Tuesday, 3 November 2015


All members and supporters are invited to the Heritage Group's Annual General Meeting, which takes place on Monday 23rd November at 7.30p.m. in the library at the village hall.
It has been a busy and successful year once again with talks, and two very memorable days when we commemorated VE Day and VJ Day.
Besides items held in the centre, some interesting and moving material was brought to the exhibitions, for which we thank those who shared these memories with us. At the centre the artefacts and materials continue to be collated.  We have a splendid DVD of the World War One exhibition which we hope to show at the AGM. Do join us if you can.
Please note: yearly donations of £5, or more if you wish, are due at this time for 2016.
Please complete the form below and send it to our treasurer, Graham Foat, Upper Goldstone farm, Cop St, Ash CT32DN  or give it to a member of the committee: Penny Bernard, Alison Charles,  Peter Ewart, Ann Foat, Sarah Miller, Sylvia Proffitt, Rebecca Smith, Nina Vallack or Cressida Williams.
If you can gift aid your donation, please complete the attached form. If you can do it for future donations it would be helpful and you need not fill in the form again . This is the new form that has just been issued.
I enclose £------  as my yearly donation as a supporter of Ash Heritage Group.
Name---------------------------------------------    Tel: ---------------------------
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Tuesday, 29 September 2015


The Heritage Group's Autumn Talk focuses on Mary of Westmarsh, a pioneer of women's lib, 200 years before her time!
Mary was a sailor in an age when only men went to sea.
The talk is presented by Margarette Lincoln from the National Maritime Museum and 'explores an unusual personality from Westmarsh, who led a fascinating life at a time when women's options were severely limited.'
So maybe the feminist movement is not such a new concept!
The talk will be held in the Village Hall on Thursday, October 22 and starts at 7.30pm. Entry costs £3. There will be refreshments, a raffle and book stall as usual. The Heritage Centre will also be open for visitors to browse.

Thursday, 6 August 2015


VJ Day (Victory over Japan) is being commemorated by Ash Parish Council on Saturday August 15th at the village war memorial, with a simple ceremony to remember the 'forgotten army.' The commemoration starts at 10.30am.  
The Heritage Group is serving refreshments afterwards in the Village Hall and there will some items on display. If you have any World War Two memorabilia - particularly front the Asian front - please bring them along and share memories.
Please try to support the Parish Council at this event. 

Thursday, 25 June 2015


The Heritage Group staged a VE Day commemoration on May 9, with a display of World War Two pictures and artefacts.
People brought in their own memorabilia and Rex Cadman lent us some guns. 
We served spam and cheese and carrot sandwiches and cakes made to 1940 recipes, served by 'catering staff' in authentic 1940s outfits (right).
Activities for children were also provided.


The Heritage Group created a very successful World War One commemoration,  involving large numbers of the village community and raising money for the Royal British Legion.
Ash Village hall was opened in 1912 and in August 1914 , immediately on the outbreak of war, it was offered as a VAD Hospital. It was partly funded and largely staffed by volunteers from the village.
Ash Heritage Group re-created the VAD Hospital in the hall exactly as it was, using 100 year old photographs and at least one authentic old hospital bed, borrowed from Quex Park. A heritage member  made, in meticulous detail, a nurse’s uniform and a wounded soldier’s ‘blue suit’ (below right). These were worn by members in the re-creation to great effect. 
The accompanying exhibition drew on material held by the group, research already done by David Ross and David Downes; plus material lent by descendants of the 59 men of Ash and Westmarsh who died in World War One, as well as  those who survived.
The hall was decorated with Jubilee red , white and blue bunting and poppy loops made by Cartwright and Kelsey school at Ash. On Friday the exhibition was opened to the two primary schools in the village and shown to over 200 children who enjoyed taking part in a dramatic introduction and being bandaged.   On Saturday it was open to the public.
The Saturday evening performance of readings, poems and songs of World War One followed the progress of the war, as it told the stories of the village in the war and stories of the Ash men who fought in it.
The script drew heavily on the original parish magazines of the period, and was enhanced by powerpoint projections behind the readers and a spirited rendering of the Last Post.
The exhibition ended after the Sunday ceremony around the War Memorial, when everyone came back to the hall for refreshments.
The Heritage Group has worked closely with many members and individuals. At least seven village organisations have played a part in the commemoration. The group would like to thank everyone for making this a community event. Last but not least we thank the Heritage Lottery for funding us.