HUNTINGDONSHIRE LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY
MAY WEEKEND 10TH TO 13TH MAY 2019 BIRMINGHAM AND WARWICKSHIRE
For a copy of the program clicK [HERE]
Depart Huntingdon 9am Arrive 11am
Day 1 Friday
Forge Mill Needle Museum & Bordesley Abbey
Tour includes coffee on arrival and lunch.
Forge Mill Needle Museum in Redditch is an unusual and fascinating place to visit. This historic site illustrates the rich heritage of the needle and fishing tackle industries. Models and recreated scenes provide a vivid illustration of how needles were once made, and how Redditch once produced 90% of the world’s needles.
On the same site, just a very short walk from Forge Mill Museum, are the ruins of Bordesley Abbey – a medieval Cistercian Abbey which has been extensively excavated. Bordesley Abbey Visitor Centre, which is set in an original reconstructed 16th century barn, tells the extraordinary story of the Abbey from its development in the 12th century to its destruction in 1538 by Henry VIII during the dissolution.
depart at 4pm for Ramada Birmingham Sutton Coldfield
Penns Lane, Walmley, Sutton Coldfield B76 1LH 0121 351 3111
Day 2 Saturday
Museum of the Jewellery Quarter
Depart Hotel at 9.45am arrive at 10.15am
The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter is built around a perfectly preserved jewellery workshop offering a unique glimpse of working life in Birmingham’s famous Jewellery Quarter.
When the proprietors of the Smith & Pepper jewellery manufacturing firm retired in 1981 they simply ceased trading and locked the door, unaware they would be leaving a time capsule for future generations.
Today the factory is a remarkable museum, which tells the story of the Jewellery Quarter and Birmingham’s renowned jewellery and metalworking heritage.
Arrive 1.00 Time for Lunch
Aston Hall is a magnificent seventeenth century red-brick mansion situated in a picturesque public park on the north side of Birmingham. Built between 1618 and 1635 for Sir Thomas Holte and home to James Watt Junior from 1817-1848, Aston Hall is steeped in history. Now a grade I listed building, the hall is restored to its former Jacobean splendour and is hugely popular with visitors of all ages. Walk through the stunning interiors and see the home that received royalty, was besieged during the English Civil War and inspired an author.
Depart 4.30pm for hotel
Day 3 Sunday
Depart 9.15am arrive 10.00am
Black Country Museum
The story of the Black Country is distinctive because of the scale, drama, intensity and multiplicity of the industrial might that was unleashed. It first emerged in the 1830s, creating the first industrial landscape anywhere in the world.
Beneath the smoke and glare from blast furnaces and forges, Black Country innovation, entrepreneurial and manufacturing skill established the region’s supremacy for the making of wrought iron. The Black Country also possessed important hardware and other manufactures distinctive to itself – structural ironwork, chain making, locks and keys, tube manufacture, trap making and many others – which brought fame to Black Country towns across the globe.
Our award-winning corner of the West Midlands is now one of the finest and largest open-air museums in the United Kingdom. After very humble beginnings, a bright idea and 40 years of inspiration, this is twenty six acres worth exploring. Amazing as it may seem, we have created a ‘place’ – a real and lively place, where once there was nothing and nobody. Depart Museum at 2.00pm arrive Winterbourne at 2.30pm
Winterbourne House and Gardens
A Pioneering History. The house was built for John Nettlefold, a pioneer of early housing reform in Birmingham at a time when the city had a serious lack of decent homes for working people. John and his wife Margaret were from prestigious local families who had made their living in industry. Choosing their house to be designed in the Arts and Crafts style reflected their modern outlook. Winterbourne is a rare surviving example of an early 20th century suburban villa and garden. The house was built in 1903 for John and Margaret Nettlefold, of Guest, Keen & Nettlefold.
Originally designed as a small country estate with rustic outbuildings and large gardens, Winterbourne followed the style of the Arts and Crafts movement with examples of local craftsmanship throughout the house.
Margaret Nettlefold designed the garden, inspired by the books and garden designs of Gertrude Jekyll. After a period of restoration, the garden was Grade II listed by English Heritage in 2008.
