Clayton History Group began on 29th October 1996 with eight founder members. Over the past 18 years the group has steadily grown until our present membership numbers 55. We meet on the second Tuesday of every month except August in the village library, itself an important part of Clayton's history, having housed the first village school, opened in 1819. We have speakers on a wide variety of topics, predominantly, but not exclusively, history based. From time to time one of our own members may volunteer to share some information with the group. We also have a summer outing every year and a meal out at Christmas.
Over the years we have researched various Clayton based topics and have had two books published. One of these was called "Walking Round Clayton" and followed work undertaken by a small group of members who walked over several footpaths and recorded their findings. The other book involved photographs and captions and was part of a series by Tempus Publishing entitled "Images of England".
Our latest success story has been the acquisition of two keys which were presented to Mr. Asa Briggs, a prominent Clayton entrepreneur and benefactor. One of the keys was given to him in 1910 on the re-dedication of the organ at Clayton Baptist Church. The other key was presented to Mr Briggs on the occasion of the opening of Victoria Park in 1898. The group archivist, Stuart Downey learned of the existence of these keys and later successfully bid for them at auction. They are an important and unique part of the social history of Clayton and we are grateful to Stuart for his hard work and determination and also to the Parish Council and Mr. David Moore who generously added to the amount which we were able to pay from our own accounts. It is fitting to have these special keys back where they belong in Clayton, as Asa Briggs is himself an important part of the long and proud history of this village.
Margaret Dalgety, Chair, Clayton History Group