Newmarket Local History Society – Committee Members (from 21st September 2021)
Chair – Sandra Easom
Vice-Chair – vacant
Secretary – Abigael Brand
Data Protection Officer – t.b.a.
Treasurer – Christy Argyroudi email@example.com
Committee Members – Joan Shaw, David Staff, Kathy Staff and David Rippington
Other supporters (non-committee members)
Webmaster & Researcher – Tony Pringle
Prior to our Society there was a History Workshop in the town, co-ordinated by Joan Shaw. This had come about by way of a meeting at Belstead House entitled “History Circus”. The organiser, David Penrose, the County History Advisor, “volunteered” Joan Shaw for the task of organising a Newmarket History Workshop. It appears they had their first meeting in 1976.
By November 1977 they sent out their 1st newsletter, having held 7 meetings. Mostly consisting of members of the teaching profession, others were able to join. Some resources were available for a half term loan and were held at the Teachers Centre. The origins of our current Society however originated as the result of an Adult Education Evening Class run by Suffolk County Council held at Foley House in Sept 1983.
The tutor was Mary Basham with 18 folk signed up for her East Anglia Social History Course. They were given projects to research and write about. The articles were considered good enough to produce a book, “A Look Back at Newmarket”. It was published with the help of sponsors obtained by Peter Lee, the then head of Adult Education at Foley House.
The book was launched at Foley House on May 8, 1984. The pupils’ efforts were acknowledged by the Newmarket Journal 10 May 1984 and the Newmarket Weekly (same date) also the East Anglian Times 10 May 1984.
back row -Diane Jones-Beryl Mason-Joe Moore-Ian Nelson
middle row – Christine Rawlinson-Tim Sayers-Robin Herridge-Joan Walker
front row – Eric Dunning-Mary Basham (tutor)- Elaine Lee
So, the idea of forming a History Group was born – The Newmarket Local History Group.
Several people who were in the class expressed interest in forming a local history group. They met at Robin Herridge’s house in Pump Alley (officially Park Cottages), Park Lane. They were Robin Herridge, Eric Dunning, Diane Jones, Elaine Lee, Beryl Mason, Joe Moore, Ian Nelson, Christine Rawlinson, Joan Walker
Peter Norman was not a member of the class but was asked if he would like to join.
Robin was voted Chairman with Eric Dunning as vice chairman. Joe Moore was treasurer and Beryl Mason was secretary. A constitution was drawn up and a bank account opened, 2 signatures (Chairman and Treasurer) to sign cheques. The Committee to be kept small to avoid prolonged delays.
One of the aims was to promote Newmarket’s unique history and to contact and interact with other local history groups. There were to be indoor meetings in winter months and outdoor visits in summer. Committee meetings were held in members homes, helped by the fact that it was a small Committee.
Peter Norman was invited to join the committee as official Photographer as he had been collecting Old Photos of Newmarket, he accepted and has played a part in the Society ever since giving his first slide show from his collection of Old Newmarket pictures to the club in Oct 1985.
The first meeting took place at the Cricket Club but that was soon outgrown, and the move was made first to the British Legion Club in Park Lane and then to the Stable in the High Street, where it remains to this day. The Annual General Meeting and presentation of the audited accounts took place every autumn.
Robin Herridge was the driving force behind the formation of the group not to say the others have not made great contributions too. Joan Walker was a stalwart in running the raffles, she never missed anyone. Not forgetting the tea ladies working behind the scenes.
1994 celebration of founding of Society – Eric Dunning, Joan Walker, Peter Norman,
Tim Sayers, Joe Moore, Diane Jones.Robin Herridge, Beryl Mason
When Robin Herridge left the town, Eric Dunning took over until he retired in 2012 when Sandra Easom became the Chair. Sadly, Eric died in August 2013.
When Joe Moore retired as Treasurer, Les Jewell took over and when he retired Joan Watkinson became treasurer. When Beryl Mason retired as Secretary, first Gillian Brown and then, for two years Rosemary Jones (née Bonham) took over, followed by Rosemary Foreman and now the present Secretary is Abigail Brand. Wendy Walker is now the Vice Chair.
