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  Repton - historic capital of Mercia


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It is with great pleasure that we announce that Colin Kitching has accepted an invitation to become our first Honorary President on behalf of himself and his wife Betty. They have both been an inspiration to the group over many years and we owe our existence today to their enthusiasm and drive in researching and recording the history of Repton.


This very successful and well attended meeting was a talk by the Rev. Dr. Stephen Orchard, Principal of Westminster College, Cambridge and a member of a very long standing Repton family, who told us about William Astbury, his diaries and especially about his Repton Diary of Summer 1843. At that time Astbury spent three months in the village. In 2000 our group published the Repton Diary which vividly described life in Repton and the surrounding area. Stephen Orchard expanded on the subject by a fascinating and witty description of the life of William Astbury, and all of his diaries which he has spent many years transcribing and amounting to over 600,000 words. It was an evening to remember.


Our last Newsletter outlined the new format of our group and it is very pleasing to note the excellent number of people who became paid up members at the first opportunity. Our Membership Secretary, David Guest, was kept busy during the meeting and looks forward to more people joining in the coming months. Membership is £6.00 per year for Families and £3.00 for single. The membership year is April 1st to March 30th annually. We have an excellent and varied programme so hope to have something of interest to everyone.


Repton Open Gardens Weekend Saturday & Sunday 18th and 19th June

The organisers of this popular village event have again invited us to have a display of photographs on show in St. Wystan’s Church and also have some of our publications on sale. We hope our members will support the event and also call to see our display.

Tuesday 21st June – “World War records held by the Magic Attic” – a talk by Keith Foster.

The Magic Attic at Swadlincote holds many thousands of records taken from the local press. These tell of the deaths and injuries sustained by local members of the armed forces in both World Wars. It was all researched by volunteers at “The Attic” and is a comprehensive record of the terrible consequences of war. It was a mammoth task to undertake and is a great asset for the present and the future when people are tracing their Family Trees.

Tuesday 19th July – “The Findern Trail” 

This meeting will assemble at Findern Village Green at 7.00pm. Car parking is at the Village Hall just along the road). The walk will commence at 7.15 and last approx one hour and then go to the Church for a talk about the Church. It is expected that the formalities will end at approx 8.45 when we could visit the local pub. If it rains we might get there earlier!

As there is a limit of 25 on this event, bookings must be made in advance to Alan & Gill Hiley (Tel: 01332 273445). In the event of the numbers being above 25, preference will be given to paid-up members. The cost is a donation to Findern Church of a minimum of £1.00. Findern Trail leaflets will be on sale at 50p 

August – No meeting

Tuesday 20th September – “A Backward Glance at Childhood Games” – a talk by Maureen Newton


Our October Meeting will be a display evening mainly devoted to the School Log Books and school photographs. We are continually obtaining additional pictures of classes and school sports teams but would like to add more all the time. Remember they do not have to be exceptionally old – last year is now history! If you can help, please bring them along to any of our meetings. The sooner the better so that we can scan and print them ready for October.



Colin Kitching

Chairman & Photographic Archivist   Alan Kimber
Vice Chairman    

Ivor Sandars

Secretary & Project Co-ordinator 

Alan Hiley

Treasurer   Gill Hiley
Membership Secretary & Documentary Archivist  

David Guest

Committee Members 

Bunty Marshall

Pat Smythe

For more information about the group use the link from

A.B.K. 16th May 2005.

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