Monthly Meetings

2023 Meetings

British Ministry of Information, from Fox Photos., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons


Based on her research and anecdotes of former local Land Girls, Deborah Seabrook talks about the Women’s Land Army in Leicestershire and beyond. This is based on her research on anecdotes from former land girls including Pat Fox of Lubenham, Phyllis Youngman from Gumley and Rose Holyoak from Kibworth. We shall hear about recruitment, uniform, ‘digs’, jobs and the social life of the girls – this promises to be a most interesting talk.

February 14th – ORANGES AND LEMONS

On Valentines Day we welcomed Dr Colin Cohen, who took us on a tour around some of the famous and not so famous places of worship in the City of London sung about in the nursery rhyme, ‘Oranges and Lemons say the bells of St Clement’s….’, but which ‘St Clement’?

St Clement Danes – Strand – By Stephen Richards, CC BY-SA 2.0,


SAT NAV — Most of us have used it, often cursed it, generally found it handy and practical but how does it work?  Former Leicester Space Centre scientist, Roger Cooper, will give a brief and light hearted introduction into the highly technical world of Sat Nav, its development, and its relevance to our own heritage. We could emerge from this presentation with a slightly altered perception of the environment around us!


For our meeting on June 13th, Sandy Leong presented “The Bishops Finger”, and delved into the history of the British Pub – with a look at our own hostelries. Many connoisseurs of fine English Ale will have enjoyed a foaming pint of Bishops Finger, and this proved to be an
intoxicating evening.
Sandy Leong is an accomplished historian and has a long pedigree in public speaking. She
presented a very interesting talk to the Heritage Group in October last year on the subject of “tea”. Rudyard Kipling described tea as the “drink that refreshes but does not inebriate”. This time it was the Real McCoy!!


We had a most interesting visit to St Mary’s Church Lutterworth on Tuesday 11th July finding out the history behind John Wycliffe, 14th century philosopher, theologian and priest, one of the forerunners of the Reformation and first to translate the Bible into English from the Latin Vulgate edition. Tony Hirons gave us a most informative talk mixed with humour and timing!

St Mary’s Church, Lutterworth

Then we had an opportunity to wander round the beautiful parish Church which has stood at the heart of the community for over 800 years and, as you can see from the photos, possesses some excellent wall paintings, especially the ‘Doom’ or ‘Resurrection’ above the Chancel arch.

John Wycliffe was a 14th century scholar and theologian best remembered for his association with the translation of the Bible from Latin into English. His is a fascinating story. An influential and controversial priest who delved into politics and opposed many of the accepted doctrines of the Catholic Church, he is long associated with Lutterworth, where he was the priest in charge at St Mary’s from 1374 until his death ten years later at the age of 56.


In the past we have covered the larger, grand and historic houses of the area but what about the ‘unsung’ houses – the ordinary homes where most of us live? The ones we pass everyday without a second glance or thought? These too have interesting backgrounds and stories to tell, from the buildings themselves to the people who have lived there.

Our August meeting looked at a few of these houses with current residents sharing the history and stories behind the front door!

Church Lane, Lubenham
Church Lane, Lubenham
(click to see photos of some of the houses discussed)

September 12th – BUILDINGS AT RISK

Unfortunately, the meeting on ‘The Battle of Naseby‘ was postponed as our speaker, Len Holden, was unavailable.  We plan to reschedule next year.

We are indebted to Geoff Woods who agreed to step in at short notice with a talk on ‘Buildings at Risk’.  Geoff discussed local buildings of different types which, for a variety of reasons,  are all under-resourced or threatened and outlined what is being done to preserve them for future generations.


NotFromUtrecht, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Most of us have, at one time or another, owned a Kodak camera, be it a Box Brownie or Instamatic, and used Kodak film for still and movie photography. At our October meeting, Heritage Group member David Lowe, led a light hearted discussion on the influence on past and future generations of  family life brought about by the accessibility of Kodak cameras to the population at large. David is a camera enthusiast – owning in the region of 200 cameras – having been introduced to the hobby many years ago by his Uncle, who was a holiday camp photographer in Skegness.

November 14th – THOMAS COOK “Don’t just book it – Thomas Cook it!” 

Pip Clements discusses lesser-known local connections with this famous entrepreneur.

Pip’s experiences of Thomas Cook began here in Market Harborough but in his ministry at Barrowden, Rutland, he discovered more about him and his history, nearly culminating in a Thomas Cook Centre based in Barrowden – come and find out more illustrated snippets. 

December 12th – WALLIS SIMPSON

For our final meeting of the year, the popular and entertaining speaker Roy Smart returned to introduce us to1936 – The Year of Three Kings”.

In 1936, following the death of George V, Britain was plunged into the Abdication Crisis, when Edward VIII renounced the throne to marry the woman he loved, making way for the third monarch of that year.  Roy Smart will look at the part played by Wallis Simpson, who became a hate figure blamed for ensnaring our King and destabilising the monarchy, but does she deserve this reputation?  It is a royal topic which has intrigued generations. (Photo from the Daily Herald Archive at the National Media Museum)

King Edward VIII and Mrs Simpson on holiday in Yugoslavia, 1936 - Courtesy of the Daily Herald Archive at the National Media Museum.
King Edward VIII and Mrs Simpson on holiday in Yugoslavia, 1936.

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