Doreen’s Diary: News & Events

Doreen - Portrait (B&W) SquareDOREEN’S DIARY:
The life of an indomitable woman in Warwickshire during World War II

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March 2013 Corunna News (WFWI)January 2013 Review in Lace MagazineJanuary 2013 - Elite Book Review
22 November 2012 Bucks ExaminerNovember 2012 Post Life10 November 2012 The Telegraph
October 2012 Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine20 September 2012 Daily Mail1 June 2012 The Telegraph
31 May 2012 The Observer Series25 May 2012 Kenilworth Weekly News25 February 2012 Kenilworth Weekly News
24 May 2012 The Observer Series reduced 213 April 2012 Kenilworth Weekly News6 April 2012 Warks Telegraph
6 April 2012 Kenilworth Weekly News6 October 2011 The Observer Series17 June 2011 Leamington Courier
25 May 2011 The Times (Warwick)


8-10 November 2012 
Leek Wootton History Group, together with Bill Wright and Mary Simmons (Doreen’s children) held an exhibition in Amersham (Doreen’s home ground) about the diary and bringing together Doreen’s art and craft work for the first time.  The event was well supported.  Photos can be seen on the Doreen’s Diary Facebook page

29 May 2012
On Tuesday, 29 May, Leek Wootton History Group helped out at the school in Leek Wootton while the children spent the day learning about Doreen & Gilbert Wright and World War II. At the end of the day the children wrote their own diary entries (29 May is the 72nd anniversary of Doreen Wright’s first diary entry) and their parents and other villagers came along to make their own diary entries.

26 May 2012
The official book launch of DOREEN’S DIARY: SHE COULD NOT HAVE LOVED MORE took place in Leek Wootton and provided an opportunity for many people who were connected with the community during the War with an opportunity to meet again and reminisce about their experiences.
 More photographs can be seen at the Doreen’s Diary Facebook page

19 April 2012
On Thursday, 19 April, a dozen members of Leek Wootton History Group and guests met at All Saints’ School, Leek Wootton, for a ‘Life-Writing Workshop’ led by poet, writer and creative-writing teacher, Jane Commane. The workshop was conceived to help members of the community who would like to take part in the Diary Day that will be taking place on 29 May, but we will all be able to use the skills we learned in our own journals, letters or compositions.

Jane’s tips showed how one can turn a bland factual report of one’s day into an interesting, exciting or thought-provoking account. Using her core advice: to SHOW the reader what happened rather than TELL them, we will hopefully be able to make the Diary Day a real success.

The aim of Diary Day is to encapsulate a day in the life of Leek Wootton residents, reflecting the daily diary kept by Doreen herself during WWII. Mundane or memorable, momentous or plain silly, however your day goes on 29 May, if you’re in Leek Wootton, you are invited to come to school (from 2:15pm) and record it, whatever your age and outlook. There will be tea and refreshments too!

15 March 2012
The History Group and Leek Wootton Guides, with guests, had a most interesting and entertaining talk about ‘Making the Most of Your Rations’ and food demonstration (photos added). The speaker was Mrs Arnold from the Ministry of Food and it must have been quite a nostalgic experience for the older members of the audience, while much about that time must appear quite ‘alien’ to the Guides … especially the mock banana sandwiches!

25 September 2011 
A Village War Walk took place on Sunday, 25 September.  Starting with a visit to the site of ‘Banner Hill Camp’ on farmland at Goodrest, where local historian, Cyril Hobbins, presented a talk about the anti-aircraft battery and Prisoner of War camp.

After this visit and talk, walkers met at The Warwickshire Golf & Country Club for a guided walk through the village, presented by Leek Wootton History Group members, Joy Maisey, Sonia Scrimshire and Brenda Semple, all in full costume!  The walk took in 16 sites with war-time relevance, including the ARP Warden’s post and the small ‘munitions’ factory, and ended at the Village Hall, the site of the WI Preservation Centre during the War.

At the Village Hall a war-time tea was served, including Spam sandwiches and cakes made to war-time recipes.

More photographs can be seen at the Doreen’s Diary Facebook page

Copies of the walk map leaflet are available from Leek Wootton History Group, free of charge or a PDF version of the route is available here… Flyer

5 August 2011
We received news today that the catalogue of the Doreen’s Diary collection is complete and should be available to view on line by the end of the month.  It contains over 1,500 separate catalogue references and includes letters, photographs, diaries, art & design work and materials, and medals.  Our sincere thanks go to the Archivist, David Hodgkinson.

1 July 2011
The INTRODUCTION TO THE DOREEN’S DIARY PROJECT evening at Leek Wootton Village Hall was a great success.  Some 60 people attended to hear from Alaina MacGregor, of Warwickshire County Record Office, about the value of the Doreen Wright Collection, not just locally, but nationally and internationally.  Helen Eldridge, Project Coordinator, presented a fascinating biopic of Doreen’s life and achievements and the evening ended with members of Leek Wootton History Group telling everyone about their experiences of interviewing people for the Oral Archive.

13 June 2011
The first meeting of the Project Board was a success, chaired by the Chairman of the Leek Wootton History Group, Paul Eldridge, and attended by 5 Board members.  The Project Coordinator reported on current activities and all present discussed the future aims and events & activities planned for the project.

24 May 2011
On Tuesday, 24 May, a number of volunteers attended an Interview Skills Workshop at Warwickshire County Record Office, which included some hands-on practice with the newly purchased audio equipment, in preparation for the Oral Histories section of the project.

16 March 2011
GREAT NEWS from the Heritage Lottery Fund – it has been confirmed that we have been successful in our bid and are to receive up to £36,700 “towards celebrating and exploring the life of Doreen Wright and life in Leek Wootton during the Second World War”

Doreen’s Diary: The life of an indomitable woman in Warwickshire during World War II
is a Leek Wootton History Group project in partnership with Warwickshire County Record Office
and supported by Heritage Lottery Fund
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