Goodbye 2023, Hello 2024!

Thank you to everyone for the interest you have shown in our work on our local history and specifically on Hickling and our neighbouring villages. We tend to get a little bogged down in all the things that we still need to do or which we have started and not finished. The ‘to do’ list pages are well in to double-figures and I’m very conscious that there are things we really want to be getting through more quickly – my apologies if your information or enquiry is still on the list, we haven’t forgotten you.

  • Which means that our regular cries for help are genuine; if you would like to help in any way and get a little bit more ‘hands on’, we’d love to hear from you.

2023 – it’s been a busy one

  • Plough Open Evenings; this was a new venture for us and we are very grateful to Chris and Kirsty for their hospitality and support. We went for quarterly meetings to begin with – in July we looked at mapping and aerial photos and in October we focused on farming (including the now infamous Stilton Challenge). Now we’re established, we’re going to move to 6-monthly which means our next one will be on Tuesday April 30th.
  • Village Hall talks: we had three this year, all were very well attended and we were lucky to welcome great speakers:
    • March – Peter Liddle spoke to us about the Roman Villa finds at Ketton near Stamford
    • September – Emily Gillott, Notts County Archaeologist, spoke to us about ‘Fields in the Landscape’ which traced the evolution of our farming landscape and exploring the impacts of Enclosure, even now.
    • November – we welcomed Susan Kilby and Rebecca Gregory from the University of Nottingham to talk about Field Names and Field Mapping. We hope that this will move forward as a full-blown project in Hickling and our neighbouring villages – Susan and Rebecca are exploring funding possibilities before we start work on the next stages. 
  • Upper Broughton document chest – Tuesday afternoons for much of the early part of 2023 were spent helping the Upper Broughton History group record and catalogue hundreds of documents found in a metal chest in an outbuilding in the village. An incredible experience for all involved – more news on the UB history group website. 
  • Information Boards Project – after years of planning and fundraising the first information board was erected outside the Village Hall in June and we’re really pleased with it! Information Panel Project. | Hickling Local History Group (
  • This year we scanned and catalogued the Hickling WI archives – affectionately known as ‘the old black suitcase’. Now safely back in the hands of WI Members, it includes some wonderful bits of our village history – it was a lovely thing to work on.
  • We also began work on Peggy Herrick’s village scrapbook and Christine Norton’s village events display boards (found in a chest in Church). We have also been fortunate to be given a village history written by Wendy Broad to work with and an extraordinary box of research in to the Mann family. We continue to work through house and family enquiries – these are always fascinating but two stories really stood out:
  • We began work on collating an updated history of the Church; we have some excellent histories to work with and bring together but we also want to go back to original source material where we can. This began with a visit to the archives at Queens’ College Cambridge but the documents turned out to be very fragile and rather scant – further trips are needed to Kew and to York.

We are incredibly grateful to Hickling Parish Council and the Scarecrow Festival Committee who donate very generously to our group and ensure that we can keep the website going year-on-year (it costs between £250 and £350 a year to keep it online, all the research and maintenance is done by volunteers). In addition, Carol, Pauline and their team work really hard at village events fundraising for our projects – thank you!!

2024 – here goes …

  • Plough Open Evenings; the 2024 meetings will be held on Tuesday April 30th and Tuesday October 29th from 5pm-8pm. At the April evening we will be concentrating on houses and house deeds but, as always, it is an opportunity to get together informally and chat about all-things-Hickling.
  • Our next talk is our second one from Emily Gillott; Rufford Abbey will be used to trace how one location has changed and evolved through time, offering an insight into changes we can spot in our own areas. Please join us at Hickling Village Hall on Friday March 8th at 7.30pm.
  • Belvoir Angels Weekend – dates for your diary and more information to follow.
    • Saturday May 18th; Open Day in St. Luke’s Church, Hickling – talks, information stands and refreshments
    • Sunday May 19th; Discussion Event in Hickling Village Hall – a chance to discuss and explore the Belvoir Angel headstones in more detail 
  • Field Names and Field Mapping Project – following on from an introductory talk in November, we hope to begin a project to identify and map evolving field locations and names (as far back as we can, up to the present day)
  • Information Board Project – the next board is planned for the Churchyard and it will be double-sided, one featuring the Churchyard and the other featuring the Church building itself. Funds for the first panel have now been raised and we are pulling the information together ready to have this installed as soon as we can.
    • If anyone has a bit of time and experience, there are some interesting funding possibilities which we would like to explore which could fund the remainder of the project – we never seem to find enough time to pursue this and a bit of help would be gratefully received.
  • Churchyard Census and Mapping – this is something of a ticking time bomb for us; sadly, the official map of the graveyard was lost many years ago and the headstones in the churchyard have deteriorated significantly in the 20 years since this project began (mostly a consequence of acid rain). We have been offered the opportunity to take part in an experimental survey which we hope will help to identify burial areas which no longer have markers and we continue to record and research the headstones which remain.
  • Ongoing Projects: we receive regular enquiries through the website for information about families and locations in the village, we also receive lots of brilliant new information – both through the website but also from residents. Generally, we record this information and then go back to it, when time allows, to organise the information, explore further and to upload to the website. If you are interested in helping with any of these projects, we’d love you to join in. We have a number of projects on the go, including: a family scrapbook of news clippings and photographs; house deeds; family history enquiries; transcribing the Enclosure Schedule; transcribing the Headmaster’s logbook from the village school in the late 1800s.
    • We would like to transcribe the Hickling census records into a more usable/flexible format
    • We would like to work further on Parish Records, Bishops Transcripts, Land Tax records etc; if you are interested in helping please let us know. 
    • We are searching for someone to undertake research in to the Civil War history of Hickling – please get in touch, if you can help.
  • Tomorrow’s History: we have a new year to add to our Scarecrow Festival page and our Christmas Nativity page. Sadly, we also have more to add to our weather page following the recent prolonged heavy rain and the repeat of flooding in the village – please send us any photographs or text that you would like to add to these records.