Depart Winterbourne at 5pm for hotel
Day 4 Monday
depart 9.15am arrive 10.15am
Expect the unexpected. Incredible innovation, devastating loss, remarkable survival and magnificent restoration. All in one place
There’s more than meets the eye at Croome. A secret wartime airbase, now a visitor centre, was once a hub of activity for thousands of people. Outside is the grandest of English landscapes, ‘Capability’ Brown’s masterful first commission, with commanding views over the Malverns. The parkland was nearly lost, but is now great for walks and adventures with a surprise around every corner. At the heart of the park lies Croome Court, once home to the Earls of Coventry with four floors to explore. The 6th Earl of Coventry was an 18th century trend-setter and today Croome follows his lead by using artists and craftspeople in the house to tell the story of its eclectic past in inventive ways, perfect for making new discoveries.
Cream scones and tea will be served before we leave.
depart for Huntingdon 5pm
Further details to follow shortly
Stuart Orme, Cromwell Museum Curator, lives in Peterborough. For many years he was a curator at Peterborough Museum, worked at the Cathedral, written extensively on the city’s past and led many guided walks, so knows its historic nooks, crannies and stories well. Cromwell may get a mention apropos the Civil War, but the tour will take in the Cathedral Precincts, historic shops and pubs, medieval kings and bridges, and the industrial heritage, as well as the stories of riots, rebellions and a man whose life was saved by the bell!
Meet outside Peterborough Museum, Priestgate, at 7:00 p.m. Public or own transport. Best car park is Trinity Street, behind the museum (£2 for evening from 6:00 p.m.)
No charge, donations invited for the Cromwell Museum refurbishment. Book by Friday 7th June, maximum 40 people.
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.
RAF Wyton, conveniently close to its Huntingdon HQ, was the main station for the Pathfinders. Air Commodore Bennett, CO of the Group, lived here. Since 1955 a valuable collection of historic material has gradually been assembled. The Museum also houses the JARIC collection of air reconnaissance material formerly at RAF Brampton and the RAF Wyton Timeline, giving an overall history of the station from its origins in 1916 to the present day. This will be an afternoon visit to the RAF Wyton Museum and the Pathfinder Museum. Meet at 1:00pm at entrance (Guardroom) to RAF Wyton. Public transport (well served by buses) or own transport (visitors carpark) YOU MUST SUPPLY NAMES OF ALL GOING AND BRING PHOTO IDENTIFICATION WITH YOU. YOU MAY BE SUBJECT TO SEARCHES. NO PHOTOGRAPHY EXCEPT WITHIN THE HERITAGE CENTRE. Cost £2, pay on the day. Book by Sunday 22nd June (note early date due to security requirements.
This is one of those Huntingdonshire Essentials and should be familiar to members from articles on Nicholas Ferrar and his family in Records by David Ransome. For historical background see VCH Hunts., (I 399-406). Ferrar’s spirit lives on. We shall be tour of the house and ‘chapel’ (in fact a parish church), that together make it a very special place, by members of the community and afterwards there will be tea/coffee and cake.
Meet at Little Gidding car park, 2:30pm. Own transport. Please tell us if you need a lift and we will do our best to arrange one.
Cost will be about £5 (can be paid on the day, but at least email to say you are coming).
Book by Monday 5th August.
An opportunity to join in with the annual Cambridgeshire Historic Churches Trust led excursion to a great church, which benefits from the expert commentary and guidance of Revd. Lynne Broughton. Lunchtime opportunity to explore Southwell.
On the way back we will visit the church at Corby Glen where we will have the opportunity for a cup of tea there.
Further information see separate booking form and information sheet, to access please click on [BOOKING FORM]
Book by Saturday 1st June. Please note early deadline
This will be a coach excursion, joint with Cambridge Association for Local History (CALH) and Cambridge Antiquarian Society (CAS), visiting Eye Church and Wingfield College (house and church).
SS. Peter and Paul Eye is one of those astonishing late medieval churches that seems to have everything: one of the finest rood screens in the region, a fan vault in the tower, a wealth of monuments, a sanctuary by Ninian Comper, a recently restored organ. We shall arrive shortly after their regular Friday service and be able to join for coffee. After looking round we are free to explore the market town, perhaps mount the castle motte, and find lunch in one of several eateries.
At 1:30pm we reassemble for the short trip onward to Wingfield College. The Palladian lines of this private house conceal a medieval manor, remodelled as a charity college by Sir John Wingfield in 1362, ‘a maze of medieval woodwork, every inch of which is intriguing’ (Jenkins). The visit includes the parish church, where Sir John is buried, but whose glory is the fabulous tombs of the de la Pole Dukes of Suffolk, and concludes with tea and cake.
