The Eltisley History Society’s founding Chairman and inspiration was Michael Sawyer.
Michael was born on 29th January 1937 in Eltisley’s village pub – The Leeds Arms (now The Eltisley). At the time of his death in 2010 he lived in a small cottage on the other side of the road, just 50 yards away. For Michael had no need to travel far because his abiding interest was his village and its history. For most of his life he researched and recorded details of Eltisley’s daily life, its history, its buildings, its inhabitants and their ancestors. He amassed a collection of books on the local area, photographs of the village and the ephemera – usually thrown away – which gives colour and flavour to such a record. His hand-written notes, painstakingly transcribed into dozens of notebooks, together with all his other records eventually filled many large lever-arch files which are now in The Cambridgeshire Collection in the central library, Cambridge.
But Michael also loved to share his knowledge. In the archive we have the addresses of people on just about every continent who have written to ask about their family history and who were grateful – and often amazed – to learn the facts that were in his files. This desire to share and celebrate the village both past and present culminated in the year 2000 when Michael and our Secretary, Mary Flinders, published The Millennium Book. The book is in two parts: a history of the village and a snapshot of its inhabitants in 2000. Copies of the book occupy space on bookshelves all over the world and even now newcomers to the village ask if it is still available. And from the success of this work sprang the Eltisley History Society whose inaugural meeting was held on April 25th, 2001.
Since then the Society has met on the 4th Wednesday of every month. Apart from the AGM and a Christmas social event these meetings are Speaker meetings at which we have been fortunate to be entertained by a wide range of speakers on pretty much every subject which might come under the heading of ‘history’.
More to follow..