Winter Programme – 2018/19

Friday 12th October.

“The Robins: The History of the Postal Services” by Bob Massey.

This talk looks at the historical start of the post office from its early beginnings. First as a state communications service and on through the movement of mail as an extra money earner, to the introduction of post boys and special mail coaches. From the introduction of a standard postage and uniformed postal workers to trains and air mail. Bringing the service up to the present international postal and communications network of today. Along the way we will look at some of the strange and unusual.

Friday 9th November.

“Queen Eleanor of Castile” by Julie Ede.

When his wife died at Harby, Notts in 1290; her grief stricken husband, King Edward 1, built 12 memorial crosses from Lincoln to London, the most famous being Charing Cross. After 700 years, three crosses still survive at Northhampton, Geddington and Waltham; a story of marital love and respect in medieval England.

Friday 14th December.

“When the ‘Chute Went Up – The Adventures of a Pioneer Lady Parachutist” by Malcolm Darroch.

The amazing story of Dolly Shepherd who in 1903, at the age of just 17, began a career in display parachute jumping. The thrills and spills, the adrenaline and the disasters; all the fun of the fair.

Friday 11th January 2019.

“How Anglo-Saxons Found Their Way” by Bob Trubshaw.

Long before maps and satnavs people needed to travel. The Anglo-Saxons had numerous words for hills, valleys and such like. By using simple stories to act as mnemonics these descriptive names could be remembered as ‘narrative maps’, corresponding to Australian ‘song lines’ and the lyrics of shanties used until recent time by fishermen to navigate the East Anglian coast. Leicestershire offers some intriguing examples of how these ‘maps’ may have worked.

Friday 8th February.

“Maidens, Murderers and Monsters – The Story of Victorian Melodrama” by Dr Ann Featherstone.

Maidens, murderers and monsters: Victorian melodrama revealed
A fascinating exploration of the dark and dreadful world of Victorian melodrama, with handsome heroes, winning heroines and dastardly villains ….. and a brief detour into soap operas from “Crossroads” to “The Archers”.

Friday 8th March.

“Belvoir Angels – A Grave Story” by Peter Hammond.

Within south Nottinghamshire and north Leicestershire there are some wonderful 18th century slate headstones within the churchyards depicting the so-called Belvoir angels. This talk examines a selection of them, revealing their fascinating artistry and symbolism, and focuses on a survey of a series of gravestones that are unique to the area. Your visits to local graveyards will never be the same again.

Friday 12 April.

“A Palace  By the River” by Mike Ogden.

One of the world’s most famous buildings, the Palace of Westminster stands magnificently between the River Thames and Westminster Abbey. Generally known these days as the Houses of Parliament it is formally a royal palace which retains its royal name.

Mike Ogden brings the remarkable story of the Palace vividly to life in this richly illustrated talk. Starting a thousand years ago in the time of Canute and Edward the Confessor, the talk takes in: The first parliaments in the 13th century; The Gunpowder Plot; The Civil War between Parliament and Crown; The destruction of the old Palace in 1834; The building of the new Palace in stone quarried at North Anston, near Rotherham, and carried along the Chesterfield Canal and the River Trent on its way to London by sea; The destruction of the House of Commons by German bombs in 1941.

The talk ends with a tour around the Palace and a taste of the unique blend of ceremony, tradition, eloquence, obstinacy and humour that pervades it.