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2016 Fielden Reunion
August 6th and 7th, 2016
Todmorden UK

From The Fielden Society Newsletter - Easter 2015

In recent years, Fieldens and their descendants have travelled back to Todmorden in search of their roots. We have welcomed individuals, couples and small groups who have journeyed from all parts of Britain, USA, Australia and Kenya.

We are lucky in that there are plenty of site seeing opportunities in Todmorden and the surrounding area once people are here. The majority of sites are connected to the Fielden Family such as the Town Hall, Unitarian Church and Dobroyd Castle. The views of the landscape of course belongs to no one and so those keen to explore the area on foot have been delighted with the freedom to roam on the huge number of ancient paths and tracks, which wander around the surrounding hillsides and predate the Industrial Revolution.

The committee is in the early stages of planning an International event to take place in early August 2016. It is 20 years since the first Homecoming in 1996 when Todmorden played host to Fielden families and descendants from all over the world. On that occasion the large numbers of visitors enjoyed a varied programme of events and visits. A similar gathering was held in 2006 and so 2016 is the year of another Homecoming. There will be some costs involved so if anyone would like to make a donation to the event fund when paying your membership subs it would be gratefully received. The committee will endeavour to raise extra funding for instance like holding a coffee morning with a bric a brac stall etc during this year.

In 2006 we were host to 70+ Fieldens. What we lacked in numbers when compared with the 1996 Homecoming we made up in keenness with which all things Fielden were pursued. On the Friday evening we gathered at the newly restored Fielden Centre. We ate, drank and were merry and did we talk!

We had arranged a professional singer for the evening and he was very good but in retrospect we all just wanted to talk and catch up with our cousins from USA and Australia. For some it was their second visit, bringing back family to their roots.

Saturday was a battle to keep up with events; we used the courtroom of the Town Hall as THE HUB. We served tea and coffee with scones along with tours of the building and its historic treasures, a presentation of John Gibsonís work for the family by Paul Clarke, and a filming interlude for the news channel by Yorkshire Television, and in the afternoon there were competing walks to the Unitarian Church and Dobroyd Castle. Tired we all were but we could still eat, drink and talk to our hearts content at the formal evening dinner in the Queen Hotel.

Sunday we were up early to explore Todmorden, then joined the coach to drive to Grimston Park, Tadcaster where the present John, representative of his ancestor Honest John, welcomed us at the Garden House from where he then supervised the management of the estate. It was a real family occasion only to be eclipsed by a final supper together at Harry Ramsdens original fish and chip restaurant at Guisley near Leeds.

The committee hope to be able to arrange similar events to cover a weekend in early August 2016. More details will be in following newsletters this year to enable family to make travel arrangements. We will compile lists of available accommodation in Todmorden and the surrounding area.

The Visitors to the First Homecoming in 1996 in Todmorden Town Hall

Contact Information:
Taylor W. Early
Midlothian, Virginia
Email comments, questions, etc.

last modified: June 4, 2015
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