Book Review Researching Rutland	Registered Charity No 700273 Rutland Local History & Record Society
The Heritage of Rutland Water Compiled and Edited by Robert Ovens and Sheila Sleath Stunning Testament to Rutland Water Seeing Rutland Water today as a thriving tourist attraction and major water provider, it’s almost impossible to imagine life without it in our midst and the uproar over its development. A new book published by Rutland Local History & Record Society ... charts the entire history of Rutland Water from the early days of Nether and Middle Hambleton through to its current status as home of the ospreys. Running to 680 pages, with full colour throughout, The Heritage of Rutland Water is one of the most extensive and important books on Rutland ever produced. Doing true justice to it would take at least as many pages again because there are so many different aspects to it and so many praises to be made. Honorary editor Tim Clough said: ‘Anyone who has an interest in Rutland, its history and its environment will find something in this book that will catch the imagination, and if readers are inspired to talk about what they have read or find out more, then one of the project's aims will have been fulfilled.' He added: ‘Extensive use of oral history and photographic archives assembled during the project has resulted in a wide-ranging, fully illustrated account of Rutland Water and its surroundings. It is the most ambitious programme the Rutland Local History and Record Society has ever undertaken, and there is something in this book for everyone interested in Rutland and its history and environment.’ The book is a stunning testament to one of Rutland's greatest landmarks, packed with facts and personal memories to make an informative but entertaining read. Andrea Scholes, Rutland Times, 6th November 2007 In 2004, following the success of Time in Rutland, Rutland Local History & Record Society decided that the creation of Rutland Water and the consequent change in its surroundings should be recorded while still in living memory. An application was made to the Heritage Lottery Fund who recognised that it was a worthwhile project and work began. Robert Ovens and Sheila Sleath agreed to manage this project, not realising that it would take over their lives!
Sheila’s skills in talking to people and arranging oral history sessions coupled with Robert’s skills in editing and photography meant that the slim volume envisaged turned into a very impressive book. Local people were persuaded to write articles, companies to allow access to their archives and local photographers their collections. Anglian Water was very supportive and local historians, archaeologists, ornithologists and naturalists were all encouraged to contribute. Robert & Sheila also wrote many of the chapters themselves and had the onerous task of putting so much together. The success of the book, published in December 2007 and reprinted in March 2008, is due to their skills and the time that they have devoted to the project. Don’t be put off by the size or weight, the standard of the printing makes it a delight to turn the pages and thanks to its Lottery funding it is amazingly good value at £22. Sue Lee and Jean Orpin, Stamford Living, 2008 We spent a week staying in Rutland recently to undertake some family history research, which included ... time in the museum and library in Oakham. We found your book The Heritage of Rutland Water ... out on a table in the local history section, where we found a couple of interesting items, and decided to buy it when we saw it for sale in a local book shop. It has been amazing to find information on our ancestors, the Broome and Clarke families of Hambleton, in print.... Thank you so much for a very illuminating book. Gwen and Peter Cahill, September, 2008 Click here to order your copy online