Calendar

Jan
11
Thu
Society Lecture – Stirling to Essen (Roger Leivers) @ Huntingdon Methodist Church
Jan 11 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

The Godmanchester Stirling Crash – New pictures and untold family stories.

In 2012 the Godmanchester Community Association received an email inquiring about an aircraft that had crashed very near to Godmanchester during the Second World War. The email was given to Roger and not realising at the time this led Roger on a 5 years research project that resulted in a successful book telling the story of the crew and the aircraft. But the book really tells you of the emotional and heart rending stories of the crew and their families, the trials and tribulation of flying this gigantic aircraft often dogged by technical issues, and follows the lives, and tragic deaths, of everyone associated with the fateful aircraft and crew.

In 2015 Roger was awarded a Goodliff Grant by the Society to help publish his book ‘Stirling to Essen The Godmanchester Stirling: a Bomber Command Story of Courage and Tragedy.

Roger Leivers is coming to update us on his project on the Godmanchester Stirling crash.  It will be rather different to what he has spoken about before, so don’t make the mistake of believing you’ve heard it somewhere else before. 

Copies of is book will be available to buy on the night.

Feb
8
Thu
Society Lecture – History of Houghton Grange (Bridget Flanagan) @ Huntingdon Methodist Church
Feb 8 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Cootes, Constables and Chickens – a History of Houghton Grange (Bridget Flanagan)

 

Bridget will explore the chequered history of this building and show there is much of interest before its sad decline from Edwardian magnificence to a government scientific centre and the present dereliction.

There is very little documented information about the Grange prior to its use as a poultry research business. We know the house was originally built for a Mr Harold Coote. It was a large house situated on the banks of the river Ouse and was approached from the main Huntingdon to Houghton road through a long avenue of lime trees. To the south, terraced gardens led down to the river through extensive lawn areas.

The house has lain empty for nearly 25 years and is slowly decaying into sad disrepair. 

 

May
11
Fri
Society Trip – Weekend Trip to Derbyshire 11-14 May
May 11 – May 14 all-day

Hardwick House

This year we are visiting some of the exciting historical sites and house of Derbyshire. We depart on Friday 11th May and return on Monday 14th May. For our full programme of activities click on the picture of Hardwick Hall, home of Bess of Hardwick a most remarkable woman during the reign of Queen Elizabeth.

 

 

Day 1: We start our visit at Calke Abbey, a National Trust house described as the in-stately of all of our stately homes. The house was built in 1704 in the Baroque style for Sir John Harper on the site of a former priory. Through marriage the family name changed to Crewe then Harper Crewe. Their family wealth increased dramatically through marriage and throughout the generations of the family they became eccentric, reclusive and fanatical collectors. Sadly the family fortunes declined and the house fell into disrepair as room upon room was closed to save money. We will get the chance to explore this house, preserved in its final state when it was given to the care of the National Trust.

We finish our day visiting Derby Cathedral, upgraded to cathedral status in 1927 to create the seat for the Bishop of Derby. Founded in the mid 10th Century as a Collegiate church it is now a Grade 1 listed building.

Day 2: We dip our toes into modern social and economic history with a visit to the National Tramway Museum. Here we will follow the rise and fall of this urban form of transport from its early horse drawn days, into steam, electric tram and trolley buses. In Europe trams remained very popular and many cities still operate them today. Some of our cities are now introducing a modern tramway to help keep our inner cities free of heavy traffic. Love them or hate them trams formed an integral part of our inner city lives.

The afternoon we get the chance to visit Bakewell, the home of the famous Bakewell Pudding. Here you’ll be free to explore this old town and perhaps sample some of the delicious produce with a welcome cup of tea or coffee.

Day 3: We venture back in time to the early days of the Industrial Revolution with a visit to Cromford Mill, the first water powered cotton spinning mill built by Richard Arkwright. Arkwright is recognised as one of the founding fathers of the mechanised cotton industry which grew out of this mill, now a World Heritage site.

