Bill lived in the village most of his life, and we were lucky to know him, but unfortunately we were busy people, less interested in the history of the place and didn’t make use of his knowledge in the way we would have done now.
The catalogue of Bill’s work deposited with Durham County record office runs to almost 200 pages and relates to the period 1768 to 2002.
Scores of photographs – historic images, and many his own work of village people in the 70’s and 80’s going about their daily lives, and at village events; scrapbooks of cuttings; audio tapes and transcripts; printed ephemera of all kinds – like school logs from the 1860’s, Church magazines, minutes of village meetings, bills and bus tickets; scale models he made of village buildings.
In half an hour on my last visit to the record office I was able to see a photo of Percy Cradock’s fireplace (an old range) read the Workingman’s Club Rule book from 1908, and learn from a tape transcript that Dr Kane was ‘unhappy’ that the land edging his house, now Wear View, was used as a football pitch-‘noisy and disruptive’; so man of influence that he must have been ,had the pitch moved to the Railway Gates at the other end of the village!
This depository of Bill and his wife Greta’s work provides an invaluable record for Byers Green, and future generations.