Autumn Lectures by Zoom
In view of the uncertainty caused by the pandemic and necessity of social distancing, we have decided to cancel normal meetings for the rest of 2020, with the possible exception of the Christmas Social on 4th December, about which a decision will be taken in October. Ongoing we are also looking at what we do in Spring 2021. We shall however be providing from within our own committee’s members, in September, October and November, talks via Zoom. If you haven’t experienced this before, it is very easy to sign up to. You can choose to be visible to others if you have a camera on whatever appliance you are using (laptop/tablet/smartphone). If you do have an email address but have never told us of it, now’s the time to make amends and do so.
As usual, all meetings commence at 7.30 p.m.
Wednesday 16th September Annual General Meeting.
This year we shall keep our business meeting to the necessary minimum. A separate agenda is being sent with this newsletter. We continue to welcome new blood on the committee, so if you are interested in joining us, just get someone to nominate you.
It will be followed by a talk:
Stuart Orme, Curator of the Cromwell Museum: ‘Mrs Cromwell’s Cookbook: Food, Dining and Politics in the 17th Century’
In 1664 The Court and Kitchen of Elizabeth, commonly called Joan Cromwell was published, purporting to be the cookery book of Oliver Cromwell’s wife as a piece of Royalist propaganda. Stuart’s talk looks at this curious publication and what it tells us about politics, fenland food and 17th-century dining, as well as the Cromwell family.
A new edition of the book will be published later his year, thanks to a Goodliff Award from the Society.
As usual these talks are open to non-members, who should email David Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org requesting the link a few days before.
Wednesday 11th November – Liz Davies, Curator of the St Neots Museum ‘Magic and Folk Medicine in Huntingdonshire’
What sort of alternative medicines did people use before the introduction of the National Health Service in 1948? And what sort of medicines and charms were available from local folk healers? This illustrated talk will include the extraordinary story of the St Neots antique dealer, herbal medicine maker and road sweeper, Alfred ‘Doc’ Rowlett.
Dr Ken Sneath, former Assistant Director of Studies, Peterhouse, Cambridge. The Census: Behind the Doors in 19th Century Godmanchester
Members will know that Ken’s cores research has been on pre-Industrial England. Here he ventures into more recent times but is in familiar topographical territory to bring us some of the fruits of his work on the 1851 and 1891 censuses in particular. Expect some of your preconceptions about life in Godmanchester during this period to be challenged.
Please note this is a week earlier than we would usually meet in order to avoid a clash with the Cromwell lectures.
The David Parr House: An extraordinary Cambridge Home: Tamsin Wimhurst
Tamsin has had a career in museums and education, but achieved fame for her work in enabling the preservation and restoration of the David Parr House, the managing charity of which she is founder and Trustee. She will tell us the story of how she discovered this remarkable house hiding in the back streets of Cambridge, uncovered its story as the home of a decorator artist for some of the best known designers of his day. Tamsin achieved her aim of opening the house up to the public so that many more can enjoy its unique atmosphere. For more information about the house see the website David Parr House
Lessons of the Ermine Street Excavation: Reassessing Medieval Huntingdon
Chris Thatcher, Project Officer, Oxford Archaeology East, who came to talk to the Society in 2013 when the Ermine Street dig had just finished, returns to give us the results of post-excavation work and put it in context of our understanding of medieval Huntingdon.
The Society Annual General Meeting will be held on the 12th May, beginning at 7:30pm, and will be via Zoom Meeting Rooms. Details of how to access the meeting will be sent to all members a few days before the event. Please sign in early for this part of the evening, David Smith will be hosting the meeting and will let members into the Meeting Room at 7:15pm. We shall endeavour to deal speedily with the business part of the meeting, but please consider if you would be willing to contribute to the running of the Society. Most of the offices and committee members are willing to stand again but there are some vacancies on the committee. If you are thinking of becoming a committee member please contact Philip Saunders, in advance, on 091954 250421.
The Agenda for the meeting as well as the minutes of the 2020 AGM are available online on the Society AGM Minutes and ReportsAGM Page.
The AGM will be followed by a talk given by Simon Clemmow on ‘Establishment and Dissent: Conformity and Nonconformity in 18th Century Huntingdonshire’. Simon is the Chair of the Hemingfords Local History Society and author of the chapter on Post -Restoration Nonconfirmity in the book of essays ‘The Singing Milkmaids’ published in 2019 (with support from the Society’s Goodliff Scheme). This is the subject for which Simon was awarded an Advanced Diploma in Local History by Cambridge University.
Dr Philip Saunders will give a talk on the Cotton Family to provide background information on this interesting family before the Society visit to Conington Church
The Zoom access details will be sent out to all members prior to the talk
We will be holding the Goodliff Awards presentation for all awards given in 2020 and 2021 in the prestigious surroundings of the Assembly Rooms in Huntingdon Town Hall. Sadly, the Covid pandemic prevented us being able to present the awards in 2020. This year we are delighted to be able to present the Award Certificates to everyone who won an award in both 2020 and 2021.
Our President, Mr David Cozens, will make a tribute to Phyllis Goodliff whose generosity we have to thank for enabling the history and heritage of Huntingdonshire to be preserved, researched, better understood and enjoyed by all. If you want to see a list of those being presented with an award see our Goodliff Awards page. This year we have an amazing variety of projects, popular and academic, spanning many centuries, types of history, covering the length and breadth of Huntingdonshire. We are not asking recipients of awards to tell us about their projects specifically but after the official ceremony, there will be the opportunity to meet with all of the awardees and enjoy some light refreshment and drinks.
Do come and congratulate the successful applicants for these awards. Unfortunately, due to the available space in the Assembly Rooms this event is open to members only, Goodliff awardees and their guests.
On hearing that the Christmas Social was being cancelled due to Covid restrictions, Stuart Orme kindly volunteered to talk about Christmas in the time of the Republic. Stuart’s talk, ‘Did Cromwell Ban Christmas’ is set to reveal if this was actually true or another mythical tale about the strict control that Cromwell exercised over everyone’s lives. The talk will be given via Zoom, enabling all members to join in with our festive cheer, albeit from the comfort of your own armchair. Pour yourself a drink, open up the box of mince pies and join us for an interesting evening finding out about the festive season in the 17th Century.
Details about the Zoom talk will be sent out to all our members nearer the date of the 15th.
Visitors are welcome to join us on the evening, for information on how to access the Zoom meeting, please email David on email@example.com with your name and email details.
NAMING ELTON’S MEDIEVAL FIELDS: A SCIENTIFIC PERSPECTIVE, DR SUSAN KILBY
Dr Kilby’s paper on the medieval peasants of Wellingborough was a Midland History prize essay in 2009, but since then she has become particularly interested in the value of locality names. She is now honorary visiting fellow of the Institute of Name Studies at the University of Nottingham, an institution that bridges academic divides of Language and History. Her recent book. ‘Peasant Perspectives in the Medieval Landscape’ has been applauded for its interdisciplinary approach. For Huntingdonshire, we still depend on a place name dictionary compiled almost 100 years’ ago, something that surely needs putting right.
The talk will be given over Zoom and details of how to access the talk will be emailed to members before the meeting.
Non members are welcome to join the talk, for access details please email your name and email information to firstname.lastname@example.org