The Society

The Collingham and District Local History Society was formed in 1977 as the Collingham Museums Committee since when it has grown and developed to form today’s Society which is registered with the Charity Commission (No. 1164058). We have recently refurbished and redeveloped our Archives, initiated an Archaeology branch and will publish our first Journal in 2017. As well as encouraging and supporting amateur local and family historians, we welcome the curious and those who just wish to browse. We are engaged in various projects across the District and work with many individuals and organisations such as the local U3A and the Nottinghamshire Local History Association.

Membership has its benefits but you do not have to be a member to join in. So use the links on this and other pages to see what we can offer you.

Especially check out:

  • Our talks and events which are often given by Regional or National professional speakers and historians.
  • Visiting our Archives (The Jubilee Room, 11 Swinderby Road, Collingham, Newark, NG23 7PH – see side panel for opening times) to undertake your own private research which you can perhaps publish in our Journal.
  • Our Current Research pages – through which you can contact people with similar interests and post requests or offers of help or information.
  • How you can help us – joining in with one of our current projects, donations of items to our archives, financial donations or sponsorship (please contact our Treasurer, Chair or the Lead of any particular project that you wish to support).

Our Trustees are:

Nigel Priestley (Chairman, Treasurer, Social Media)

Born and bred in Collingham. Attended Boys, John Blow and Woodhill schools in the village. Graduated in 1974 in Applied Physics and Electronics at Durham University. Now Retired Chief Engineer. Church Warden of St Giles Church Holme and look after the bells and clocks of both Collingham church towers. Own and run post vintage Coventry built 1930s Daimlers.

As Chairman I will build on the excellent leadership that has been given by the previous Chair, Pat, ensuring that we focus on Collingham and District and continue to open up things of interest and intrigue to the membership. I’m also very keen to build on our engagement with the younger generations and involve them in research and exhibitions.

Pat Morgan (Secretary, Archive Team)

I was a teacher in comprehensive schools in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire but took a career break when both our daughters were little. Following early retirement I became a Magistrate in adult and youth courts but finished shortly after our move back to Nottinghamshire. Wherever we have lived or taken holidays I have taken an interest in the social history of the area and getting to know Collingham over the last few years has been a real pleasure.

I was involved in the presentation of both of our exhibitions, helped to design the Great War Village Trail and have written articles for editions of Irregular. As a member of the archive team, I am involved with auditing our resources and assisting our visitors, especially our young visitors, to explore the history of our village. I would like to encourage donations of photographs or records of current events that would be of interest to future generations in the Collingham area because if people had not done this previously we would not have such an interesting resource collection in the Jubilee Room on Swinderby Road.

Charlie Stothard (Membership Secretary, Archive Manager)

Moved to Collingham in 2013 and joined the Society as, despite an engineering background, I have always had an interest in history. I was first involved with the archives when helping with cataloguing and am now the Archives Manager. We have a small team of committee members and society members who accept new donations and assign them to the correct section of the archives. Regular auditing of the collection is also carried out. We are always happy to consider new donations which have relevance to Collingham and surrounding villages.

As Membership Secretary I accept new member applications and add them to the membership list. I will try to assist with any membership related matters.

My particular interest is in Family History and I lead the U3A Family History group in Collingham.  I am always happy to hear from anyone who is doing research in this field. The use of gravestone inscriptions as a source of genealogical information encouraged the formation of a group to record these in the Collingham churchyards. Records of these inscriptions are stored in the archives, with a database of names and dates on the CDLHS website. This process is ongoing.

Patricia Smedley (Programme and Events Co-ordinator)

History graduate and former teacher and nurse. Pat was a former trustee and guide at the Florence Nightingale Museum in London and trustee of the Florence Nightingale Derbyshire Association. Leader of the Collingham U3A Local History Research Group. Chairman of  the Collingham and District Local History Society from February 2015 to September 2022 .

