The Society was founded in 1980 by Duncan Lucas and a group of keen local historians, when one of the main aims was to establish a Folk Museum from a growing collection of artifacts of Wigston life. This was achieved in 1983 but sadly had to be disbanded after about ten years when new premises could not be found.
The Society meets monthly with the exception of July. In the summer months we have two outings to visit places of historic interest whilst the other 9 meetings (see meetings page) are held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. Why not come along and see what we do? Visitors are always welcome. Contact one of the committee who will look after you during your visit.
In the early days members were very active putting on displays about the history of the area, taking part in archaeological digs, metal detecting with the Leicester Search Society, doing field walks and taking part in a footpath survey. A collection of Transactions was started and has become a valuable and useful asset.
An ongoing feature is the publication of a Bulletin three times a year. This contains a fascinating written record of the monthly meetings together with news and short pieces of local research submitted by members.
Individual members have produced several books of local interest centred on Wigston Magna and South Wigston. Some are on specific topics i.e. walks, memories, humour, buildings, Long Street School, Wesleyan Methodist Church and Harcourt Estate while others feature archive photographs, both lent by others and collected by members themselves.
Individuals continue to carry out research and one recent project was a 'Who's Who' of people with connections to Wigston's past.
The Society maintains close contact with both the Wigston Civic Society and the Framework Knitters Museum. Many members of the GWHS also belong to at least one of these groups too. Currently the GWHS has around 170 members and the focus is on the monthly meetings with speakers, and outings during the summer. The Christmas meeting is a social evening held with quizzes, drinks and nibbles.
The Society's President is local historian Duncan Lucas, and the
current Chairman is Mike Forryan. The Society is run by a committee who are elected annually by the membership, which also fixes the annual subscription rate.
Meetings are held on the third Wednesday of the month at 7.30pm at The Hall, Wigston College, Station Road, Wigston
Further details may be obtained from the Secretary, Ann Cousins