WILLAND HISTORY GROUP
Willand History Group was formed in 2001 with the objectives of (1) studying the history of our parish and its surrounding area, (2) collecting and preserving archive material, and (3) disseminating information through meetings, publications and other activities. It is a small and informal group (annual membership is £5) that currently meets ‘as required’ at Willand Village Hall to discuss ongoing projects, bring along new archive material and catch up on village gossip!
Members are encouraged to pursue their own research and interests or to join in with group activities, as they wish. Our most significant achievement has been publication of an illustrated history of the parish: The Book of Willand: From Doomsday to Millennium (Halsgrove, 2007). We have also held various ‘historical parish walks’, had a go at guided field walking, and held a number of exhibitions at the Village Hall, based on on-going research and material from the Willand Archive; themes from recent years include the First World War, family history, farming and artefacts unearthed by a local metal detectorist.
Willand History Group are custodians of an ever growing archive of material collected since the group’s formation – what we call the Willand Archive. This includes written research, as well as originals and copies of all manner of material connected to Willand’s history, right up to the modern day. We hope to preserve this as a valuable resource for future research, and to ensure that treasured items and memories can be preserved for posterity.
We always welcome new material for the Willand Archive. This could be photographs (‘old’ or more recent), documents, maps, title deeds, newspapers, press clippings, letters, registers, leaflets, booklets, diaries, artefacts, written or verbal memories, etcetera, etcetera, or simply recorded memories of bygone Willand right up to the present day – essentially almost anything with a connection to Willand’s past!
People are often surprised at the kind of things that might be of interest to us and future generations of Willand historians (and it often surprises us at what gets thrown out!). So, if you have anything relating to Willand please get in touch, especially if the item could be heading towards the dustbin! Any material can be scanned, copied or digitally photographed and the originals returned to the owner, if required.
Willand Remembers Project
Our most recent and ongoing project has been to commemorate the centenary of the First World War by researching Willand’s experience of the First World War, whether that be on the home front or by those from the parish serving in the armed forces.
We are particularly keen to hear from anyone who might be related to or have any information about Willand’s servicemen, or who might have any photographs of them or associated documentation – but anything relating to Willand and the First World War would be of great interest. We would happily share any research that we have already gathered.
The next step
If you have any general or specific enquiries about any aspect of Willand’s history or the people who have lived here, if you have anything you think we might be interested in, or if you would like to know more about Willand History Group, please feel to get in touch.