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.

The Packington Blind Horse 1755-1770

Packington Post magazine Issue 68 September 2014

The following paragraphs appeared in Packington Post Issues 67 and 68, describing a famous blind horse from our village that is believed to have effectively founded the Shire Horse breed. At the end of our extract below, you can download FREE the source text from the printed book of 1899.

Foundation Stallion for the Shire Breed

The term “Shire horse” was first used in the mid-17th century, and incomplete records begin to appear near the end of the 18th century.

The “Packington Blind Horse”, from Leicestershire, is one of the best- known horses of the era, with direct descendants being recorded from 1755 to 1832.

Continue reading “The Packington Blind Horse 1755-1770”

Archive Exploitation Meeting

Seven members of Packington Village History Group PVHG met on Monday 11th February 2019 at Venue 35 in our village Memorial Hall Venues.

PVHG has recently been privileged to have an offer from the Memorial Hall Venues committee of dedicated space for storage of the archive in Venue 35, and members have paid for a new lockable storage cabinet to house the materials.

Treasurer and Secretary, Yvonne Eaton, who has stored the archive contents in rooms of her home and outbuildings for two years, was able to bring in nearly all the items. After some trial-and-error attempts by Chair Robin Boucher, who is clearly good at 3-D puzzles, we were able to fit all of the archive materials into the new cabinet. and start to exploit the PVHG archive materials.

PVHG Members making an initial assessment of the village archive

Much work needs to be done to examine and rationalise the archive, much of which is paper text about Packington, either cuttings or typed copies taken from local newspapers, in particular from early editions of the Burton Chronicle, and more recently from the Ashby Times and Leicester Mercury. Here’s one such item from the Burton Chronicle:

PVHG Archive Item from 1926, about an item from 1823

PVHG seeks to publicise the archive content using this pvhg.uk website, but digitising the content is a challenging task. Please could YOU help?

Meanwhile, PVHG are keen to continue adding current information to the archive, for future generations to be able to see how THEIR village has evolved over time. There’s a new commercial site on Measham Road being built NOW. Hall Farm is being rebuilt, NOW. The Grove is being built, NOW. Century Drive was built only last year. We want to record images of how the village is now, before the depredations of HS2 start to take place, and are hoping to start this project in 2019.

Would you please help us? Please contact one of our members, or our chair Robin Boucher on tel: 411638

PVHG Archive moves to Memorial Hall

PVHG Chair Robin Boucher (left) and member Neville Bray placed the first items in our new archive cabinet at our meeting on 29th January 2019

We are to meet on Monday 11th February at 10 am to noon in Venue 35 to start the work of sorting and digitising the archive materials. We expect this to be fairly labour-intensive: there are over 3,000 items, mainly typed or hand-written papers.

Would YOU like to be involved? if so, please make contact with PVHG through our Chair, Robin Boucher, on email to: randbboucher at googlemail dot com

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
Chair,
Packington Village History Group

1901 Events – from the PVHG Archive

Some aspects of 1901 in Packington:

  • 22nd January 1901 – Queen Victoria died after 63 years on the throne. Read about Packington’s memorial service in early February, conducted by the vicar, Rev A S Mammatt,  at which the Earl of Loudoun and parishioners from both Willesley and Packington attended. (Burton Chronicle transcribed report below.)
  • November 1901 – In our Parish News, vicar Rev A S Mammatt described the Re-opening of the church. “..thoroughly overhauled and repaired..” “The outside walls, buttresses, parapets and roof have received attention, and the mullions of several windows renewed. The whole of the floor inside has been covered with a bed of cement concrete, four inches thick..” (Full details in  two Parish News text images below)
  • December 24th 1901 – Packington reeled at the sudden death of Rev A S Mammatt, who had been vicar since 1890 and who had been responsible both for the restoration of our Packington Church and for the new church of St Faith at Snibston. A sad Christmastide indeed.. (See Burton Chronicle transcribed report in the image below.)

Continue reading “1901 Events – from the PVHG Archive”