Dear Huntingdonshire Local History Society member,
It will come as no surprise to you that due to the Covid-19 pandemic we have had to cancel our Annual General Meeting due on 15th April and our President’s first lecture to us, with presentation of Goodliff awards, on 20th May. We hope to re-arrange both for the Autumn, but it is too early yet to say when that will be and our President’s lecture will depend when he can fit us into his busy diary, no doubt even fuller now with postponed events.
The Cambridge Historic Churches Trust conference on 18th April and Cambridgeshire Association for Local History conference on 2nd May, of which I promised to circulate details at our last meeting, have similarly been cancelled. How quickly the world has changed! CALH and the Cambridge Antiquarian Society have cancelled its meetings into the summer.
We were in the process of arranging excursions and have a visit to Spalding arranged for Wednesday 10th June that is now also likely to be postponed. That makes the lecture by Dr Stephen Parissien on Palace House Newmarket in the Huntingdon Town Hall on Wednesday 8th July our next meeting. This event is in connection with the Huntingdonshire History Festival but even if the Town Hall has reopened for use it will depend to some extent on whether the Festival will go ahead. A decision on that will be made no later than May. During July we also have planned an evening visit to Leighton Bromswold church for Thursday 23rd July, followed by the opportunity for dinner at The Green Man. There’s no harm in putting these events in your diary now, but with a question mark.
The Goodliff Awards scheme continues. The deadline for applications is just one week ahead, on 31st March. The committee will assess these without meeting, which may take a little longer but applicants can expect to hear by the end of April at the latest if they have been successful.
We hope to produce a summer Almanack with excursion and/or meeting details as soon as it is safe to reorganise these. Meanwhile we will endeavour to keep you up to date with developments, and David Smith will publish the latest information on the society’s website. We are also thinking of sending out an occasional bulletin of some sort, which might just be some local history thoughts and jottings, so contributions to that would be welcome. Either get a friend to email them to me or give me a ring.
You will be pleased to hear that we have booked the Huntingdon Military Wives’ Choir for our Christmas Social at the Town Hall on Friday 4th December. Let’s hope and pray that we shall be through this awful period by then and we will all be still here to enjoy it.
With very best wishes to you and your families during this anxious time,
On the evening of 19 September 2019, over 30 members and friends joined our Chairman, Dr Philip Saunders, at Island Hall Godmanchester to bid a fond farewell and heartfelt thank you to our retiring President Dr Simon Thurley.
Dr Thurley, who became our President in 2003, is a local Godmanchester boy who has had a successful career as an Academic and Architectural Historian. Former Director of the Museum of London and Chief Executive of English Heritage and an accomplished author of a number of books on English Palaces and the buildings of England.
Throughout his tenure as President of the Society, Dr Thurley, gave over 18 addresses and talks on such subjects as ‘The Englishness of England’s Heritage’, ‘Hampton Court, a Secret History’, ‘The English Royal Court during the Civil Wars’, ‘The Invention of Heritage: How the Government fabricated our History 1930-1950’, and more recently ‘The King, the Actress and the Cardinal: the birth of London’s West End’, and ‘Heritage and Housing’ (the changing face of housing development)
The 2018 Goodliff Awards were presented on 15th November 2018 to recipients at a reception in the Assembly Room of Huntingdon Town Hall. For details click on the picture below: