Photos From Events
Albums are links to Google Photos
View photos from events assosiated with the DHT.
Bible Exhibition and Presentation
Whatton House Wartime Maternity Home 70th Reunion
Newspapers on Coronations 2012
Diseworth Diamond Jubilee Mosaic 2012
Civil War in diseworth 2011
Open Gardens 2010
Cheeses for Christmas
EMA in Wartime
Retired Residents Bench & Griswold Knitting Machine
Opening Day 2009
Restoration of the Chapel between 2007 and 2009
Christmas Bunting in the Church
The final tally of bunting flags for the Church was...
The final tally of bunting flags for the Church was over 300 pieces. It was the work of a number of volunteers and was very much admired.
Many thanks to all who helped drape the flags around the church pillars and across the side chapel.
The bunting will now be stitched into blankets for Rainbows Hospice.
- Nikki Hening
Celebrating 100 Years of the Royal Air Force
As the country prepares to commemorate 100 years of the Royal Air Force...
Henry Townsley - War Hero
As the country prepares to commemorate 100 years of the Royal Air Force we are proud to have in Diseworth a WW2 war hero who played a major part in the air battles.
Henry Townsley, who was born in 1920 in Harrington, Workington, recently came to live in Diseworth with his daughter Ann and son-in- law Clive. When he left school Henry joined the Merchant Navy and served on the ship Chesapeake. But he soon realised the sea was not for him and switched to the Royal Air Force, joining as an engine fitter in 1940. After training at St Athen in Wales Henry applied for air crew and was successful. He became a Flight Engineer and proceeded, throughout the duration of the war to undertake the dangerous missions flying over enemy territory.
Henry flew in Lancaster aircraft, thirty missions on his first tour, flying over Germany, Italy and France. He was with 97 Squadron. Henry kept an immaculate log book with all his flights carefully recorded. Just to read them instils in the reader the danger and the fear of those missions; Cologne, Berlin, Dusseldorf etc. After his first tour, Henry went on to fly another twenty times on Stirling aircraft. In all he flew on fifty missions. It was not without harm. Henry proudly shows the mark on his arm where he was hit by shrapnel when one of the aircraft was hit.
Perhaps the most memorable mission for Henry was his role in the D-Day Landings. His log book shows that on 6 th June 1944 his aircraft took off from Coningsby at 3.20 am to fly to St Pierre du Pont in Normandy; and again the same evening at 11.20 pm to fly to Argentan. The horror of that event must have been a fearful sight. Throughout the week Henry’s Bomber headed for the railway bridges which had to be destroyed to aid the troops on the ground.
Henry Townsley was much honoured for his bravery. He received the DFM (Distinguished Flying Medal), the Croix de Guerre, the Legion of Honour and medals for his service over Germany, Italy and France. Earlier this year Henry attended a Reception and met Prince William.
In all Henry served six years with the Royal Air Force during WW2 and six years post war. He then worked at Rolls Royce for the next 26 years in the Drawing Office as a senior configuration engineer.
It was a privilege to meet Henry who will be our special guest at the Centenary Presentation at the Heritage Centre on 4 th April.
- Nikki Hening
Banners dedicated and admired
Four 'pull-up' banners depicting the history of the churches were dedicated...
I am writing to report on the visit of Four young University Students...
Dear Loughborough Students Union
I am writing to report on the visit of Four young University Students who gave up their Saturday afternoon to spend three and a half hours cleaning at Diseworth Heritage Centre. Frances, Laura, Alex and Ben have all been before and we are so pleased they volunteered to return.
They immediately set to cleaning windows: this is no small task, our former Baptist Chapel has many tall windows with leaded lights, it also has a skylight which is difficult to access, but undaunted they worked throughout. climbing on a storage cupboard to reach the difficult areas. Needless to add that they undertook risk assessments to ensure safety..Having cleaned all the windows, inside and out, they set about the wooden shutters, brushing them down to clear dirt without damaging the paintwork.
They also noted the Centres' gutterings were blocked with twigs and leaves and decided to clear them; the flagged path in front of the Centre was swept clean and the debris disposed of correctly.
