A SPECIAL event will give people the chance to delve into the history of a north Essex village.

And the organisers also hope it may lead to more information about certain events and people in its past.

The talk and exhibition next month will feature a number of images out together by Langham Heritage Group which, explains Ian Hollands, was formed following a previous evening of local history at Langham Community Centre.

He explains : “A few Langham residents got together to form a heritage group dedicated to creating a record for posterity of all kinds of material relating to the life of the village from the distant past to recent times.

“Appeals to residents have enabled the Langham Heritage Group to gather in a large number of documents and photographs dating back to the early years of the last century and even beyond.”

He says in a number of cases rather than being returned to the owner after being copied, the material has kindly been donated in its original state.

He adds : “But whether returned or retained, everything is digitised for permanent preservation in a form which can be accessed by future researchers of family and rural life or by people who are just interested in the history of Langham.”

These will be amongst the items enthusiasts can take a look at during the evening at Langham Community Centre on Sunday February 9 along with recorded interviews with people who used to live in the village and those who still do.

Ian says they give “often fascinating accounts of life in Langham before, during and after the Second World War.”

The village has played a vital part in the Second World War having been the home of Boxted Airfield, housing American Airman from the mid 1940s onwards.

Langham already had an airfield so to avoid confusion the new one was name Boxted, despite not actually being based in that village.

In recent years a museum has also been opened on the site which has itself got together an impressive collection of memorabilia including part of the fuselage of a plane like t hose stationed at the airfield.

Images from that time are among the exhibits, as well as those of the war memorial launched after the Great War in memory of those lost in that conflict, in 1921.

Among the figures the group hope to get more information about are Nurse Lewis who was district nurse serving Langham for many years adds Ian.

“She was from all accounts a generous and caring person and extremely popular in Langham.

“This picture of her is with her little Austin Seven outside Thorpe’s Butchery in Moor Road.”

The picture could possibly date back to the 1930s or, more likely, the 1940s.

“We don’t know much about Nurse Lewis but would very much like to hear if anyone has any memories of her,” adds Ian.

He and Simon Gallup, another member of the heritage group, have created a panel in the village’s Community Centre which displays short accounts of the lives of those who died in the First World War.

Among the archived images which form part of the group’s collection are this image, featured here, of the dedication of the First World War memorial in the village.

It shows the Rev Selwyn Ward leading the ceremony.

The church seemingly played a large role in life, with a team of men who regularly got together to mow the grass there in the churchyard.

Ian and Simon are now in the early stages of preparing the information for a similar panel relating to those who died in the Second World War, explains Ian.

The upcoming illustrated talk, which is to be given by Simon Gallup and is called Learn About Langham, will also include a presentation of some of the material in the heritage group’s archive.

Along with the selection of photographs seen here, the images also include one of the village’s Women’s Institute Group in the village hall and a copy of a painting of Langham Mill before the First World War.

The event will take place from 2.30pm at Langham Community Centre, which was opened in 1988 and has now is home to a large number of groups and activities on a weekly basis.

The Heritage group also hopes it will encourage new faces and members also interested in finding out more about the village they live in especially as there are a number of newer residents.

Tickets, costing £3 each and £2 for children, are available to buy from Langham Community Shop or the Shepherd Pub in advance of the day.

* If you have any images of an event in the history of north Essex you would like to share please contact us on 01206 508186.