A few interested people had for many years been transcribing the church records whilst others had been studying photographs and other aspects of village history. In 1983 they got together and on 21 March the Weaverham History Club was formed. This was renamed the Weaverham History Society in April 1987. The stated aim of the Club was ‘that an active study should be followed’. ‘The chairman wanted to keep preserved anything of antiquity appertaining to Weaverham in the way of maps, written work and stories and information by word of mouth of locals.’ At a later meeting (11 May) it was decided that the club ‘should fulfil a service to the village in trying to preserve the knowledge of the locals and of those interested, and preserve this knowledge for the future.’
It was decided in April 1983 that the initial idea, based on aerial photographs, of finding a Roman road passing through the village, would be a difficult starting venture. Therefore the first major project undertaken by members, using a modern map, was dating each house, naming each field and putting in hedge dates.
Initially, all members took an active role in studying the history of the village, and speakers were usually local people who could pass on their knowledge and any written records of the history of the village. With the expansion of the Society only a proportion of our membership now takes an active role in our projects. In 1987 the Society published its first book ‘Old Weaverham’ which is a pictorial history of the village. As well as a brief history of the village different aspects of village and farming life are recorded photographically with an accompanying text.
Early in the new millennium a team of History Society volunteers conducted over 40 interviews with individuals and family groups to compile over 120 hours of tape recordings. With the help of a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund this work resulted in the publication in 2004 of our second book, entitled ‘An Oral History’.
In 2009, in conjunction with the Weaverham Trust and Vale Royal Borough Council, blue plaques were placed on all listed properties in the village, and profits from the sale of the Oral History book was used to contribute to the cost. By agreement with the Lottery Fund the remaining profit was passed to the Barrymore Institute in Forest Street which was a gift to the village by Lord Barrymore in 1907.
The Society has extensive archives including legal papers, a large selection of other documents, maps and photographs. The Society has received a Heritage Lottery Grant to enable the archives to be digitised.
Every year the Society donates a history prize to a pupil at Weaverham High School.
The current membership of the Society is approximately 50. Meetings with a visiting speaker take place at the University Primary Academy Weaverham (formerly Wallerscote Community School), Northwich Road, Weaverham, Northwich, Cheshire, CW8 3BD.
Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month and we invite a guest speaker to talk to us, usually on a topic of local historical or archaeological interest, though sometimes the subjects range further afield. Details of the talk are given on our Programme page.
Membership is £15.00 per year. Meetings are free to members of the Weaverham History Society, children and students. Visitors are asked for a donation of £2.00 at each meeting.
As well as our ongoing projects we enjoy evenings or days out in spring and summer usually by coach from the village and we seem to have started a tradition of having a yearly canal boat trip as well. The Society normally invests in the services of Blue Badge guides on our visits. We also have a very enjoyable Christmas event every year, the talk commonly having a seasonal flavour.