These four intelligent young people with their cheerful, friendly attitude, sense of humour and courtesy are a pleasure to meet. They are a great credit to themselves, the SCOGUI Movement and Loughborough University. A future employer would indeed be fortunate to know them.
DHC receives Accreditation Status
The Centre which opened seven years ago after a Heritage Lottery Award...
The Centre which opened seven years ago after a Heritage Lottery Award to purchase and restore the original Baptist Church has now received national recognition by Arts Council England as an Accredited Museum.
The Arts Council Accreditation Scheme sets nationally agreed standards for UK museums. To qualify, museums must meet standards on how they are managed, for the services they offer and on how they care for collections. A detailed application was received by the Arts Council and an Assessor was appointed to visit the premises and ask various questions.
The Heritage Centre was assessed on its management and care of the building, the protection of the collections with which they are entrusted and how visitors and enquiries are met.
A series of policies had been produced, manuals for emergency planning, documentation procedural plans, volunteer induction booklets and other relevant information as required.
The Diseworth Heritage Trust has successfully created a museum for local documents and artefacts covering Diseworth and Long Whatton, published a number of books on local history, provided a computer suite for use by local people and a meeting place for conferences and exhibitions.
Each year a series of events are planned, commemorating the Jubilee in 2012, a Civil War weekend and in 2014 a number of presentations on the Centenary of WW1. In addition, a great deal of research is carried out by a small team of volunteers, into Census details of Diseworth and Long Whatton, parish records, parish church history and the names of those on the War Memorials.
The Arts Council Assessor who spent a morning at the Centre viewing the current exhibition and the relevant documents was highly complementary and recommended the Trust for Full Accreditation.
Cathy Phillips, Chair of the Trust, commented ‘Accreditation means that this is not just a small museum. The Trust understands conservation and can be trusted with preserving memories of the past for the benefit of the future. The Centre is a wonderful resource for the public and for local business, as a meeting space, for history and for knowledge’
Martin Hening steps down as Chair
28th Februaty 2016
After thirteen years in the post, where he oversaw the purchase...
After thirteen years in the post, where he oversaw the purchase of the Baptist Chapel, the award of the Heritage Lottery Grant to enable the Trust to restore the building, and witnessed the success of the Heritage Centre, Martin has handed over the Chairmanship of the Trust to Cathy Phillips.
Prior to the creation of the Trust Martin had worked hard to raise funds and awareness of the need for a Centre for Long Whatton and Diseworth to preserve the culture and heritage of the two villages for future generations of residents. After the serious flooding of the Chapel and churchyard the trustees of the Baptist Church decided to sell the chapel and churchyard. Martin undertook visits to the Baptist Union Headquarters at Didcot to discuss the possibility of purchasing the Chapel where he found a sympathetic ear for the preservation of the site. He oversaw the reconstruction of the brook wall and the building of the boardwalk in the churchyard.
Then when HLF awarded the huge grant, with the support of the other trustees and a group of volunteers, Martin set about the enormous task of appointing an architect, a surveyor and a conservation builder to create the Heritage Centre to the specifications required by HLF.
The aim of a Heritage Centre included a Computer suite and with the support of Leicestershire County Council and Shepshed Building Society, this took shape in the upstairs former Sunday School room. Today it is the most used part of the Centre. On 9th March 2009 the Centre was opened by the Lord Lieutenant, Lady Gretton.
The Centre has since faced problems with the theft of the lead from the roof and the severe flooding which damaged the flooring in the building but with the continued support of trustees and volunteers these setbacks have been overcome. Martin insists he did not do this on his own but he has always been happy to take on any responsibilities required.
At the Trust AGM in February Martin was praised for his ‘dedication and inspiration’ and a presentation was made by Kath Taylor, Company Secretary.
He will stay on as trustee in a consultative role and continue to be Premises Officer.
SCOGUI Visits Diseworth Heritage Centre
6th December 2015
On the 6th December, SCOGUI – Loughborough University’s Student Scouts and Guide Club...
On the 6th December, SCOGUI – Loughborough University’s Student Scouts and Guide Club – came to help out with some of the cleaning and maintenance tasks at Diseworth Heritage Centre.
