Wivenhoe History Group's First 5 Years

Founded in 2013 it has achieved much in its first 5 years

Peter Hill

The History Group was founded at a meeting held at the Nottage Maritime Institute on Wivenhoe Quay which was held on Thursday 25th April 2013. It was attended by 21 people who confirmed their desire to create this Group for the purposes of the following aims:

a) To promote, support and actively encourage research into the history of the parish of Wivenhoe in the county of Essex

b) To encourage people of all ages to take an interest in their local history by establishing a web-based community archive and various other means such as exhibitions, lectures, articles and publications.

In our first 5 years, we have done just that.

Perhaps our most significant achievement is the creation of our website, a community archive of knowledge and photographs about people, buildings, businesses, organisations, boats and events from Wivenhoe’s rich history. One of this archive’s most prolific contributors has been Pat Marsden who has conducted a huge amount of detailed research into many subjects including transcribing many deeds and maps, including the 1799 map of Wivenhoe.

Click on the link below to see a brief overview of what the History Group has achieved during these first years of its existence. It was used as the basis of a talk which I gave at a small  party of about 25 members held in the British Legion Hall on 20th December 2018.

Peter Hill
Chairman, Wivenhoe History Group



This page was added on 21/12/2018.

Comments about this page

  • The focus of the WHG is only on the very recent past, i.e. the 19th and 20th centuries. But there is a mass of material on earlier periods, e.g. on the importance of the river Colne and the vessels plying along it in the medieval period, on the growth of Puritanism here, on the roles of 17th and 18th century tradesmen, and on many other subjects. As far as I can see from the outside, the WHG has no printed publications to sell: it has no journal comparable to that produced by Saffron Walden: it has no library: it is not collecting material about Wivenhoe from the Essex Record Office or other archives: nor is it appealing systematically to local groups in the village for their archives in order to preserve them. A good local history society would be organising trips outside Wivenhoe, to St Osyth Priory or Long Melford Hall, e.g., and getting some of the real historians living here like Alison Rowlands to come to talk to the WHG. After five years, the WHG ought to have done much more and much better.

    By M Leveson (11/01/2019)
  • Thank you for these comments. I accept these observations. I would love to address them but we can only do what people who want to be actively involved are willing to do. We cannot do everything. We have the provision to publish research on any Wivenhoe-relevant subject that anyone cares to submit. We decided a long time ago that we didn’t want to have the burden of maintaining anything physical. Since then, the Town Council has created the Wivenhoe Chapel Museum which has a physical library that some of our members are involved in helping to steward. Also, in Wivenhoe, there is also the Nottage Maritime Institute which is very much focussed on the River Colne and its history. We didn’t want to compete with them. You may not have noticed that we have organised trips each year to places as Maldon and Harwich. We have plans for more trips this year. So we are trying. Sorry we don’t meet your expectations of what a local History Group should do. You are welcome to join us and help with these things.
    Peter Hill

    By Peter Hill (22/01/2019)

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