PVHG News – Late 2018

At our November final PVHG meeting for 2018, we were joined by Wendy Freer of Pudding Bag Productions, a group based in Ashby which produces film and drama documentaries on historical themes.

Wendy and colleagues are working on a film project about Rev. Thomas Pestell, who succeeded his father (also named Thomas) as Vicar of Packington in 1644 during the Civil War between King Charles I and Parliament. A year or so later he was ejected by a Puritan preacher and accused of various misdemeanours, for which he appeared before Parliamentary Commissioners in Leicester. In 1651 he was present at the Battle of Worcester and narrowly avoided being hanged after Oliver Cromwell defeated the Royalist forces there. He returned as Packington’s vicar in 1662 after the restoration of King Charles II and continued until he died in 1690. Wendy told us that she hopes some of the filming will take place in Packington and there may be opportunities for local people to observe a “shoot” or to appear as an extra in the film. We will be keeping in touch with this project as it develops through 2019.

Our PVHG Annual General Meeting will take place on Tuesday 29th January at 7.30 pm in Venue 35, the Memorial Hall Meeting Room. We are keen to recruit new members, so anyone who has an interest in history, particularly concerning the village and the surrounding area, will be very welcome to join us.

After the formal part of the meeting we will have a wider discussion to plan the group’s activities for 2019.

At our February meeting (Tuesday 26th February, same time and place) we will welcome Paula Dring who will talk to us about Rev. Joseph Goadby, who was a leading figure in the former Baptist Chapel in the village. We will be pleased to welcome any non-members who would like to hear about him at this meeting.

Contact: Robin Boucher, e-mail randbboucher@googlemail.com, tel. 01530 411638

Minutes of the PVHG October 2018 Meeting


held in Venue 35 – the Memorial Hall Meeting Room – on Tuesday 30th October 2018 at 7:30 pm

Present: Chairman Robin Boucher and 7 members.

Apologies received from:- Diane and Doug

Minutes of the previous meeting were approved and signed.

Robin reported:
  • he had suitably cut the old Packington poster which used to hang in the museum,  and kept the photographs ready for archiving.
  • Paula Dring has replied favourably regarding the request for her to talk to the history group about her research on Reverend Joseph Goadby, the Baptist Minister.  It is hoped the February 2019 meeting will be agreeable to her.
  • Wendy Freer of Pudding Bag productions has agreed to attend our next November 2018 meeting, and will talk on Reverend Thomas Pestell  (the younger), Vicar of Packington from 1644, whose career was interrupted by the Civil War and the Interregnum, then resumed after the restoration of King Charles II.  There is more on her heritage group’s website,  puddingbagproductions.co.uk ; Wendy will also be outlining what she requires from our group.
Robert reported on his first meeting of the Memorial Hall Committee, where he was warmly welcomed, and said how the history group was thought well of, as many of the Memorial Hall committee members had attended the history walks and seen the exhibitions.
The important matter of storage space at Memorial Hall for the archives was thoroughly discussed by members concluding with the proposal that a suitable steel cabinet be purchased by the history group and be situated in the storage room at the memorial hall, subject to the agreement of the Memorial Hall Committee.  Robert will put this before the Memorial Hall Committee at their next meeting in November.
It was also hoped that history group members would be able to use the Venue 35 meeting room for the thinning of the archive material. This would be on several morning sessions throughout the beginning of 2019.  The question of dissemination of the archive material was further discussed.
The question of future projects was discussed.  Sue proposed that medieval Packington would be a very interesting subject to pursue.
The meeting closed at 9.20pm.
The next PVHG meeting is on Tuesday, 27th November 2018 at 7.30pm.
Yvonne Eaton, Secretary

Can Memorial Hall host our History Group Archive? 20 November 2018

We’ve asked the Memorial Hall Committee to help with storage of, and access to, our 3500-item archive. Here’s a copy of our request to them:

Letter to Memorial Hall Committee:

Packington Village History Group PVHG

From: Robin Boucher                    13th November 2018

To:  Mr. Chris Miles, Chairman Packington Memorial Hall Committee

Dear Chris,

Storage of History Group Archive

Following our brief word at the end of the World War One commemorations, I am writing on behalf of the History Group to make a formal request about storage of the archive at the Memorial Hall.

You will remember my previous letter of six months ago on this subject: since then we have put forward Robert Dilworth as our representative on the Hall Committee. I understand that at the Hall Committee’s last meeting, it was suggested that the History Group should put forward a proposal – hence this letter, on which Robert will be able to speak further at the meeting on 20th November.

The History Group requests agreement to place a large metal lockable cabinet in a suitable location in one of the storage rooms at the Hall, for the long term. This would be used to maintain archive material in a weatherproof and secure place, central to the village. The History Group would need access to the cabinet on an “ad hoc” basis during daytimes and possibly occasional evenings, while seeking to avoid any disruption to other users of the Hall’s facilities.

