History Group - Introduction and Membership

The Local History Group was first set up by Margaret Rosenthal in the early days of the Wheatley Society. She and a small team of enthusiasts researched many aspects of Wheatley’s past, and produced a series of publications about village history. Gradually the group acquired more material which was stored in the Parish Council room, currently used by Oxfordshire County Libraries for its Wheatley branch. However when there was a reorganisation and the Parish Council moved to its current location, there was no vacant storage space. Eventually a cupboard, accessible to the public, was allocated within the library. However not all of the archive material could be stored so there was still pressure to find alternative accommodation. Meanwhile as villagers donated more material to the archive with each annual exhibition there was an increasing amount to store. Eventually Peter Audley-Miller persuaded the Parish Council to give an annual grant to pay the rent of a room for the Village Archive in the Merry Bells and so the history group could in 2001, and at long last, have a permanent home. No longer was it necessary for members to retrieve records from under their beds! This led in 2003 to the opening of the Wheatley Village Archive.

It was agreed that the History side should be recognised as a separate entity in order to attract additional support both in terms of people and finance.Rather than having a separate website, Wheatley Village Archive History Group (WVAHG) is now hosted here on the main archive site. Previous history articles have now been integrated into the latter site and these can easily be found by a search using the keyword ‘Articles’.

It remained - since 2012 with its own website - until 2021 but, by then, the History Group had been re-invigorated as a separate membership organisation with the objectives of holding talks and organising local outings all with a local history theme. Membership of WVAHG is open to all, whether you live in Wheatley or not, The annual subscription is £3 and, in addition, talks on historical matters pertaining to Wheatley, Oxfordshire and the country at large, are charged at £3 (non-members £5) and outings at rates to be advised. Unfortunately, this re-birth coincided with the Covid-19 pandemic but it is hoped to re-introduce a programme of events later in 2021. Details of the programme (when there is one!) will be found under 'Programme'.

Under 'Links' there is a list of contacts including other Wheatley organisations with their own history; other village history organisations and societies, history societies and other supportive groups within Oxford, the local History Centre, The National Archive, and other contacts of historical interest.