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.
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.
The Anglo-Saxons in Huntingdonshire
Dr Upex is probable best known for his expertise on the Romans in the Nene Valley, but his academic range is much wider. Here he ventures later and on to a broader canvas to examine the effects of those who supplanted the Romans.
Whilst the Romans changed the face of Europe and England for ever with towns and particularly our road structure that we are still using today, the Angles and the Saxons who occupied England after them had as much impact on how this country was structured. However, finding evidence in the ground of their existence, buildings, roads and towns is not always as easy as it could be as they built mainly in wood. Recent building and new road constructions has revealed more information of our Anglo Saxon ancestors.
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 (email@example.com) or 01480 350127
Visit to the Alconbury Weald Heritage Centre. We meet at ‘The Club’, The Boulevard, Enterprise Campus. Rebecca Britton will meet us to explain how Urban and Civic are incorporating the heritage of this former RAF station into the ongoing development of Alconbury Weald
Own Transport: Please advise if you can offer help/need help with transport.
No Charge: but please let David Cozens know by Wednesday 23rd May that you are coming and either by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone 01487 815229)
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.
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.
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.
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
To book contact David Smith through our contacts page
Further details to follow shortly
The 2019 Goodliff Awards are being presented at the Society’s President’s Lecture, which this year is taking place during the Huntingdonshire History Festival. Because it is being advertised with other events and we fully expect a full room, admission, even for members, will be by prior booking.
After the presentation of the Goodliff Awards, Dr Thurley will give his lecture, HERITAGE and HOUSING, for which he has provided the following introduction:
Providing enough houses for people to live in is one of the great issues affecting Huntingdonshire and indeed England today. It is an issue for people looking to buy new homes and settle into this area, but also one for those wanting to protect the distinctiveness of their historic towns and villages. Most new house building is undertaken in disregard of the vernacular traditions of the places in which it is undertaken. Historic settlements all over England are fighting what they regard as inappropriate development on their doorstep. Does it have to be like this? Can heritage and conservation be reconciled with the ambitions of the volume housebuilder? I will look at the issues in historical, geographical and economic context and suggest a way forwards.
Please use the BOOKING FORM accompanying the Summer 2019 Almanack to tell us you are coming, or otherwise let David Smith know by email email@example.com..uk or phone 01480 350127 by Sunday 30th June at the latest