January 11th — THE LONDON THAT NEVER WAS
Dr Colin Cohen takes a light hearted look at the projects and buildings that were planned but never built.
February 8th — MARKET HARBOROUGH AND THE CIVIL WAR
Dr Len Holden discusses how the Civil War affected the lives of ordinary people in the Harborough area.
February 22nd — ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – in the Onyx Room
March 8th — ANNUAL QUIZ NIGHT
The return of our popular General Knowledge Quiz with prizes for the winning table.
April 12th — HELPING THE POOR & MENDING THE ROADS
Alan Langley shows how the village of East Farndon had to look after its own community in 19th century in a time without pensions & welfare payments – a situation mirrored in Lubenham & other villages.
May 10th — THE CALKE ABBEY STORY
Described by the National Trust as an illustration of the English country house in decline, NT volunteer Stephen Hartley will tell us about the history of this Grade 1 listed building in Derbyshire.
June 14th — THE HISTORY OF CORBY STEELWORKS
Tony Rothery looks at the history of the famous steelworks from its beginnings in the 1930s through its heyday and subsequent decline. He also covers the growth of Corby from rural village to industrial town.
July 12th — Edward Burgess – Leicester Architect
Geoff Woods’ talk is a tribute to Architect Edward Burgess, who worked mostly in Leicester in the latter part of the Victorian era and early twentieth century. Many of his buildings will be familiar to you as they continue to occupy prominent positions around the city, although today his name appears to have been largely forgotten. The range of his building designs is impressive, from a library to schools, coffee houses, commercial and business properties and a warehouse described by Pevsner as “one of the finest in the country”. Geoff’s talk will give us an insight into the work of this important local figure.
The Leicester Coffee and Cocoa Company’s coffee houses are striking examples of Edward Burgess’s architecture.
August 9th — ANOTHER ICARUS: THE RISE AND FALL OF PERCY PILCHER
Roy Smart presents the story of the largely unknown, pioneer aviator, Percy Sinclair Pilcher whose unheralded achievements predate those of the Wright Brothers. Percy was on the cusp of becoming the most famous name in aviation history when his glider crashed at nearby Stamford Hall in September 1899. A memorial at the hall marks the spot where he died.
Roy Smart will tell the story of this remarkable man and his redoubtable sister Ella (probably the first woman to fly).
Roy was a Naval Officer and air director of many memorial events including the televised D Day, VE and VJ commemorations. This provided a fascinating and informative insight into the life of the extraordinary Mr Pilcher.
September 13th — WILLIAM KNIBB OF KETTERING
Every now and then we come across someone remarkable about whom we know little or nothing. It is even more surprising when that person is from the local area. One such man was Revd William Knibb of Kettering. Born in 1803, he was a Baptist minister, social reformer and missionary to Jamaica, who is chiefly known today for his work to free slaves. In 1988, the 150th anniversary of the abolition of slavery, Knibb was posthumously awarded the Jamaican Order of Merit, the country’s highest civil honour.
Local historian Mike Stroud has researched the life and work of this exceptional man.
October 11th — A NICE CUP OF TEA: A POTTED HISTORY
Historian Sandy Leong told the fascinating tale of adventure, criminality, taxes, temperance, rationing and how a cup of tea became such a morale booster.
November 8th — RENAISSANCE at KELHAM HALL
Trish Woods gave a talk about Kelham Hall, situated near Newark.
Dave Bevis, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Kelham Hall has had a mixed history, being a country house of many renaissances – destroyed by fire twice, redesigned by Sir George Gilbert Scott RA, a prolific English Gothic Revival architect responsible for the Midland Grand Hotel at St Pancras station, The Albert Memorial and various churches, chapels and cathedrals. Since then there have been several attempts to secure the future of the house. Kelham (Grade 1 listed) remains one of the most remarkable country houses.
December 13th — KELMARSH HALL
Mike Stroud told us the history of this elegant Grade 1 listed Northamptonshire country house.
Built in the Palladian style, the Hall is set in award-winning gardens and parkland and was once the home of Nancy Lancaster, society decorator renowned for creating the ‘English Country House’ style.
For details of past meetings, click on pages “2 to 6” below.