WHAT IS WHIMPLE HISTORY SOCIETY?
We are an enthusiastic group made up of people who live in the village and who have an interest in history in general and local history in particular. Regular meetings, talks and events, including the famous Whimple Wassail, are all part of what we get up to. Today the membership stands at around 200 – to find out more see the Membership page.
The origins of the History Society lie in 1978 with the acquisition of the Parish Chest where donated documents and photographs related to the village were stored. By 1989 the chest was almost full and during that summer, a Mr Radford donated a sampler worked by Mary Ann Pollard Harris in 1806, probably at E Lillycrap's school in Whimple. He wanted it to be seen by local people and so it was hung in the village Art shop until a proper place could be found. Around this time two like minded people, Mrs Daphne Rastall who was one of the custodians of the village chest, and Mr John Shepherd joined forces to formulate the idea of a History Society. The first meeting of ten people took place at Straightway Head House on 27th September 1989.
The Society was lucky enough, through energetic fundraising and generous donations, to be able to purchase Lockyer's Linhay adjacent to the New Fountain Inn and begin the renovation process. The Heritage Centre opened in May 2003 where it now displays many thousands of photographs and artefacts connected with village life.
Some members enjoy the opportunity to take their interest further by getting involved in researching, recording, presenting and archiving information relating to the village from the medieval period until the present day. Others support the society through fundraising activities or by stewarding when the Heritage Centre is open to the public.
Renovation of the Linhay
Opening the Heritage centre. May 2003
Building the extension. Opened April 2005.