The aims of the group are to protect, preserve and promote features of the heritage of Speen, and the committee are busy working on various projects.
They have identified several key elements of the heritage related to the wood-turning industry, the tradition for lace-making and also the background of religious non-conformism which have all influenced the development of the village. In addition there is the brick and flint architecture and use of other local materials reflected in many of our buildings and in a broader context the local beechwoods and our natural environment. An attempt to produce a Village Design Statement was made in 2007, and the Heritage Group recently discovered a website created to support that attempt; you can see it by clicking here .
A considerable amount of research was carried out in the past by Bob Johnston and Martin Stockley much of which is published in their book The Leaves of Time – A History of Speen (Updates Here). Copies of this book are still available at Speen Stores. However the committee are still interested in hearing from anyone in the village with photographs, documents, and even personal memories or any artefacts that would be of local interest.
We have produced a guided heritage trail leaflet (also available in Speen Stores) and have considered the possibility of historical plaques for our more significant buildings amongst other schemes. We would also like to be able to collect old photographs of the heritage that could be utilised in an exhibition display. We would welcome help and suggestions about ways of preserving old records that have already been collected. Click for Index
If you have an interest in this subject or have contributions please contact Peter Symonds in the first instance. (01494 488016 or PSymonds590@gmail.com. Whilst we have no funding at present we hope to progress some of these ideas over a period of time.
One or two events have been organised since the group formed. In 2012 a guided walk through the ancient woodland at Piggots and a tour of what is now home to the renown Music Camp but had previously been the residence of Eric Gill was guided by Nick Wheeler Robinson – (see the article in the Summer 2012 edition of the Speen & North Dean News and some more photos here).
Click for Photos