Wenhaston Archive Project

About the Archive Project

The Project started in September 2007 when a small group of local people led by Arthur Musk came together to collect village photographs. Initially Arthur's plan was to build a record of farming in and around Wenhaston but this rapidly escalated to a much bigger plan to bring together all the photos, documents and memories of village life over the years.

Arthur's concern was that village life had changed radically over the lifetime of our older residents, and it was important to capture their memories and knowledge of the village whilst this was still possible. The initial group consisted of Arthur Musk, Norman Buckley, Tim Heaps, Simon Manning and Alex Manning and Chris Lavender. This group set about collecting, scanning and recording all the old photographs they could lay their hands on. No photographs were retained by the group as the Archive is purely electronic. By March 2008 they had over 800 photographs in the online database which was specially created for the project by Blythweb Ltd.

From this resource they produced a slideshow DVD, and they staged a two-day exhibition (29/30 March 2008) in Wenhaston Village Hall designed to show the village many of the photographs and to gather from them as much information as possible about those images. This exhibition contained over 300 photographs and was created by Chris Lavender using specially made cardboard display stands! It was a huge success both in terms of numbers of visitors and also the material that was gathered.

The Wenhaston Archive Project has no external funding and everything has been done by local people using local resources. The costs of the exhibition were covered by donations at the exhibitions, sales of DVDs and sales of A4 copies of images from the Archive.

In 2015 the Archive Project was wound up as key members moved away and no new people came forward to take over their work. In 2016 The Southwold Railway Trust provided funds to support the hosting of the website and the archive for two more years. Since this funding was withdrawn in 2018 the website has been funded by TJWebs.

In 2022 TJWebs passed the website across to MHCreations who extensively recoded and modernised various parts of the website to keep this ongoing and accessible record of the Project and village life. As well as this, additional search and listing features were added to help explore the details uncovered by the Project.