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Chairman's Report

This is my second report as Chairman.

I would like to thank:

  • Our Treasurer, Robert Sloan, for his very capable handling of our accounts
  • Our Minutes Secretary, Glenys Benson, for her efficient and speedy distribution of minutes.
  • Our members who turn up for meetings and events, and always ready to help.
  • Our friends who keep in touch and let us know they remain interested in the history of TAS.
  • And lastly, my wife, our Secretary and organiser, who keeps the wheels turning!

Since our last AGM the History Group has remained active and regular meetings have been held for planning and discussion.

A second year of archaeology showed a continued interest in this area of research.  Although there is nothing hugely exciting to report about the summer test pits, a small keen team have continued with excavation work at the old manor for most of the year.  We take the opportunity to thank Ann Savage, Ann Wragg, Glyn Pike, lan & Phil Perry for the bulk of this work.  It entails lots of digging and ongoing hard work, but also provides endless theories on how old an original building may have been.  The interest and advice of community archaeologist, Claire Bradshaw, is much appreciated, and an interim report will be written up in due course.  A museum type display case is being produced by local craftsman, Jonathon English, to be placed in the church with samples of finds from the digs.

Transcription work has taken a move forward.  You may remember there are many ancient documents at Wisbech & Fenland Museum awaiting transcription.  Ann Savage is providing training and support for those willing to learn and use this skill.  Those involved currently are: Judith (in USA), lan Perry, Glenys Benson, Irene Auker, Suzanne Burke, Audrey Wootton and June Mitchell.  A helpful pack has also been put together and available for those involved. It is hoped to produce a CD of Apprentices' Indentures.  There are 54 of these, and they date from late 16th century to the 18th.  The CD will mean that the Indentures can be viewed digitally, both photos of the original, as well as the (readable) transcriptions, and this means the fragile original documents can be preserved.

Maps have always held great interest for us, and this has been an exceptional year for acquiring maps to help with our Tilney history. Firstly discovering there were copies of Utting's map of 1826 in the village.  Then to find a copy of Dugdale's map of 1662, AND a 1582 map of the Marshland Seven Towns at the British Library was treasure indeed.  We were so thankful to find we could order copies of Dugdale's and the Marshland map from the British Library, and especially grateful to Minuteman Press for the excellent job of printing and mounting the Marshland map, which now hangs permanently in the church.

Sharing with others

Website: People are finding us on the web and in our Tilney Geeks Facebook.  Robert gets some interesting enquiries which we deal with (or not!) as appropriate.

June and I presented an illustrated talk on World War I at TAS school.  We researched the story of the young Captain, Gerald Watson Failes, who was killed in action in April 1918, and is commemorated in the beautiful stained glass window in the church.  We enjoyed this time with the children, and following the talk, we published the short story, 'World War I and a boy from Tilney.

June also presented a talk on Tilney History Group to the Sunshine Club at Marshland St James, and both of us talked to the newly formed History Group at Wiggenhall St Germans.

Regular contributions are published in Village magazines, and local press.


  • Further test pits, starting this month.
  • Talk on the Marshland map by Bryan Howling at the church in June.
  • Test pits at TAS school and Walpole St Peter's.
  • A family of Tilney descendants from America to visit us in November.
  • Book of short stories from Tilney in 2016.
  • Recruit more transcribers and complete Indentures.