Researching History and Voices.
As part of the HLF funding for repairs to the fabric of the church in Stoke Lacy, the community is taking on the task of historical research into the history of the village, its buildings and the rectors and their families. In order to help with the research a group of twelve villagers attended a fascinating course at Bromyard Local and Family History Society's centre in Bromyard.
The Chairman of the society Kate Lack, and her team, guided the group through the extensive research facilities available there. The scene was set with a group exercise to produce a timeline of major events over the last 2000 years in order to put findings in context and followed by guidance on treating evidence with caution (eg the victor's story is the one that is usually told!)
The centre houses a very extensive range of archive materials and there were practical exercises set up on censuses, newspapers, tithe maps and land ownership, John Trellek's Register of Clergy and the plague around 1349 (56 priests died in the diocese compared fewer than 10 in other years).
With this as the basis research will be undertaken over the next few months with the aim of unearthing some fascinating facts and interesting tales of the past which will be exhibited in the village late this year or early next.
As well as this historical research a small group of villagers have been recording the oral history of the village by interviewing an array of residents, former residents of long standing. A group of five villagers were trained to undertake oral history interviews by Julia Letts of the Oral History Society at the end of last year. So far those interviewed have included a former publican of the Plough Inn, a former rector of the parish, a retired lieutenant colonel, the chairman of the parish council and village hall trustees and a local farmer. The plan is to carry out further interviews to add to the archive, snippets of which will be available to listen to on the heritage website in due course. Once the project is completed it will be lodged with the Bromyard History Society as a permanent archive. If you would like to take part in any of the historical research either as a participant or as an interviewee please contact Stoke Lacy HLF co-ordinator John Davies email@example.com or 01432 820732.