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Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 10 months ago

Recent Activities


Yateley WW2 and post-WW2 project


The Society held an exhibition for Local History Month 2004 looking at wartime Yateley - making oral history recordings of people who lived worked, or went to school in Yateley during those years.


Yateley WW2 Project


EXHIBITION Yateley in World War 2


The Exhibition for Local History Month 2004 was displayed in Yateley Library. Earlier in 2004 the convenor of the reunion of those who attended Yateley Village School in the 1930s wrote to former school friends. Many responded with letters and phone calls giving the Society a very sharp picture of Yateley in the 1930s and 40s. So much so that we changed our original exhibition plan. The 'Home Front' display was therefore based almost entirely on these memories, interspersed with articles taken from the wartime editions of the Camberley News, and photographs from private photograph albums.


On the other side of the two 'Home Front' boards was a display about the role of RAF Hartford Bridge during the run-up to D-Day, and personal memories from many of the brave airmen who flew from Blackbushe on 6th June 1944. The Society thus commemorated the 60th anniversary of D-Day. Those who lived in Yateley in 1944, and may have met some of the airmen relaxing around the village, will have had no knowledge of the key role of the 5 squadrons at RAF Hartford Bridge on D-Day since, of course, it was all highly secret. The airmen's memories, collected over many years by one of our members, come from as far a field as Canada, the Free French and the Free Dutch.




The Society invited all those with wartime memories of Yateley to come to our Drop-in Days at Yateley Library on the 8th May and on 22nd May (ten till one). They saw the exhibition, and we had the opportunity to meet them and ask some questions. Many people who then lived in Yateley, or worked at the Aerodrome (now called Blackbushe)now live some distance from Yateley, and one couple who attended came from the other side of the world!


They brought pictures and mementoes of wartime, ration books and identity cards. We brought equipment to the Library to enable us the photograph their precious items there and then. We did this digitally, to the highest archive standard, so as not to harm the pictures or artefacts, and they took them home again safe and sound. Others emailed their memories.


The Haven unmarried mothers home.


This home, opened in 1945, was the theme of the 2005 Library Lecture and exhibition, and was repeated on Wednesday January 11th 2006 for Surrey Heath Local History Club.


Dr Richard Johnston of the Yateley Society told the story of The Haven, a home for unmarried mothers run by the Baptists from 1945 till 1969. Almost 1,800 babies were born there, many of whom have contacted the Society’s website for information about their birthplace. The story will be illustrated with photographs taken from a fundraising slideshow. But the story did not start in 1945. Dr Johnston recalled the building of Yateley’s last mansion house, then named Kerala, in the years before WW2 using photographs taken by an estate agent in 1935, and sent to us from Australia. He also showed how the houses in Greenhaven, the estate which replaced the house, relate to the siting of the original country house and its grounds.

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