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 David Starkey’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 Dr Starkey’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,
It is with deep regret that we have cancelled the weekend trip to Kent this year due to the Cornovirus situation. The current forecast is that the number of confirmed cases of Cornovirus will escalate to epidemic proportions over the next 4 to 6 weeks which puts the peak at the same time as we had planned the weekend away. We have discussed this with each of the venues we had planned to visit and although they could not categorically confirm they would be open, there was every possibility they would be closed as part of a Government step to contain the spread of the virus.
Full refunds will be sent to all those members who had booked for the weekend.
This year we are pleased to announce that we will be returning to Kent to visit some of the historic houses and building in the northern part of the County. For those who were lucky enough to join us for our tour of the Castles of Kent in 2016 will remember the outstanding visits to Leeds Castle, Penshurst, Dover Castle, Walmer Castle, Lullingstone Roman Villa, Igntham Mote and Hever Castle.
This year our weekend is filled with visiting some of the other areas of this County:
Day 1: Darwins House and Riverhill Himalayan Gardens
Day 2: Scotney Castle and Maidston Museum
Day 3: Smallhythe, Ellen Terry’s house and kitchen garden, Church of St Thomas a Becket, Capel
Day 4: Chartwell, home of Winston Churchill, visit to the house and gardens followed by a cream tea before heading back to Hutingdon in the afternoon.
For a printable copy of the itinerary for this years visit to Kent please click [here].
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)
HUNTINGDONDONSHIRE LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY – VISIT TO RAF WYTON PATHFINDER MUSEUM CANCELLED
It is with deep regret that I have to inform you that the planned visit to the RAF Wyton Pathfinders Museum which was to be held on the afternoon of Tuesday 9th July has been cancelled.
The Museum is putting on a small display of some of their artefacts on Saturday 13 July in All Saints Church Huntingdon. Whilst this is not a full display of all the Museum’s artefacts, they will be showing a number of the instruments and equipment from some of the Pathfinder aircraft that operated from RAF Wyton and other pathfinder bases in this region.
The Note for Applicants wanting to submit an application for a Goodliff Award have been updated. Please see Goodliff Awards pages for further details
2019 introduces an extra newsletter that our secretary Mike Dudley has produced. The supplemental Almanack is a personal initiative by Mike to improve communication across the society and also to be an advertisement for our activities beyond. To read or download a copy please click [here].
Please give us feedback on what you think about it. As usual, printed copies will be available at the meeting, so if printing one is difficult, do remember to pick one up, or to do so for some friend who might be interested in the society’s meetings.
Remember too, that back issues of the Almanack including that for Autumn giving details of meetings until May can always be found in the Publications tab
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: