Betley Local History Society.
Betley Local History Society was first founded in 1980 following, or even during, the existence (1977-80) of a very successful university extramural class in the village. This was led by Robert Speake, M.Litt. (Principal Lecturer in History at Madeley Teacher Training College) who was working for the University of Keele. This class led to the research, writing and publication of the history of the village: Betley: A Village of Contrasts, Speake, R. (Editor) 1980 Keele University Department of Adult Education, 225 pp. This book (ISSN 0144-140X) is now out of print.
A leading light in the class which was held in the village school was Les Bradshaw (1921-1999), a churchwarden and chorister of St. Margaret's Church for over fifty years. He served as the first chairman of the Society and it was he who, with the help of Philip Coops, revived the flagging fortunes of the organisation in 1997, by taking on the role of it its chairperson until his untimely death. His memory is commemorated by an annual "Les Bradshaw Memorial Lecture" held at one of the Society's monthly meetings.
The Aims of the Society.
The organization of regular monthly meetings on the last Thursday of each month except December. These meetings are devoted to:
Betley Local History Society
A programme of talks on topics of local historical interest, or on wider issues which relate to such events in the village;
Visits to local and distant sites, landscapes, properties, buildings, record offices, archives etc.;
Meetings at which local research is planned and carried out, e.g. into the lives of men listed on the Betley War Memorial in St. Margaret's Church;
The experiences of growing up in the village and family life in the 20th century and before.
The meetings aim to involve as many local researchers and speakers as possible.