What cover would you have chosen for our book?

What cover would you have chosen for our book?

Would you have chosen a different cover? What image from the book do you think would make a great cover?  Why not let us know at our Talks, Tea and Cake event on May 27th from 2-5pm in Balsham? Join us for a cuppa and quiz the team on how to make a book - Berenice, our award-winning designer and 'book coach' will be there to answer your questions publishing a book. You can find out about maps from Dr. Seppe Cassettari and buy a copy of Balsham, a village story 1617 - 2017. The team would also love to hear memories from current and former residents. All are warmly welcome whether you are a resident or not.

Why we can't fit a band in our 'bandstand'!

Why we can't fit a band in our 'bandstand'!

Many children growing up nicknamed it 'the bandstand' as it looks so much like a Victorian bandstand but you would be struggling to fit in a quartet inside! Do you have any memories of hanging out at the bandstand as some of children of our authors did? Or was your haunt outside the Bell? Do come along and share with us on 27th May at our Talk, Tea and Cakes event. We're really interested in getting more information on 60s, 70s and 80s history too.

What have we been up to since the start of the year?

We have been kept busy posting out our books across the country.  We are reliably informed  the Balsham, a village story 1617 - 2017 has been purchased, and sent worldwide.  If you have any feedback which has enabled the recipients of the book to discover family history or other historical connections to our village, please get in touch, we would love to know 'your story'.

On a local level, at the time of writing, 252 households in our village have not claimed their free book.  We are making a final attempt to ascertain if they actually require one.

New houses are being built and we intend that a book be given to our new residents.

We are going to be at the Balsham Maze Open Day at the end of this month on Sunday 25th March.  Do come and find us!

Meet the Balsham Map Project team

The original idea for this book came from attending a talk in February 2013, by Susan  Oosthuizen, University Senior Lecturer in Historic Environment, University of Cambridge.  The presentation featured the oldest known map of Balsham, dated 1617. Susan suggested that it would be a good idea to work on a project to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the map in 2017. I was convinced this was feasible, but only if people were willing to share their knowledge and keen to do local research could it proceed further. Through the village magazine I appealed for anyone else who thought this a good idea; there was considerable interest, so in May 2013 the Balsham Map Project was formed.

Personally I have been privileged to handle centuries old maps and documents, and enjoyed the hospitality of the Brothers at the Charterhouse. Following the census records and newspaper reports on the families who lived in Balsham in times past has been absolutely fascinating.  The biggest problem we all faced was knowing exactly when and where to stop. 

Not everyone who set out on this journey could commit themselves fully, but they have remained supportive. I am grateful to the remaining group members who gave so generously of their time and expertise

Berenice Smith who shared her design and publishing knowledge, kept us on schedule, created the design of the book and website and material for the launch.

Dick Paden, who although joining the group mid-way, was keen to take on a task.  As well as putting pen to paper, he co-ordinated with other organisations to ensure for a safe and sound Boundary Walk. 

Gene Bridgeman kept copious notes of our enthusiastic meetings, whilst using her local connections and memories, and brought together appealing stories and shares family photos in these pages. 

Jan Ellam very cheerfully shared her vast collection of photographs; plus her own memories of family and friends and for bringing them all together, resulting in remarkable accounts of village life.

Pat Faircloth, who delved into her corner of the village and way beyond, and came up with some enjoyable stories, family history and documents.

Peter Neale's farming experience proved invaluable, and was instrumental in negotiating with local landowners, enabling the Boundary Walks to be held.

Sara Himsworth was unstinting and went to great lengths in her fund-raising efforts, as well as finding out the history and past occupants of her family home.

Seppe Cassettari: without whose skills we would not have progressed very far; he worked his magic on the maps we gathered, and presented them so they could be displayed for all to see at our exhibitions.

Finally, eternal thanks to Ian Creek, my husband, for his enduring patience and for coming to my rescue to see me through some challenging times. Ian is also the treasurer of our group. 

Margaret Creek 

Left to right: Pat Faircloth, Seppe Cassettari, Jan Ellam, Peter Neale, Gene Bridgeman, Dick Paden, Margaret Creek, Berenice Smith and Ian Creek.

Left to right: Pat Faircloth, Seppe Cassettari, Jan Ellam, Peter Neale, Gene Bridgeman, Dick Paden, Margaret Creek, Berenice Smith and Ian Creek.

The morning after the night before!

If you came to our launch then thank you so much! We had an amazing day and were truly moved by the kind compliments and praise for our book. We're thrilled you were with us on our special day. 

We've seen some lovely comments on Facebook today and have put a few below. If you are reading our book then you can review it on our Facebook page here or pop us an email with your thoughts as it's lovely to hear your views. 

We would also love to have any news for our website. If you are inspired to share a story or have more information on someone or something in our book, do get in touch. We have a few people asking about lost relatives, so perhaps we can connect you?

We are going through the orders that have been coming in today, sifting though the pictures and catching up! In the meantime, you may like to know that Cambridge 105FM's Leigh Chambers featured Margaret Creek in an interview about the book this morning. We'll post a 'listen again link' to the podcast when it comes up. We also have BBC Radio Cambridgeshire with us on Monday, so you may see us strolling around the village. Do come and say hello!

Finally if you were not able to make it and you're dying to get your hands on a copy, then you can order here! We'll also have copies in Balsham Post Office very soon. 

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