A VITAL STORY to be told – YOURS

Write YOUR Life Story.. for future Packington Residents to read – and to be amazed..?

In March 2020, while confined to his home in our village, Adrian Mongredien writes:

At Hay Literary Festival, I heard a historian talk on how to write the story of our lives.

She told us that nothing is more valuable to historians than first hand experiences. The only way these can be discovered and cross-checked is if a number of people can be persuaded to write about their own individual experiences.

In the next few years the number of people who can remember living just after or through the Second World War will rapidly diminish. Every one of us has a unique story to tell. Events that we may see as mundane and ordinary may be fascinating to our great grandchildren. Consider – if you are over 70, then:

  • you probably grew up in a house with no central heating;
  • with coal fires which you were taught how to light and keep going.
  • you may remember what life was like before television.
  • you may have had no shower, but one bath a week if there was enough hot water.

How can we write our own life story? A good way to start is to find your birth certificate. In my case I was able to find, from mine, the building that I was born in on google maps – a nursing home in Weston Favell Northamptonshire in 1942- and discover that it is still there although it is now an old people’s home. Can you remember

  • the house, or area, in which you were born?
  • Where you first went to school?
  • How near were you to your local shops?
  • Was food and sweets rationed?
  • How many people lived there in the city, town, or village where you lived as a child?
  • Where was the nearest Park?
  • What sort of games did you play with other children living on your street?
  • Did you have a birthday party when you were a child?
  • What sort of presents did you receive at Christmas?
  • What was your favourite radio programme?
  • How many times did you go to the cinema every month?

Answers to all these questions will be of interest to future generations who will almost certainly be living very different lifestyles, as indeed are we today already.

I started writing the story of my early life a couple of years ago. Along the way I have found myself searching the internet for photos of New Brighton Pier (now demolished) and my secondary school (also demolished), and recently discovering on the net, the value of the house where I lived in a bedsit for ten months, during my few years in London in the “swinging sixties”. I was amazed to discover that it sold a couple of years ago for over £27,000,000. That is twenty seven million!!

You have no idea what will turn up until you sit down at your lap top and begin to remember your beginnings.

Over two decades ago, our Village History Group produced some fascinating reminiscences in the form of this “Where were you in the War?” booklet. Please will you NOW help us write YOUR history, for future village residents to enjoy? PVHG hope to publish YOUR story in a similar booklet when our current enforced home isolation comes to an end ..

PVHG suspends 24th March 2020 meet

A message from our Chairman

Hello all:

Normally at this point of the month I would be sending you a reminder that our next meeting will take place in a week’s time (Tuesday 24th March).

However, like most or all of you, I have listened carefully to the Government’s guidance concerning the corona virus. It is clear that the over-70’s and those who have  underlying health conditions are seen as vulnerable groups – both these categories are relevant to our Group. The advice is to adopt social distancing from the coming weekend.

With regret we cannot say that the History Group is an essential service! I therefore believe it is appropriate to suspend our meetings for the time being. I have learned that the Memorial Hall Committee has taken the decision to close the Hall for the time being, which rather takes things out of our hands anyway.

The Goverrnment advice is that measures will be in place for the next twelve weeks, which has implications for our April and May dates – I will however take one month at a time and will confirm about these dates nearer the appropriate times.

I look forward to our meeting again when it is considered safe to do so, and wish good health to you all in the meantime.

With best wishes – Robin Boucher  

Minutes of our February 2020 Meeting

At Venue 35 – the Memorial Hall Meeting Room – on Tuesday 25th February 2020 at 7:30 pm

Present: Chairman Robin Boucher, Secretary & Treasurer Yvonne Eaton, 7 members

Apologies received:-  Pam Worthington, Andrew and Janice Sumnall.

Matters arising:- 

  • Sue had further information regarding the Packington Blind Horse, this has been forwarded to Janice, also a suggestion was made to change their spelling of Packington by using a y instead of i (Packyngton) or missing out the c (Pakington) in order for the Shire Horse Society to accept Packington as the stud name.  
  • No information has been received regarding the VE day celebrations, however Robin has emailed Chris Miles to say the group have sufficient material for a display.
  • With regard to the proposed History Walk down Mill Street, Robin reported he has drafted a script and proposed the walk take place on 30th June and will place an advert in Packington Post.  There was much discussion as to which direction the walk should go, up or down Mill Street, a final decision will be made at a later meeting as we need to know the meeting room is available to enable light refreshments to be served and to have a display of photographs etc.
  • Robin showed members a leaflet he has drafted for the Welcome Pack given to resident newcomers to Packington.  Robert reported that Becky Taylor would  like more information to be included in the Welcome Pack, therefore members agreed that Robin forward the leaflet to her.
  • The meeting moved on to read through the Packington History Adrian has written.  Robin praised Adrian for his perseverance in pursuing this task of producing the early history of Packington.  There was great interest and discussion on the latest draft which will be placed on the website.  Having read through the draft members thanked Adrian for his hard work on this very worthwhile project. 
  • Robert raised the question of the Roman Road from Chester to Leicester, Via Devana, which runs close to Packington but the exact route has yet to be established. When HS2 comes along with its construction (or destruction) machines could the group be involved? However professional archaeologists always keep a close eye on any large developments so members agreed – leave it to the professionals.
  • There is to be a dig in Ticknall during June if any member wishes to attend.
  • Adrian has Peter Cooper’s copy of the History of Packington Church and suggested it be placed on the website, members agreed.
  • The meeting closed at 9:40 pm.
  • The next meeting is Tuesday, 24th March at 7.30pm.

