The Astons History Project

1994 - 2019: 25 years - and counting ! 

How we started: 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 archive has grown considerably since then, and now includes a significant digital collection.

In our anniversary year we carried out a major refurbishment of the archive room in the village hall (see photos below) - with funding from our parish council plus district and county councillors' grant schemes. The project included the purchase of scanning equipment to provide in house digitisation capacity - part of our Astons Digital Community Archive project (ADCA) - see our ADCA sub page for more detail.

With the kind support of the village hall management committee we named the room the Whitwell-Page Archive Room, in honour of Stephen and also of Mike Page, who played a major part in village matters historical (see our sub page on the Curry Slides).

We continue to hold a programme of speaker events, home meetings and exhibitions - usually to mark village anniversaries. Our key aims are:

  • 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

Above right: Stephen Whitwell (above) and Mike Page (lower). Below: 1. Before. 2. New purpose built shelving. 3. Our new window. 4. The naming ceremony, with Mike Page's daughter, Judy Barradell-Smith, on the left.