Beckley History Society

The Beckley History Society was founded on 21st September 1998.
A book about beckley
We have over 100 members.
The annual sub is 2 per adult or 5 per family (We already have 5 families with a number of children.)
We have 4 meetings a year on the last Friday of January, March, May and October at 7-30pm in the
Beckley Village Hall.
We have already had the following speakers, the County Archaeologist, The County Archivist, followed for our 3rd meeting with a members' exhibition of photos, memorabilia and school records of 100 years ago.
The last meeting was on 29th October when our Tree Warden, Bill Bullocke, gave an illustrated talk on the history of Beckley's woods, there being over 70 of these, of 2 acres or more in size, all named. The first and last talks were taped and a transcript will be available for those interested.
A group of members has already been down to the County Records Office at Lewes for a private view of the facilities available and a description of how best to use the archives. Apart from interesting subjects on history of the village or county the idea of the Society is to help members who wish, to research their own houses. In the form of a 'log book' they can record the date when built, by whom, and as many residents as possible over the years, so that the information might be passed on to future owners to upkeep.
A copy would be retained in the Society archives and, eventually, a full histoiry of Beckley will take shape. Others propose to research businesses, trades, occupations and organisations and clubs, like Cricket and Golf, the Over 60s Club, The Beckley Players, the Home Guard, the National School, the Methodist Church, the Village Band. Boy Scouts, Guides, and so on.
We are planning our programme for next year and as soon as we have confirmation would you be good enough include it?
On 2nd January, as part of the Village Millenium celebrations we are staging an exhibition of early 20th Century photos and memorabilia in the foyer of the new Village Centre. Already older residents have turfed out photos of
the school, hopping and village life of the period from about 1920 onwards. This is all good stuff and we will be able to show details about the old Police Station House, the Posting House, and many more shops and places including the Village Institute and the village hall in 1959.
For the purpose of research and to get a benchmark, a book has been publshed entitled "Beckley Names and Places", which is based upon the 1218 folk who lived here in 1881. The routes taken by the four enumerators then were
followed, and photographs taken of the houses extant at that time, with people located where thought to be living at that time.
There is an index of those 1218 people, a break down of their trades and occupations and details of their places of birth, and other valuable information. There is an index of the moinumental inscriptions in the church and churchyard, some 900 names, together with a plan to help locate the graves. There is also an index of 120 families who emigrated in 1837/38 to NSW under a Goverment Bounty Scheme. Descendants of these 260 souls return now to trace their roots here and a large list of names being researched is already kept so that we can help them in their studies.
The Society is growing all the while and anyone interested in joining can contact the Membership Secretary, Frank Nunneley, on 01797 260 296 or myself, on 01797 260 313 or, if they wish by e-mail. Subs are payable for the year commencing 1st January and the AGM is at the March meeting followed by a talk.
The book, of over 340 pages and 120 photographs, is on sale now, and costs 12-50, and obtainable from myself at present until we can arrange further outlets. Any profit from sales will be shared between,
1. The Friends of Beckley Parish Church to maintain the fabric of our lovely 12th century building,
2. The Beckley Village Centre
3 The Beckley History Society, to help buy a projector and storage facilities for our archives.

If you want further details please email me

Dennis ward