The following research projects and activities are being developed by members of the Society. These should eventually result in a publication or talks at Members’ evenings.

Ongoing project : Family History

We are very sorry to announce that Bill Buchanan, who ran the Family History enquiries for us,  recently died so we have lost his expertise in researching family history. However  we will still be able to access all the records he transcribed and will be happy to help where possible. Our archive includes parish records, census records and such graveyard memorials as are still available.

Contact Maureen Hurst on

Note : a donation was usually offered to help  offset  time and costs in answering such enquiries.

Current projects (2020)

  • Kathy Wray, who lives in Rempstone, has been researching the fascinating life of our 18th century Rector, Granville Wheler. Although often absent from the rectory in West Leake this gentleman was very much involved in the scientific world of the Enlightenment. It was he who created the world’s first electric current along a wire. He was a member of the Royal Society and wrote several important papers on his interest. Kathy has been helped by committee member Margaret Meadowcroft. A publication is expected soon.
  • The life of Captain Alexander Roulstone MC has long been of interest to us, for after his heroics as a First World War fighter pilot he settled in the village and became a managing drector of British Gypsum. To coincide with the commemoration of that war, we hope to continue our research and produce a publication of some kind. At the same time, we are accumulating material on the lives of two other local air aces from this war, Captain Oliver Redgate, DFC who came to live in The Nook after the war, and “Stan” Roadley “The Flying Teacher”who was born in Attenborough, taught in Nottingham but came to live at the Stanford Hills Farm in 1910. From here he enlisted in 1915 and eventually flew with the RFC in France. He was killed in February 1918. Because they were not born or living in the village during the war, neither Roulstone nor Redgate were included on our war memorials. We hope that a publication on these three brave pilots will bring their exploits to greater public attention.
  • East Leake in the 14th century

Keith Hodgkinson is currently writing up this study of our village at the height of the Middle Ages. We hope to publish “Esterleyke” at some time in the Summer, 2021.

  • The role and status of women from 1841 to 1911

Jacki Allan is carrying out a search of census and other archive material to investigate the position of women during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Women’s history has been a neglected aspect of our village story – we could call it “herstory”. Jacki hopes to publish some time next year (2021/22).

  • Second World War evacuees to East Leake

We are currently writing up the story of four lots of evacuee children from Nottingham, Sheffield, Birmingham and London in 1939/40 and 1944/45. What seemed to be a simple project has grown into something much larger, and we are not sure how the project will end up. But we hope to publish an account of this important development, prompted by several personal memoirs, at some point and in some form – book, booklet or long feature in the Leake Historian. If you have any memories or photographs, either as former evacuees or as hosts, please contact Keith Hodgkinson at or phone 01509 853246.

  • Archaeology

This new project began in the winter of 2019/20 by inviting volunteers to form a new group within the History Society. Our knowledge and experience is “being developed” as they say. But we have made a useful contact with the local archaeology company, Trent and Peake Archaeology, and had hoped to carry out our first (trial) dig in the Summer of 2012. However like everybody else, we have been held up by the Covid19 lockdowns, and can only hope to take up where we left off when the situation is improved. We remain open to new recruits however – to join please contact Keith Hodgkinson as below.

Do you have any information to add to any of these projects ? Local tales, anecdotes, memories or pictures ? Please contact Keith Hodgkinson at, and I will pass them on.

Future projects

Ideas for new projects are keenly sought from all members. We are developing a full archive at the Parish Office (accessible most Monday mornings – please contact our chairman Mike Saunders or secretary Mary Hodgkinson).