The History Group’s ultimate wish is to digitise the archive material, making it readily available to residents of the village (and of course to the wider world). However, the Group needs to carry out a good deal of work to prepare for this. If the material is stored at the Hall, the Group wishes to hold a number of sessions during 2019 (probably in the daytime) to undertake this preparation work. These sessions would be in addition to the Group’s schedule of evening meetings round the year.

We are aware that the constitution of the Memorial Hall includes references to the promotion of reading and other educational activities; we believe our intended usage is wholly congruent with these aims.

Robert will attend the meeting on 20th November hoping to progress our request, bringing queries back to the next History Group meeting on 27th November if required. I do hope your committee will feel able to support us.

Yours sincerely,

Robin Boucher
Packington Village History Group

PVHG Helps Commemmorate WW1 Armistice Centenary

PVHG helped Packington commemmorate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended World War 1, by mounting on the 11th November 2018 weekend at Memorial Hall two displays of local people who had been involved in the Great War.

The single photo image on the right comes from a Packington family:

This photo image is of Private Walter Woodward of Packington, who was a “Mountie”,  a mounted trooper in a Canadian regiment. He died in 1915 near Ypres. Buried in the Westoutre war graves cemetery near there, he has a memorial addition at his parents’ grave in our village church cemetery, row A no 24 – the most South-westerly of all our church burial plots:

Walter Henry Woodward of the 2nd Canadian Mtd Rifles Third son of WW and A Woodward, who fell in action near Ypres October 8, 1915, aged 37 years. Buried at Westoutre


You can see these details, and search for other casualties and memorials, at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website, cwgc.org

Minutes of the PVHG September 2018 Meeting


held in Venue 35 – the Memorial Hall Meeting Room – on Tuesday 25th September 2018 at 7:30 pm

Present: Chairman Robin Boucher, 6 members. and guest Terry Hammond

Apologies received from:- Diane, Doug, and Nev.

Minutes of the previous meeting were approved and signed.

Robin welcomed Terry Hammond who brought the meeting up to date with the World War 1  commemoration events in November:

  • A copy of the programme for the Saturday evening Music Hall entertainment was circulated.
  • Terry explained that regrettably the actors reading the soldiers’ story would not be in military uniform, as the cost of hire was prohibitive.
  • It was with some regret that members heard the film to be shown on Friday night the 9th November was not a war film. The possibility of whether a war film could be shown at some other time over that weekend was discussed, but at this stage of the arrangements it was not thought to be possible.
  • Robin has been searching the archives for suitable photographs for the display in the Memorial Hall and showed members his findings. Some were of the village as it was during the l914/18 period, as well as some of the village soldiers and sailors who served in the first world war.
  • The display stands required to house the photographs for the display can be kindly supplied by Sue.
  • Members thanked Terry for his hard work on this WWI commemoration project

Robin reported he had organised the replacement Packington display poster for the museum and had succeeded in obtaining a grant from the Packington Parish Council for this purpose.  Thanks were expressed by members for this.  The new poster is now on display at the museum.  The question of what should happen to the old poster which was brought from the museum, was discussed and it was decided to keep the top portion of photographs which would be added to the archives.

Members who had taken archive boxes over the summer for thinning reported their progress, Sue had achieved almost 50% as newspaper reports were hand written as well as typed, this being just one example of unnecessary archive space being used.  There was much discussion regarding what should be kept and what constituted genuine historical information to be kept.

Robert suggested approaching the memorial hall committee requesting space in the meeting room for the group to use at any reasonable time, but it was pointed out that the trust had to adhere to rules laid down and therefore this request was unlikely to be granted.  As playgroup are no longer using the memorial hall, storage space is now available, members felt the memorial hall committee should be approached asking if the history group could place their archives in such a space.

It was therefore proposed a representative of the history group be on the memorial hall committee.  Robert was proposed by Stephen and seconded by David, passed unanimously and agreed to be our representative.  Future meetings were discussed and Robert  suggested an invitation be sent to Paula Dring to speak on her research of the first Packington Baptist Minister. This was agreed.

Robin had received a letter from Wendy Frear who was requesting help from the history group and Robin will reply, inviting her to speak at our November meeting.

The village is slowly changing, population and buildings, therefore photographic evidence for the archives is essential showing these changes and it is hoped Richard Jones would be willing to take the necessary photographs.

The meeting closed at 9.30. The next meeting is on Tuesday 30th October, 2018 at 7.30pm

Poster at Ashby Museum

On visiting the Museum in May 2018, History Group members noticed that a poster about Packington, which was on permanent display, was out-of-date in a number of respects. We believe that the poster was drawn up about ten years earlier and not surprisingly needed to be revised.

