The Village Archive Group, Woolsthorpe & Colsterworth, Lincolnshire, NG33 5**, UK, recording social history & local people’s memories in text, video and audio to preserve vital oral history and accounts of village life in the twentieth and twenty first century.
The Parish of Colsterworth encompasses the Hamlet of Woolsthorpe, Dunkirk (down church) an area below the Church and Twyford, which was originally larger than Colsterworth itself. Woolsthorpe is especially steeped in history with Woolsthorpe Manor being the birthplace and family home of Sir Isaac Newton. Now owned by the National Trust it receives approximately 20,000 visitors per year. Woolsthorpe has its own designated conservation area.
Colsterworth is an historic coaching village, which was an important staging post on the Great North Road (now the A1) until the 1920s. This whole area has changed from an industrial open cast mining community, within living memory, and is now evolving into an affluent commuter village. Most people were employed locally and have interesting tales to tell. We hope that by recording this social history we will add a personal dimension to already documented historical facts.
In forming the Village Archive Group our aim was to record the memories of the village people in sound, vision and print for future generations, and to preserve vital oral history and accounts of village life in the twentieth and twenty first century.
The original idea came from Joy Isaac and Margaret Winn who both feel strongly that it is very important to record this type of social history, also the Lincolnshire accent and use of dialect, as it is ever changing. A committee was formed and other volunteers joined the group to help with the interviewing, recording and planning events. We have been well supported by local people who have donated or lent us old photographs and material to scan and archive, and shared their stories.
Firstly, we recorded life styles and accounts of the village during the 1900’s, also wartime memories and experiences. Secondly we recorded a snapshot of village life today. This snapshot of the present will not only be of interest now, but a useful resource to another generation – possibly for use as an educational tool in schools and as a record of social history of the present day.
Margaret has been successful in applying for funding from Lincolnshire Community Champions also the Local Heritage Initiative, now under the control of Heritage Lottery Funding. This funding will ensure that our project can become a reality. As well as hosting this website we are producing the project as a book with DVD.