North Duffield Conservation and Local History Society

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The North Duffield Conservation and Local History Society was formed on 10th December 1984. It adopted Articles of Association on 3rd December 1986.

A small but active membership collected a great deal of documentary evidence gathering together an archive of original documents from local people, copies of documents held in the Borthwick Institute, York and County archives at Beverley and elsewhere. Most records were held in the East Riding/East Yorkshire area since that was the administrative authority covering the village until boundary changes in 1976, when responsibility fell to North Yorkshire. They also started a photographic archive which now consists of thousands of images and is constantly being added to as old material comes to light and new contemporary photographs are taken to reflect everyday life in the village.

During the early life of the Society it also recorded some audio and video interviews and footage of local people and some of the fast disappearing local farms in co-operation with the BBC.

In due course a booklet was produced regarding the history of North Duffield. Entitled 'Ducks Crossing', it immortalised the signs in the village erected to warn drivers of ducks commuting from the pond on the village green to a second pond on the other side of the main street, on private land. Sadly, the sign had only limited effect as the ducks could not read any better than some drivers.

The booklet proved very popular locally and out-sold several re-printings. Indeed there are still odd copies for sale at a price of £2.50 per copy.

Conservation work by the Society involved refurbishment of the Pinfold adjacent to the village green and the purchase and retention by one of the members of masonry from a moated manor house on the site of North Duffield Castle which were being auctioned.

The Society holds regular meetings in the village hall at 7.30pm on the third Tuesday of every month from September to April and visits to places of interest during the summer months.

The Society is listed with the Council for British Archaeology and York Timeline Plus, a group of history and archaeological societies brought together by Dr Jon Kenny, Community Archaeologist with York Archaeological Trust.

Membership is £5 per year and new members are always welcome.

As the Society grew in numbers it broadened its horizons and continued research increased the knowledge and expertise of many of the members of the Society to the point where a new, more detailed and up-to-date book on the history and origins of the village is in process of preparation for presenting to the printers. Some funding has already been obtained but more will be needed to cover the cost of printing. Motivation behind this new project was largely down to Frank Underwood, now sadly deceased, who, late in life, obtained a degree based upon the field systems of North Duffield, a signal achievement for a senior citizen. He was the long-term Secretary and driving force until his death.

Most recently the Society has started to investigate the origins of village archaeologically and a sub-group, Archaeology North Duffield(AND) see under separate Tab.