A Meeting of the Wivenhoe History Group about Population Growth in Wivenhoe from 1086 to the present day
A meeting held on Thursday 23rd February 2023 in the British Legion Hall
The Steering Committee of the Wivenhoe History Group agreed to put on a presentation at our first meeting in 2023 about the population growth in Wivenhoe since when the Domesday Book was compiled in 1086. Peter Hill and Michael Smither volunteered to put a presentation together. We felt that through showing pictures of maps and other images we could make an interesting presentation.
Around 40 peole came and the feedback we received after the presentation was very positive. The presentation featured some 55 slides, included many historic maps and pictures as well a page from each of the census years starting in 1841. Michael, who is very familar with each of these censuses and who led most of the presentation managed to find something of interest to say about each of these census years.
For example, he mentioned Francis Steele Moller MC DFC and other medals he earned whilst being a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps, having signed up in 1916. It appears he was shot down and wounded twice in WW1. Francis Moller settled in Wivenhoe having previously lived in Sioux City, Iowa, USA. He lived in Quayside Cottage with his Welsh wife, Lilian Anne Louise Moller. In the 1921 census he is shown as being Managing Director of the upstream shipbuilding company Rennie Ritchie & Newport Shipbuilding Co Ltd although still relatively young at 29 years.
One of the last slides shown was a graph showing the rise in the population of Wivenhoe from 2,560 people recorded as living here in 1901 through to 7,637 in 2011, an almost threefold increase. What came as a surprise was the population figure of 7,347 in 2021, a decline of 290 people since 2011. These figures apply to just the Settlement Area of Wivenhoe and does not include the approximate 2.500 people living at the University which is in electoral area of Wivenhoe Cross.
The presentation was preceded by a swift Annual Meeting at which the Accounts for the year to 31st December 2022 were approved, and Officers and members of the History Group’s Steering Committee were all re-elected. Under AOB, Peter Hill mentioned that Pat Marsden, a founder member of the Wivenhoe History Group had sadly passed away at the end of January. Pat had contributed many pages of valuable research to the WHG website and would be greatly missed.