The Origins of the Groby Village Society
Almost 30 years ago, people in Groby were discovering that "development" was taking place in and around the village, that it seemed out of hand, and that the village was destined to be swamped by urban sprawl. Control, whether at Parish, Rural District, County or National level seemed ineffectual owing to inadequate powers of interest. It was the same all over the country but gradually action started to be taken. New legislation was slowly enacted, giving more power to national and local authorities and encouragement to local groups where they existed.
Twelve local people held a meeting and soon Groby Village Society was formed (on 22nd March 1971). Membership was open to all residents at a nominal subscription, and work really started on a number of fronts.
Records of the past were collected together. (These are available in "The Groby Book", a compilation of articles by local experts, several copies being deposited in the Groby Library.)
A survey of the remaining buildings of worth, trees and woods and footpaths was made with a view to getting then known and possibly protected by newly created conservation powers.
Careful study was made of future planning, especially in the form of the Leicestershire Structure Plan, the Groby Village Plan and a whole string of planning applications. Forceful opinions were put forward by GVS members delegated to attend the public enquiries to examine these plans and changes beneficial to the village were incorporated in the final reports.
A number of groups were formed within the Society, social, gardening, wine-making, geology and archaeology to name but a few), some of which branched out and developed into separate societies in their own right.
The GVS frequently and fearlessly corresponds on matters of preservation (without fossilisation) of the village and village life, with ministries, County Council, Borough and Parish Councils, Not all pressures succeed but many do, and of course beneficial ones are supported and encouraged.
The GVS receives official notice from Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council of all plans applied for within the Conservation Area and these are circulated for comment to committee members, whose opinions are transmitted to the Council for inclusion in their considerations.
In addition, the GVS is recognised as concentrated sources of local views and is frequently consulted when it is a matter of the past, present or future of the village.
The period of "development" is not over and it must be remembered that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.