In the Spring of 2010 dozens of photographs and other records of village history were brought to an event in Benhall Church. As a result, Benhall and Sternfield History Group was set up, aiming to preserve some of this material for future generations to enjoy.
Since then the Group has flourished, offering history walks and reminiscence events as well as publishing a village calendar. The recording of village lives has started. Funding has come from the sale of the calendars, from a small charge for the walks, and from generous donations from the Flower Show.
The Group has recently settled into its premises in the Turkey Shed at Smoke House Farm, Sandy Lane, Sternfield. Here we have been able to bring together all the records collected over the years.The boxes and files include correspondence, accounts, minutes, publicity etc., from all the organisations in the parishes including the parish council; papers donated by individuals and families; planning records; photographs and slides; scrapbooks and albums.
We have been able to make a start on sorting and cataloguing the records with the aim of making them accessible both to ourselves and to anyone else who is interested. This involves sorting the records into topics, then sorting the resulting piles either alphabetically or by date. Then there will be indexes to compiled.
The archival resources - acid-free boxes, envelopes, files, etc., - needed to ensure the long-term survival of the records, cost money and we also need three lockable metal storage cupboards. We are currently fund-raising to find the money to pay for these materials.
From our new base we will continue our programme of walks and publications.
The Group as a whole meets every two months to discuss activities and take them further. We welcome new members with an interest in the history of our parishes, perhaps with a bit of time to spare as well. To contact the History Group, click here or phone Pauline on 602563.