History of the Heritage Centre

Peter with some visitors at the Ash Heritage Centre
Photo taken by Kimberley Feeley

From the very beginning, when the steering committee was originally formed under the leadership of the late Mrs Ann Foat, the aim of the new group was to locate – or, if necessary, to create – a suitable home for the burgeoning local history collections compiled personally over many decades by a few individuals in Ash. All early efforts, therefore, were concentrated on establishing an archives room in Ash.

It was eventually decided to build our own premises. Many obstacles were overcome and considerable fundraising completed over several years before a purpose-built room was erected at the west end of the village hall. The Ash Heritage Group was then formally constituted to run this archives centre.

The historical collections which awaited a home – the largest of which was donated by the late David Downes, a founder member – arrived at the Centre in 2012 and have been carefully sorted, electronically catalogued and stored accordingly. This procedure occupied several years of weekly work by Group volunteers, who continue to welcome and catalogue new accessions.

Today, the Centre operates as a secure archives storage room and a working office and committee room, as well as a venue for individual research and school workshops. It is the beating heart of local efforts to preserve and share the rich heritage of the parish of Ash.

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