Bishop Monkton Local History Group

  A great start

 for new Group

 which will help   make history


We will be turning back the clock!   

Almost 40 villagers crowded into the Village Hall Lounge on the evening of Thursday, January 26 to see the launch of the new Bishop Monkton Local History Group. All became founder members.

The idea of this group was first suggested up to two years ago by Richard Field, Editor of the village website, who subsequently used the site to confirm there was a genuine interest in creating such a group, and obtained a nucleus of 20 prospective members before the night.  

David Banks agreed to head the first meeting, and during the session was confirmed as on-going Leader.

David said the basic objective of the Group was 'to create a comprehensive archive to benefit present day villagers and researchers and for the benefit of future generations'.

He explained that the Group would aim to find out more about village people, institutions, buildings and events in years gone by and also to interview groups of today's older residents so they could recall memories of the village years ago which would be recorded and stored on disc. These would form the start of a comprehensive Village Archive.

Those attending were invited to suggest a list of research projects which they thought would be of interest. Subjects mentioned included:  The Mills, old shops, old pubs, the school, the churches, various long-established village institutions including the Parish Council, the WI,  the Cricket Club and Entertainments Group, Bishop Monkton at war, our farming heritage, notable buildings including the Mechanics Institute, the Hield Gallery, and links with Newby Hall.

Members voted for the projects which they would like to tackle first. The most popular idea was the plan to form small forum groups at which older residents would be asked to recall their memories of Bishop Monkton years ago. The voices and memories will be recorded and the discs will be added to the planned Bishop Monkton Village Archive.  This group will be led by Richard Field.

The next two project groups will find out more about the village's old shops and its old pubs (once there were seven - or was it six?). These groups will be led by David Banks, while a fourth group, looking at the early history of the village, will be led by Margaret Mason.

The project groups, supported by volunteers, will carry out their interviews and research in the next two months and will report back to the main Committee at its next meeting in late March. At that time further research projects will be set in motion and new teams appointed to carry them out.

Discussions took place about how any old books, records, maps, etc. obtained could be stored, and how other information and findings could be stored on-line and made accessible to others.


Everyone residing in Bishop Monkton Parish

automatically becomes an associate member of the Group.

Those who register to join the Group within its first three months 

(before April 1) will become founder members and those 

who join subsequently will become ordinary full members. 


It was hoped that tangible records such as books, maps files, etc. will be stored in a large lockable steel cabinet ideally suited somewhere on the ground floor of the Village Hall. An approach will be made to the Village Hall Chairman to ask if he can find a suitable place to locate this store cabinet.

The Group also agreed to look at ways of creating a new website (possibly to be called BishopMonktonYesterday) or an on-line storage facility which could be accessed by a wider audience.

The Committee will meet once every two months, and the project groups will arrange their own meetings in between these.

After David Banks's appointment was confirmed as Leader, members were asked for volunteers to join the Committee and several names were put forward (but we need more!). The group also still needs someone to take on the roles of Secretary and Treasurer.  Anyone wishing to volunteer for any of these positions was asked to e-mail David at or tel. 677906.

It was agreed that  associate membership of the Group will be automatic for all residents of Bishop Monkton Parish, while those who attended this inaugural meeting and others who also registered but were unable to attend,would all be founder members.

Those qualifying as founder members are:  David Banks, Richard and Pat Field, Jane Mosley, John Salmon, Margaret Mason, Simon and Zillah Horner, Barbara and Chris Evans, Steve and Fiona Blaken, Paul and Hazel Wade, Mandy Hazel, Brian and Jenny Gordon, Annabel Alton, Florence Webb, Joan Wilkinson, Peter and Pip Garside, Jenny Goodman, Glenda Hunter, Elizabeth Wilkinson, Basil Birchall, Morag Gray, Sue Hargreaves, John Simpson, Chris Procter, Ken and Jennifer Barker, Martin Minett, David and Margaret Bray, Rodney Wilson, Angie Archbold, Alan Ebbutt and Susan Stead

Initially the Group would not ask for a subscription from members.although this position could change at a future date when expenditure of such items as venue hire, printing costs (for any publications which may be produced) etc. occur.

The names of founder members and others who subsequently register an interest in joining  will go onto a data base and will receive regular e-mails informing them of details of future meetings, reports on progress of projects being undertaken and other developments.

News of the group will also appear on this website where a special new section has been been created to provide regular news of the Group and its activities. This will be the way associate members and others are kept informed.

Anyone wishing to join the Group can do so by sending their name, address, e-mail address and tel number to David at

JOHN SIMPSON, a long-time Bishop Monkton resident, shows off a Victorian Post Office sign which graced the front wall of his home, The Limes, some 100 years ago.  Other villagers are encouraged to look in the attic or in drawers for similar treasures from the past to share with us.