May 22, 2022

Somerset Parish Portraits in 2022

Somerset Parish Portraits in 2022

At the end of the First World War, Joseph Henry Warner, journalist with the Western Gazette newspaper, put out an appeal for essays detailing the contribution that parishes had made to the war effort. One hundred and seventy two of these essays are held at the Somerset Heritage Centre. They provide amazing detail on the county’s war effort, and each and all prove to be a valuable resource for those conducting research for the First World War centenary.

Just over 100 years later, in this Platinum Jubilee year, the Somerset Archives and Local Studies Service, which is part of the South West Heritage Trust, are putting out a similar appeal.

We are asking you to send us portraits of your parish, something which may describe and record what is happening in your parish now and which may future generations with information on our communities and their lives in 2022.

We aren’t looking for a history of the parish (there are many of those already), but for a snapshot of your parish today and what makes your parish special in 2022. It could include information about:

  • Pubs, community shops, businesses and community buildings
  • Land use and farming activity
  • Clubs, societies, and village activities
  • Shows, fetes  and events
  • Where children go to school and to play
  • Environmental projects
  • Current celebrations and ‘traditions’
  • The effect of the Covid-19 Pandemic on your community
  • How your parish is marking the Platinum Jubilee.

We are happy to receive your ‘portrait of your parish’ as an essay, as a scrapbook, or a combination of the two – surprise us! If you are including photographs, please label and date them where possible and please do not include any personal information such as addresses as we wish to make them available for research. We would also ask that the copyright of all the content, including photographs, be transferred to the South West Heritage Trust and for the portrait of your parish that you send us to be gifted to us.

Our five favourite ‘portraits of your parish’ will be featured on the South West Heritage Trust website and on our social media pages.

Bring or post your submissions to: Accessions Archivist, Somerset Heritage Centre, Brunel Way, Norton Fitzwarren, Taunton, TA2 6SF, or email to, and please submit them by the end of July 2022.

We would really love your parish to take part to help paint a picture of Somerset to mark the Platinum Jubilee year, and to give credit to your community and all that it does and achieves.

Please do contact us if you have any questions and we look forward to receiving your Jubilee Parish Portraits.

Liz Grant, Archivist

01823 278805