Early in 1987, the Normandy Parish Council expressed its deep concern that knowledge and memories of past village life would be irretrievably lost with the demise of elderly residents, known to have been born in the locality or to have lived the best part of their life in Normandy.
The Chairman and Clerk of the Council, therefore, invited a small group of residents, keen to form a Local History Group, to a private meeting on 23 February 1987 to consider how best to alleviate the concern of the Council.
The group proposed that a Society be formed to record initially the last 100 years of social and cultural living within the village and to launch the project and its objects at a Special Parish Meeting convened for that purpose.
The meeting, attended by about 150 parishioners, was held in the Normandy Village Hall on 18 May 1987. It unanimously determined that a society be formed (suggested title NORMANDY HISTORIANS) with terms of reference "to record and publish the last 100 years history of Normandy in a form acceptable to the Parish Council and for the Council, within reasonable terms, to assist financially in the project".
The inaugural meeting of the Society was held 14 July 1987 when Bill Adey was elected Chairman together with an effective management team elected from the 30 persons present. The first Executive Committee meeting was held 23 September 1987. A formal Constitution was adopted at the Annual General Meeting held 11 October 1989.
The logo of the Society, now affectionately known as "Norman", was used during 1991 in the preparation work for the Wanborough Station Centenary Celebration held in September of that year. Although never officially adopted, "Norman", a much-admired addition to the title of the Society's on its letter heading and literature has remained ever since. He is, of course, a caricature of a warrior, holding his shield of defence in what is normally considered to be the fighting hand, and dressing (a military term) to the left, which again is contrary to normal military drill! He is, however, symbolic of all Local Study Groups, in that he is the Defender of the past and Herald of the future.
The principal object of the Society, to publish the history of the village, was achieved in July 2000 when the book was launched at Wyke Primary School in conjunction with an exhibition composed of material from the Society's archives and memorabilia on loan for the occasion. The initial print-run of 750 books, priced at £7:50 each, was sold out within a few weeks. The Society acknowledges that the discounted price of the book was made possible by grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Normandy Parish Council and Guildford Borough Council.
Why not join us?
Normandy Historians holds meetings on the third Tuesday of the months February to May, September to November at 8.00pm in the small hall of Normandy Village Hall, when there is a speaker giving a talk on a topic of historical interest. There are also occasional visits arranged to local places of interest.
Please visit their website http://www.normandyhistorians.co.uk/ for the future programme of meetings. Visitors are welcome at these meetings for a nominal guest fee.
The website has a contact form for further information or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . Membership of the society is £5 per annum and the application form can be found on the website.