Name of project: Tilney All Saints People in 2018

Aim: to interview, record & share memories of individuals (any age) living in TAS at the present time.

Target: 30% of households taking part.


  1. To provide a Living History of the village – ‘Today is tomorrow’s history’.
  2. To lessen isolation.
  3. To provide opportunities for older people to contribute.
  4. To foster a sense of belonging in this scattered village.
  5. To encourage contributions by people of all ages to the heritage of the village.

Method – getting started

  1. Identify HG members willing to conduct the interviews & arrange training sessions when necessary.
  2. HG members to be encouraged to participate as interviewees or write their own memories.
  3. Approach residents who may have already shown interest.
  4. Inform residents in the Village News and Church monthly newsletter.

Method – recording

  1. Use of recording device – Marantz digital recorder, tape recorder, mini recorder.
  2. Taking notes of the interviews
  3. Transscribing

Method – sharing

  1. Obtain permission from interviewee.
  2. Produce small booklets in a series to be available at the Church.
  3. Web – a short summary of the project, then summary of each interview with current photo and info that the booklets with more details available at the Church.
  4. For the Marantz digital recordings, some may be suitable for producing on a CD.


Printing and publishing the booklets –  cost of self-publishing.

WW1 project Tilney All Saints Remembers


Tilney All Saints School and the History Group have been working on a research project since October 2017 to find the stories of the men and women of WW1, including those who gave their lives, and those who returned, and what the village was like in those war years.

In this hundredth anniversary of the end of WW1, we also hope to raise awareness of today’s servicemen and their support needs on returning home.





Thank you for sending the book here. It’s on its way to Nigel [in Canada].

It’s amazing what you have achieved. Many congratulations to you and the rest of the group…

Annette (former head teacher at TAS school).


To June and the TAS History Group


A brief note to say well done on the WW1 exhibition! I appreciate the research that you undertook on the fallen soldiers. It’s also been the impetus to pull together my notes on Vic’s life story so thank you for that..

Jo Craven (Vic’s grand-daughter)

Email from Irene in Scotland

Your latest book arrived yesterday and I have started to read it.  It is very good.  I studied some of WW1 at uni but the subject was delivered in a very detached manner.  It was easy to take a step back and be very distanced emotionally from what I was learning.  It was just facts.  This book makes part of it real.  I love how you incorporate the lives of the soldier's families with their military life.  The ages at which  many of these young men lost their lives is heart breaking.  The devastation to their families.  And what a great idea to include the school - keep the memory of the war alive but more personal and meaningful.  I hope you are very proud, June, as you have provided a real and relevant  memorial for these men, their families and communities.  I know I don't come from Tilney but from visiting there and reading your other books, I feel a little part of it. 

From Deb on Facebook 24 March 2018

Been to have a look today and loved your displays! Well done for everyone’s hard work, it was a pleasure to look round!



Number reached on Facebook with our WW1 photos and descriptions  – 288.

Number of books sold / circulated – 69 (as @ 20th April 2018)




 Tilney All Saints Remembers WWI EXHIBITION

The events for our WW1 project are drawing near, and we'd really appreciate your help in spreading the word about the dates and times?
Many of you know that Tilney All Saints School and the History Group have been working on a research project since October 2017 to find the stories of the men and women of WW1, including those who gave their lives, and those who returned, and what the village was like in those war years.
In this hundredth anniversary of the end of WW1, we also hope to raise awareness of today’s servicemen and their support needs on returning home.

On Friday 23 March and Saturday 24 March we are holding a Tilney All Saints Remembers EXHIBITION, where visitors will be able to view the months of research, collecting data and artefacts, interviewing and writing up the results.  The venue is the Parish Church, Church Road, PE34 4SJ, and will be open from 10am - 4pm both days.
Entry is FREE, and refreshments will be available at 11am – 12 noon, and 2 – 3pm.
Groups of children from the school will visit on Friday morning and afternoon, but the Exhibition is open to all on both days. Interested friends in nearby villages have also offered to join us and display their own WW1 memorabilia, and we welcome their participation.
Our new book entitled ‘Tilney All Saints REMEMBERS’ will be launched at the Exhibition. It tells the stories of the men on the War Memorial, and those who returned.

On Thursday 19 April we are holding a Memorial Service in the Church at 10 am. 

The children will be leading​ the service ​​with their choir, readings and their own accounts. Everyone is welcome.


For more information please contact the History Group or the WhereCanWeGo website



Autumn 2017 - WW1 Launch display


Village historians and local school children have joined forces for a new project to commemorate the men of their community who fell in the First World War.

The project between the Tilney All Saints History Group and the village’s primary school will culminate with an exhibition and memorial service next spring.

And organisers have appealed for anyone who can help with the work to get in touch.

