(No – not Covid-19 Related!)

Back in 2013, not long after the inital launch of the Signpost, we included this post which described how the BBC had put some of the results of their “Digital Domesday” project online. The original project brought together a description of the UK in 1985-86 with contributions from a wide range of people, including schoolchildren.

Domesday Player

A BBC Micro Computer and video disk player used to present the Domesday material (National Archive of Educational Computing)

The material is no longer available at the BBC web site and can only be accessed through Internet archives (such as The Wayback Machine) or through the Government’s National Digital Archive.

Because the material provides a fascinating snapshot of life in the village in 1985, we are republishing the text here. It’s intriguing to explore the things that have changed (and the ones that have stayed the same) in the intervening 35 years. One small point – the village was pleased at the time that the old railway bank was to be given over to forestry; 35 years later this is now in village ownership as the Great Central Woodland.

So here is the text of the material provided in relation to Woodford Halse with a few notes onthe project from myself. If you know who provided this text (I am guessing the school was heavily involved but the BBC material has no attribution) or want to add comments below, we would love to hear.

Woodford Halse in the BBC Domesday Project


(Or download it as a PDF document here)

And here’s a BBC programme made about the project at the time.

I’ll add some material about this on the Now & Then History of the Village page soon.

1 thought on “Domesday

  1. John Williams Post author

    From Clare Checkley on Facebook….. I remember this very well! I was in the final year at the primary school when the Domesday Project was launched in 1985. Miss Hewison took the photos, and I think the whole of my class were involved, in pairs, researching and writing the different sections. Mine was ‘Village Expansion, about the then-new Ryefields estate! I no longer live in Woodford but my parents still do.


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