(November 2011) The Sibfords Society – the Domesday project

At our meeting held on 20th September, we were given an excellent presentation by Maureen and Keith Hicks on The Domesday Project which they had been working on since early 2010. The purpose of the survey was to obtain current data that could be compared with the survey carried out by the Rev Edward Stevens in 1877.

In The Sibfords we have a wide range 0f 30 Village Groups and Organisations and there was a response of 100% indicating a total adult membership of 656. All Households were surveyed and there was a response of just over 50% from 181 of the 359 recipients. One interesting point of comparison was that in 1877, adults over 21 comprised 51% of the population whereas in 2010 the figure is 81%. Also, in 1877 the local economy was based on agriculture and this had dropped significantly by 2010.

The date of June 16th 2010 was selected for the actual survey in which local residents were invited to record their actual activities on that day. Replies were received from 123 indicating that 76 different activities were carried out. The cost of a range of everyday items were recorded for use in any future surveys. The village Primary School was contacted and pupils were invited to submit details relating to their attendance at the school. it is interesting to note that in 1900 all pupils came from the Sibfords whereas today they attend from 13 surrounding villages.

The Sibford School which started in the Manor in 1842 had just 83 pupils in 1877. Today, the number has risen to 41 1 and the school now operates from new premises on the site.

All of the information obtained is recorded on a database for future use.

At the end of the meeting Maureen and Keith were thanked for the immense amount of work that they had done to create this project.