In the afternoon we venture further back in time to the days of the Tudor and Elizabethan dynasties with a visit to Hardwick Hall. Here we can follow the story of the Hardwick family and of one of their children Elizabeth Hardwick who was to marry into the Cavendish family of Chatsworth House fame. We will discover that Elizabeth’s life was tragic and difficult but through her tenacity and determination, and four marriages she eventually built the new Hardwick Hall in 1590 and firmly stamped her name, ‘Bess of Hardwick’ on the house and countryside.

Day 4: We complete this story of the history of parts of Derbyshire by visiting the house of one of the most powerful families in the county, the Cavendish’s of Chatsworth House. Here we can link the stories of the Cavendish family, Beth of Hardwick and the family of Calke Abbey. We will explore the 30 rooms in house with a guided tour and get the chance to walk through the extensive gardens. Our visit to Chatsworth ends with a Cream Tea and cakes before we head back to Huntingdon. 

For further details contact Rosemary Smith (rosemarysnotes@gmail.com) or 01480 350127 

Jun
21
Thu
Society Visit – Westminster College, Cambridge @ Westminster College, Cambridge
Jun 21 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Visit to Westminster College, St Clement’s and All Saints churches, Cambridge

Westminster College is a theological college of the United Reformed Church, incorporating the Cheshunt Foundation of the Countess of Huntingdon’s Connexion. 

Westminster College is a late 19th-century theological college of the English Presbyterian Church (since 1972 part of the United Reformed Church), the creation of the redoubtable and erudite Biblical scholars, Mrs Agnes Lewis and Mrs Margaret Gibson, since 1967 incorporating Cheshunt College of the Countess of Huntingdon’s Connexion, a foundation with a continuous history from the beginnings of that denomination.  We begin our visit with a display from the College’s archives, including those of the Countess of Huntingdon and famous nonconformists of the 18th century onward.  Then, after coffee/tea we will be given a tour of the college by the archivist, Helen Weller, including the Chapel (an Arts & Crafts gem) and Library with portrait collection.  We shall end our visit to the college with lunch in the Hall.  For those who wish, there should be a chance to see the attached Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide  and externally the adjacent new Woolf Institute for the study of relations between Jews, Christians and Muslims.  After lunch we shall walk half-mile to All Saints church, Jesus Lane, via St Clement’s church, both of which are being opened specially for us.  St Clement’s is a medieval parish church of the quayside area, off the beaten tourist track that deserves to be better known; All Saints is a Victorian Gothic masterpiece by Bodley and Morris .

Joining details to those booking or contact Philip Saunders (paksaunders@talk21.com or 01954-250421) if you have queries.

Own transport.  Good public transport links.  Disabled parking  only (please advise).

Cost £16.00 including refreshments & lunch

Book by Friday 15th June.  N.B. Limited to 24 members.

Excursion Notes:

Please use the accompanying form and pay in advance by cheque. To download a copy of the booking form click on the word BOOKINGFORM 

Note especially the ‘Book By’ date.  Early booking is helpful.  However do telephone if you are able to come at the last minute as outings are seldom over-subscribed.

Cancellations:  If you cancel before the ‘Book By’ date your cheque will not be paid in.  If you cancel later you may only receive a refund if someone else takes your place.

Non-member guests are very welcome. You will receive partial refunds on the coach for guest children, in respect of lower entrance fees. 

The Society undertakes to make arrangements for the excursions but cannot accept liability for any mishap or loss connected with them.

Jul
17
Tue
Society Visit – Coach Excursion to Tattershall Castle and Boston @ Tatteshall Castle and Boston
Jul 17 @ 9:00 am – 6:00 pm

Coach excursion to Boston and Tattershall Castle & church, Lincolnshire

Neil Wright (our speaker in April) will meet us at Fydell House in Boston for tea / coffee and an introductory talk. He will then guide us around this ancient market town on the banks of the Witham. His itinerary is a 1½-hour walk before lunch and a second 1½-hour walk after lunch. Neil will draw attention to the more significant aspects of St Botolph’s church, “ The Stump” 272 feet high. Some members may not wish to participate in the full walking programme.   Please write  A  on the booking form for the full walking programme, B for the morning only, C  for the afternoon only and  D  for no conducted tour, free time only.

