from the August 2006 Newsletter of the Leatherhead & District Local History Society


Hello and welcome to you all, new and old members of the Society. To new members I would like to say we all hope you will enjoy being part of our Local History Society and that you will support us and the Friends of the Leatherhead Museum by participating and getting involved in the many events arranged throughout the year on your behalf.

Perhaps you would like to carry out your own research and need some support. We have a wealth of knowledge within the Society to fulfil almost any requirement, and can certainly point you in the right direction if necessary. We also have the resources for publishing your research as evidenced by the Society’s Annual Proceedings and the numerous books written by members on sale in local bookshops and at the Museum.

Our annual series of lectures at the Letherhead Institute, and the events organised the Society and the Friends are central to our existence. These raise the profile of the Society and the Museum and make the efforts of other active members worthwhile.

To our loyal older established membership I would like to say thank you all for your long and continued support of the History Society and the Friends of the Museum over the years, you are the backbone of our Society and without you we would have no History Society.

In saying all this we are in a time of rapid change, and we all need to consider the future of our History Society and our Museum in order to make us relevant to the world of today, without throwing the baby out with the bathwater metaphorically speaking. History matters to us, to you and to me – also to the general public at large, both at national and at a local level, therefore we need to do more to fly the flag for the past, present and the future generations.

In this connection I would like to refer you to the parts of the speech given Mrs Sarah Goad the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey on occasion of 25th anniversary of the opening of the Museum on the 8th October last year, published in the Newsletter of December 2005.

Participation is the way forward. We need more involvement and commitment from you the membership to turn up and support events at the Museum, the walks and lectures at the Institute, we also need your positive feedback and ideas and suggestions as to what is relevant to you and how we can generate more support and interest from the public. I look forward to receiving your comments.

Moving on, this is our third newsletter this year and the first under my chairmanship of the Society. I wish to thank our outgoing Chairman Peter Tarplee for his dedication to the History Society and the Leatherhead Museum, fulfilling ten years of active service in this post. Peter continues his many activities and his interest in industrial archaeology, also his involvement with the Society’s Museum Committee. He will also continue to represent the Society on the committee which organises Heritage Open Days in Mole Valley. I wish him well and thank him for his continued support.

To Linda Heath, our President, thank you for your continued support and for all your work and activities carried out on behalf of the Society and the Museum. This is especially so in the light of your personal difficulties over the past year. You can count on the Executive Committee’s and the Society’s support at this sad time.

To the Executive Committee and the Friends of Leatherhead Museum, to you all individually, too many to mention here, thank you for all your hard work and effort organising events and playing your part in raising the profile of the Society and the Museum. You will continue to have my personal support and commitment as Chairman and as a Friend. I am committed to The Leatherhead & District Local History Society and the Friends of Leatherhead Museum, and I look forward to the continued support of the membership.

Last but not least thanks must go to John Wettern our new Newsletter Editor who has stepped into the breach at short notice to plug the gap temporarily or for as long as John wants to sit in that seat. Without his support and of course the contributors we would have no Newsletter today. Peter Tarplee held the fort with support of Vivien Hollingsworth our Hon Secretary and others for the May Newsletter as the post of Editor had been vacant for some time. The Newsletter has a vital role to play in keeping the membership informed and in touch.