Minutes of our Meeting on 28 January 2020 (After our AGM)

At Venue 35 – the Memorial Hall Meeting Room – on Tuesday 28th January 2020 at about 8 pm

Present: Chairman Robin Boucher, Secretary & Treasurer Yvonne Eaton, 10 members, and 4 visitors

  • Robin had been approached by Peter Last to see if the History Group were interested in having the hand-written minute book of Packington WI during the period March 1994 through to September 2011 for the archive. The thick bound A4 book was produced, and members agreed it would be a useful addition.
  • Visitor Janice Sumnall described a problem she and Andrew Sumnall were having with the Shire Horse Society in registering their stud in the name of “Packington”, the reason being the Packington Blind Horse. She asked for the groups help in this matter. Sue told Janice she thought the farmer’s name where the Blind horse stood was Hood, but this needed to be researched.   After further discussion Robin read a letter he had drafted to give to Janice to forward to the Shire Horse Society before their AGM  in April, members agreed the letter should be sent.
  • Janice also mentioned  that it will be the 10th year they have opened their farm to the general public for “Farms Open Day“, a national event.  They have had as many as 2,000 visitors  at the event, and this year they want to make it special by displaying agricultural equipment past and present. Many other activities were planned, and she invited the history group to put on a display – the event takes place on Sunday 7th June.
  • The Parish Council have asked the history group to take part in VE Day 75th anniversary celebrations on 8th May, however details of the councils plans have yet to be decided.  Members agreed the group should take part but we need to search the archives to see if any Packington men were in the forces at that time.  The book the history group had previously produced entitled “Where were you in the war” may be of use.
  • Adrian’s history is progressing and now covers the period 0-1100 CE .  He is now almost ready to place this on the website in order that more can be added as time goes by and more historical evidence may emerge.
  • Digitising the oral histories was discussed. An estimate of the cost of this process needs to be acquired, an application to the Solar Fund could then be made.
  • Robin proposed he leads a walk down Mill Street and he has much information to hand – members agreed this should take place at the end of June, weather permitting.
  • Sue put in a request for any pottery pieces anyone finds on their premises.  On a similar quest, visitor Stephen Plummer asked whether PVHG could use metal-detecting equipment to scan the village environment, especially near footpaths, for historic artifacts, perhaps a “Packington Hoard” – he had discovered items dating back to early 1800s this way.
  • Sue also suggested encouraging members to transcribe wills and inventories from the 1600s onwards. Our members agreed this could begin at our March meeting as these documents give a clear insight as to how people lived.
  • Visitor Stephen Plummer encouraged the group to advertise, especially by putting a piece in the Packington Communications Group’s “Welcome Pack“, which is given to all newcomers in the village when they first arrive. Members were in agreement and Robin will proceed with this.  
  • The meeting ended at 9.40pm.
  • Our next PVHG meeting is Tuesday, 25th February at 7.30pm.

Minutes of our PVHG Annual General Meeting AGM on 28 January 2020

At Venue 35 – the Memorial Hall Meeting Room – on Tuesday 28th January 2020 at 7:30 pm

Present: Chairman Robin Boucher, Secretary & Treasurer Yvonne Eaton, 10 members, and 4 visitors

Apologies: No apologies received

Robin welcomed our four visitors. The minutes of the previous AGM were read, approved and signed. Matters arising:–   The hall insurance policy has not 2been checked with regard to key holding members entering the venue to withdraw any archive material at any time, this to be looked into.

Chairman’s report:- 

“2019 began on a positive note with the provision of a cupboard in Venue 35, the Memorial Hall Meeting Room, which was large enough to contain the group’s archive material.  During the year we have begun to sort through the material, though there is much more work to be done on this.  Group members have become more familiar with the size and scope of what we have.   

