Shropshire Star

Local history society celebrates 40 years of digging up the past

A local history society is getting ready to celebrate its 40th birthday.

Newport History Society are getting ready to celebrate their 40th birthday. Pictured: Dave Hodson, Maggie Phillips, Linda Fletcher, Catherine Ross-Talbot and Donald Ross-Talbot.

Newport History Society is getting ready to celebrate 40 years of research.

A collection of displays and artefacts will be put on display to commemorate the group's ruby anniversary.

The society was formed in 1983, by a group of volunteers keen to dig around in the town's past.

40 years on, new faces are still digging up old tales.

Current chair Linda Fletcher looked back on the history society's own history.

She said: "The team who started it in the 1980s and 1990s did a huge amount of work, they were starting from absolutely nothing.

"Their newspaper group would set up in the [Newport] Advertiser's offices on St Mary's Street and transcribe things of interests. Back then of course it was all typewriters, so they must've spent hours and hours typing it all up."

Over the years the group have studied the town's architecture, archaeology, maps, photographs, newspapers, and collected oral history.

Now, the team are working hard to bring the collection into 2023.

Linda explained: "We're spending a lot of our time digitising a lot of our collection now. At the moment, everything is in boxes in our archive rooms and it's just not accessible to the public.

"We want people here and around the world to access them, to look at the work that those people in the newspaper group did 30 years ago."

At the event, the team will also be sharing their most recent project, an ongoing delve into the town’s inns and public houses.

The work will initially contribute to a local walking guide on the inns and later form part of the Victoria County History Red Book series. The free exhibit will also have a range of books and pamphlets on sale.

The day will also allow residents to bring in their archaeological finds for analysis with expert Julian Meeson.

The event will run on Saturday, May 20, in the council chamber in the Guildhall from 10am to 3pm.

For more information on the group, visit