Preface & Acknowledgements
The following preface and acknowledgements have been taken from the original history edited by Jean Hinde and Sam Hart with substantial assistance from Norman Bowden and Gerald Hinde, and assisted early on by Trevor Kay. I also believe that Sylvia Hart deserves a special mention for her obvious support and involvement in the project and, of course, in this Web version of the History.
It has necessarily been edited and reformatted for web publication on the Bellinger website. However, few amendments have been made to the original other than to pick up obvious spelling or the occasional more complex gramatical errors. Any historical inaccuracies or errors have not been altered. If any are found, they will be corrected in "addenda" or in break-out sections referenced from the original text: I do not believe the original should be altered.
The latest editorial notes are in italics, enclosed in square braces, prefixed by the name of the editor (Tim Bancroft (TB), or "Ed."
Tim Bancroft, 1999
It all started with the Black Tin Box!
In 1982 when I [Ed: that is Jean Hinde] was serving on the Parish Council the clerk, Mrs Norma Wood reported that she held a receipt from Lloyds Bank Tidworth for a box which was in their safe keeping. The members of the Council curious to see what it was redeemed it from the Bank to find that it was a locked black tin box about 3 feet by 1 foot (900mm x 300mm) with "The Parish Meeting of Shipton Bellinger" stencilled in white on the lid (Parish Councils were formed in 1894 prior to that there were Parish Meetings called by the Church).
|Click on the thumbnail for the photo of the Parish Council examining the contents of the mysterious box!|
The box contained eleven interesting old parchments recording the Parish Awards of 1793. These were subsequently deposited with Hampshire Records Office in Winchester where they are kept under ideal conditions to prevent deterioration. For further reference a typed copy of the text was obtained for retention by the Parish Council. It was decided that before returning the box to the Bank it might be of interest to posterity to place inside it a short history of the village and Parish. From this suggestion the idea developed, by popular request, into plans for the publishing of a history in the form of a printed booklet which could be made available to all for a small sum per copy.
Help was then sought from all those in the village wishing to be involved and ''The Village History Project'' was launched. With a small Committee and about 20 willing researchers we have produced the following brief outline of the history of Shipton Bellinger village and Parish. It promises to be neither complete, nor 100% accurate as it is based to a great extent on the recollections of villagers but we have done our best and hope you will enjoy the result.
Trevor Kay volunteered to become editor and it was he who produced a format for the book. He worked very hard to sort out all the material we had accumulated and arrange it in chapters, but unfortunately was unable to complete the project due to pressure of work. It has fallen to me and Sam Hart to bring it to a conclusion. I would particularly like to thank Sam for his invaluable help with contributions to the content and with the final editing.
[TB: What happened to the box? Rather than send it back to the bank a later Chairman apparently took it home and used it as a tool box. As he then proceeded to do an awful lot of odd jobs around the village and was involved with a great many village activities, it has since been indirectly invaluable to a large number of village projects!]
One of the most difficult tasks of all, has been deciding who to ''mention in despatches'' for their contribution to the publication which you have before you. Many people, some of them with little or no connection with the Parish, have given their time, knowledge and even money! If you fall into one of the foregoing categories, but do not find your name mentioned below, then please forgive me, for it is not for want of thanks, rather a lack of information, or misunderstanding.
I must thank Jean Hinde, for being the driving force behind the project and also for her sterling work as a member of the Editorial Board, as was Sam Hart, both of whom provided me with encouragement and ideas while I was Editor.
To all those who contributed towards the contents of the history, whether by the written word, the telling of stories, the loan of photographs or simply setting the record straight, thanks must go. Amongst these stalwarts were (in alphabetical order):
Norman & Freda Bowden
Ray & Connie Bradbury
Sam & Sylvia Hart
Kit Smith (dec.)
The typing and production side [for the original publication] must not be forgotten, and in this respect, the following individuals produced splendid results:
Bob Cooke, Paul Jarrett Cover design, graphic work and advice on printing
Norma Wood, Mrs. Waldron
Olive Parkin Treasurer
[TB: Unfortunately, we are unable to thank the companies involved in these web pages]. Finally, the financial burden would have been too great to produce the history in this form, had it not been for the generous donations from, amongst others, the following individuals, instituations and societies:
St Peters PCC
Fete Committee 1984
Bulford & Tidworth Admin. Unit
SW District Welfare
Commander, 1st Infantry Brigade
Reinson Family, Hilltop, Shipton
Major Gordon Bennett, Australian Forces
To all of whom our grateful thanks are expressed.
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