Old Vicarage

Gardeners Arms

St. John's Church

Annual General Meeting was held on 6 th April 2022

Members of the committee: Chairman John Branson, Secretary /Treasurer Alan Gould, Membership Secretary Wendy Warren, Committee Isabella Ladigus (Talks Organiser), Shirley Dunwell and Peter Barnes

Peter Barnes would like to hand over looking after our archive of photographs when we can find somebody willing to replace him. Please contact us if you would like to take over.

Bilton Historical Society Annual Report 2021/22

The society was founded in 1996, and to celebrate our Silver Jubilee the study group produced a summary of the history of Bilton as a booklet Bilton with Bilton with Harrogate - A History Timeline. Each paid-up member household has received or will receive a complimentary copy as a token of thanks for supporting us, and Isabella arranged for a cake to be cut at our first talk. We have been showing extracts of the Timeline on a television screen at the beginning of each evening talk and we hope you will all become involved in this project by adding more items.

The society exists to contribute towards an understanding of local history and heritage, to provide and preserve memories of the past for local people, which would otherwise be lost. It has three principal areas of activity: a study group, a programme of talks and a newsletter.

The number of paid-up members has fallen this year to 59, but now that the Covid epidemic has passed we hope numbers will increase again.

The study group has started to meet again but only on alternate Tuesday mornings. The numbers had fallen and the reduced frequency aims to keep the study group self-financing and not a drain on the society’s finances. The society has generated and collected much information relevant to Bilton history, and the study group is progressing slowly on the long-term project to index, scan and store this information in digital form with the ultimate objective of making available a usable comprehensive database. We still need help in typing up documents, and anybody with knowledge of the use of spreadsheets would be particularly welcome.

Our evening talks started again in October and have been well attended.

During the year we had two summer walks around Bilton. The first given by Anne looking at how Bilton looked at about the time of the enclosure acts of 1778, and the second by Alan looking at ordnance survey bench marks (see September 2021 Newsletter No. 90). Also, we had a stand at Harrogate Library Activity Fair and Bilton Community Centre Open Day, and as part of Harrogate’s Heritage Open Day activities we held a guided walk to visit the site and remains of the 18th century Bilton Park Colliery together with an explanation of the remains and the story of the colliery, and the study group meeting was held as an open day so that visitors could see the type of work and research that the society undertakes and ask any questions about the history of Bilton.

We must give many thanks to Keith Burton who has continued to produce newsletters throughout the year. He points out that he is very reliant on input from members and welcomes any contributions, and is always looking for new snippets of information and articles on local history to include in the coming issues.

We are very grateful to Studio Harrogate for hosting the society’s website, and thanks are due to Alan Gould for his work as secretary, Peter Barnes as Treasurer, Wendy Warren as Membership Secretary, Isabella for organising the talks and Shirley as committee member.

We are looking for younger people to join the society as some of the Committee are now over 85. Peter would like someone to take over his work as treasurer and archiving our photographic records, which we hope will be of interest to the recently retired and looking for something to keep them mentally stimulated.

John Branson, Chairman


Click to see previous newsletters

Please see Newsletter 89 for last year's annual report and accounts.

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

Peter Barnes would like to hand over his roles of Treasurer and looking after our archive of photographs when we can find somebody willing to replace him. Please contact us if you would like to take over either of these roles.