My research commenced back in 1978! I was born and have lived in Westfield all my life. Interest in its social history evolved from many hours spent with my grandparents Robert and Charlotte Barnes. Intriguing ‘first hand’ accounts of their entire life spent in this Parish was a major influence to my embarking on both the genealogical and local history trail. The Barnes/Inman family (c1570) and the Burgess/Rays of NewCut (c 1770) meant family and Parish were very much entwined. This gave the foundation upon which the collections are based.

Most family and local historians encounter ‘stories’ of times past. I have heard many, some have sent me on wild goose chases and others have been true. At the start (in a time before the Internet when not so many were interested in the many facets of ‘history’) I innocently thought or so certain books led me to believe – this will be easy - a trip down to the Church, a look in the big black box – the Parish Chest, for the records of Westfield and there we are ................. the answer to my queries!! How wrong can one be!! Hourly trips to the other side of the County encouraged my commencement of the transcriptions of the Parish and other Registers in an endeavour to bring this information ‘back to Westfield’ to be accessible to anyone interested in the Parish.

The photographic collection has resulted from in the first instance a visit to my grandparents’ ‘biscuit tin’ photo album rescued on their death from the dustbin and, secondly, from a gift by Mr. Mont Eldridge of copies of prints from glass plates he had also rescued when the sale of the family business at the end of NewCut took place! You can imagine how mortified I was to learn that his father had been the Parish photographer and a whole pictorial social history had been destroyed almost overnight.

I seem to have been involved in community fund raising from an early age. First with the village fetes organised by the NewCut Road Association founded by my father William Pankhurst, John Sinden,Ron Briggs, Ron, and Godfrey Baker in order that a road might be made out of a deep rutted cart track and, later, being the secretary to the Fete and Fund Raising Committees of the Westfield Community Association since its inception in 1974.  With ten years involvement,  participation in the 1984 Community Hall Opening Ceremony was inevitable! Having gained knowledge of my spare time pursuits the committee suggested that a display of memorabilia would be ‘good’ - I did not, however, envisage several exhibitions including “Spotlight on Westfield” (1987) “Past Tymes in Westfield” (2000) each one growing , would follow!  Another entitled  “A Pleasant View of Westfield” successfully took place in October 2009 – 25 years later!!

I have been fortunate and would like to acknowledge the generosity of many people connected with Westfield both past and present,  together with others Worldwide who have supported my venture in allowing me access to their ‘family albums’ and organisational records. This has enabled me to establish the collections of to-day. Modern technology now plays its part and I am grateful to my husband Ben for his technical knowledge in creating this website which enables a wider audience to hopefully use and enjoy "A Pleasant View of WESTFIELD".

©2009 Ruth Carter. All Rights Reserved.