We will then visit Tattershall Castle keep built of brick in 1434 by Ralph, Lord Cromwell and the adjacent Holy Trinity church built by Ralph’s executor.

 

 

 

Depart Mill Common Huntingdon  9.00 am, arrive  Boston  10.45.  Morning walk  11.15 to 12.45; afternoon walk  2.00 to 3.00. Leave Boston 3.15 for Tattershall, visit castle and church 4.00 to 5.30. Return to Huntingdon 7.00 / 7.30pm.

Other pick-up points (indicate clearly on form): Somersham (Dews) 8.25; St Ives (Houghton Rd) 8.40; Hartford (Longstaff Way) 8.45; Godmanchester (Bridge Place car park) 8.50.

Cost (including morning refreshments): £35.00 (National Trust members £29.00)

Book by Thursday 5th July.

Excursion Notes:

Please use the accompanying form and pay in advance by cheque. To download a copy of the booking form click on the word BOOKINGFORM 

Note especially the ‘Book By’ date.  Early booking is helpful.  However do telephone if you are able to come at the last minute as outings are seldom over-subscribed.

Cancellations:  If you cancel before the ‘Book By’ date your cheque will not be paid in.  If you cancel later you may only receive a refund if someone else takes your place.

Non-member guests are very welcome. You will receive partial refunds on the coach for guest children, in respect of lower entrance fees. 

The Society undertakes to make arrangements for the excursions but cannot accept liability for any mishap or loss connected with them.

Aug
13
Mon
Society Visit – March, Historic Medieval Church, Station and Museum @ March
Aug 13 @ 1:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Visit to March, including Medieval Church, Historic Station and Museum, Monday 13th August 1.30 p.m.

We shall begin our visit to the former county town of the Isle of Ely at St Wendreda’s church, Church Street, PE15 5PY, with its magnificent medieval timber roof, containing more than 100 carved angels, saints and apostles, which Sir John Betjeman said was ‘worth cycling forty miles into a head wind to see’. We then circuit the town to the classic Victorian station, opened 1847, a hallowed place for railway historians and once focus of one of the largest marshalling yards in Europe.  Finally we adjourn to the town centre, where there should be time for the more energetic to fit in a short guided perambulation, but in any case to reassemble at the March Museum.  The Museum is being opened specially for us and there will be ample opportunity to enjoy its large collection.  Our visit ends with tea and cakes provided by the Museum Society.

Own transport.  Please advise if you can offer help /need help with transport.

Cost £5.00. Please book by Monday 6th August.  Further details will be issued on the day at the church, or for more information contact Kate Hadley on 01480-454154 or Jean Burbidge on 07798-685648.

Book by Monday 6th August.

Excursion Notes:

Please use the accompanying form and pay in advance by cheque. To download a copy of the booking form click on the word BOOKINGFORM 

Note especially the ‘Book By’ date.  Early booking is helpful.  However do telephone if you are able to come at the last minute as outings are seldom over-subscribed.

Cancellations:  If you cancel before the ‘Book By’ date your cheque will not be paid in.  If you cancel later you may only receive a refund if someone else takes your place.

Non-member guests are very welcome. You will receive partial refunds on the coach for guest children, in respect of lower entrance fees. 

The Society undertakes to make arrangements for the excursions but cannot accept liability for any mishap or loss connected with them.

Sep
13
Thu
Society Visit – St Ives Pugin’s Gem and Norris Museum and Library @ St Ives, Cambridgeshire
Sep 13 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Visit to Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, Needingworth Road, St Ives, and Privileged Visit to the Norris Museum and Library

 Thursday 13th September, 2.00 p.m.

For a small market town the Catholic church has a remarkable history, starting life as St Andrew’s church in Cambridge and then moved when it became too small with greater population movement.  It has been called ‘Pugin’s Little Gem’. The church is justly proud of its heritage. 

After this visit we move to the Norris Museum, for a short talk at 3.00pm on the collections and recent refurbishment by Sarah Russell, the director, followed by tea and group guided tour of the new displays and behind the scenes. 

Own transport.  Please advise if you can offer help /need help with transport.  If you come by car we suggest Darwood’s Pond car park for RC church and then move to Globe Place.

