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!!
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 ..
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 next Packington Village History Group PVHG meeting will take place on Tuesday 24th September2019, 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