The original Ockley Society was formed in 1967 with the specific purpose of opposing the proposed widening of the A29. As a ‘non statutory body’ it could be less inhibited in its tactics than a statutory body like the Parish Council..
Fortunately, the road widening scheme never happened but the Ockley Society continued to lobby on behalf of the well being of the village and comment on local structure and plans..
Eventually, the society became dormant in 1979 when the last Annual General Meeting was held, although it was nominally still in existence.
In 1984, a sub committee of the Parish Council planned and built the footpath on the village green from School Lane to the Surgery. Funds were raised by interest free loans and the work was carried out by enthusiastic volunteers supporting the committee.
There was a great spirit about the whole thing. Many village groups raised money in imaginative ways but there was still a healthy balance to re pay. The footpath committee and village hall committee planned a major day of fundraising. The effort was focused under the nominal label of the Ockley Society .
The committee devised and organised some inter-village games dubbed the Ocklympics and barbecue and dance in the evening.
‘The day was an immensely enjoyable effort by a lot of people, especially for the vibrant community atmosphere generated. So much so that it was felt that this spirit must not be lost and the Ockley Society was reborn at an AGM in March 1986 with the aim of ‘developing, supporting and encouraging village community life and spirit’.