The society was formed at a meeting held at Uppingham School at the end of the last war on November 6th 1945. A letter had been published in the Stamford Mercury shortly before this, asking local people who were interested in art, to write to the Rev L van Vestraut of Lyndon Rectory, Oakham. Mr E A Hodgkinson and his daughters Mary and Joan were among those who responded and it was Mr Hodgkinson who suggested at the meeting that the name Welland Valley would include Stamford and surrounding district as well as the area around Uppingham. The Reverend L van Vestraut was elected secretary, treasurer and president and an annual membership fee of 5 shillings was agreed.
In the following spring, 1946, the first exhibition was held at Uppingham School, where 16 artists showed 86 pictures. By 1947 there were 20 members showing work in two annual exhibitions, both in Stamford Public Library. By 1949 a full committee had been formed
The objects of the society stated in those early days, were:
1. to encourage appreciation of art
2. to give mutual help, society and encouragement to its members in the practice of fine craftsmanship.
3. to enable members to show their work to the public.
Sixty odd years later, the members number well over 200. We are established at the Arts Centre with the use of a studio and a beautiful gallery. However, changes and new developments are always in the air.