Upon arrival we were put straight to work climbing up and replacing the battery on the clock in the main hall before splitting up to tackle various tasks around the building. Mainly working outside, windows, frames, doors, shutters and even drainpipes were cleaned as we were tasked with removing the dirt and grime caused by the glorious British weather throughout the year. The upstairs windows were cleaned inside and out as well as the entrance porch.
Thanks should be given to Nikki and Martin who were always on hand with tea and biscuits for us as we cleaned.
It was a great opportunity to be able to assist with keeping a piece of history alive for future generations to enjoy and we hope that the heritage centre remains a community hub for many years to come.
Much like the heritage centre, SCOGUI has a rich history of its own and the first record of us appears in 1953 where the club was set up to foster Scouting and Guiding within the setting of higher education. To this day SCOGUI has continued the tradition of not only providing an outlet whereby current members of the Scouting and Guiding community can continue to take part in activities which have formed the foundation of their youth; but by also offering the chance for individuals who are new to the Scouting and Guiding community to gain an insight into the marvellous array of activities that are on offer. SCOGUI has a diverse and eclectic programme and has a reputation for never missing out on an opportunity to have fun –regardless of how bazaar the pastime is.
SCOGUI currently has 25 members and takes an active role both within the university and externally by organising events such as an annual night-time incident hike for the local scout and guide district.
I hope that this has given a little insight into the world of SCOGUI and I would like to conclude by thanking Nikki and Martin once again for their hospitality and wish them all the best with their continuing endeavour.
Alex Hawkins - SCOGUI Publicity Officer
Bible Exhibition and Presentation
5th October 2015
It was full house at the Heritage Centre on 5th October when people...
It was full house at the Heritage Centre on 5th October when people came from Diseworth and surrounding villages to hear Tony Edmonds give an inspiring presentation on the history of the Bible, ‘God’s Library in your Home’.
Over eighty Family Bibles were brought to the Centre on the evening and their details were dutifully recorded by Pat Guy. With one dated 1695 and many others with dates from the 1700’s it was an impressive display. A considerable number had family details inscribed in them, dates of marriages, births and deaths, some with home addresses, some with childhood illnesses and some with accounts of their original acquisitions (e.g. presented by the Dyer’s Company, etc)
Tony Edmonds gave an excellent account of what we know about the writings of the bibles, their different versions according to the different Christian groups, the first translations into Latin, English etc. The explanation of the books of the Old Testament and the sections of the New Testament and their value in a time when so few people could read and so few people were permitted to read the Bible was fascinating, given with light hearted asides of a time when there was no ‘cut and paste’ and reliance was on accurate copying of text. Commenting a number of times that he was speaking as a Christian, Tony emphasised the value of the bible and its importance to our lives. He ended by showing a slide of a Lego bible with a scene from the Last Supper, a lovely way of explaining the story to young people.
Over refreshments visitors were invited to view the amazing displays: Kegworth Baptist Church brought a selection of bibles for all ages and all groups, some in poetic form, some in ‘rap’ form. Tony had shown us a ‘Biker’s Bible’ and a limerick Bible. From Long Whatton Methodist Church there were Bibles in many different languages highlighting their missionary work. In the whole display there were bibles in over ten different languages. Small pocket versions of the New Testament which was given to soldiers of each of the World Wars displayed a touching reminder of the comfort offered by reading them.
On leaving everyone was invited to take a small bible as a gift to give to someone, these bibles having been donated. It was a thought provoking evening, for those who had brought treasured books which had been entrusted into their care and for those who might consider providing one for future generations to appreciate.
Many thanks to Tony Edmonds and to those who helped set up the exhibition, provide refreshments and clear away, and to those many people who brought their treasured family bibles.
Small Dog joins the Computer Group at the Heritage Centre
On a Thursday in September Tony Wagstaffe arrived at the Centre...
