In 1965, as part of a national competition, and inspired by the local jubilee celebrations, the Whitchurch Women’s Institute (no longer active) compiled a Scrapbook of local life This was, until now, now the only copy and is stored and available for public viewing at Herefordshire Archives and Records Centre (HARC).
Members of The Whitchurch and Ganarew Local History Society (WAG) discovered the
scrapbook during a group visit to HARC. The original is still available for viewing at HARC but now it also reproduced here on our website.
The 1965 version focussed on the lifestyles of the inhabitants and provided a very local record of life and events then. To some of us 1965 may not seem a part of what we traditionally view as history. However, the changes nationally and globally during the last 55 years have been staggeringly fast and at such a rate of change that would have been totally unimaginable by our forebears. The Scrapbook is a fascinating and, often, nostalgic read. It is noticeable how much of the contact is written in longhand and a small part using a typewriter which reminds us that word processors and home computers were not around then and only some people possessed a typewriter. We are also reminded that women, wives and mothers, could not afford to buy all their clothes new and made a lot of them. We find here much about the materials used then how few if any would have been from man made materials.
Among WAG’s objectives are the aims to encourage interest in local history and to create
and preserve historical records for posterity. It seemed to us appropriate that we should prepare a comparable but modern 2020 version of the Scrapbook and we are working on this now. This 2020 digital Scrapbook, we may make a hard copy version, will be to describe life in the Whitchurch and Ganarew parish (so including Symonds Yat and Crockers Ash) some 55 years on from the original. There will be some similarities viz
wildlife, birds etc, so that direct comparisons can be made.
How life might look in another 55 years time we can only guess.