  • In February we heard from village resident Paula Dring about her researches into the life of Rev. Joseph Goadby who played a major part in the establishment of the Baptist denomination, both in Packington  and in the wider locality.   
  • In April we took part in an open evening at which Memorial Hall user groups displayed information about their activities to local residents.  This was valuable publicity for the group and led to prospective new members joining us. 
  • One of these, David Oakley, told us about soldiers of Packington who had fought in the wars against Napoleon. 
  • David also agreed to co-ordinate a project to collate a photographic record of Packington in 2019 – all group members contributed and the results are available on our website.   
  • In June I led a walk up Packington High Street, which was reasonably well attended despite the weather making its best efforts to frustrate us.  The walk was complemented with a display of photographs of the High Street over the last hundred years and more.   
  • Although we did not meet formally over the summer, we completed publication of the booklet “Gems from the Gilwiskaw” which Laura Cooper had drafted shortly before her death in 2017,.  From a print run of 100 copies, around a quarter have been sold at the time of compiling this report. 
  • We also put on a display of photographs and other relevant items as part of the village Open Gardens at the end of August.
  • In the autumn group member Sue Brown told us about her work on medieval Packington
  • Also in Autumn, Adrian Mongredien produced a draft document on the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings.  This led to wider discussion both at our meetings and via email about the origins and early history of our village.  

I believe this summary of activities reflects a Group which has become more firmly established over the year – it has been pleasing to see new faces at our meetings and we will continue to present an open and welcoming face to the village and the wider world. My personal thanks to everyone who has contributed to the Group’s work over the year – roll on 2020! “

Adoption of the chairman’s report proposed by Sue and seconded by Pam. All agreed.

Treasurer’s report:-

  • The group is in funds with the sum of £515.19 in the new Lloyds current account.
  • As members are aware we were forced to close the Nationwide Building Society account as they are no longer providing a savings service for small groups.
  • I must thank Robin for his help in opening the Lloyds account especially as 2 lots of applications needed in hard copy were not received by Lloyds head office, fortunately the third application was, it took from the beginning of December to 24th January to have a valid current account.
  • We still have books on hand, for sale and so far, 29 copies of “Gems from the Gilwiskaw” have been sold.

Adoption of treasurer’s report proposed by Sue and seconded by David. All agreed.

Election of Officers:

  • Chairman – Robin Boucher, proposed by Yvonne, seconded by Adrian. Carried
  • Vice Chair – Again to be left in abeyance.
  • Secretary/treasurer – Yvonne Eaton, proposed by Nev, seconded by Sue. Carried.
  • Committee members appointed –
    • Robin,
    • David Oakley,
    • Robert,
    • Yvonne, and
    • Diane (not present) if she agrees.

Any Other Business:-

The question of membership fees was agreed at £10 each and £15 per couple, as last year. Anyone attending 3 meetings is expected to pay, but any new members attending from September onwards, their membership fee would also cover the following year.

The meetings to be as previously, every fourth Tuesday of the month with the exception of July, August and December. Members agreed that these AGM Minutes be circulated again prior to the 2021 AGM. AGM closed!

Agenda for PVHG Annual General Meeting Tuesday 28th January 2020

Packington Memorial Hall Venue 35 on Tuesday 28th January 2020 at 7:30 pm

Agenda

  • Welcome and apologies for absence
  • Minutes of prior AGM held on 29th January 2019
  • Matters arising
  • Chairman’s Report
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Election of Officers for 2020:
    • Chair
    • Vice-Chair
    • Secretary
    • Treasurer
    • Committee Members
  • Membership fees for 2020
  • Proposed meeting dates for 2020

Following completion of formal business, we will discuss possible activities for the coming year.

Proposed dates for PVHG meetings in 2020

Tuesdays at 7:30 pm in Memorial Hall Venue 35, unless otherwise arranged

  • 28th January 2020 – AGM Annual General Meeting
  • 25th February
  • 24th March
  • 28th April
  • 26th May
  • 23rd June
  • No meetings in July or August
  • 22nd September
  • 27th October
  • 24th November
  • No meeting in December 2020
  • 26th January 2021 – AGM Annual General Meeting

Minutes of our PVHG November 2019 meeting

At Venue 35 – the Memorial Hall Meeting Room – on Tuesday 26th November 2019 at 7:30 pm

Present: Chairman Robin Boucher and 10 members

Apologies: Stephen, Diane, and David O

Minutes of the previous (October) meeting were approved and signed.

Matters arising:  Following the Thomas Pestell film, Robin has received a publication from Wendy Freer entitled “Thomas Pestell, a 17C Vicar of Packington – Local History Resources“, which is available to members.

The question of the clubs finances was raised, following Nationwide closing all Treasurers Accounts at the end of 2019. 

Robin and Yvonne have applied for a current account at Lloyds Bank  and provided the account remains in credit, there are no bank charges.  Members were asked if they agree to this change – carried unanimously.

Robin invited Adrian to speak on his work of the history of Packington dating back over 2000 years. Adrian explained that when talking to his grandchildren history did not appear to rate highly as a subject so he felt it was important to record a history of Packington and surrounding areas for young people and subsequently their elders as the learning of history is vitally important. 

Adrian prepared a draft entitled “A history of Packington and the surrounding area from 0-1100AD” for each member to take home and read.

Following Adrian’s presentation there was much discussion regarding how best to present any historical works, whether digitally or published in the traditional way, much to discuss in future meeting.  Thanks go to Adrian for his hard work on the early days, but members agreed it was important to take his work forward to the 21C.

Sue reported she has digitised copies of the Court Rolls.

The meeting closed at 9.10pm.

The next meeting is our AGM on Tuesday, 28th January, 2020

Minutes of our PVHG October 2019 meeting

At Venue 35 – the Memorial Hall Meeting Room – on Tuesday 29th October 2019 at 7:30 pm

Present: Chairman Robin Boucher and 9 members

Apologies: Pam

Robin welcomed our three visitors.

Minutes of the previous (September) meeting were approved and signed.

Matters arising:  The film show was well attended and if any member wishes to see the Thomas Pestell film, Robin has a DVD which can be borrowed.

Mediaeval Packington

The main event of the evening was a talk by Sue on Medieval Packington. Sue has done extensive research, which included visits to the National Archives in Kew. 

During early times until the Dissolution of the Monasteries, Packington was in the patronage of Coventry Priory, which was founded by Leofric in 1043. 

Sue showed members maps of the layout of the village, and also the Packington extent of 1412.  

After questions and answers by Sue, Robin thanked her on behalf of members for a most interesting and informative evening.

The meeting closed at 9.35pm.
The next meeting is on Tuesday 26th November at 7.30pm.

Minutes of our PVHG September 2019 meeting

At Venue 35 – the Memorial Hall Meeting Room – on Tuesday 24th September 2019 at 7:30 pm

Present: Chairman Robin Boucher and 9 members

Apologies: Robert Dilworth, David Oakley

Minutes of the previous (May) meeting were approved and signed.

The High Street walk took place on Tuesday 25th June, despite the wet weather, and was well received by all attending. 

Robin would be happy to repeat the High Street walk, and also to host a Mill Street walk, as Peter’s notes are still available. Dates can be decided at the next AGM. 

Robin reported that Wendy Freer of Pudding Bag Productions had been in touch. The Rev Thomas Pestell film had been produced, and had been shown at the Lyric. Wendy agreed that PVHG can make a small display at the film showing in Packington on 25th October 2019.  Sue has once again agreed to provide display boards.

The Photographic Record 2019 of village buildings is now on the website, at https://pvhg.uk/packington-2019/ Still missing is coverage of “Stonehouse Farm” on Babelake Street.  Post-meeting note: Coverage of Little Lane will shortly be available. Two more areas need coverage: recent building, at Drum and Monkey Lane, and The Grove. 

Robin has replied to the query regarding the blind Packington Stallion.

The PVHG display at Open Gardens was a success. A thank-you letter had been received from Geoff Gasson.   

During our summer break, Nev and Robin attended the day course at Leicester University concerning sound archiving of oral histories, they agreed it had been interesting despite being very technical to begin with.  Several history groups attended.  Robin emphasised the fact that tapes can deteriorate over time and digitalising would be the answer.  The question of obtaining further oral histories was discussed and who in the village could be interviewed.  Members agreed the necessary equipment needed to  be ready before asking people for an interview.

Robin reported he had received some photographs from Richard North, a past resident of Packington, and these photos are now in the archives.

Gems from the Gilwiskaw” by Laura Cooper has at last been produced.  One hundred copies have been printed by Context at a cost of £145, this has been paid.  Copies are now for sale.

Members continued to thin archive material. The meeting ended at 9.30pm.

The next meeting is Tuesday, 29th October at 7.30pm.

PVHG Autumn Meetings: Tuesdays, 24 September and 29 October 2019

The next Packington Village History Group PVHG meeting will take place on Tuesday 24th September 2019, when we will catch up on things following our summer break.

At our following meeting Tuesday 29th October, Sue Brown will make a presentation on “Medieval Packington”. Any non-member who would like to join us will be warmly welcome – both meetings will take place in Venue 35, the Memorial Hall Meeting Room at 7:30 pm

PVHG is happy to issue a reminder that on Friday 25th October, Pudding Bag Productions will be showing FREE of CHARGE the film, made partially in our village this summer, about the Reverend Thomas Pestell, the historical figure who served as Vicar of Packington in the turbulent times of the English Civil War and its aftermath.

Tickets will be available at Daybreak Services, free of charge, for the showing in Venue 175, the Memorial Hall at 7:30 pm