We hope you find this website interesting and informative, especially if you have family connections with the village of Eydon, Northamptonshire, England, or are involved in historical research of your own.
Eydon's On-Line Photo Archive
One of the main features of this new website is our new, simplified Photo Archive section which is fully searchable by keywords and description. Each image has some information about it, and we are keen to encourage website visitors to help us fill gaps in our knowledge. More images are currently being prepared and these will be added to the Archive on an ongoing basis.
Sharing Our Village History
If you have additional information or photographs about the village, that you wish to share, please get in touch by clicking the Contact button at the bottom of this page.
About The Eydon Historical Research Group
© - carolannphotos.com
The group was started in late 1996 with the aims to research the history of Eydon and its inhabitants and to publish our findings.
We are extremely fortunate in having access to a wealth of information about the village and many of the families who have lived here. An early major task was the transcription of village records held in central record offices, so that complex electronic searches can be carried out efficiently. Documents that have been transcribed include the church baptismal, marriage and burial registers since 1538; some of the records of Eydon Quakers; the census returns from 1841 to 1901; samples of churchwardens’ and overseers’ accounts and rate books from the mid-17th century on; the field books of the 1910 land tax; wills, inventories and deeds from properties in the village.
In addition, Syd Tyrrell wrote a superb book, 'A Countryman's Tale' which was first published in 1973. He had amassed much more material and, with his family's permission in 2001 we published the second volume of his work which we called ‘Syd Tyrrell’s Eydon’, copies of which are available from EHRG. For details of all our publications please go to our publications page on this website.
We wanted to build on the stories of the people about whom Syd had written and to add more details about the world in which they lived. Although we have no oral history of the world and the village that Syd knew, in the past twenty five years many documents and records to which he did not have access have been made available. Using these and the modern IT tools has enabled us to add to his legacy.
Projects are approached using many different resources. For example, the story of evacuees during the 1939-45 War involved looking through the school records, some of Syd Tyrrell’s unpublished works, local government lists of where people stayed, and taking oral histories of former evacuees about their time in Eydon.
In early 2006 we began to consider how we should preserve and store not only the photographs we had been given or loaned, but also – and much more important - the information we have concerning the photographs. To do this, with the aid of a substantial lottery grant, we developed a website with a searchable database, linking the photographs with the history of the people, places and events they illustrate. The aim was, not just to record what is shown, but by linking each image to others, trace and reveal as much as possible of their stories, and therefore to provide as comprehensive a database as possible.
By late 2019 our website was beginning to show signs of needing remedial work and, in the absence of a grant, we invested a lot of time investigating the options available. We were delighted when Eydon resident, Gordon Anderson from Blue Web Design, offered his skills to help us update and simplify our site and make it more accessible than ever to people interested in researching local history.
Throughout its life the Group has been extremely fortunate in having enthusiastic members who are inspired by local history research. As a result, although always small in number, the Group has been remarkably productive. In the early years, led at the time by Helen Doe, the mammoth task of publishing 'Syd Tyrrell's Eydon', with the permission and support of the Tyrrell family was achieved. Since then members have researched a plethora of topics, some of personal interest and others inspired by enquiries.
Over the years members' individual skills have benefitted the Group in many ways, some of whom have moved on to other interests or places. In particular Leila Leeson was incredible at transcribing records and her extensive work enables us to search and share our raw data with other researchers. Sonia Hawes had a real talent for artwork, and many of our booklets have been enhanced by her work. She also was really good at helping us make successful grant applications as well as staging exhibitions. Alison Parsons was also brilliant at staging exhibitions and had a real talent for researching obscure data about the village and its inhabitants.
Sadly some members are no longer with us. Iain Bishop OBE, who unfortunately was not a member for long, lent his expertise and photo scanning skills and is much missed.
Dr Kevin Lodge made an incredible contribution to the Group and to the village as a whole, whether it was his knowledge of Morris Dancing, Mummers, his contributions to multiple village organisations and events, support of the pub (especially real ale) or his belief that Eydon was a failed market town and his sterling efforts to support that theory. He was unfailingly cheerful, a hardworking, hand-waving, enthusiastic and dedicated researcher. We were lucky he was a member for 25 years and he is greatly missed.
Current members are Simon and Lyn Evans, Caroline Bedford, David Kench, Chris Howes, Sue and Tom Tresham.
In 2006 one of our members urged us to apply for an Awards for All lottery grant. Our success in obtaining one enabled us to create a website, thanks to David Howe's invaluable skills, which had a searchable photo archive. This enabled us to develop and extend our project making our archive accessible to people around the world through our website. We also bought a laptop and projector so we could hold exhibitions and give talks to people interested in researching local history.
The photograph on the right was taken shortly after we received the grant, from left to right Caroline Bedford, Chris Howes, Kevin Lodge, Peter Unsworth, Sonia Hawes and David Kench.
Following this, we held our first successful exhibition to introduce the project in February 2007 and many more have been held since then.
In 2016 we were fortunate in obtaining a further grant, this one from South Northants. Council's New Homes Bonus scheme which enabled us to update our laptop and software, both of which had been showing signs of age and were slowing down our research efforts.