Calendar

Oct
9
Wed
Society Talk – Churches and Chapels – the Past, Present and Future @ Huntingdon Methodist Church
Oct 9 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Michael Dudley will talk about the growth of chapels and churches in the local area and how the church landscape has changed over the centuries.

All Saint’s Church, Huntingdon

Throughout the country there are today more places of worship than clergy to conduct weekly services in them. Church attendance and communicants has declined significantly and our churches are now in a position where the cost of upkeep and maintenance is being bourn by fewer folk. Sadly, a great number of our churches, a lot of them listed buildings, are beginning to fall into decay; not helped by the thoughtless actions of some thieves stealing the lead of the roof resulting in enormous cost of damage to the fabric of the buildings. 

St Margaret’s Church, Abbotsley

Many of the older churches are fine architectural edifices that should be preserved regardless of declining finances. We have seen charitable organisations such as The Churches Preservation Trust, The National Trust and Heritage England, formed to stem the tide of decay and dereliction of our architectural heritage, helping to restore and preserve these old estates and building for everyone to enjoy. So, what is to become of our churches and chapels? Will more be sold off to become desirable homes for the few?

Come along to hear Michael Dudley’s talk and get to know what can be done.

 

Nov
12
Tue
Society Talk – Opium Eating in the Fens in the 19th Century @ Huntingdon Methodist Church
Nov 12 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Opium Eating in the Fens – Talk by Dr Eric Somerville

In the 19th Century opium was commonly used as a remedy for a large number of common ailments. It is hard to believe that it was possible to walk into a chemist shop and buy without a prescription cocaine and laudanum. Opium preparations, (‘little white powder’) were freely sold in towns and markets and in the countryside by travelling ‘hawksters’. Taking opium became as popular as alcohol. Surprisingly, opium was also used as a ‘quieten’  tincture for children.

Dr Eric Somerville is coming to speak to us about “Opium-eating in the Fens in the Nineteenth Century”.  It’s interesting to learn that fenland folk didn’t smoke opium, they consumed it, and did so in quantities, to the extent that it has been calculated that half of imported opium went there.  Dr Somerville has made an extensive study of the subject and since he’s a retired Wisbech G.P. expect some reflections on drug use today.

Admission free to Society Members, guests are welcome and we ask for a small £3 donation for the evening.

Parking: Building work has now started at the church and there is only Disabled Parking there, so please allow a few minutes more to park in Malthouse Close or Ingram Street car parks.

Dec
10
Tue
Society Christmas Social – Assembly Rooms, Town Hall @ Huntingdon Town Hall
Dec 10 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Christmas Social – A Georgian Christmas, with Bedford Gallery Quire, Tuesday 10th December

Its that time of year, the Christmas festive season is fast approaches again. Once more we have a super programme lined up for our Christmas social.  The Christmas social is undoubtedly one of the sheer joys of this society, so do make an effort to come along.  You will not be disappointed.  And by all means bring friends with you.  

This year The Bedford Gallery Quire, will be providing the musical entertainment. They are part of the movement to resurrect the folk tradition, coined ‘West Gallery Music’ by Thomas Hardy, The Quire was formed in 2003 and is a group of singers and instrumentalists performing musical pieces from the ‘West Gallery’ period, around 1700 to 1850. West Gallery music is often seen as an anarchic musical attribute of the parish church until reforming Victorian clergy suppressed them in favour of the more governable, surpliced, choirs singing in the chancel that we know today.  Besides playing fiddles and flutes they will be performing traditional music on some less familiar instruments including flagelettes, an ophicleïde, and a serpent – a rare sight indeed.  

We will again be providing sandwiches, etc., as well as drinks, but members are welcome to bring additional seasonal fare.  It would be helpful if you haven’t already done so , it you would book as soon as possible.  This enables us to tell how many spaces available for non-members.  David Smith will be there on Tuesday to take bookings and your £5.00, or send him a cheque with form in the Almanack, or at very least email him at info@huntslhs.org.uk to let him know you are coming and pay on the night. 

Jan
8
Wed
Society Talk – Cromwell’s First Campaign, 1643 @ Huntingdon Methodist Church
Jan 8 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Stuart Orme, the Curator of the Cromwell Museum will talk to us about Oliver Cromwell’s first campaigns in 1643 at Huntingdon, Peterborough, Crowland and the Battle of Gainsborough on 28th July.

Feb
12
Wed
Society Talk – John Howland of Fenstanton, The Mayflower and the Great Migration @ Huntingdon Methodist Church
Feb 12 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Adrian Moss will talk about John Howland of Fenstanton and how as the man servant of Governor John Carver he sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 to settle in Plymouth in the ‘New World’. John Howland was an indentured servant when he set sail on the Mayflower but in later years he became personal secretary to the Governor and was instrumental in the making of a treaty with the local native American tribe, Sachem Massasoit.  

Mar
11
Wed
Society Talk – History and Collections of the Spalding Gentlemen’s Society @ Huntingdon Methodist Church
Mar 11 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Mr Tom Grimes will talk about the History and Collections of the Spalding Gentlemen’s Society

Apr
15
Wed
Society Annual General Meeting @ Assembly Room, Huntingdon Town Hall
Apr 15 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Details to follow