Chair’s Report to Annual General Meeting, 23 January 2024

At the start of 2023 we looked forward to progressing work on Packington’s carnivals and to cooperating with the Parochial Church Council to provide boards displaying the history of Holy Rood Church. For various reasons we have not been able to develop these projects during the year; however we hope to achieve more on both in 2024.

In March we heard from Ian Scruton about his work transcribing wills and inventories of Packington people in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Recent comments among historians have highlighted the significance of wills left by “ordinary people” as a key source of information about their lives – Ian’s work bears testimony to this and his information was warmly received.

In June I led a walk up High Street, with a good attendance despite uncertain weather. The walk was complemented by a display of photographs and light refreshments and the evening was enjoyed by all who attended.

Over the summer we worked with other organisations on a couple of projects.

The Horticultural Society celebrated its 80th year of shows and I contributed an article for the Society’s brochure/programme.

Then in September, under the nationwide Heritage Open Day scheme, Holy Rood Church opened to the public on what proved to be the hottest day of the year. Sue Brown had provided an excellent display of photos and documents on the history of the church, while I gave a talk about items inside the church which link to Packingtonians from times past. This event attracted a lot of interest.

In the autumn we looked at writings by local farmer Thomas Oakey about Holy Rood Church in and soon after the year 1900.

John Newbold gave us some information about a couple of village families dating back to the 1700’s.

Adrian Mongredien proposed a new project to identify the construction dates of properties in Packington which we look forward to pursuing in 2024.

Thanks to all who have taken part in our meetings – the Group continues to have wide-ranging discussions. Particular thanks go to Sue Brown for taking meeting minutes, contributing to displays and for her efforts in restructuring our archive; to Robert Dilworth for developing our website and for representing us on the Memorial Hall Committee; and to Yvonne Eaton for once more keeping our finances on an even keel.

Robin Boucher
5th January 2024