Programme of events for 2017

Lectures, unless otherwise stated, are held at the Nottingham Mechanics, 3 North Sherwood Street, NOTTINGHAM NG1 4EZ at 2.30 pm. This venue is fully accessible and has facilities for disabled people. A bookstall is available from 2.00 pm.


Saturday, 14 January Nottinghamshire History Lecture (2016) Rev Stuart Bell, University of Birmingham
'Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Churches in World War I'

A notable feature of the Great War was the alacrity with which the vast majority of the population became supportive of Britain’s engagement in the conflict. Most church leaders acted similarly and the Church played an important role in promoting the moral case for the declaration of war. A primary cause was the belief that Britain had a special role in God’s purposes for humanity. As the number of casualties grew, the identification of the conflict as a ‘Holy War’ was exemplified by the representation of the fallen as martyrs. The Edwardian ideals of chivalry, fair-play, justice and sacrifice which undergirded support for the conflict all had a Christian ethical basis. Drawing largely on primary sources from the counties of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, Stuart Bell will argue that the nationalism of the First World War cannot properly be understood without taking very seriously its religious dimension - something which too many younger historians, themselves unfamiliar with Christian language and culture, have failed to recognise.


Saturday, 11 February Archaeology Lecture Chris King, University of Nottingham & Ellis Morgan, Southwell Community Group
'Buildings of Southwell, Test Pitting & Work at Burgage Green

Saturday, 11 March Myles Thoroton Hildyard Lecture Richard Gaunt, University of Nottingham
The Pentrich Rebelion - A Nottingham Affair?

Saturday, 1 April Thoroton Research Group Led by John Wilson Meet in the Board Room at Nottingham Mechanics at 10:30 am

Saturday, 1 April Nottinghamshire Local History Association Day School
See www.nlha.org.uk for details

Saturday, 29 April Spring Meeting & AGM* Kingston-on-Soar Village Hall at 2:00 pm

Thursday, 25 May Excursion Pentrich
Led by Roger Tanner and Richard Gaunt

Because 2017 is the two hundredth anniversary of the Pentrich Rebellion it seems appropriate that we should visit the area where this insurgence took place and find out more about the participants. Our leaders for this excursion are very knowledgeable about the event and have planned a most interesting tour for us. Some walking will be involved - although not a lot. We are to begin at South Wingfield for coffee and an introductory talk. A short walk to the house of William Turner, who was one of the executed leaders will be followed by a journey to Pentrich for lunch. Another short walk around the village and a visit to the church will then be made. On our return journey to Nottingham we are to visit the site of Butterley Iron Works, where the rebels came for weapons.


Thursday, 22 June Special Lecture*
There will be a charge for this event
Carenza Lewis, Broadcaster and Archaeologist
Disaster Recovery, Archaeological Evidence for the Impact of the Black Death in England
Venue: The State Chamber, Southwell at 7:30 pm

Thursday, 20 July Excursion Lamport Hall and Hallaton Church
Led by Alan Langton

This excursion will first call at the Leicestershire village of Hallaton for coffee and a tour of the church which Pevsner calls one of the most imposing of Leicestershire churches, with a Norman tympanum, three windows in the chancel by Kempe, a Norman font, and a Saxon grave marker.

We then drive to Lamport Hall, bequeathed to a Preservation Trust in 1976 when the last owner died. Much restoration has been accomplished since the eighties. Originally built by the Isham family, who lived here for four centuries, the hall is famed for its John Webb classical facade begun in 1655 when Sir Thomas was granted a baronetcy by Charles I, as well as for its magnificent collection of art and furniture. We have a tour booked for 2.00 p.m. after a lunch in the Victorian Dining Room. There will then be free time to explore the extensive gardens and the church before we leave for Nottingham about 4.00 p.m.


Tuesday, 12 September Excursion John Clare’s Cottage and Tickencote Church
Led by Alan Langton

Tickencote Church in Rutland is our first stop where we see an extraordinary piece of Norman architecture in the chancel arch. The sexpartite Norman vaulting in the chancel may well be unique in Britain. The font is 13th century although the nave was rebuilt in 1791.

