Village History

At a recent Church Fenton Community Hub meeting, an idea was put forward that perhaps it would be of interest to Church Fenton residents if the CFCH website could incorporate a history of the village, so I was asked if I would be able to help them out.  I have lived in the village since 1975 (my name is Anne Herbert) along with my husband David and gradually, with my history knowledge and David’s technical website knowledge combined, we hope to be able to pass on many interesting aspects of village life, but it will be a long process!  The aim is to break down the information into various subjects – school, industries, interesting buildings, social life etc., so please be patient as I have an awful lot of information to sift through!

I became interested in the social history of the village when I became involved with the school, firstly as a parent and eventually as the School Secretary. Frank Dean was a regular visitor to the school (the children knew him as Uncle Frank), and he occasionally sold photographs of old Church Fenton at School Fairs (which I bought)!  He had also been recording village life for many years in photographs, slides, cine films, video and finally digital recordings, and gave shows in the Village Hall from time to time.  He was actually writing a book about Church Fenton History but sadly it was never published, and I believe that he donated all his writings and films to the York Archives, along with all the work he did on the railways – a lifelong passion of his, both in his working days and in his retirement. Frank sadly passed away in 2018.

Being inspired by Frank I have been an avid collector of anything and everything to do with the social history of Church Fenton for many years.  I have also followed in his footsteps by taking photographs of buildings being demolished/converted, and of new developments.

Our son (Ian) has amassed an amazing amount of information regarding RAF Church Fenton, and we would like to acknowledge this, and photographs provided by him (with his permission). Much more information can be found by visiting his website at

He is also interested in the history of Church Fenton Station, so between the two of us we have a fair amount of knowledge about village life in days gone by!  We hope that you too will find it very interesting. 

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