Projects

Biggleswade History Society Project Plan

Projects completed May 2006 to January 2014:

  • Full transcription of the 1851 census for Biggleswade – Mike Strange
    This is not being made available to the public; there is a look-up facility for members or those who
    purchase one of our publications (one surname printed out per purchase)
  • In-depth reorganisation of storage of photographs – Mike Strange
    This is the structure of our photographic records.
  • Detailed recording of photographic records – Indexing and scanning by Roy Chadwick and Penny Gilbert
  • In-depth reorganisation and cataloguing of storage of artifacts – Tim Haddow and Mike Strange
  • Transcription of 1915 Qualification of Electors and Jurors – Babs Elsworth
  • Publication of “Townsfolk of Biggleswade” – Ken Page, Mike Strange, Eric Lund and Jennifer Lawrence
    Volume 1 – 2007, Volume 2 – 2008 and Volume 3 – 2009.
  • 2008 – Succeeded in getting the name entry on the Biggleswade War Memorial corrected for Private Victor John Milton who gave his life in WW1   Click to see the War Memorial Event
  • Transcription of the Rose Lane School Registers – Babs Elsworth and Peter Horn – also see below ….
  • Transcription of Spong’s Directory & Almanac 1914 contains 1300 heads of household – Jean Strange
    Follow the link down to Trade and Residents Directories on our Research page.
  • Added an on-line listing of the interviews the Society has carried out with Biggleswade townsfolk and other Biggleswade Society audio recordings
  • Provided an on-line surname list from the school admission registers – Mike Strange
  • Summer 2010 two of our committee members undertook the logging and photographing, of burials of some important people within the grounds of the Biggleswade Cemetery Chapel using Council records to locate the plot numbers. This included a number of Commonwealth Commission Graves. This was to provide background information for the Heritage Open Day to take place in September.
  • Biggleswade buildings. Photographs taken of houses and buildings in Biggleswade with builders plaques and other features. – Chris Johannesen.  These are available on this web site here
  • September 2011 We had concern as to the future of Biggleswade Common, knowing that in the past approaches had been made to extend rights to excavate for gravel. The common is known to be one of a few, in this country, left intact and undisturbed. Aerial photographs show evidence of settlements, which have yet to be fully investigated. Therefore, an application was submitted to English Heritage for listed status. This is currently in their hands.

Projects in the pipeline:

  • In-depth reorganisation and cataloguing of storage of ephemera, maps and books – Sandra Ransom
  • The Biggleswade History Society’s First World War Project – The main focus of the project, begun in July 2013, is to build for Biggleswade an archive of the town’s First World War soldiers, those who died and those who survived the conflict. What better way to remember and honour them? This is an ambitious undertaking which the Society aims to tackle in stages over a five year period, ending in November 2018, the centenary of the end of the First World War. Click for a detailed description and illustrated description.

Ideas for the future:

The History Society would like to undertake a number of projects in the future; there are two main limitations:insufficient willing and skilled volunteers and funding. Given that these could be overcome by members with sufficient enthusiasm, knowledge and skill and with aid from grants we would like to:

  • Produce a Biggleswade Heritage Trail booklet to support and expand on a leaflet. Ken Page has supplied the outline content for these and detail from the heritage plaques; this can be seen here.
  • Produce Volume 2 of the “Heritage Trail” book. Volume 1 includes the High Street and Market Square; our next objective would be Shortmead Street. It was said that you could be born and buried in this street and want for nothing else; sadly no longer a true state of affairs but it does have a number of buildings and sites of interest and these are portrayed in our Research section under Roads.

Ideas Shelved due to Lack of Resources or Interest:

  • Reinstate the “Beating the Bounds” ceremonial walk around the parish boundary as an annual event in Rogation Week, between the fifth Sunday after Easter and Ascension Day.
  • Have a town museum.