The Kibworth Improvement Team Committee;
- Andrew Southerden
- Dr Kevin Feltham
- David Adams
- Emma Tilley
- Robin Rollick (Chairman)
- Dr Eddie May
Michael Wood's "Story of England" BBC TV series prompted the formation of the Kibworth Improvement Team (KiT). An application for a grant to the Heritage Lottery Fund, to continue the legacy of the TV series, and create the “Story of Kibworth” was made. Early in 2011 KiT were awarded £48,200 for their innovative heritage projects.
In January 2012, 10000 copies of the Kibworth Guide Booklets were published. The booklet consists of three heritage trails, one for each village, and a copy was delivered to every household in the three villages.
'Betty's Trails' inspired by a stalwart of the Kibworth Harcourt community, Betty Ward. These booklets are suitable for those with limited mobility, users of mobility scooters, wheelchairs and pushchairs.
Applications for Planning Permission were made to erect Blue Heritage Plaques to commemorate the lives of, Sir Harold Ridley, Anna Laetitia Barbauld and Phillip Dodderidge DD and the installation of 10 interpretation panels around the three villages to enable visitors to learn more about specific locations on the trail routes.
KiT liased with Kibworth C E Primary and Robert Smyth Academy, to enliven their studies and bring Kibworth’s rich history to life for the young people so they would have a better understanding of its relevance in their curriculum. This resulted in the primary school children creating a DVD film covering the Civil War, Victorian and Second World War periods and visits by Robert Smyth A level history students to Merton College, Oxford.
The on line museum, unveiled in 2017, displays heritage artefacts including ancient maps, translations of important documents, Domesday Book, agricultural records, wills, drawings and photographs through the ages and will provide a fantastic and easily useable vision of local history.
In addition to the Heritage Lottery projects KiT have held events to raise the community spirit of the two Kibworths and Smeeton Westerby. The first, a street party, held in April 2011, celebrated the wedding of HRH Prince William and Katherine Middleton and started with the wedding ceremony being watched live in a packed St Wilfrid’s Church. Afterwards, well over 1500 people packed Church Road to enjoy the live entertainment.
The second street party on 3 June 2012 when the Kibworth Diamond Jubilee Regatta mirrored the events on the River Thames. The Coach & Horses Inn received international acclaim when it was transformed into a ship ‘HMS Coach and Horses‘ for the event. BBC TV had a crew on site all day covering the event. Despite the appalling weather conditions the intrepid citizens of Kibworth came, stayed and enjoyed the event.
KiT have raised several thousand pounds by holding public events including a remarkable talk by Michael Wood, a magnificent Jubilee Flower Festival, both in St Wilfrid’s Church.
The Kit committee thanks the many volunteers who had assisted in all sorts of different ways to make KiT's work so successful.
Aims & Objectives
To promote and support improvements in “Kibworth” as a place to live, work, visit and do business in, with particular (but not exclusive) focus on:
- Environment & Transport
- Health, Culture & Leisure
- Local Economy and Marketing
- Safe & Secure Communities
- Education & Lifelong Learning
We will promote partnership working between public and private bodies, individuals and groups involved in change or improvements in “Kibworth”.
We will promote equality of opportunity in all areas of our work, with particular focus on promoting social cohesion within the community. The partnership will study the services and facilities available in “Kibworth”, active community groups, crime levels and other factors which help to build a picture of “Kibworth” at the moment.
A few ideas of the activities that KiT might undertake:
- Promote the Kibworth Village website
- Run the Kibworth Logo competition
- Produce the Kibworth Guide Booklet
- Help develop a Community Action Plan for next few years
- Help organise Christmas Events – Late Night Shopping, Village Christmas Trees etc.
- Help organise Summer Events – Kibworth Carnival?
- Improve Kibworth Bus Guides
- Support Community clean-up campaigns
This is why KiT needs representatives from a wide range of local organisations:
- YOU have the local knowledge
- YOU want responsibility for local action
- YOU want to see a thriving community
- YOU want safe and attractive villages
- YOU acknowledge that change is not just a threat but an opportunity.
So how can YOU get involved?
- YOU can attend the regular KiT meetings or join the Steering Group.
- YOU may be fired up by only one or two projects – that’s okay, join us to work on them and make them happen.
- YOU can become a community champion and develop your own themed projects.
Whatever YOU choose to do then you will be joining a diverse and committed community group and in return you will meet new people, learn new skills, and feel the sense of achievement that comes from making things happen and sustaining the communities in Kibworth & Smeeton.
If the community really gets involved then things will happen – it’s all about YOU!
- Kibworth Harcourt
- Kibworth Beauchamp
- Smeeton Westerby