The Whittlesford Society – 1975 – 2015 – 40th Anniversary Year – All about Whittlesford – Past. Present and Future.
When the Whittlesford Society was launched in autumn, 1975, one of their priorities was to involve and integrate the recent great influx of newcomers into the village and at the time to ensure that they captured and shared the wealth of local knowledge, social history and heritage from Old Whittlesford.
A major national anniversary – the 25th anniversary of the Queen’s accession – was the perfect reason for the Society to research and publish what was to be the first of several short books – Whittlesford Recalled, the still compelling account of the previous 100 years history, built round the life span of the oldest village resident Jane Elizabeth Douglas, (nee Nunn), who would be 100 years old on 19th July 1977.
The old village families and passionate born & bred locals 9(not the least, her son, the remarkable Harry Douglas), dug out photos and memories to complement professional expertise and enthusiasm of newcomers like historians and archaeologists, Chris Taylor plus (confusingly) his non related namesake and next door neighbour, and Tony Carter (almost a native having settles here some 15 years earlier and serving on the Parish Council and researchers and writers who’d chosen to come to love here.
There are so many other echoes in today’s Whit Soc project to mark the centenary of the Great War – 100 being significant as the number of men defined as having left to fight and Mrs Douglas was one of the two War Widows, both with fascinating stories and families, epitomising those left behind and history of life in Whittlesford just before, during and after the war and the survivor’s return to a world changed by the experience.
Again , a trio steering the project need input and ideas from the village now however long or short their time here – and again there was a variety of spin-off interests and benefits to derive, just as interest groups like Gardening Club or WADS had their origins in Whit Soc.
You can read more in the latest issue of Whither Whittlesford, an unbroken traditional of a journal started as a quarterly newsletter immediately after the inaugural Whit Soc meeting, and all 116 copies and much more is accessible today – by going to www.whittlesfordsociety.info