Harwell Parish History Group

The Harwell Parish History Group had its inaugural meeting on 19th March 2013 in the Village Hall. The aim of the group is to collect, preserve and research evidence of Harwell’s history, and to provide a Heritage Centre for the local area to enjoy and a place where historians can visit from far away to research their family history.

Harwell has a long and exceptionally rich history, in which many Harwellians are keenly interested. An impressive array of historical sources already exists: members of the group already have collections of documents and photographs. Some of these were used to write the booklet, “Harwell: Village for a Thousand Years” in 1985.  Members have spent many hours at the National Archives, local archives and visiting villagers to research, obtain more documentation and photographs to add to the collections.

American visitors research their family tree in the Heritage Centre

Since its formation, the History Group has held several, well attended exhibitions at the Village Hall, and these include the earlier history of the village, Harwell during the two World Wars and Harwell shops and people.

Future exhibitions will include the Life and Times at RAF Harwell, Education in Harwell, Village Organisations and a second one on Harwell People.

A fascinating talk was also given by Tania Szabó about her mother, Violette Szabó GC, who was part of the Special operations Executive (SOE) in occupied France in WW2.

Exhibition of Harwell People: Ancient and Modern, April 2017
Tania Szabó with Kath Luker of the History Group after her talk, Oct 2014

September saw the release of the group’s own Facebook page and a website is currently being worked on.

October 2017 saw the start of a more formalised group with monthly meetings and talks on local and national history by invited speakers and it is hoped that some meetings in the future will take the form of workshops where members can seek advice on researching their family history.

If you are interested in joining the group, or simply want to know more, please contact Heather Stevens on heather.stevens46@binternet.com or Kath Luker on kath.luker@tesco.net, using the subject line “Harwell History”.

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