John Hill served in the Royal Artillery in World War II, rising to the rank of captain and seeing active service as an Air Observation Post pilot. The series JH/WAR contains transcripts of his personal journal of his military service, together with contemporary documents, maps, and published material, and some post-war material. The latter includes papers relating to old comrades' organisations, military museums and heritage centres, and miscellaneous publications and cuttings.
The agricultural series JH/AGR mainly covers the period between 1955 and 1972. Files relate to various agricultural committees, the Ministry of Agriculture, the National Farmers' Union, local and European agriculture, Conservative Party agricultural policy, and general agricultural issues.
Series JH/EDUcontains papers relating to topical education issues in the early 70s including the restructuring in schools and the move to comprehensive education. The entire range of education is covered, from nursey education through to higher education, as well as teachers' issues. JH was Chairman of the Conservative Education Committee between 1970-1971, included are papers of this committee and JH's correspondence during this time. Files are also included on education in Europe, education in East Anglia, and the Department of Education and Science.
The above two series overlap considerably with JH/POL - Political papers, which is further subdivided into:
- JH/POL/EUR - European papers
- JH/POL/LOC - Constituency papers
- JH/POL/PARL - Parliamentary papers
JH/POL/EUR - official and unofficial printed material, printed ephemera, draft proposals, minutes, memoranda, background and briefing notes, etc. relating to the European Community, EU elections, the European Parliament,the Council of Europe, and a wide-range of topics affecting Europe which include agricultual and environmental issues, education, trade, etc.
JH/POL/LOC - printed ephemera and papers relating to John Hill's election campaigns; [closed] South Norfolk constituency papers and correspondence; minutes and correspondence of the South Norfolk Conservative Association; John Hill's speech notes and press-cuttings; and papers relating to local government and local government issues.
JH/POL/PARL - printed official and unofficial parliamentary papers including copies of Hansard with John Hill's parliamentary speeches and questions, Bills and Acts; parliamentary reports and papers presented to Parliament; papers of various committees; papers on debates relating to the Far East, and to Europe and a referendum on UK membership of the EC; general election material; correspondence with MPs; John Hill's parliamentary expenses, etc.
John Hill's non-political contributions to public organisations are covered in JH/PUB. Included are various sub-files on Charterhouse, his former school, where Hill was a member of the governing body from 1958-1990; minutes and miscellaneous papers of the University of East Anglia where Hill was a member of Council from 1975-1982; Langley School papers, where Hill was a governor from 1962-1977; minutes and papers of the Country Landowners' Association, where JH was a member of the Executive Committee between 1957-1959 and 1977-1982; and papers relating to various river boards, Hill was a member of the East Suffolk and Norfolk River Board between 1952-1962, he was Vice-President of the River Boards' Association and Chairman of the River Blyth Internal Drainage Board, etc.
The Blyford series JH/BLY primarily covers the period between 1944 and 1989. It contains papers which relate to the development, management and farming operations of Blyford Estate which was subdivided into tenant farms. Separate files exist for the individual farms and properties on the estate. Also included are files on crops, dairying, shooting, employees, financial and legal records, and land agencies. John Hill's contributions to the local community around Blyford are covered in JH/COM.
JH/PER contains personal and family papers of John and Edith Hill as well as those of certain relatives including John Hill's father R.W. Hill. Includes personal correspondence, financial and investment accounts [closed files], files on Hill's school and university years, and files on his general interests and clubs which he joined in a personal capacity. A file is also included on Lord Edward Holroyd Pearce and his family who were close friends of the Hills.
A large slide and photographic collection JH/PHO, arranged chronologically, is included in support of the papers. John Hill was a keen photographer and images of his many foreign and local trips as a member of Parliament, and also as a family man are captured. In particular, agricultural activities and the development of the Blyford Estate are well covered; a 1937 "gap-year" visit to India; China in 1956; Southeast Asia in 1957; and the United States in 1958. This series closely supports JH/TRA which includes printed ephemera, itineraries, bills, notebooks, lectures and addresses, correspondence, press cuttings, etc. for personal and political trips.
Approximately 50 uncatalogued films are still to be taped and reviewed for possible addition to the collection.