Our sister site Hadleigh and Thundersley Community Archive had their official opening on Saturday 17th September 2011 in the Old Fire Station. They now have offices in this building and will be using it as their base.
They had a wide variety of displays and had many members dressed in costume who circulated throughout the hall during the afternoon. Among them was local historian Robert Hallman dressed as Hadleigh’s White Witch – James ‘Cunning’ Murrell .
In addition there were a number of local historical and local community organisations represented, including Essex Fire Museum, Benfleet and District Historical Society, AGES Archaeological & Historical Association and ourselves, Benfleet Community Archive. Each organisation was given space for a stall.
The Official Opening
The site was officially opened with a series of speeches. Before each of these there was an announcement from Hadleigh’s “Town Crier” played by Peter Hammerton.
The first speech was by the Castle Point Mayor, Mrs. Jackie Govier. who wished the Archive well.
Next was Rebecca Harris MP, who stated that she had an interest in history from a former life when she worked for a publisher of local histories. She also wished the Archive well and thanked the Heritage Lottery Fund for their support in financing the Community Archives.
The third speaker was the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) representative, Roy Swanston. He congratulated the Archive on its achievements. He also announced that the HLF had funds to spend and strongly encouraged organisations that had a heritage based plan to submit it for consideration.
Finally the Hadleigh and Thundersley Chairman, Nick Turner, thanked everybody for coming and the support they gave. The Mayor then gave a prize to Hannah Allwright the winner of the photography competition.
Further pictures of the launch by Ian Hawks are on the Hadleigh and Thundersley Archive site.
The Archive got off to a good launch and we look forward to working with them in future as we have in the past.