Funding success for VCH Shropshire

26 February, 2016 - 10:00

Work can now begin on researching and writing the missing volumes of the Victoria County History (VCH) of Shropshire thanks to initial grants of £17,000. The Jean Jackson Charitable Trust has awarded a three year grant of £10,000 per annum from 2016 – 2018, the Walker Trust has awarded a grant of £5,000 for 2016, whilst Wem Town Council and the Pagett Fund from the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society have each awarded £500. The Victoria County History Trust has made a grant of £1,000 to cover work on the architecture of Wem. There will now be two opportunities for the public to become actively involved in the project and further activities later in the year.

Commenting on the funding, Professor Richard W. Hoyle of the University of London, Director and General Editor of the series said: ‘This funding for VCH Shropshire is particularly welcome at a time of cuts and retrenchment and we are most grateful to our sponsors for their support. We will, however, need additional money to complete the publication’s schedule and we are now actively seeking other sources to top up and secure the project’s long-term future. History runs through Shropshire’s veins and we have a rich supply to tap into. The project has already unearthed the Garbet papers which shed fascinating new light on the history of Wem.’

Harvey James said: ‘The trustees of The Jean Jackson Charitable Trust are pleased to give financial support to the relaunch of the Victoria County History of Shropshire during the first three years of its operation.’ Edward Hewitt Clerk to the Walker Trust said: ‘The Walker Trust has supported the Victoria County History of Shropshire for many years and is pleased to offer assistance with the new project’. Mary Mckenzie, Team Leader at Shropshire Archives said: ‘Shropshire Archives is delighted to see the relaunch of the VCH in Shropshire and looks forward to working closely with the committee and volunteers in the future’.

The Victoria County History is a national project which aims to write the history of every single town and village in England. Eight volumes have already been written about Shropshire. In 2014 the first of two volumes concerning Shrewsbury was published and work is progressing on the second volume which will be published in 2017. Plans are well advanced for the publication of a VCH short (a single place study) on the north Shropshire market town of Wem. It is also hoped to restart work on a red book volume covering Newport and the Weald Moors, whilst it is intended to produce a red book on Ludlow and its surrounding rural parishes.

A study day is being organised in conjunction with the Friends of Shropshire Archives and will be held at Wem Town Hall between 10am–4pm on Sunday 26 June. Further details will be available in April.