The Name was changed by popular vote to the Newmarket Local History Society on 19th April 1994.
In 2002 Rodney Vincent, a “silver surfer” designed a website for the Society, spending many hours over the years to keep this self same website running, until his death at the age of 93 in April 2020.
Bill Smith was researching for the Society when that meant travelling to Bury Records Office for much of the time, and scouring the pages of the Newmarket Journal. Now it is he and son Andrew who look after the raffle at each meeting.
Websites seemingly are the forte of David Rippington who is still working on his history of the High Street shops (www.newmarketshops.info) and Tony Pringle, before taking over this website from Rodney Vincent, had produced www.undyingmemory.net (a record of the history of every name on all the war memorials from Brandon down to Ridgewell and Timworth across to Lode).
Sadly much of the archived minutes and artefacts have been lost, perhaps due to the lack of permanent storage. The Society still has not got a permanent home. We do have the use of several cabinets in the Memorial Hall and recently a room behind the stage. This has resulted in people having to store things at home, ending up in a shed or garage. When they move or die usually it is a mad rush to move things and some get lost.
There are few original committee members still alive. It would be a fitting tribute to their early work if their principles of the constitution and monthly meetings and interaction with other History Societies devised in 1984 were to continue. One problem with the interaction with other local Societies is the fact that they all seem to have elected to hold their meetings on the same evening
Beryl Mason and Peter Norman….. Founder Members
CONSTITUTION of the NEWMARKET LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY
The title shall be “Newmarket Local History Society”
a) To promote and encourage interest in, and knowledge of, Newmarket and surrounding area and to research and record its history.
b) To ensure the correct recording and safe keeping of archive material in consultation with County Local History Council and Record Offices.
c) Meet with other local history groups to exchange views and to promote the ideals of local history.
d) To form a nucleus of people with an informed knowledge of the town and its people.
e) To encourage individuals or small groups in their research.
a) Membership shall be open to all on payment of an annual subscription. The rates of subscriptions shall be reviewed yearly by the committee and agreed by members at the Annual General Meeting.
b) Members will be entitled to receive notice of all activities of the Society and to attend and vote at an Annual General Meeting or Special Meetings.
c) Existing membership is renewable at the October meeting or within 4 weeks of that date. Membership shall be deemed to have lapsed if subscriptions have not been renewed within that period and only one reminder will be sent.
d) The Committee may recommend honorary membership, such recommendations to be made at the Annual General Meeting.
e) Non-members may attend meetings on payment of an admission fee.
a) Honorary Officers:
i) The Honorary Officers of the Society shall be the Chairman, Vice Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary, who shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting.
ii) The Committee may appoint such others as may be necessary for the Society’s administration.
i) The Committee shall consist of the Honorary Officers and one member who shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting.
5. Meetings and Activities
a) General Interest Meetings
The Committee shall prepare and publish a programme which promotes and encourages an interest in local history by talks, published articles and visiting places of interest.
b) Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting shall be held for the election of Officers, review of the past year’s activities and forthcoming events. The date of the Annual General Meeting shall be notified to all members at least twenty one days in advance.
c) Committee Meetings
i) The Committee shall meet as often as is necessary to ensure the smooth running of the Society.
ii) Three members, including the Chairman, shall constitute a quorum.
a) The finances of the Society shall be managed by the Honorary Treasure with the help and advice of the Committee.
b) Society funds may be used for :
i) Administrative expenses.
ii) The payment of speakers fees and expenses.
c) In the event of the Society being dissolved any monies remaining after the settlement of outstanding accounts will be distributed among causes that accord with the aims of the Society.
7. Amendments to the Constitution
This Constitution may be altered by addition, recision or amendment only with the sanction of the members at an Annual General Meeting and then only if two thirds majority of those voting are in agreement.
Dated 19th April 1994