On a Thursday in September Tony Wagstaffe arrived at the Centre to find a Yorkshire Terrier sitting at the entrance. He carried it in and enquired if anyone knew to whom it belonged as Tony comes from Long Whatton. No one could identify the little dog but we found a metal disk attached to its collar. Whilst Tony made contact with the owner the dog settled in comfortably and had a walk round the building and churchyard before being returned to its grateful owner. Meanwhile David Griffith, also from Long Whatton was minded to record the event in verse.
The Diseworth Dog
Tony met a Yorky dog
It would not let him pass
‘I’m waiting at the Chapel gate
I want to join the class!’
‘I’ve led a very sheltered life
I’ve no more time to waste
I’ve heard that Nikki’s very good
She’ll teach me Cut and Paste.
Kings and Queens of England
And flowers and veggies too
All about diseases
From chicken pox to ‘flu.
Then, about eleven o’clock
It’s time for coffee break
When we all tumble down the stairs
To sample Martin’s cake.
Then it’s time for going home
At least I’ve had a taste
The only dog in Diseworth
Who can do Cut and Paste.
Shortlisted in East Midlands Heritage Awards
9th May 2015
The East Midlands Heritage Awards 2015 covers five counties...
The East Midlands Heritage Awards 2015 covers five counties. There are a number of categories in the Awards and the Trust entered for ‘Heart of the Community’ Award.
The entry was a project to commemorate the centenary of WW1 in a way which involved a group of villages affording all the opportunity to benefit from the expertise of professional support and shared research findings. All the work was to be brought together in a Community Play and performed in three villages on August 2014.
The interest shown nationally for the commemoration of WW1 brought together a network of organisations, each with different ideas on how to work together to commemorate the Centenary through shared interests, knowledge and expertise. An open meeting highlighted the many groups keen to work together. A Heritage Lottery Project received a positive response and generous funding. The professionals contacted showed enthusiasm in working on the project. It was decided to spread the ideas further and test response. This was shown most noticeably at two functions in 2014, the Kegworth Easter Market where the Diseworth Heritage Trust had a stall displaying memorabilia and advertising the Community Play and the Ibstock History Days in May 2014 which was devoted to sharing information relating to WW1. Each time there was much interest in becoming involved in a larger group with the professional support and local volunteers.
To encourage participation Diseworth Trust produced a poppy knitting demonstration which took place at each event; this attracted a surprising number who collected patterns and details of events. We felt the whole project would offer something for everyone who wished to participate.
Meetings took place with the Chorus Theatre Company where researched material was discussed and those interested offered ideas for the performances which emphasised the local information; recruitment, stories of soldiers, letters sent from the Front, accounts of work in the local Munitions factories and the effect on those ‘back home’. Two young musicians offered to provide music and songs.
Two WW1 re-enactment groups offered to attend; South Staffs group gave a presentation at the Heritage Centre beforehand and came to the Saturday Spectacular all day events in Diseworth with tents and memorabilia. The other group, the Croix de Guerre, also attended the Saturday Spectacular, dressed as for war, marched around the village and demonstrated a ‘Charge’ in a field. An exhibition of wartime weapons was held in the Village Hall and a display of a French wartime kitchen attracted many people.
The support for the Diseworth Dialogue to become a special WW1 Commemorative edition brought together the regular contributors writing features which related to the special edition e.g. Farming and health issues in WW1.
Outcomes of the project
The whole project meant participants from three villages working together and learning from each other to mutual benefit and friendships. The Oral History training involved the purchase of oral history recorders (HLF funded) which are currently loaned out for continuous use to local people. Recorded memories have been made from local residents who recalled their male relations and their roles in WW1. The enthusiasm for tracing family members on the War memorials has continued.
The Poetry sessions resulted in poetry being written which related to the stories of the names on the different village War Memorials and further poetry being produced. People who had not attempted any form of poetry became interested and involved. Young people particularly began to comment on the names on the war memorials and asked to become involved in the Play.
Becoming involved in the Poppy Knitting sessions led to dozens of poppies being available at each event which proved very popular.
Participants became interested in the history of WW1 and relevant newspapers and magazines were shared as the performance began to take shape. After the final performance the cast and helpers attended a party and thanked the Heritage Centre for creating the project.
