Archive Details


History Society Archives

AstonIn 1977 the local History Committee decided to produce a parish history book to celebrate the Millennium. A book group was formed and the members started to research and collect materials whilst appealing to residents for old photographs and information. The book “A Passage through time in a Warwickshire Parish” was published and sold out within a year. A wealth of material had been collected for the book and it was decided to archive this material. Originally the archives were stored in the houses of various members, but this proved most unsatisfactory and in 2004 the trustees of Aston Cantlow village hall kindly donated a room in which to house the collection. The room has been fitted up as a research room for the members of the Society and continues to accept information about the history of the Parish.Marie cutting ribbon

The Archive Room was formally opened on Saturday 13th November 2004 by Mairi McDonald the Archivist from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Since that time the archive committee has been cataloguing the material so that it can be accessed by members of the Society and by other people interested in both local and family history.

The Archive Room is a specialist area in which the Local History Society store their collection of historical material.  The archive material consists of photographs, documents, maps, articles and artifacts of many kinds.

 A wealth of information of many kinds was collected during the research and preparation of the Millennium publication “A Passage Through Time in a Warwickshire Parish” which sold over 1,000 copies.


The book “A Passage Through Time in a Warwickshire Parish” was originally published in the year 2000 as a Millenium Project. A revised Second Edition has now been published on a CD for use on personal computers or laptops. It is readily readable on a computer screen and can be printed in whole or in part if desired. However, the book is subject to copyright and is sold for the personal use of the buyer only.

Copies of the Second Edition (on CD as a PDF file) cost £5 plus £1.50 post and packing, available from Brian Twigg, Tel; 01564 793373, e.mail;

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Archive Committee Report for 2014

This is the latest Archive Committee Report and it is to be delivered at the 20th AGM of the Society. It seems a long time ago that we delivered the first one but much has happened since then. When the Society started such material as we possessed was kept initially in St John the Baptist’s church and later in various people’s houses. The formal archive was initiated at the Social Evening following the first AGM when members brought material to form the core of the collection, whilst the Archive Committee itself grew out of the work carried out by the contributors to the Millenium Book. A Inevitably the collection has grown over the decades, although much of the material came in during the first few years. We have now a major collection of material which has proved invaluable in providing items for exhibitions and reports. Some of the material is “original” and forms a Primary Source for research, but it has to be admitted that much of the material is of a Secondary nature. Even so it allows access to information without having to locate and investigate the original sources. We are proud and pleased of what we have been able to assemble over the last two decades.

A high point of the year was the Exhibition mounted to support the 20th Anniversary Celebrations of the Society in June. As always the displays relied heavily upon archive material and my thanks are due to Margaret Twigg, Mary Summerfield and our Chairman, Jean Peevor for their great help in selecting and mounting the exhibits on that occasion.

It has long been an aspiration of the Society to produce a set of information boards for the Parish. Funds from the sale of a set of Pepys Diaries generously donated by our Patron, Douglas King, at last enabled us to gratify that wish. Using information and photos from the archives Margaret Twigg has produced two permanent boards now mounted in Aston Cantlow Village Hall; one describing the history of the Hall itself and the other giving a brief illustrated history of the Parish as a whole. Both boards are dedicated to the memory of Douglas King. Work is also progressing to produce other smaller boards for display in various locations around the Parish; again this will be largely based upon material from the archive.

I reported last year that we had been approached by the two artists commissioned to produce material for the then forthcoming Shakespeare exhibition at Mary Arden’s House. We were able to let them have a wide selection of photographs of the Parish from which they selected items to include in their display. Now that the exhibition has finished we were able to arrange for the display to be donated to Wilmcote Village Hall.

The second edition of the Millenium Book, produced as a CD,  has continued to arouse interest and has proved easy to use and access. Inevitably sales have slowed since the original release but we still get the occasional request for a copy – usually from overseas, often picked up from the Society Web entry included in the Aston Cantlow Website.

I am delighted to thank the members of the Archive committee for their help and advice over the years. However I have been in charge of the Society Archives for the last fifteen years and it is high time that a younger person took over. Consequently this will be my last report, but I shall still retain an interest in the archives and will be pleased to give whatever help I can to my successor.

Brian Twigg                                                                                             9th March 2015