Little Eaton Local History Society

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Chairman's Report 2019

Annual General Meeting May 2019

Chairman’s Report


The Society will celebrate its third anniversary in July of this year and the Committee has been expanded from the original one to include two very valuable members, Rosemary Gregory and Henry Fletcher. The original members remain the same with John Easter as President, Bill Hutchison (Chairman) Gwent Paylor (Treasurer) Alex Galloway (Web Site Manager) as well as Peter Tulloch, Sue Carter and Glenda Harrison. Sadly, our original Secretary, Allan Carter, died at the end of 2017.  Three other ladies are worthy of a mention, Marilyn Baldwin and Sally Galloway who help Sue Carter with interval teas and coffees at meetings and Margaret Jackson who runs the raffle.

From the very beginning of our journey the Society has remained in a healthy financial position having had help in the early days from other village organizations to whom we are very grateful. Last summer, thanks to efforts of our treasurer, Gwent Paylor, we received a grant of £6,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and this money is now being put to good use. I will mention more about this later.

I think that it is fair to say that we are the envy of other village organisations and historical societies in that we have approximately 70 members at this time. We anticipated that the membership number would fall from the original 100 but to remain around 70 after nearly 3 years is very satisfying

Our monthly meetings remain very well attended and our efforts to provide a range of topics from the village and beyond seem to have been met with general approval. In the last 12 months we have had talks on “Belper at War”,  “The Derby Water Works”, “ Zeppelin’s Over Ilkeston”, “ The Butterley Iron Works”, “The Easter Family”, “Policing in 19th Century Derbyshire” One of the highlights was Clare Howard's excellent talk on the Clock House which attracted a record attendance.  John Easter entertained at the Christmas meeting with a collection of his favourite photographs. We had a joint meeting with the Neighbourhood Planning Group in the run up to their report on the future plans for the Village. Sue Stone also talked about the plans for a section of the canal. It was inevitable that we would turn to subjects of interest from beyond the village and this has not dampened the enthusiasm of the membership who continue to attend the meetings in healthy numbers.

From our early days we were keen to “educate” the younger members of the village community about the history of their village. It was therefore particularly pleasing to give two talks on Thomas Bates to a class of 9 year olds and to older children from the local scout troop. I was assisted on both occasions by Lynne Siddons, a direct descendent of Thomas Bates and she made a valuable contribution.  The schoolchildren were particularly attentive and did projects on Thomas Bates and we presented book token prizes to the best efforts from one of the boys as well as one for the girls.

I mentioned the Lottery Grant earlier and this is now being used to employ a company called Pin Point who are scanning the documents and photos from John Easter's vast collection. In preparation for this Rosemary Gregory is doing a wonderful job in cataloguing the material prior to sending it to Pin Point. The ultimate aim is to provide a data base for interested parties to access in the future.  This project is in its early stages but we hope that an information database will emerge in the not too distant future.

In conclusion I would like to thank all committee members for their continuing help and support during the last year or so. I would like to think that we are a team, and everyone is making a valuable contribution.


Bill Hutchison