Leave Huntingdon Bus Station 9:30am,: depart Wingfield 4:40pm, return c6:30pm.This is a joint excursion with Cambridgeshire Association for Local History. Early booking is strongly recommended.
Other pick up points (indicate clearly on the form): Somersham (Dews) 8:55am, St Ives (Houghton Road) 9:15am, Hartford (Longstaff Way) 9:25am, Godmanchester (Bridge Place Car Park) 9:35am, Cambridge (Milton Park and Ride) 10:15am.
The cost will be approximately £34 per head. Book by Saturday 31 August, Maximum 40 people.
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 email@example.com to let him know you are coming and pay on the night.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the AGM has been cancelled and will be rescheduled for a date in the future. Details will be posted as soon as they are confirmed.
RETURN TO KENT – EXPLORING THE NORTHERN AND WESTERN PARTS OF THE COUNTY
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 we are visiting our weekend is filled with visiting some of the other areas of this County. For a printable copy of the itinerary for this years vivist to Kent please click [here].
Day 1 (Friday 15th May)
DARWIN AND THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES
Our weekend starts with a visit to Darwins House in South London. This is a unique place where the renowned scientist lived and wrote the book ‘On the Origin of Species’. We will have a tour of the house, with narration by Sir David Attenborough, and the chance to walk around the gardens and greenhouses.
RIVERHILL HUMALAYAN GARDENS
In the afternoon, we venture on to Riverhill Himalayan Gardens, first established in 1840 by John Rogers. John was one of the founding members of the Royal Horticultural Society and a contemporary of Charles Darwin. The gardens are renowned for their fine collections of rhododendron, azaleas and specimen trees as well as the woodland bluebells. There is also an Edwardian Rock Garden, rediscovered having lain forgotten for nearly 70 years.
We are staying at The Danes Hotel, Hollingbourne, Near Maidstone.
Day 2 – Saturday 16th May
We start our day at Scotney Castle. This building has a long history dating from 1137. From 1778 the house was occupied by the Hussey family until it was left to the National Trust in 1970. The main part of the house was built in 1837 by Edward Hussey III from sandstone quarried from the grounds of the old castle. We will have a tour around the house and also the opportunity to visit the walled garden and the extensive grounds and gardens.
In the afternoon we visit Maidstone Museum, established in 1858. The museum is said to be one of the finest and largest, outside of London, with exhibits of fine art, human and natural history.
Day 3 – Sunday 17th May
We head south in the morning to Smallhythe. The village was a small thriving shipbuilding port. We visit Smallhythe Place. This early 16th Century timber framed house was bought by Ellen Terry, a renowned Victorian Actress, in 1899 and stayed in the family till it was transferred into a museum in 1928 by Ellen’s daughter. The barn has been converted into a small theatre where a diverse programme of productions are still performed throughout the year.
CHAPEL OF ST THOMAS A BECKET
In the afternoon we venture into Capel where we will visit the church of St Thomas a Becket. A small Norman church, rebuilt in 1639 after a fire. This is a Grade 1 listed building under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. it has a striking post roof and extensive wall paintings that cover the walls of the nave.
Day 4 – Monday 18th May
SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL AND CHARTWELL
We are spending the day at CHARTWELL, the family home and garden of Sir Winston Churchill.
Chartwell was the much-loved Churchill family home from 1922 and the place from which Sir Winston drew inspiration until the end of his life. The rooms remain much as they were when he lived here, with pictures, books and personal mementoes evoking the career and wide-ranging interests of a great statesman, writer, painter and family man. We will explore the house with a guided tour giving us a unique insight into the life of Churchill, his family. We all know that Churchill was an avid painter who produced over 500 pieces of work and we will be able to see many of his paintings and artwork in his studio.
There is an excellent cafeteria where we can get lunch and afterwards wander around the hillside gardens that are said to reflect Sir Winston’s love of the landscape and nature. There are over 80 acres of woodland, walled kitchen garden, waterfalls and lakes and beautifully manicured terraced lawns. Lady Churchill loved roses and you can wander around her lovely rose garden. Winston even designed and built a playhouse, the ‘Marycot’ for his youngest daughter Mary, and this should be open for viewing.
We are ending our trip with a cream tea at Chartwell before boarding the coach and heading back to Huntingdon.