Tilney All Saints War Memorial




Roll of Honour

Great War 1914-18 WWII 1939-1945
  • Herbert Baker BART
  • George BURROWS
  • Malcolm BROWNE
  • Russell Edwards FULLER
  • Gerald Harold Roland LEVERINGTON
  • Victor KELTON
  • William NEWTON
  • Norman REEVE
  • Ernest Edward CONSTABLE
  • Herbert GOTSELL
  • Harold ROBINSON
  • Frank Stanley ROBINSON
  • Ernest Leonard RUSH
  • William Ernest TURNER
  • Arthur WICKS
  • William WICKS



A small team has been working on transcribing17th & 18th centuries Apprentices’ Indentures in Tilney All Saints, and looking into how to present them.  Initially the idea was to transcribe from photographs of the originals and present the 51 typed transcriptions in a folder and CD for Wisbech & Fenland Museum, where the originals are archived.  But we soon realised that it would be good if the transcriptions were also made more widely available for the use of:

  • Tilney All Saints History Group members & friends
  • Residents of the village
  • Family History research
  • Local History research
  • Social History students
  • Local schools

The result is we have digitise the documents with the transcriptions and published in a book titled 'A Poore Child'.

See below a sample document and its transcription about Annis Auson 1663





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Apart from one extremely dubious tale in Charles Sampson’s ‘Ghosts of the Broads’, East Anglia can lay claim to only one traditional giant: namely TOM HICKATHRIFT, the giant of the Norfolk Marshland. Tom is mentioned many times in works on local folklore.

The Land of the Giant

The majority of the action in the tales takes place in the far western corner of Norfolk, in a rough triangle bordered by King’s Lynn, Wisbech and Downham Market, and more specifically in that area marked nowadays on the map as ‘Marshland Fen’. Upon the western edge of this region is ‘The Smeeth’, a name that once applied to the whole Marshland (and probably derives from an Old English word meaning ‘smooth’).

This was, in olden days, a fine pastureland about 2 miles or so across and of 1200 acres in extent. Over 30,000 sheep and cattle were grazed here by the  ‘Seven Towns of Marshland’ to whom the plain was common – namely Tilney, Terrington, Clenchwarton, Walpole, West Walton, Walsoken and Emneth. In 1923 the area was made into the new parish of Marshland St. James, and the Smeeth is now a straggling collection of both private and council houses, with a school, pub and small church, all strung out along Smeeth Road.

Somewhere in this region of the Marshland, say the legends, was born Tom Hickathrift, “in the reign before William the Conqueror”, the son of a poor labourer also called Thomas Hickathrift. His father died not long after Tom was born, and his poor old mother was forced to work day and night to support him, since he was very lazy, and ate a huge amount, “for he was in height”, says one story, “when he was but ten years of age, about eight feet, and in thickness five feet, and his hand was like unto a shoulder of mutton; and in all parts from top to toe, he was like unto a monster, and yet his great strength was not known”...............for more information visit West Walton & TSL schools project.

With your interest in the history of Tilney All Saints you will no doubt be aware that Tilney is not mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086.

It means that in our research of ancient history of the village, we do not have a survey of that time. Where villages have this profile they can compare today with 930 years ago.

When we started the History Group in 2006, someone pointed out that TODAY IS TOMORROW’S HISTORY, and this is why we would like to present the idea of completing a survey by the year 2020. This would give us three years to collect the data and publish the final book. BUT for this project we need to know:

1. Whether enough current residents would be willing to participate in the survey.

2. Whether there are people with the skills and readiness to help us form a TAS Domesday Book Working Party.

Our History Group membership at present is quite small, and with two special interest groups already formed and busy, we do need to expand to achieve this further goal.

We think the TAS Domesday Book 2020 a very worthwhile project for several reasons.

1. To interest and involve more residents in researching TAS history.  It is an opportunity for every household to take part. No one in any part of TAS needs to be left out.

2. To fill in gaps in our knowledge of properties, farms & fields in our ancient parish.

3. To attract younger people.

4. To involve the school.

5. To link up new knowledge with the ten years of research the History Group has recorded, for instance:

a. stories from the past.

b. studies of several properties.

c. family histories where members have helped those researching.

d. archaeology results (Archaeology Interest Group or DIGS)

e. transcriptions (Transcribers’ Interest Group or TIGS)

6. To preserve a record of Tilney All Saints at a point in time for the future.

7. To discover more old photos of TAS – both places and residents.

We placed an article in the local paper to encourage interest (see attached) and would very much like to hear from as many TAS households as possible.  You can email your interest (or lack of) by completing and sending the form to our contact address or email your interest.  We would especially like to hear from anyone who would be interested to be a part of the Working Party.  As yet nothing is decided at all.

It is rarely possible to obtain 100% participation in such projects, and at the outset, we would like to make it clear that the History Group would fully respect those who choose not to take part and inform us of this choice.