There have been many long-lived residents of Willingham, each with a tale to tell and a few with a twinkle in their eyes! It was decided, in honour of the Millennium year, to interview these characters and try to commit to paper and tape some of their stories and history of the village. With the help of a lottery grant, a group of village ladies were able to produce a commemorative booklet (More below) which set out the origins of the village from around the 7th century to modern day times.
The earliest Church register for Willingham is dated 1562 and Willingham House is perhaps the next oldest building from 1605. Of course, living history as told from memory is perhaps the most fascinating, especially as the World has changed so much in the last century. It was with great delight to Mrs Janet Croft, the editor of the booklet, that vast numbers of photographs and information poured forth and in the end there was just too much to fit into the pages. All the information was saved and is available to anyone interested in local history.
A local history group met for a while and Mr John Rose gave a number of interesting talks. Unfortunately, modern life took over from history but if anyone is interested in studying further please speak to Mrs Dorothy Wain or Mrs Sue Bingham who still hold some of the research material. There is also a small sum of money left over from the sale of the booklets and this is held in trust by the Parish Council in case there is ever another booklet produced!
If you would like to see a copy of the booklet, please contact this website.
There are a number of old pictures of Willingham on this website supplied by John Hawkins. We would like to display some more. If you have scenes of the village and would allow us to scan them in, we would be pleased to hear from you. Please contact the website.
In making the booklet available on line, the focus has been to put the text into an editable format to make it easy to search for names and places. Once downloaded into a 'WORD' programme you will be able to search the majority of the text using the programme's inbuilt search facility (Usually found under the 'EDIT' drop down menu). The photographs consequently are not as good as they could be. Contact the website if you have any problems.