The Group applied for funding from Packington Parish Council for the cost of replacement, whereupon the Council made a grant of £275.  The Group itself funded the VAT element of the cost, being a further £55. The new poster  was produced and put on display in the Museum on Wednesday 19th September.

Thanks go to the Parish Council for their financial support and to Quiet Storm Solutions of Whitwick for the production work.

Minutes of the PVHG June 2018 Meeting


held in Venue 35 – the Memorial Hall Meeting Room – on Tuesday 26th June 2018 at 7:30 pm

Present:  Chairman Robin Boucher and 5 members.

Apologies received from:- Robert and Nev.

Robin welcomed Terry Hammond, who gave a report on the latest arrangements for the commemoration of World  War 1.  The funding is in place for the weekend’s events, and guests for the Saturday evening event are asked to be in dress of the age.  The 3 actors for the evening’s entertainment have been appointed, however 2 mid-to-late teens actors are required – any volunteers?  Chris Miles is co-ordinating the Sunday’s events. The school and youth club are involved as well as other village organisations.

Robin had prepared a short history of Charles Walter Henson, details being taken from an oral history, and this he read to members.  Walter Henson was a First World War soldier and a well known and respected Packington resident.  Members agreed this to be part of the commemoration exhibition together with photographs of Mr. Henson.

Terry left and the meeting continued with discussion on the storage of the archive material.  Following our May visit to the Ashby Museum, members agreed it was important to store all the material in purpose-made boxes, as it is vital the paper copy is kept as well as digitised storage. Robin had details of Spectrum 5 and members agreed this was expensive, but possibly to be considered in the future.

Members agreed the archive should be kept in Packington, and as the Memorial Hall have applied for planning permission for additional storage, it is hoped space can be found for the History Group to have a locked cabinet there. Access would be for members,  and the general public accompanied by a group member.  Records should only be kept at  Ashby Museum as a last resort.  Adrian proposed that the history group be represented on the Memorial Hall committee, this was agreed and a representative to be appointed at our September meeting.  Members agreed that boxes similar to those at the Ashby Museum should be purchased for all our archive material, grants are available and Yvonne agreed to look into where and how the group can access these.

Robin had been in touch with Ken Hillier with regard to the Packington display poster at the museum to establish the company who originally printed the poster. Alterations are now required as some of the information is no longer correct, and the group needs to know costs for the alterations.  Members went through the list to make the necessary alterations.

The minutes of the April meeting were duly signed and the meeting closed at 9.25pm.

The next meeting is on 25th September, 2018 at 7.30pm.

Minutes of the PVHG April Meeting


held in Venue 35 – the Memorial Hall Meeting Room on Tuesday 24thApril 2018 at 7:30 pm

Present: Chairman Robin Boucher, and 11 members

Apologies received from: Paula, Stephen, Jonathan, Jan and Diane.

Matters arising: Robin reported he had passed on 4 photos of WW1 soldiers associated with Packington to Terry Hammond

Robert gave a resume of the Archive Assessment meeting of the disseminators at Yvonnes on the 17th April when they discovered the full extent of the archive held, unfortunately Sarah was at work and unable to attend, but emailed points for discussion which were aired.

The same points were brought up for discussion by members, these being the pros and cons of the present indexing of the archives and the need for them to be digitised. How this can be achieved was the biggest question – scanning each item was suggested. As the text archive material indexed had been taken to the meeting, members were able to take the opportunity to look at some boxes before we had further discussion.

Following time spent looking through some of the material it was felt scanning each item was going to be a major task especially as there is more archive material still to be indexed. The matter of bringing in members of the Packington community who were willing and able to help in the scanning process was also discussed and including a small historical piece in the Packington Post. No decision has been made.

The first step is the scanning of one box of text, and Sarah very kindly offered to take the box relating to items from 1598 to 1894 to do a trial run. The question of costs therefore arose and it was important to make a note of the time taken and any expenses. Cassette tapes are also held in the archive and it is important that these be digitised, this to be looked into.

The Leicestershire Guides are celebrating 75 years and Sarah told the meeting the Packington group are anxious to find out what Packington was like in 1943. Yvonne agreed to look out Peter’s High Street walk which should have sufficient information for the Guides to be able to describe Packington in that era.

The meeting closed at 9.25pm.

The next meeting is Tuesday, 22nd May at Ashby Museum at 7.15pm for 7.30pm.

Commemorating the end of World War One.

Later this year, the Group will be contributing to village events commemorating the end of the war. We are hoping to have a small exhibition of pictures, articles and other memorabilia to display in the Memorial Hall over the weekend 9th – 11th November. We would be pleased to hear from anyone who has items which could be displayed. Please note that, for this purpose, there does not need to be  a direct connection with Packington – anything related to the war and its conclusion will be welcome. Do contact us if you have anything!

Robin Boucher tel.: 01530 411638, e-mail randdbboucher@googlemail.com