andrew Strudwick