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

Ongoing project : Family History

Despite the disruption caused by the Covid19 crises we are still able to to help people in their searches for family history records wherever possible. Our archive includes parish records (Baptisms, Marriages and Burials) , census records (1841 to 1821) and such graveyard memorials as are still available.

Contact Maureen Hurst on

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

Current projects (2021-2)

  • 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 director 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, 2022.

  • The role and status of women from 1841 to 1911

Jacki Allan has been 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 (2022), but will give a short talk on some aspects of her work, by Zoom to our members, on December 15th at 7.30pm.

  • Church engravings, stonework and graffiti

Pam Webb-Ingall has been exploring the many “lost” stone and wooden sculptures and inscriptions in local churches. Pam has found what seems to have been a Celtic embossed stone cross (at Costock) and many unofficial graffiti and other markings on church walls, communion tables and other woodwork in local churches. Pam will be sharing some of the more significant findings at the same Christmas Zoom meeting as Jacki Allan, above, on December 15th.

  • Second World War evacuees to East Leake

We have now published our book telling the story of four groups of evacuee children from Nottingham, Sheffield, Birmingham and London from 1939 to 1945. What seemed to be a simple project had grown into something much larger: “To a place of greater safety: evacuees to East Leake 1939-45” is 69 pages of narrative, analysis, comment by other researchers and by several of those involved, pictures and spreadsheets of transcribed archival records.  The names of all the children, their home addresses and their hosts are available for interested family members to access and follow up. Since publication we have been pleased to receive further comments based on family memoirs. If you have any memories or photographs, either as former evacuees or as hosts, please contact Keith Hodgkinson at or phone 01509 853246.

“To a place of greater safety ” is now available from this website under “Publications”.

  • Brick-making history                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Our chairman, Mike Saunders, has long been interested in historic manufacturing methods, and has now developed a lively fascination with old bricks and the whole brick-making process. Using his collection of old bricks, and examining his home, the “Beast Shed” he realised that we could estimate the age./date of any building from the dimensions and material of its bricks. Mike is now looking to extend his knowledge by comparing bricks locally with those of more distant structures- starting with the famous Wollaton Hall – an early example of domestic (non-defensive) manor house of the Elizabethan period. We look forward to his latest discoveries about local bricks, brickyards and clay pits.
  • Archaeology

This new group was set up in the winter of 2019/20 but was curtailed by Covid restrictions. So our knowledge and experience is “being developed” as they say. But we have been encouraged by the excavations at the gravel works near St Peters in the Rushes. We hope to give more information as it emerges at some later date.

Do you have any information to add to any of these projects ? Local tales, anecdotes, memories or pictures ? Please contact Keith Hodgkinson at

Future projects

Ideas for new projects are keenly sought from all members. We have been trying to digitise our archive at the Parish Office (open most weekday mornings) in order to make it more accessible to members and others. In order to speed up this work we invite volunteers to help out with this long-term project; if you are interested  please contact our chairman Mike Saunders or secretary Mary Hodgkinson.