WI Scrapbook of 1965

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 Introduction

The Pembury WI Scrapbook of 1965 was produced as a time capsule to record life in the village in the mid 1960s. Instead of being buried in a hole under a building, it is buried in a box, and locked in a cupboard in the Parish Hall. It gets an airing every few years when somebody wants to examine one of the records or run an article for the Pembury Village News.  On this occasion, in 2013, it was resurrected by Janet Ditchett and carefully transported to my quiet corner of Pembury for inclusion on the Pembury History web site. It will then be taken back to its resting place.

One of the main reasons for its rare outings is its size and awkwardness.  It is 21.5 x 14.5 inches in 1960s standards of measurement – these days expressed as 55cm x  37cm.  The first few pages are full size, then things go a little crazy –  the book is then sub-divided into three sections:  (top) Places,  (middle) People,  (bottom) Pursuits.  Each section has about 45 pages that anchor back to a common spine for all three sections.  The pages of each section can be turned independent of the other sections.  The operation of one section puts an uneven pressure on the spine of the book, making the other sections distort out of place, and interfere with the pages being turned.  It is a very clumsy exercise and could lead to damage in the hands of an impatient user.  In the planning stages it may have seemed like a good idea, but in practice it has delivered a book that is difficult to use.

Each page is about 34 x 17 cm and has been hand crafted from a larger sheet and then cropped. This is evident by some pages having their lower line of text hacked.  I suspect they originally planned the height of each page to be a third of the full page and found at a later stage that they needed clearance between each section to enable the pages to turn without too much interference from the upper or lower neighbour.

There are now signs of ageing.  Not wear – it has not had enough use to be worn. The newspaper cuttings are rich in acid causing the typical brown discolouration so characteristic of the cheap paper used in 1960s paperback books.  This discolouration spreads to neighbouring paper in the form of mirrored patches of discolouration.  The same occurs opposite some illustrations if the pigment or colouring agent carries acid or a detrimental chemical. Some adhesives used for pasting cuttings and photos also contain chemicals that have a long term effect on neighbouring paper.  It will only get worse as time passes. This example of  Pursuits Page 15 shows a few rectangular patches of discolouration.  The previous page was one of the boring fashion pages that had 4 pasted images from magazines. It is the chemicals from the adhesive that has leeched through the previous page to stain the displayed page.

I have attempted a photographic record of this book, and it was not easy.  Ideally I would have laid each page on my A3 flatbed scanner for a perfect, distortion free copy.  Because of the size and awkwardness of the object this was not practical.  A custom built lighting rig was constructed for the book to be subjected to a series of digital cameras.  The pages did not always lay perfectly flat, and the geometric perfection of the lenses could not always be guaranteed.  The images are not be geometrically perfect, but they convey the spirit of the WI effort in 1965, and they provide a record of the project.  Some digital fiddling has been adopted in order to increase the contrast of the text. The pages processed by the old fashioned typewriter suffer most – particularly when they were using worn ribbons. Some pages, dealing with clothing and furnishing fashions of the 1960s have not been included as they are not specific to Pembury and the information is easily found in any social history of the period.
The tables lower down this page give access links to the main content of the scrapbook.

Many WI members were involved in the project as can be seen by variations in handwriting, inks and mixture of typed text.  There was no attempt at consistency of presentation.  Sadly there was no accreditation of content. They had little idea how things would pan out in the future, or how our lives would be changed by future technologies.  The scrapbook visualises transport in 2015 as flying saucers drifting past the spire of St Peter’s Church – little did they know that we would not have the technology to save the spire.   If in a few years the Pembury WI decide to have a crack at a similar project, it would most likely be created via digital media rather than a physical scrapbook.

Placing the contents of the scrapbook on this web site enables a greater audience to appreciate the effort taken in 1965.
Janet Ditchett has written several articles in the PVN about the WI Scrapbook.   Please refer to item 007 on the Articles Archive page.

Tony Nicholls   2013

Since the original writing of this introduction I have been informed by Janet Ditchett that the scrapbook has now passed from the Pembury WI to the Tunbridge Wells History Museum.       Tony Nicholls  2017

 