Cost: £3.00.

Book by Friday 7th September

Excursion Notes:

Please use the accompanying form and pay in advance by cheque. To download the form click on the word BOOKINGFORM

Note especially the ‘Book By’ date.  Early booking is helpful.  However do telephone if you are able to come at the last minute as outings are seldom over-subscribed.

Cancellations:  If you cancel before the ‘Book By’ date your cheque will not be paid in.  If you cancel later you may only receive a refund if someone else takes your place.

Non-member guests are very welcome. You will receive partial refunds on the coach for guest children, in respect of lower entrance fees. 

The Society undertakes to make arrangements for the excursions but cannot accept liability for any mishap or loss connected with them.

 

Oct
10
Wed
Society Lecture – A Landscape through Time – the A14 Project @ Methodist Church, Huntingdon
Oct 10 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Wednesday 10 October A Landscape through Time – A look at the Archaeology of the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon Improvement Scheme.

Please note the following important dates including some changes: This and subsequent Lectures: These will be on Wednesdays at our usual venue, Huntingdon Methodist church.  From this month onward the usual day of meetings will be the second Wednesday, as the church is no longer available regularly to us on Thursday evenings. 

Emma Jeffery, Senior Archaeologist at MOLA Headland Archaeology will talk about the astonishing discoveries taking place as a result of the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme.  A walk through centuries of history from prehistoric settlements, pottery and ditches, Roman broaches and pottery production, medieval village lost and found. 

Click on the picture for a larger and printable version of the poster.

The lecture this evening will be free to non-members

Nov
15
Thu
Society Presidents Lecture and Goodliff Awards @ Huntingdon Town Hall
Nov 15 @ 7:30 pm – 9:45 pm

The King, the Actress and the Cardinal: the birth of London’s West End.

 

Dr Simon Thurley’s lecture this year is entitled The King, the Actress and the Cardinal; the birth of London’s West End. The King and the Cardinal one can make a fair guess at, but the Actress is a little more difficult. Come along if you want to know who they are. It is bound to be another revelation on the extraordinary history of our capital city.

 

 

 

The evening will start off with the Goodliff Award Ceremony when Dr Thurley will present awards to:

Jane Adams, St Peter and St Paul’s Parish Church Alconbury – the publication of an information booklet and childrens guide to the church.

Jane Watson, publication of a booklet on the history of Barham village.

The Cromwell Museum Trust (Stuart Orme) – design and production new external signage and display boards.

Beth Davis – publication of the WW2 memoirs of Bert Goodwin.

The Nene Valley Archaeological Trust (Dr Stephen Upex) – magnetometer survey of the walled area of the Roman town of Durobrivae.

All Saints Church Elton Reformation Committee (Joanne Borrett) – publication of information booklet/story board about the stained glass windows and Saxon crosses.

Peter Cooper – Development and publish on-line interactive maps of Holywell-cum-Needingworth.

Huntingdonshire History Festival (Mike Addis) – funding in support of the 2018 History Festival. 

The Norris Museum (Sarah Russell)– Production of learning session materials entitled, ‘Cromwell the Man, Friend or Foe?’.

Roger Reynolds – Publication of a book, ‘Ramsey at War’ covering the period 1939 to 1946.

 

Dec
13
Thu
Society Christmas Social 2018- A Tudor Evening with Hexacordia @ Assembly Rooms, Huntingdon Town Hall
Dec 13 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Christmas Social Evening—A Tudor Christmas

This year our Christmas gathering will have a Tudor theme, with entertainment from the accomplished early music group Hexacordia. for more information visit their website http://www.hexachordia.com

We have this year the highly-talented early music group Hexachordia to provide us with ‘A Tudor Christmas’ programme.  There are naturally costs in that and we are making the effort to widen invitations through other local history societies.  We expect therefore that the social to be well attended.  If you want to come therefore please send David Smith your reply slips from the Almanack or from attached leaflet with cheques now.  Do not rely on coming without booking on the night.  I would not want any member to miss out because we are booked up.  The charge for members is £8, for non-members £10.
 

To book contact David Smith through our contacts page