Aveland Archive


As part of a National Lottery Heritage Fund bid in one of our villages, the AHG were approached and asked whether we could digitise the various paper records held within our local Church for safekeeping. As the main thrust of the funding request was to repair the Church roof, the village was keen to get the papers transferred to electronic media as swiftly as possible. The AHG recognised that simply scanning and logging the papers would not help people find the information and we researched the growing number of community-based archives up and down the country, to ensure that anything we did would enable everyone to gain access to the records – whether local or abroad. A key aspiration was to build a platform not just for one village, but for the area covered by the AHG and so Aveland Archive was born. Working with a professional company, Community Sites, we have the shell of the archive and are now looking for volunteers to help digitise the content that we are starting to accumulate. Aveland Archive works on a not for profit, non-commercial basis to share the information that is deposited with us, giving full attribution on the source of this data.


For anyone interested in helping with the digitisation programme, or if you have any topics or features you would like to include, please contact Ali Ray or Alison Carr by email to: avelandarchive@gmail.com

Collecting Reminiscences and Memories for Aveland Archive

The archive website offers us a facility for capturing audio recordings, as well as the rich images and documents that people from the area hold about places, people and events within the Aveland Wapentake. The AHG has already been approached by a local care home and by various village social groups, to offer access to older residents of the villages who are keen to share their memories of life as they have lived it in the locality. We are looking at ways to engage our younger residents to generate interview questions for group or one-to-one sessions that can be recorded and uploaded to the site. We are equally interested to talk with people who have a story to tell about their lives today – perhaps a section on the recent past, of our lives in lockdown.

It is our aim to commence the project to capture these oral histories in Spring 2023, so if you have an interest in joining us to conduct the interviews, or want to share your memories, please register in the first instance with an email to Alison Carr on: avelandarchive@gmail.com

Rex Needle Bourne Archive

We are particularly thrilled that the estate of Rex Needle, a key figure in Bourne local history, has agreed that we can incorporate the extensive research Rex carried out in his lifetime into the online archive.

The Benjamin Smith Collection.

We have been successful in obtaining a virtually complete suite of Land Tax documents for the Wapentake Villages for the periods of 1760 to 1830 approx.

The 1600 plus documents list out the land owners and their tenants over the period. Whilst not including any maps – mores the pity – they provide an invaluable database of owners and occupiers over the period and provide an insight into the changing demographic of our area.

With a plan to professionally digitise the collection, and make them available to all via the Aveland Archive site, Genealogy fiends will be able to trace their ancestors in the area during a period where documentary evidence is limited.

Aerial Photography

As a wonderful launch feature, a local resident has taken the time to provide us with aerial shots of each of the Wapentake Villages and Bourne, to record for posterity our built environment at the end of 2022. What this seeks to reinforce is that, for the Aveland History Group, history is not just something that happened years ago, but can be made and recorded now.

We have plans to develop this project further, but if there are any particular topics you believe would benefit from a pictorial record now, just drop us a line at avelandarchive@gmail.com

Our thanks go to Ian Cappitt