History of the Project


During the course of collecting photographs Dave Sankey found himself being shown other items which were clearly equally important to Elston’s heritage but which were outside his brief and which he did not have the time to take on board. These often included documentation such as posters, reports, research, or projects done many years ago, and in two cases by the owner as a child.  It was important not to ignore these but to make note of them in the hope that a volunteer could be found to record the nature and ownership of these items and to take custody of any such gifts on behalf of the Project.  Richard Brooks volunteered to follow up any notification he received from the other team members and make contact with the owner. He would then note and describe the item in a database, taking copies of any documents as necessary, so that in the future if someone had the time and inclination to write a history of Elston, they would also have a ready index to valuable source material. It would also identify who we could go to for the loan of items for exhibitions.
Among items that came to light were a few memoirs, including a short book by Stuart Poucher, whose father John Poucher had farmed Lineham House Farm after the Second World War, and another by Margaret Moutrie (nee Gash) who had lived in Mill House when the mill was fully functioning and remembered Mr Beeston who ran the shop in Low Street. These books were copied and added to the Documents Archive.  During the course of the research other such books were acquired and added to the collection, including a history of the A46 that had belonged to the late Eric Ellis, former Secretary and President of the Pentagon Society, the memoirs of Bill Midwinter who had lived at Elston Towers in the 1930s, and a recently published book about the Polish Squadron that was based at Syerston airfield during the Second World War.  A number of other books, purchased by Jean Williamson during her research for the Second Exhibition, having served their purpose but having little value to the Project in the longer term, were donated to All Saints Primary School.

It became clear after two years that, with the need to buy and store exhibition display boards and panels and the accumulation of paper work and donated items, some sizeable storage facility would be needed. The Village Hall already had a shortage of space and so a separate facility was needed to avoid team members’ houses becoming permanently cluttered with research material.  It was decided that a shed should be purchased with the agreement of the HLF and used as a repository for Project items and, space permitting, as a community resource for the storage of accounts for the Village Shop and for the Village Hall Committee. Local prices for even an average sized garden shed were prohibitive, but a suitable opportunity arose when an advertisement for a shed sale a few miles up the A1 appeared in the Newark Advertiser. Dave Sankey paid a bank holiday visit and purchased a 16’ x 10’ shed at a knock down price.  A piece of land was kindly offered for the shed to be sited. It was delivered in a week and erected, roofed, insulated, floored, and shelved by a small team of volunteers within a couple of weeks of its delivery on site.