We travel then to Helpston and the John Clare Cottage for an introductory talk and tour of the building which has been restored and transformed to its original 18th century state. John Clare (1793 to 1864) was the son of a farm labourer, and with his love of the English countryside he was dismayed by what he saw of its destruction by nineteenth century ‘progress’. The gardens of the cottage where he lived have also been redesigned and contain flora and fauna which John Clare loved so much. The ‘Rural Muse’, a 2013 gold medal winning garden at Chelsea, is in the grounds. There will be food served for us in the cafe, with some free time before leaving for Nottingham again about 4.00 p.m.


Saturday, 30 September Thoroton Research Group Led by John Wilson
Meet in the Board Room at Nottingham Mechanics at 10:30 am

Tuesday, 17 October Keith Train Lecture in association with Nottingham Civic Society Tom Huggon, Trustee, Green’s Windmill
George Green, Mathematician and Miller
Venue: New Mechanics, 3 North Sherwood Street, at 7:30 pm

Sneinton Windmill Champion and George Green enthusiast, Tom Huggon, follows the career of this extraordinary Nottingham-born genius.


Saturday, 14 October Maurice Barley Lecture John Cotterill, Battlefield Historian
'1917 - Nottinghamshire in the War’s Worst Year

John Cotterill

In 1917 the Great War had stalemated. Unrestricted submarine warfare had led to rationing, introduced by Nottingham Corporation before central government, and the embankment had been dug up as allotments. No less than twenty-four schools in the city had become hospitals and stoicism had largely replaced the optimism of the earlier war. The impact on local people, across the whole spectrum of society, had, in some cases, been beyond anything we can imagine. In 1917 Squire Chaworth-Musters from Annesley lost the second of his three sons who would die on active service. Two of the five Binch brothers from Calverton were already dead and two more would follow them. Women were in uniform in increasing numbers with the first non-medical female personnel joining the British Army in 1917 in the newly formed Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps. Dorothea Crewdson from Nottingham, one of the very few women to be awarded the Military Cross for bravery in France, was working in a hospital in Wimereux and Nottingham’s most famous Great War casualty, the ace aviator Albert Ball, fell to his death in 1917, before his 21st birthday. Excitement was caused by the mass breakout of German prisoners of war from Sutton Bonnington. The county’s Yeomanry of the South Notts Hussars and the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry were in Palestine, fighting their way towards Jerusalem. But most Nottinghamshire men were serving in the local infantry regiment; the Sherwood Foresters with 140,000 men passing through their ranks during the war, of whom 11,000 died.

By 1917 they had expanded to 32 battalions and 17 of these were locked in combat on the Western Front. 1917 for them comprised offensive after offensive as Britain became the majority partner in the war. Arras was followed by Messines which was followed by Passchendaele which was followed by Cambrai. In these four offensives over 4000 Foresters fell, making it the regiment’s, and therefore the county’s, worst year.


Saturday, 21 October Nottinghamshire Local History Association Day School
See www.nlha.org.uk for details

Saturday, 4 November Annual Luncheon * Ye Olde Bell at Barnby Moor, near Retford

Saturday, 11 November Nottinghamshire History Lecture Hannah Nicholson, University of Nottingham
Print and Politics in the Nottinghamshire Constituencies c.1790-1832

Elections which took place prior to the First Reform Bill of 1832 have often been described as being almost theatrical in nature. Canvassing, and the rituals associated with elections, typically involved large sections of the community, regardless of whether they were part of the electorate or not. Print was also an integral part of any election campaign. In the run up to polls opening, great quantities of handbills, addresses, broadsheets, songs, newspapers, and pamphlets were printed and circulated around constituencies. This was especially important in larger borough constituencies, such as Nottingham, which had a comparatively high number of voters.

This lecture will examine the range and style of printed political canvasses produced for elections in the Nottinghamshire constituencies of East Retford, Newark, and Nottingham between 1790 and 1832. It will also consider who was responsible for the creation and distribution of this literature, who might have read it, and assess the extent to which print helped increase political awareness, participation, and engagement in Nottinghamshire during this period.


Saturday, 9 December Neville Hoskins Lecture Clare Hartwell, Yale University Press
Updating of Pevsner’s Nottinghamshire

Further details of events marked * will be announced in the Newsletter and on the website.