Charing and District Local History Society dedicate this research site to the memory of Pat Winzar (1920-2012) and her husband Gerald (1911-2000), who together did so much for the Society and for research into the history of Charing.
The Society was formed in its present guise in 1970. Pat and Gerald were founder members and soon became active in local archaeology, building recording and research into the history of Charing. Gerald became treasurer to the Society, and Pat was secretary before taking over as chairman in 1985, in which capacity she served until 2007. This was their first foray into local history, and the amount of archival research they undertook over the next 30 years was prodigious. Together they began a palaeography group, teaching Society members palaeography through transcribing Charing documents photocopied from various archives. The group concentrated primarily on the 16th and 17th centuries, including wills, inventories, church registers, church wardens’ accounts, and vestry minutes. The results were typed up and Gerald transferred names and dates into a catalogue or embryo database, which their daughter, Gillian, is currently putting into a searchable form that can be used on today’s computers and uploaded onto the internet. In addition to these documents, Pat catalogued material in the Church chests and the Parish Council archives, transcribed local deeds lent by parishioners, and accumulated a mass of other information about the parish. Their aim was always to organise their work to help local historians, from school children to academics, and their researches formed the backbone of several of the Society’s publications. Their enthusiasm was infectious, and other Society groups were begun, studying, for example, census material, and creating a large photographic collection.
Over the last two years, with the help of Gillian Winzar, a small group from the Society has catalogued Pat and Gerald’s work, and put it into a modern, searchable database. The first material to be uploaded to this site are the panels from a First World War exhibition, held in 2014, but shortly thereafter this will be followed by a range of other material, much of it generated from the Winzars’ files.
So, if you are interested in the history of Charing it should be worth checking this site every few months.