Arlingham A Snapshot in Time

The history of Arlingham

By Rob Jewell

Arlingham, a Snapshot in Time

"How can Arlingham celebrate the millennium?" One response to the question in Arlingham News was the suggestion that a record be created of the houses in the parish. A committee was formed by David Merrett of Oldbury Farm and a group of keen photographers started the task of taking a photograph of every house. The plan faltered when funding could not be found and the project was almost abandoned.

As no one had ever published a book of the village before, it was felt that all the work that had been done should somehow be saved. One of the original committee took on the task of forming a new committee of Robert Jewell, Hamish Chirnside, Iain Davidson and Eve Jones who then set out to create a record of Arlingham at the turn of the century. Using many of the photos of the original committee, they asked parishioners for help and added more photos so that eventually every house except one appeared in the book. Parishioners sent in information about their houses and their lives and much more, so that the book became more than just a photographic record. There are sections on the famous "Passage 2000", the farming year, village life and the previous millennia.

While the book was being created, an old photograph of many villagers outside the Red Lion came to light and it was decided to recreate it. Every household in the parish received an invitation and in September 2001 a good-natured crowd of people assembled at the Cross. A professional photographer had been retained and Derek Jones provided his tractor and fore loader to be a 'cherry picker' to raise her high enough to get everyone in shot. A couple of press photographers who were present also bravely went up with her. This historic photograph was originally offered on its own then later became a part of the book.  Then came the task, led by Heather Maule, of identifying those in the photo and all except one are named in the book.

The weekly production meetings in the Red Lion soon became daily meetings in people's houses as the book neared completion. A map of the parish in 1802 was accompanied by a modern one on which the farmers had named all their fields. As this was long before "Google Earth" was invented, a coloured aerial photograph of the whole parish was also included.

So many people helped to produce "Arlingham, a Snapshot in Time" that the committee realised that they had relied on the contributions of so many people that a full list would have doubled the size of the book.  So they had to settle for " In this book we have tried to record something of Arlingham at the turn of the century, plus a little of what went before. We would like to thank the parishioners who told us about their houses, the farmers who told us about their farms, and all those who have helped and encouraged us along the way".

Truly a book created by the people of Arlingham.

Robert Jewell

This page was added by Iris Capps on 22/06/2009.

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.