The Souldern Village Appraisal Committee was set up following an open meeting on January 5th, 1988, in the Village Hall, initiated by the Parish Council.
The committee was able to call on the services of Roger Davies of the Oxfordshire Rural Community Council who had much experience of appraisals carried out in other villages in the county. Thus, he was able to make many useful suggestions about procedures. The committee finally decided that two activities should be pursued: the production of a booklet which would present an analysis of the returns of the questionnaire to be delivered to each resident, and the provision of a mural depicting the village to be housed in the Village Hall.
The purpose of the Appraisal would be to gather information on a variety of topics relevant to Souldern, which could be used as a guide when considering what changes should be supported or opposed. Villages today are sometimes faced with the threat of serious alterations to their way of life by powerful forces; the appraisal could be invaluable in responding to such threats more rapidly and with more coherence. It might also serve as valuable source material to historians in the future.
The questionnaire was drawn up and circulated in June 1989. The returns of the 80% of the villagers who replied have been analysed. This booklet is the result of that analysis. The members of the Committee hope that it will be of interest and value to villagers today and in the future.