In 1993 Stephen Whitwell, an extremely knowledgeable village historian, was about to leave the village. He had accumulated a large collection of village material over the years and was keen that it should be preserved for the future. He arranged a meeting of people who he knew to be interested in village history, with the suggestion of forming an Astons History Group to which he could leave his collection and which would continue his work.
The Group had its first meeting in January 1994, and we have continued to have a programme of speaker events, home meetings, trips to places of interest, and exhibitions - usually to mark village anniversaries - see our Past Exhibitions page.
We are currently engaged in a major project together with the website team to make our archive available through the village website, which will help us progress our key aims:
- to encourage the study and enjoyment of the history of the Astons and its environs
- to encourage the understanding & appreciation of history - of all places and periods
OUR NEXT MEETING:
March 20th. 7.30 at the Astons Village Hall.
Alison Carter, of the Southern Counties Historic Costume Society, will talk on the history of costume, with particular reference to the Paulise Lugg collection - originally collected for and worn during Stockwell Players' productions - and now housed at Killerton House (National Trust) in Devon.
OUR PUBLICATIONS: We want as many people as possible to see our publications, so only charge a nominal figure - £2 plus postage, with no postage if you live in the village!
“Aston Tirrold & Upthorpe: a history.” By Lucy Fuller. (1921). A fascinating record of village life, given as a talk to the Astons Women's Institute. An Astons History Group reprint. 2005.
“Aston Tirrold & Aston Upthorpe - history and walkabout.” (2014). Road by road, house by house. An invaluable guide to our beautiful villages.“Sir John Leigh Hoskyns’ : Rector of St.Michael’s Church Aston Tirrold. 1846 to 1911.” by Vivien Biggs. (2006). The life of a Victorian rector whose 60 year tenure saw many changes in village life.
“Sir John Leigh Hoskyns’ Diary of a village.” (extracts, selected by Vivien Biggs). (2000).
“The Stockwell Players.” by Robin Sewell. (2000). An drama group who performed outdoor productions for nearly thirty years, with early appearances by Prunella Scales and Alan Bates. Fore-runner of the Blewbury Players.
Illustrated map of the villages (Black and white for colouring).
NB. We also have a new series of booklets based around our WW1 centenary project. See our sub page "We will remember them."