Linton in Pictures
A History of Linton
in Photographs
Available here

About Linton
About the Linton and District Historical Society

About Linton
Until the formation of Parish and District Councils in 1894 Linton had always been regarded as a town. It’s prosperity had been based on the establishment of a flourishing Market in 1246 which became the centre of local economic activity. The town expanded it’s own trades and cottage industries but all were still dependent on the wealth generated by a thriving agricultural industry. The beautiful timber houses along the High Street and Lanes which give our old village its attractive appearance, were all built from this income.

Early in the 19th century the whole basis of Linton’s prosperity was threatened by economic, political and social change. Vibrant coaching inns succumbed to the railways, leather and textile trades failed to compete with both local and North country mills, the Napoleonic Wars crippled agriculture and the doubling of the population overstretched local housing resources. Some new cottages were built outside of the corps Village in the Bartlow Road, but poverty was too widespread to encourage real investment in housing or communal amenities.

Linton responded to these new economic conditions and prosperity returned between 1840 and 1880. Farms were enclosed to boost productivity, the malting trade flourished based on local barley, the railway came in 1865 and a new river bridge was constructed in 1867. However, from the 1880’s a long term agricultural decline set in caused by the importation of cheap overseas food. The population fell from 2061 in 1851 to 1530 in 1901, and only recovered to the 1851 figure by 1961. People moved to London or emigrated further a field and local farmers could not afford to build cottages to renew the deteriorating housing stock.

Villages must adapt to changing circumstances if they are to survive and Linton did. Parish and District Councils built our council estates on the fringes of the village providing cheap modern accommodation which enabled people to stay in the locality. Industry was encouraged to replace jobs lost in the continuing agricultural depression of the 20’s and 30’s.The provision of electricity in 1935, water in 1936 and sewerage in the 1950’s laid the basis for future expansion. Post war subsidies to support farming, together with the successful establishment of local trading estates attracted new people and new money to the village. The car enabled commuters to reside in Linton and it is largely their money which saved and restored our historic centre.

All these changes to preserve and breathe new life into our village depended on the expansion of local housing, good local planning initiatives such as seen in the 1968 Village Plan and meaningful local consultative procedures. Linton has changed over time and it has only survived and prospered because local people were sufficiently far sighted to adapt to new circumstances.

About the Linton and District Historical Society
Linton and District Historical Society was founded by Garth Collard in 1984 following a series of evening classes on Linton's history which he delivered in 1983. The Society has flourished since that  time and now has around 100 members. Garth Collard was awarded an MBE in the 2008 Honours List for his services to local history.

There are nine talks a year and meetings are held at the Village Hall in Linton at 7.30 pm on the third Tuesday of every month, from September to May. The annual subscription of £8 has been kept low because of the large membership. Visitors are always welcome and the fee is £2 per session. Garth gives two talks per year on aspects of Linton's history and the other sessions are related to local and national historical topics.

In 2006, the Society published 'A History of Linton in Photographs'. More information and details of how to purchase can be found here. All proceeds will be used for new publications and research on local history.

The Society has an extensive archive and within the next two years is likely to acquire a room in the Village College which will serve as an archive centre and allow young and old to research the history of Linton and the surrounding villages.

The Society welcomes enquiries and is especially interested in copying local photograhs, examining artefacts and researching house deeds. Garth is writing an extensive history of every village property and this already contains over 600,000 words.

Officers:
Chairman: Garth Collard
Secretary: Andrew Westwood-Bate
Treasurer: Frank Appleyard

To contact the Society, please use the contact form on this website.

Publications:
A History of Linton in Photographs (2006)