Old Vicarage

Gardeners Arms

St. John's Church


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Due to the coronavirus outbreak the Bilton Historical Society AGM has been postponed and the lecture on April 1st cancelled.

Please see the Newsletter Issue 85 March 2020 for more details.

The present members of the committee, with the exception of Geoff Deighton, are willing to continue to serve, and we welcome Alan Gould to the committee as Geoff’s replacement.

Committee members are: Chairman John Branson, Secretary Alan Gould, Treasurer Peter Barnes, Membership Secretary Wendy Warren, Committee Isabella Ladigus (Talks Organiser) , Shirley Dunwell and George Thrower.

Annual Report 2019/2020

The society exists to contribute towards an understanding of local history and the local heritage, also to provide and preserve memories of the past for local people, which would otherwise be lost. It has three principal areas of activity the Newsletter, a lecture programme and a study group which meets on Tuesday mornings.

The society was founded in 1996, and since that time has generated and collected much information relevant to Bilton history. The long-term project to index, scan and store this information in digital form is continuing. The ultimate objective is to make available a usable comprehensive database.

Geoff Deighton wished to step down from the committee at the AGM and relinquish his post as secretary, but as we have had to postpone the AGM due to the COVID19 virus, the committee has accepted his resignation on your behalf and appointed Alan Gould in his place. The society is indebted to Geoff for all his hard work over the past 18 years.

Our thanks go to Keith Burton who tries to produce a quarterly newsletter but he points out that he is very reliant on input from members and welcomes any contributions. He is always looking for new snippets of information and articles on local history to include in the coming issues.

The high standard of talks arranged by Isabella Ladigus has resulted in the members evenings being very well attended again this year. Please continue with your support and keep up the good attendance.

The transcription of the latest Bilton Grange School logbooks has been completed and a disc given to the school. The project on the history of Bilton Endowed School is continuing, as is the work on the street survey which is being transferred to a computer file.

We have reprinted our booklet History of Bilton Grange School and our Heritage Walk leaflet with the help of a grant from North Yorkshire County Councillor, Paul Haslam, Locality Budgets, which has also enabled us to purchase a hard disc to back up our files.

Bill Williams booklet Bilton Through the Ages has been reprinted by the Bilton Conservation Group with the addition of an extra chapter to bring it up to date. We have copies for sale, both at meetings and on the website.

We are very grateful to Studio Harrogate for hosting the Society’s website, and thanks are due to Peter Barnes for his work as Treasurer and to Wendy Warren as Membership Secretary.

This year our paid up membership has fallen to 79. It would be more but, unfortunately, 20 members have not paid their subs. There has been a decrease in the number coming to the Study Group, mainly due to age related illnesses. We still need help in typing up documents, and anybody with knowledge of the use of spreadsheets would be particularly welcome. As well as desk work there is opportunity to explore the local area. We had hoped that the society would be attractive to those who have recently retired and are looking for something to keep them mentally stimulated during retirement, but, apart from Alan, we have had no such new members for several years. Where are you? What would you like us to be doing for you to become involved?

John Branson Chairman