The exhibition was extremely well supported with over 200 people having visited it, mostly on the day of the launch but also during the following week. Of particular interest appeared to be the displays related to the two books, Titchmarsh House Histories and Titchmarsh Voices; the DVD of Jubilee Year; exhibits on those who fought and died in World War 1; the tales of witchcraft; and the proposals for the history trail. We were also treated to renditions by Leslie Ray of his song, ‘The Ballad of the Lovell Bride’ together with a song from World War 1.
Several visitors commented that the exhibits had enhanced their knowledge and appreciation of the village. “I never knew that!” and “Was it really like that?” were typical comments. It was good to see people who had left the village taking the opportunity to meet old friends, and no doubt reminisce about times past. Sales of the two books were brisk, copies of House Histories almost selling out by the end of the first day. Copies of the DVD will not be ready for a few days yet but several orders have been taken.
The vicar also used the exhibition as the focus of one of his regular talks to children from the school. After his address, groups were given the chance to see those parts of the DVD of especial interest to them. Fascination was blended with excited hilarity as they spotted each other’s antics.
With money from the Heritage Lottery Fund, we have been able to buy good screens and materials. These clearly contributed to the quality of our displays, making it easier for visitors to find their way through the information. And it was a great benefit too for us to set up in the wonderfully majestic space that the church provides. Our thanks to the PCC for their permission to do so.
Fortuitously, the exhibit coincided with the hundredth anniversary of the rehanging of the church bells. Stephen Barber, one of the church wardens, kindly showed small groups around the bell chamber and onward up to the roof. That last stage is somewhat hairy but is amply rewarded by the magnificent panoramic view over the village.
In the past we have had a number of enquiries via the village website from Australians seeking to trace their ancestry. Often their relatives went to Australia, as one visitor euphemistically put it ‘on a fourteen year holiday paid for by the UK government’ ie. they were transported!
We have now received our first request from Canada. Stephen Morrison has asked for information about the Jeffs family, his relation Agnes Jeffs having been born in the village in1896. We are on the case and if anyone has any information, we will be delighted to hear from them.