About us

A WHG Meeting in the Margaret Preston Room

Open to all, no membership required, we commonly get 20 – 30 attending our meetings – with a proportion coming from nearby villages, too.

Started in Autumn 2018, the Wreningham Heritage Group has established itself as a cornerstone of village life. 

Start-up funding was kindly made available by Wreningham Parish Council. This helped finance various items, including archive quality digital recording equipment for conducting interviews in the village.

Further funds were very gratefully received from a community fund at Waitrose Supermarket and the Wymondham Rotary Club.

Meetings usually take place 6 times per year and a wide range of topics never fail to engage the room. 

For our “Christmas” meeting, in December 2023, we invited history / heritage groups from across South Norfolk to come and tell us about themselves.  We held this meeting in the Main Hall to cope with the scale of the event – and representatives from 11 villages attended.  Many have asked if we could organise an equivalent multi-group meeting for December 2024. Watch this space!

The October 2021 Exhibition

Our initial plan to hold a late May 2020 Exhibition in the village hall was postponed due to the pandemic. A window of opportunity finally emerged in October 2021. On the day, we counted about 170 people through the door.

We were lucky to be awarded a £3,000 grant from the Lottery Heritage Fund which not only paid for our display materials but also funded a video projector and screen (in use at most meetings, since) as well as a laptop and further audio equipment.

Nineteen large display panels covered a multitude of topics. An extensive photo quiz also tested visitors on their knowledge of the village’s odd nooks and crannies – with a chocolate cake awarded to the worthy winner.

In May 2022, the WHG supported the visiting Stowmarket based “Food Museum” when they came to Wreningham Village Hall. The Heritage Fund agreed to us allocating a small remaining amount of money to create some extra display panels covering the historic sale of food, in Wreningham, during the 1800s.

The Website

Biding our time until we had accumulated enough material, the website went live in September 2022. Rarely a month passes without the addition of more information – either on completely new pages or as additions to earlier ones. Much more information is on its way!

Lists of our latest updates are always one click away from the Home page – whilst you can communicate directly with us from our “Contact” page.

The website includes a large number of links to 3rd party sites to enable visitors to find further information on related topics. In addition, the “Contact” page provides links to other history / heritage groups in the immediate area.

Analytical data confirms our website is visited from across the UK and around the globe!

The WHG website is hosted under umbrella funding from the Wreningham Village / Parish Council website. This greatly minimises our costs whilst permitting us to share operational experience.

Village Voices

Right from the start, the WHG wanted to make audio recordings of villagers who had interesting things to say about their early days in Wreningham. The procurement of archive grade audio equipment from initial start-up funding made this an immediate reality.

To date, many recordings have been completed – with more to come. Short, but anonymous(!) extracts from many of these are inserted into the website where they are employed to support the topic on that page.  We have branded them: “Village Voices” and these clickable extracts can be discovered throughout the site. More will be arriving soon.


Both recordings remain available at Wreningham School to support “history of the village” topics.

Two special videos – each 25 minutes long, were created by volunteer experts for the heritage group. They were recorded in autumn 2019 – to be in good time for playing at our exhibition: originally planned for May 2020. What could possibly go wrong?

Entitled “Past Meets Present“, Wreningham School, with parental approvals, cooperated in the production. Current school-children interviewed one-time pupils (plus one retired teacher) whose own experiences of the school extended as far back as the 1940s.

The videos, involving two different year groups, finally made their appearance at the exhibition in October 2021.

Gathering Material & Cataloguing Records

From the outset, the heritage group have asked villagers to share old documents and photos for scanning. We have been stunned by the response. There is remarkable material hiding in people’s drawers and cupboards! The earliest of these documents goes back to the 1600s. However, more modern material is often valuable, too. What stories can YOU help us discover?

We don’t collect artifacts or physical documents – we simply scan (or photograph) and return them. The resulting images form the backbone of our collection.  To date, we have gathered thousands of images and our collection continues to grow. 

We also need to catalogue everything.

In 2020 we were lucky to receive expert catalogue training – along with 29 other village groups across Norfolk.  Training was given under the auspices of the Norfolk Record Office who had just been awarded a Lottery Heritage grant specifically for this purpose.  The course gave us valuable knowledge of cataloguing methodology – although the arrival of Covid 19 resulted in our training course running online.

Our aim is to create a fully searchable database for villagers – giving access to our extensive and growing collection of images.  More details will become available in due course.

March 2024

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