The Astons History Project

Discovering and recording the Astons through the ages: 

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 Silver Anniversary year (2019) we carried out a major refurbishment of the archive room in the village hall (see photos right) - 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 subpage 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 subpage 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 period

Astons Digital Community Archive (ADCA)

ADCA was established in 2014 by the Astons web site web-team in conjunction with the Astons History Project, to establish a digital collection of village records created and owned by a range of village organisations. See its page in the main History section. It was funded by grants from SODC’s Community Fund scheme, the Astons Village News and Aston Tirrold and Upthorpe Parish Councils.

Its aims are:

·         to aid awareness of the range of material that indirectly records life in the villages of Aston Tirrold and Upthorpe, past and present.

·         to facilitate better use of such records for community projects.

·         to provide access, where appropriate, to records of interest to a wider audience.

·         to establish continuity between the paper based systems of the past and the digital processes of the 21st century.  

History starts now! Do you have any interesting photos, pictures or ephemera that reflect village life now or in the past? If so you could help us expand the village archive. Contact us at