Memorabilia brought to the Heritage Centre included an embroidered cushion cover from France, embroidered postcards from Belgium, a fancy stitched pin cushion from France, ‘death pennies’ war time letters, medals etc all with family stories which contributed to the collection for the exhibition and increased visitor numbers. A greater understanding of the causes and effects of WW1 was noticed by visitors to the Heritage Centre.
The project was funded by HLF and so proceeds were given to the Royal British Legion.
Entries had to be sent in by the beginning of March. Two weeks later we received the following email;
"Thank you for entering the East Midlands Heritage Awards 2015. We had a large volume of excellent applications which is a really positive reflection of the quality and variety of activities taking place in museums and heritage organisations across the region.
The short listing panel met last week and I am delighted to be able to tell you that 'WW1 Heritage Community Project' was shortlisted for the 'Heart of the Community' Award.
All the winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on the evening of Tuesday June 9th at Nottingham Conference Centre. This follows the East Midlands Heritage Conference which will be held during the day."
Diseworth Church Celebrates 1000 Years
8th October 2013
The bells rang through the village on the Patronal Day of St Michael...
The bells rang through the village on the Patronal Day of St Michael and All Angels. The church soon filled with visitors and local residents to attend the launch of the Church Heritage Trail. The Trail has a local flavour, created by Pat Guy and Nikki Hening from Diseworth Heritage Trust, designed by Ruth Smith and printed by Charlie Henry’s firm Ashfields.
Thanks to an Award from Heritage Lottery Fund Pat and Nikki have spent many months researching the history of the church from its early days as a little Saxon church, through the affluent times of its extensions and improvements, then the problems of the Middle Ages, to the lovely church it is today. Pat gave a presentation of slides showing the different stages of the church’s growth which can be identified in the Heritage Trail. Dr Douglas Cawthorne from De Montfort University gave a short presentation on the Digital Building Heritage Project and spoke of his visit to Diseworth to create a laser scan of the Church and what he aims to produce in the New Year.
Also on display were four banners; one depicting the story of Langley Priory which held the advowson of the church for three hundred years and one showing the early Church Wardens and portrayed their important roles in the church and the village. The other two banners are time lines, one listing important events in Diseworth and St Michael’s Church and the other listing national events throughout the same years.
Bishop Christopher Boyle congratulated all who were involved in the making of the Church Trail and Banners and Professor David Stocker representing Heritage Lottery Fund also expressed his appreciation of the achievements of the Trust. Other visitors included District Councillors Nigel and Alison Smith who are regular supporters of Diseworth. Thanks were expressed to Dr Pamela Fisher from Leicester University for the great support she has offered to the project in the form of training and visits.
A wine and buffet reception followed as the visitors viewed the displays, one of which is a model of a Saxon Church created by Jamie Sims. Diseworth Heritage Trust is very grateful for the help given by members of the PCC and the Trust in preparing the Church, and helping, serving and clearing up. The Church Heritage Trail is available at the Church or the Heritage Centre at a cost of £1.50
Telling Our Story
24th March 2013
Diseworth Heritage Trust is one of the first groups in the UK to receive...
Diseworth Heritage Trust is one of the first groups in the UK to receive a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) All Our Stories grant, it was announced recently. The exciting project ‘A Thousand Years of History’ and led by the Heritage Trust has been given £7,2000 to tell the story of the Diseworth Parish Church from Mercia to Modern Times.
All Our Stories, a brand new small grant programme, launched earlier this year in support of BBC Two’s The Great British Story – has been designed as an opportunity for everyone to get involved in their heritage. With HLF funding and support, community groups will carry out activities that help people explore, share and celebrate their local heritage.
The popular series presented by historian Michael Wood and supported by a programme of BBC Learning activities and events got thousands of us asking questions about our history and inspired us to look at our history in a different way through the eyes of ordinary people.
St Michael and All Angels in Diseworth is at least 1000 years old. Architectural details show that it was built before the Norman Conquest. Since then it has undergone several phases of neglect, repair and alteration. Diseworth Heritage Trust intends to publish all the information in a new book; to create a complete record of the tombstones, and in collaboration with the Digital Building Heritage Group at De Montfort University, to create a mobile enabled website showing how the church evolved from its humble Saxon origins into the familiar building of today.
