March 2024 Newsletter

PDF/printable copy of this newsletter is also available here.

The Last Naval Hero

Next month sees the return of one of our most popular speakers Roy Smart, who will tell the extraordinary and fascinating story of David, 1st Earl Beatty.

Beatty rose with meteoric speed from humble Royal Naval Cadet to First Sealord, Statesman and renowned public hero of the Great War.  Roy will recount Beatty’s astonishing rise to fame and fortune and his central and controversial part in Jutland, the greatest battle and later the greatest surrender in nautical history.   He married the hedonistic American socialite Ethel and lived a ’Downton Abbey’ life-style, much of it here in the Shires.  It is a tale of immense riches, marital strife and scandal. What a story!

For the very latest information and images relating to this meeting, see our March Diary web page for a supporting image and the latest updates.

Roy Smart: The Last Naval Hero, David 1st Earl Beatty
Tuesday April 9th, 7.30pm in the Village Hall 

Members Visit to Thorney

Visit to Thorney, near Peterborough, Thursday 9th May, 2024

Please arrange to arrive ready to start at 10.30. Travel time from Lubenham is just over an hour by car. If you are interested in the trip but do not have transport, please let us know and we will try to help. There is ample parking at Bedford Hall, built in 1855, where there are toilets (PE6 0PN). We will start our visit there with tea/coffee, followed by a brief talk and visit to the Museum. A buffet lunch, included in the price, will be served before we move on to Thorney Abbey in the afternoon. Those who do not want to take the short walk will be able to drive and park there. The visit is expected to end at about 4pm.

This should be an interesting and varied day and we are being shown great hospitality by the organisers. The cost to members will be £10, payable on the day, which includes coffee and lunch. Places are limited to 30 so contact Margaret Lewis if you would like to go. Please advise if you have any allergies or dietary requirements.

If there are any spare places non-members are welcome to join us at the full price of £15.

Please check our Thorney Visit page for some images from Thorney and the latest updates.

AGM Report

The AGM for 2023 was held on 27th February and we should like to thank those members who came to the meeting for their positive and constructive contributions.

In his report, the Chairman noted another rewarding year with attendance at monthly meetings averaging around 40 and a refreshing number of new faces and visitors. He commented that the 3 special events for Members to Donington le Heath, Market Bosworth and Rocks by Rail Museum were most enjoyable and well received, as was the ever popular Summer Supper. 

Although there are a few loose ends to tie up, the Graveyard Survey is finished and there will be a presentation evening in the near future to show the survey to the village and thank all those who have worked so diligently over the years.  

LHG plans to replace the now weather-worn acrylic plaques on properties of special interest which form an integral part of the Lubenham Heritage Trail, with long-lasting metal designs.  Current work researching suitable suppliers and funding from grants and awards will be carried forward to 2024.

The Chairman expressed concern about the lack of new volunteers to help with the running of the Group.  Several committee members have served for many years and would like to take a step back.  We need people with enthusiasm and new ideas to take the Group forward if LHG is to survive.  

Finally, on a more optimistic note, he thanked Members for all their support and encouragement throughout the year. 

Pat Dyke presented the Financial Statement for 2023 and thanked John Butlin for his help in preparing the accounts.  She reported that LHG financial position was sound but stressed the need to keep a healthy balance to cope with future requirements.  After due consideration, the Financial Statement was accepted. 

Election of Chair:  as there were no other nominations, Jim Burbidge was re-elected.

Election of Committee: the following were elected – Pat Dyke, David Hannibal, Esther Hancock, Pip Clements, Margaret Lewis, Barbara Burbidge.

Copies of the Minutes and Financial Statement are available from the Secretary, Barbara Burbidge.

Lubenham Heritage Trail

In 2008, Lubenham Heritage Group launched the highly successful Lubenham Heritage Trail.  This has proved popular, attracting many visitors to our charming village, and putting Lubenham on the map.

The Trail consists of a central information board, leaflets and plaques on properties of special interest.  Unfortunately, many of the original acrylic plaques have become weatherworn and unreadable and so we are planning to replace them with long-lasting metal designs which will be similar in style and content to the current plaques.

After a great deal of research we have found one firm which can meet our requirements.  However, It will cost approximately £4000 to replace the 19 plaques. You will appreciate this is a considerable amount for a group such as ours and so we are applying for grant funding from various sources. 

Our own Scarecrow Committee has made a generous donation to start us off and we are hoping that other local organisations and individuals would like to contribute.  Get in touch via our website or contact David Hannibal.

We want to continue to promote and celebrate what we have by ensuring that the Lubenham Heritage Trail remains vibrant and relevant including the all important plaques. 

If you can help or have any suggestions as to where we can apply for awards and grants, please get in touch.


Many thanks to Tess Newman, who moved into the village last year, for agreeing to become the Meetings Secretary.  We look forward to working with her and welcome her aboard.