Historic day for village

Whitburn Local History Group 25th birthday lunch. From left chair Mary Stephenson receives a gift from secretary Sybil Reeder.

Whitburn Local History Group 25th birthday lunch. From left chair Mary Stephenson receives a gift from secretary Sybil Reeder.

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HISTORIANS have celebrated their club’s quarter century in style.

Whitburn Local History Group met for a slap-up meal to commemorate the group’s 25th birthday.

Formed in October 1986 by chairwoman Mary Stephenson, it was the first of its kind in the area.

Now it has about 35 members and meets monthly to discuss village life throughout the years, often with a guest speaker.

Secretary Sybil Reeder was also a founder member. She said: “I’ve been involved from the start with Mary.

“She’s from Whitburn and loves the area. I was born in Liverpool but moved here many years ago and fell in love with the place straight away.

“Mary came up with the idea of setting up the group as a way of getting a few of us together to talk about the village.

“It was the first one around here, but of course they have them everywhere now.”

Members presented Mrs Stephenson with a paperweight at the lunch to show their appreciation.

She said: “Mary collects paperweights so we chose one for her to show how glad we are she started the history group.

“We chose one in the shape of a globe – because she opened up or world.

“The lunch was a lovely way to celebrate and we all had a great time.”

Mrs Reeder has also written a book about the village, Memories of Whitburn, which includes many of the stories she has heard through the group.

She uncovered many interesting stories about the village since starting, from its connections with Alice in Wonderland author Lewis Carroll to rumours of it being the birthplace of lawn tennis. She added: “I did a lot of research about the village. I love it, it has everything, the sea, a lovely park and shops. It is quite self-contained, though some of the traditional shops are no longer with us.”

* There will be no November meeting of the group.

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