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Chairman's Report 2001


AGM. 8pm. Sherington Village Hall, 13th March 2001.

I will try to be brief, but it is going to be difficult, because this first year has been so significant in the growth of SHS. Probably will be the most important year ever in the history of the SHS. So many significant things have happened !!!

From 4 people on the first day in Feb, 2000 to 23 people at the last count in Feb, this year. A couple even from outside of the village & even enquiries via E-mails from Australia & New Zealand.

From February 2000, until today. A growth from an idea, to over 70 files on buildings, some quite meagre, but some very extensive. Well over 300 photos of Sherington residents, present as well as past residents. Files started on most of the activities within the village, Sports Pavilion, the 3 feasts, the resistance to the Yardley airport, various inter-village sports days, too many May-Days, & church fete days, to mention. Twinning group, Thursday group, pre-school group, youth club, football & cricket clubs, bowls club, Seniors club, Church activities, in the past cubs, brownies & guides, whist clubs, British Legion, W.I., & so on. All these have a file started on them, all of which will grow as more information comes to light.

We now have 100's of photos, dating from the 1890's, all of interest as they show how the village & its residents have evolved, from dusty/muddy roads without any street lighting to tarmac surfaces, footpaths, electric lighting, water on tap, flush toilets & so on. All significant steps, marked by the Parish Council notes.

We have a significant number of group photos, church choir, school, pre-school, outings & functions. But there must be a lot more. The school groups will be on our web-site

There is now a significant amount of old (copied) newspaper cuttings of events in Sherington, mostly from Eileen West's scrapbooks, she was the Sherington correspondent for the local paper circa 1972 & she kept all of her articles in scrapbooks

We now have burial records back to 1812, all the existing memorial inscriptions are fully transcribed , indexed & mapped. But most of the 60's clearances have been lost.

1891, 1881 & 1851 censuses are now transcribed in full. Also 1851 for the surrounding SCAN villages North Crawley, Hardmead, Astwood, plus, Gayhurst, Lathbury & Tyringham. .There are just 3 more years to be done. For 1841 & 1871, we have abridged versions.

We have published 2 editions, of the 1872 murder booklet. The school newspaper booklet, although this still does not have the school governors blessing, it has everyone else's, including Charles & Doris Stephens, Charles who was head at the time. Mrs burgess who was head teacher, & the blessing of several of the pupils concerned. This booklet is now ready for the publishers. With or without the OK. of the governors. Refer to Pauline Saringers letter. We are now permanently booked into the village hall programme, second Tuesday in each month, except August. So that we can advertise this as a regular feature in any periodical, that we need to. This will be a significant cost to us, but we must afford it, to survive, the sports pavilion would have been lovely in the Summer, but we could not stand the cold in Winter, & it would not have been practical to have suspended activities during the Winter,. This would have meant restarting each Spring, not a good idea.

Also when the village hall document store is in operation we will have all our archives together, & under lock & key, but to enable easy access for all who would wish to examine. All the archives are still our responsibility, so we must supervise any one researching, but they must also be freely available. This will not be happening for a good few weeks yet, as there is still some shuffling around of the various user groups, to enable the office to be cleared enough to do the alterations, etc.

With these last two extremely significant steps I feel that we have really achieved our first objectives, & that phase one is complete.

With the village hall office as an archive research centre, his does mean that we will need as a priority a good quality & reliable photo copying machine, for members of the village to copy their researches. We cannot allow the archives to be removed, from the document store.

Sheila Line has felt that, with the birth of her grandson Harrison (circa 7lb), she would not be able to carry on as Secretary, Sheila Quinn has stepped into that role, along with funding & publicity. But you need to vote her in as that later.

As of now we will be having regular committee meeting, we will circulate, as we do now, minutes of these committee meetings & the general meetings, mainly for the benefit of members who cannot attend the general meetings. The minutes are now kept in a separate minute book, that you are all free to look at, at any time. If you would like copies of any minutes from the past, they are available.

I would like to point out that if anyone feels they would like changes made to the way we are working or changes to the constitution, they can be made at the AGM or at an EGM.

The next objective is funding, this we are currently exploring. The meeting we had with Francis Gomme was very enlightening, but quite disappointing. He was attempting to push us in a direction that none of us saw as the direction we wanted to go. There are several other avenues for us to explore, via other organisations, but if the worst comes, we now will be able to go it alone.

Under the parish councils wing, are some very important village documents, which I hope will be made available to us for copying. I will then be pressing the PC. to send them to Aylesbury, for proper archiving storage. My thanks go to Anita, who has put up with me disappearing into the computer for weeks at a time, only emerging at mealtimes, Kay & Anita for teas & coffees, Enid for help & sorting newspaper cuttings etc, Mark for spending hours slaving over a hot lap-top, producing our web-site. Sheila Line for secretaring , Sheila Quinn for all the publicity & running about, Helen for the estate agents blurb, Barry Hollis for council notes, Jesse Line & Mike Tofts for historical information & the rest just for being encouraging. Gail & Andrew Waters for info on the twinning & the conveyances on their property.

I think you should all be congratulated I am quite proud of all that you have achieved & thank you for your support..

Norman Arnold


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