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This year the Yateley Society’s exhibition is mounted jointly with the Yateley Branch of the WEA to celebrate the national centennial of the Workers Education Association.

The Yateley Society has always had a very close association with the WEA Yateley Branch, particularly during the Yateley History Project, a tutorial group organised jointly by the WEA and the Society.

This 22nd exhibition to be mounted by the Society in Yateley Library in May has now become an annual event for national Local History Month.

The National Institute of Adult and Continuing Education has designated Adult Learners Week from 10-16 May 2003, so this year, together with the WEA, we are featuring the history of adult learning in Yateley and, particularly, the part that the WEA Yateley Branch and the Society have been proud to have played.

It is also appropriate that, for the centenary of the WEA, this year’s Library Lecture is being given by Dr John Porter, Tutor of the Yateley History Project in the 1980s.



Although I have written the complete text of this year’s exhibition, I have drawn on the previous work of several of Society members, many of whom have contributed new research which is acknowledged on the boards in the Library. Our Chairman, Tony Hocking, is a founder member of the Society, and was the Hon. Treasurer of the Steering Committee set up by the Yateley Study Group to form the Yateley Society. Tony has help me with Board 1 dealing with the adult education origins of how we began. He also contributed to Board 3 on Chaddisbrooke, not forgetting the impression of the 'zinc'’.

I have been helped with Board 2 Penny Readings with research by Richard Johnston, and particularly by Valerie and David Kerslake. I gather David is still researching glees. The research for Board 3 has been a collaborative effort over many years. Geoff Hoare masterminded the dig in the early ’90s, and the documentary research undertaken at that time. Richard Johnston undertook the mammoth task of completing the calendar of the manor court books, withput which I would not be able to trace the ownership of houses in Yateley so easily and quickly. I drew heavily on Tony’s article on Gadd’s Stores in the Newsletter, which in turn drew on research by Valerie and Norma Dowling. Finally I have to thank Jean McIlwaine, as usual, for producing documents and pictures from her copious files.

For Board 4 about the original Yateley History Project, I of course drew on all the work carried out by members of the project teams, and as indicated in the text I must make special mention of Jean for providing many of the pictures, the late Sydney Loader for collecting several of them, and Richard Johnston was turning them into digital files which could be printed on photogrphic paper quickly and easily.


Peter Tipton


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