Local History Group

Sydney Smith

The Thornton le Clay and Foston Local History Group

The Local History Group has been running for less than a year, but what we lack in experience we make up for in enthusiasm!

So far, we have had two kinds of meetings:

Reminiscences, in which long-standing residents of the village join us to talk about their memories, which we record and discuss.

‘Open days’ in which people come along to the Hall bringing anything of historical interest – letters, photos, maps, postcards, deeds etc, which we scan and record.

We have already heard a host of fascinating stories about the past in our villages.  For instance, do you know:

  • Where the Post Office used to be?
  • What happened at the ‘Tin Tabernacle’?
  • Where the Huntsman’s memorial is?
  • Where the wartime Evacuees came from?
  • Where Rudyard Kipling used to visit?
  • Where the Bay Horse pub was in Thornton le Clay?
  • When they drilled for oil in Thornton le Clay (see photo below)?

What happens next?

We have formed a small committee of Sarah Crabtree, John Holman, Vivienne Woodhead and Paul Woollons to steer our work.  At this stage we are happy to collect and share information, but there are many possibilities for the future.

  • We want more people to join our group and come to our meetings to share ideas and memories.
  • We want to develop a Local History section on this website, where we can collect and organise photos, writings and recollections, which people can add to so it becomes a living collection.
  • In the longer term, we might begin to write a short book on the local history of our villages.


Do come along to future meetings.  We would love to hear from people who are interested in helping to organise our growing collection – for example by setting up the local history section on this village website.  Our next Open day event is 13 July 11-2pm in the Village Hall. On the day we would encourage people to bring any interesting artefacts relating to their property or village life. Can they help us name people in  photographs we will have on display? We are hoping to have a special guest who came to Foston as a evacuee during WWII from Middlesborough and attended the school.