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'We The People' Book and DVD

Village Archive Group - Book Launch Village Archive Group - Parish Clerk Village Archive Group - Book Launch

The Village Archive Group of Woolsthorpe and Colsterworth held the launch of their Book with DVD on Monday 1st December 2008 at 2pm at the White Lion pub in Colsterworth. All villagers were welcome particularly the 50+ interviewees who were personally invited. Over 70 people attended and joined us to raise a toast to everyone who had contributed to our project.

The Book is entitled 'We The People' and the interviewees are the main characters; it is their stories we tell to give the reader a reflection of the experiences of villagers in the 20th century, plus a snapshot of the village today.

The DVD consists of two village walks recounting the history of Woolsthorpe and Colsterworth within living memory, from a personal perspective.

January 2013 - All copies of the book with DVD are now sold out - we have a waiting list for copies so would like to do a spot of recycling! If you have a book which is no longer required please email the Village Archive Group.

The book is not a definitive history of the villages but people's memories of life in the 20th century. For the last chapter of the book we interviewed people of the villages today to give a snapshot of life here in the 21st century. Finally we interviewed some of the school leavers to record their ideas, as they are our future.

A big thanks must go to everyone who lent us precious old photos to copy and use and to everyone who has helped in any way to make this a successful project - it has been a great deal of hard work but very enjoyable and we have learned a lot!


The need to record some kind of history of Woolsthorpe and Colsterworth had been thought about for some time, then Margaret Winn went on an oral history course from work and this gave her the idea of interviewing local people for their personal memories of the 20th century. So the Village Archive Group was formed in Oct 2005. We borrowed a voice recorder and Colin Russell used his own video camera and we started doing interviews. We got a grant of £150 from the Parish Council for basics like tapes and stationery. Helen Anderson from South Witham Broadband told us about Community Champions of Lincolnshire County Council - Margaret applied and was successful in getting a grant to buy equipment - ours had worn out by then!

Margaret also successfully applied for a Heritage Lottery Grant and needed a week off work to fill in forms; this meant we had sufficient funding to produce a Book with DVD and set up a Website.

We carried on working over the next couple of years - with Joy Isaac interviewing and transcribing the audio recordings, but it has taken another year to edit this work and to collate it into book form. A lot of time and effort also went into recording and editing the videos of the village walks.

Our Logo:

One of the founder members of the Village Archive Group was George Howitt who sadly died in June 2006. He was passionate about the history of the village and contributed many of his memories to our project.

He'd had the distinction of looking down on his home in Colsterworth during World War Two from the rear gun turret of a Lancaster bomber, as he flew into the night over a hostile Germany, knowing there was a great danger he might not return. He saw someone in the High Street and smoke from a fire on the allotments. It was clear to him then what he was fighting to protect.

He survived that night, and when he had won his war, he returned to build a bungalow in Colsterworth, and he lived here happily for the rest of his life.

In retirement George was always to be found riding around the village on his bike; any new comer would be welcomed by George who would always impart some useful bits of knowledge to help them to settle into village life.

When George died we decided to adopt his bike as our Logo; Colin Russell photographed it and the artwork created by Sean Burke. We think it is a very fitting tribute to George and his widow Heather, who has also helped with this project.

Below George summed up how he felt the village had changed over the years; he still went out of his way to try to make everyone welcome:

"The new Colsterworth bears no comparison to the old Colsterworth. I used to know everyone in the village. If you walked in the village there was always someone to talk to. Now you can walk through and you won't see a soul that you know. People don't seem to mix like they did. The companionship has gone. It is more like a town. The only time I really see anyone in the village that I used to know in the past is when I go for my flu jab at the surgery. Then I can see all these familiar faces. It is quite a meeting place now." George Howitt

This page was last edited on Saturday 19-Jan-13 20:50:36 GMT

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