Christine Hasman (Web Manager)

Creator of East Trent Genealogy, freelance Genealogist and Ancestral Tour Guide. Former telecoms software engineer. Administrator for the East Trent Group of Churches (including the parish of Collingham). Contributor to the Southwell & Nottingham Church History Project. Member of the baroque trio Sixteen Eighty Five, playing music from the time of John Blow.

Jeremy Lodge (Journal Editor)

One of my roles in the Society has been to encourage and support research; one result of which is the creation of our Journal ‘The Irregular’ through which we hope to encourage new researchers and writers and to link our area and people with wider historical events.

After university ‘last century’, there was no work for a Biological Sciences graduate so I fell into the public sector (primarily in Nottinghamshire County Council and Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue), where I mainly focussed on people, organisation and policy  review and development, which included lots of research. My ‘third career’ now seems to be Local History. I recently gained an MA as member of the last cohort of the Centre for English Local History at Leicester University. I have undertaken voluntary work for a range of organisations including the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, the Nottingham University/Southwell Diocese Church History Project and the International Bomber Command Centre.  I am a committee member of the Friends of the Centre for English Local History and the Nottinghamshire Local History Association.  However, my focus is on Collingham where three generations of my family now live.   I have written 3 local history books: Lowdham Grange. Borstal!, (2016)   Collingham and East of the Trent: Ice Age to the Romans (2021) and A Rural Railway: The Midland Railway – Lincoln to Newark Line (2022), with sequels to the ‘East of the Trent’ and ‘Railway’ books planned.

Some people join and only attend our presentations, others get more involved. There is a place for all!  And, we are all learning together.

David Barker (Research)

David served 20 years as an engineer in the Royal Air Force followed by 25 years in industry. He has always been interested in history and archaeology and on one posting met and was taught by Mick Aston in evening classes on Landscape Archaeology, as it was then called. Having thoroughly caught the bug he went on to study Landscape History through the part time certificate courses run from Madingley Hall near Cambridge. This culminated in the award of a Diploma in Landscape studies. On retirement he was accepted by Cambridge University to study for a Masters Degree in Local and Regional History, graduating in 2009. David moved north to Collingham in 2014 and joined the Collingham & District Local History Society, taking a particular interest in its archives. Eventually this led to his current role as senior archivist for the society with day to day responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the archive.

Anne Speed (School Liaison, Journal Editor)

My background is in primary education, having taught all age groups from 4 to 11 years. In addition to class teaching, I have long experience as a head teacher managing 3 different primary schools. During my career, I led courses on curriculum planning and child development in my own and other Essex County Schools and Teachers’ Centres.

Since retirement, I qualified as an examiner and marked English SATs, worked with children to prepare for their music grades in various instruments, was accompanist for pupils’ music exams and planned art/craft and music activities for families in church.

My position as trustee to CDLHS Board, involves regular visits to John Blow Primary School in Collingham, liaising with staff, working in the classroom with children on local history topics and stimulating their participation in events and exhibitions held in the village.

Since its inception, I have edited the Irregular and have contributed to its content in some issues.

Phil Docherty (Archaeology Lead)

Role is to lead a Community Test Pit Day to discover what is beneath Collingham and to begin to understand the earlier development of the village.

Ann Akrill (Archive Team)

My family moved to Collingham in 1930 and I was born at Potter Hill farm some years later. We then moved to South Clifton but Collingham was always a big part of my life as my grand parents still lived there. I moved away to work but returned 15 years ago. I am very interested in family history research, and I also volunteer at International Bomber Command Centre near Lincoln.

Lawrence Knowles (Digitisation Lead)

I moved to Collingham in 2021 with my wife Karen, prior to that I originate from Spilsby Lincolnshire where I studied at Spilsby Grammar School. During that period, I became interested in computing and left my formal education to create my own company writing computer games. After that I held various Director roles in technology companies as far afield as Nottingham, Sri Lanka and Boston, MA. I am currently involved in digitising the fantastic resource we have in our archives to allow easier access to our members and the broader public.

Please send any communication or enquiries via the contact form above, or by post c/o Collingham and District Archives, The Jubilee Room, 11 Swinderby Road, Collingham, Newark, NG23 7PH.