The programme and HLF All Our Stories has proved a real hit and now A Thousand Years of History is one of hundreds of successful projects around the UK to receive a grant. Diseworth Heritage Trust will work with volunteers to help them identify the various stages the parish church has gone through to reach the building we know today.
TV presenter and historian Michael Wood, said: “We British love our history, and no wonder: few nations in the world, if any, have such riches on their doorstep, and so much of it accessible to all of us. It is really tremendous that people of Diseworth have been inspired to get involved to tell their own story and dig deeper into their own past. It’s brilliant that so many people are being given the chance to get involved through the All Our Stories grants. Having travelled the length and breadth of the British Isles this last year filming The Great British Story, I am certain that fascinating and moving stories will be uncovered which will not only bring to life the excitement of local history, but will illuminate and enrich every community’s connection with the national narrative.”
Commenting on the Award Nikki Hening said ‘It’s great that we have been awarded this grant and we can’t wait to get started. We love where we live and know there’s so much more to discover about our past. We are all really excited about telling other people about our findings and sharing our heritage and history with them.’
Emma Sayer, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund East Midlands said ‘ Clearly the success of All Our Stories has reinforced the fact that we are indeed a nation of story tellers and that we want to explore and dig deeper into our past and discover more about what really matters to us. This is exactly what this grant will do for the ‘Thousand Years of History as they embark on a real journey of discovery’
Diseworth Diamond Jubilee Mosaic
The weather was mild on the Saturday morning that the Mosaic...
The weather was mild on the Saturday morning that the Mosaic was unveiled. After the days of torrential rain and the damage to the floors in the Heritage Centre, the sun actually shone as Andrew Bridgen drew the flag off the Mosaic. Much praise has come to Diseworth for the community effort which went into the making of the Mosaic. MP Andrew, County Councillor Lesley Pendleton and NW Leicestershire Officer Goff Lewis were among those present who offered their congratulations to the village for the success of the Diamond Jubilee Year which resulted in a lasting memorial.
The cost of the Mosaic was funded by County Council Shire Grants, NW Leicestershire Grant, Long Whatton & Diseworth Parish Council Grant and sponsorship from East Midlands Airport. The balance of the costs was met by the Heritage Trust and Village Hall funds. Thanks also to John & Margaret Sutton for kindly permitting the Mosaic to be fixed to their wall.
With the Heritage Centre out of action that day, the Parish Church very kindly granted permission for the reception to be held there. Many thanks to those who helped fix the Mosaic on the wall, set out and serve hot drinks and mince pies and also gave their time washing up and clearing up afterwards. It was yet another example of community support. Many thanks to all.
Volunteers complete work at the Cross around the Mosaic
EMA kindly volunteered to clear the area around the Cross in Diseworth in...
EMA kindly volunteered to clear the area around the Cross in Diseworth in readiness for the unveiling of the Diseworth Mosaic by Andrew Bridgen MP.
Unfortunately the agreed day coincided with the heaviest rainfall the village had seen for some time and as the rain poured down Grimes Gate it was agreed the event had to be postponed. Undaunted Kate Hall Community Relations Executive at EMA organised another date. Volunteers from East Midlands Airport spent the morning of 13th February clearing the shrubs from the Cross in Diseworth as part of their Sustainability Champions programme and had a very productive morning despite the snowfall. The programme was introduced as part of the airports commitment to supporting local communities. It is now into its third year and encourages all colleagues to get involved by becoming an Environment, Community or Green Travel Champion.
Our four volunteers were John Froggatt - Cargo and Commercial Bid Director, Bill Blanchard (from Diseworth)- Cargo Key Account Manager, Anthea Hartshorne - Secretary Admin Support and Kate Hall - Community Relations Executive. They were joined by Penny Cureton CSR Administrator who arrived with cakes!
The team worked very hard all morning so a short break was called for after which they became determined to complete the task which carried on through a snowstorm. All the rubbish was taken away by another team and the area around the Cross is ready for summer planting.
Very many thanks to EMA for their continued support for Diseworth Heritage Centre.