The Millennium prompted many activities in the village – and among them was the founding of the Bishopthorpe Local History Group. In 1998, a group of residents decided to publish a book for the year 2000 in aid of, what was then known as, the Bishopthorpe Millennium Fund.
A successful application for an ‘Awards for All’ lottery grant helped towards the costs and Archbishop Hope agreed to write the foreword. Having decided to restrict ourselves to aspects of Bishopthorpe history during the 19th century, members delved into various records using census schedules, maps, school logbooks and Post Office Archives, to name but a few. The result was, Bishopthorpe: Reaping the Past which was launched on 20th May 2000 at the Victorian Street Fair held in Main Street. One thousand books were produced; and all copies were sold over the next couple of years. This enabled the group to donate the sum of 2,600GBP to the Bishopthorpe Millennium Trust.
Linda Haywood, Freda Smith and Liam Godfrey launch ‘Bishopthorpe: Reaping the Past’ at the Victorian Street Fair in 2000. Photograph courtesy of the Evening Press.
Our aim is to research, record and preserve the history of Bishopthorpe and, where possible, publish the results. We are currently engaged in producing The Bishopthorpe Community Multimedia Archive and an Oral History project.
Members also carry out individual projects. Subjects range from education to the Women’s Institute. Data is compiled on village family histories; a twentieth-century chronology and, believe it or not, a Bishopthorpe anthology.