Old Vicarage

Gardeners Arms

St. John's Church


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The Annual General Meeting was held on 6th April 2018.

The members of the committee were elected to serve another year.

Chairman John Branson, Secretary Geoff Deighton, Treasurer Peter Barnes, Membership Secretary Wendy Warren, Talks Organiser Isabella Ladigus, Member George Thrower.

Annual Report 2017/2018

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. We have started a long-term project to index, scan and store this information in digital form. The ultimate objective is to make available a usable comprehensive database. For a start Shirley Dunwell has completed an index of the articles in the newsletters, and there are now 15 early newsletters on the website.

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, and we are pleased that one of the talks is given by a member of our study group. Please continue with your support and keep up the good attendance.

The previous work done on the burial registry of St John’s Bilton by Alan Oliver, a member of the Society, has been copied from microfiche.

We have been loaned two more Bilton Grange School logbooks which are of historical interest and are being transcribed to add to our existing records.

The project on the history of Bilton Endowed School is continuing, as is the work on the street survey which is now being transferred to a computer file. The revision of Bill Williams booklet Bilton Through the Ages is also continuing, but is taking longer than expected.

Shirley Dunwell has asked to step down from being our membership secretary after 11 years. We are very grateful for all the work Shirley has put in over the years and pleased to announce that Wendy Warren has volunteered to take over.

We are very grateful to Studio Harrogate for hosting the Society’s website.

We now have a membership of over a 100, an increase from last year, and while the lectures attract large numbers, the number prepared to participate in the Study Group remains disappointingly low. We 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 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?