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 Page  Content for ‘Places’ section             Click Page Number to access page
 01  Houses – 1
 02  Houses – 2
 03  Houses – 3
 04  Houses – 4
 05  Houses – 5
 06  Houses – 6
 07  Shops
 08  Private Developments in 1960 & 1965
 09  Old Houses – 1      Watercolour of Poppingbury
 10  Old Houses – 2
 11  Old Houses – 3
 12  Old People
 13  Places of Worship – 1      Watercolour of Old Church
 14  Places of Worship – 2
 15  Places of Worship – 3
 16  Places of Worship – 4
 17  Places of Worship – 5
 18  Remembrance Day
 19  The Hospital – 1
 20  The Hospital – 2
 21  The Hospital – 3
 22  The Hospital – 4
 23  The Hospital – 5
 24  The Hospital – 6
 25  Pembury Village Library – 1
 26  Pembury Village Library – 2
 27  Chart of Distribution or Agricultural Land
 28  Farms & Agricultural Buildings
 29  Farms – 1   (1 – 5)      Watercolour of Old Mill House
 30  Farms – 2   (6 – 8)      Watercolour of Amhurst Hill
 31  Farms – 3   (9 – 10)    Watercolour of Downingbury Oasts     Downingbury House
 32  Farms – 4   (11 – 22)   Watercolour of Pastheap Oasts
 33  Farms – 5   (23)
 34  Farms – 6   (23)
 35  Farms – 6   (23)
 36  Oast Houses – 1
 37  Oast Houses – 2
 38  Changes in Ownership
 39  Changes in Ownership – newspaper cuttings
40  Changes in Management – 1
41  Changes in Management – 2
42  Changes in Management – 3
43  Apple Spraying Programme
44  Hops
45  Changes from Rural Pembury to Housing Estates

Page Content for ‘People’ section        Click Page Number to access page
01  Education – 1
02  Education – 2
03  Education – 3
04  Education – 4
05  Education – 5
06  Education – 6
07  Education – 7
08  Education – 8
09  Education – 9
10  Education – 10
11  Education – 11   Music & Handwork
12  Education – 12   Football & Netball
13  Education – 13   After 11 Plus
14  Education – 14   School Uniform
15  Education – 15   Kent College & Kindergarten
16  Mothers & Babies – 1
17  Mothers & Babies – 2
18  Mothers & Babies – 3
19  Mothers & Babies – 4
20  Mothers & Babies – 5
21  Mothers & Babies – 6
22  Mothers & Babies – 7
23  Senior Citizens – 1
24  Senior Citizens – 2
25  Women’s Voluntary Service
26  Public Services – 1
27  Public Services – 2   Sewage
28  Public Services – 3   Electricity
29  Public Services – 4   Gas
30  Public Services – 5   Telephones, Post Office, Fire Station
31  Pembury Police
32  Parish Council – 1
33  Parish Council – 2
34  Parish Council – 3
35  A Famous Visitor to Pembury –  Doctor Who
36  Public Transport – 1
37  Public Transport – 2     Newspaper Cutting
38  Public Transport – 3
39  Public Transport – 4
40  Public Transport – 5   Transport of the Future
41  Where Women Work Locally – 1
42  Where Women Work Locally – 2
43  Weather – 1
44  Weather – 2
45  Burial Grounds – 1
46  Burial Grounds – 2

Page Content for ‘Pursuits’ section       Click Page Number to access page
01  Map of Kent
02  The Upper Green – 1
03  The Upper Green – 2
04  Women’s Institutes – 1
05  Women’s Institutes – 2
06  Women’s Institutes – 3            Photo enlarged
07  Women’s Institutes – 4
08  Sport – 1
09  Sport – 2
10  Sport – 3          Photo enlarged         Photo enlarged
11  Sport – 4
12  Children at Play
13  The “Locals” of Pembury
14  Unwin’s Wine List             Left Page          Right Page
15  Guides & Scouts – 1
16  Guides & Scouts – 2
17  Guides & Scouts – 3
18  Pembury Young People’s Action Group
19  1st Pembury Scout Troup
20  Pembury W.I. Market –  1
21  Pembury W.I. Market –  2
22  Where One Can Eat
23  Businesses of Pembury – 1  (advertisement cuttings)
24  Businesses of Pembury – 2
25  Furniture
26  Pembury’s Flora – 1
27  Pembury’s Flora – 2
28  Shopping
29  Shopping Receipts –  Hairdresser & Butcher
30  Shopping Receipts –  Grocer
31  The Swimming Pool
32  Old Time Dancing Club – 1
33  Old Time Dancing Club – 2
Several pages of furnishings, clothing and fashions are omitted, as they are not Pembury specific, pretty boring,
and are better represented in books portraying the retro styles of the 1960s.   Sample of missing pages.

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The final pages of the scrapbook carry a page of survey data and a modest acknowledgement of the Scrapbook Committee.

Click the images for greater detail.

Information added by visitors to this web site –

Calligraphy of the 3 title pages was crafted by Jean Kingcott  (known as ‘Jackie’)

Watercolour paintings created by Daisy Curd.