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Wednesday, May 02, 2007


We often hear about collections of photographs, memories and local stories to whet the appetite. Sometimes, usually for larger towns and cities, a variety of books of varying quality and content are published, to make as much profit as possible. Obviously all authors would like to benefit from their work.

Here, though, is a book that has been published through sheer hard work, determination, a great deal of research and, something often lacking in this type of publication, real community spirit. A splendid work that puts others to shame.

Blaxhall’s Living Past

A Blaxhall community based project started in 2004 has just borne its first fruits with the publication of a 160pp hardback book with over 340 photographs called ‘Blaxhall’s Living Past’. The book is being launched at the Blaxhall Ship pub on 7th May when people can come along and purchase a copy between 12 noon and 3.00pm. The book is priced at £20 and worth every penny but, sorry, we can only accept cash sales. If you can’t make that date but would like to buy a copy, then please phone 01728 688611 or 01728 689171 to arrange a pick up or look on www.blaxhall.com for further details.

After the Blaxhall Archive Group (BAG) was founded in 2003, it soon became clear that the resulting unique photographic, documents and oral history collection might be of considerable interest to a wide range of people not only to present day villagers but to ‘Blaxhallites’ far and wide in the UK and globally as well as to social historians.

Although all the many images are preserved and will be accessible in electronic forms at the Suffolk Record Office and the BAG database; Blaxhall Archive Group members felt that, to give the photographs the widest possible audience, a hard-copy selection from them, interspersed with written pieces on a range of Blaxhall people and places over its long history, would be a worthwhile project, particularly if combined with a DVD.

So in 2005, an application was made to the Local History Initiative of the Heritage Lottery Fund, resulting in a grant for such a project. This made it possible for this book to be available ‘free’ to each Blaxhall householder and to each person who donated photographs. The DVD will follow later in the summer.

This book is not an unbroken social history nor is it written by professional writers; it is a random collection of snapshots of village life in photographs and words, produced by the combined efforts of Blaxhall Archive Group with the welcome support of other villagers past and present and of the Suffolk Record Office.

Group Name: Blaxhall Archive Group
Group contact: Rodney West
Telephone: 01728 688611 Or email archive@blaxhall.com
Group information
Blaxhall Archive Group has a core team of 10, with ages ranging from 34 to 93. The group was set up in 2003 with the aim of safeguarding historical material for the local population and also the wider public.

Address: Flint Cottage, Stone Common, Blaxhall IP12 2DP


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