Categories for 2013
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News 2013
Outings and Events

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Echoes of the Past
A day at the Showground with Lincolnshire's heritage

The SLHA was represented at the very successful 'Echoes of the Past' event held at the Lincolnshire Showground on Sunday 27 October 2013.

We had a bookstall and membership display, which attracted considerable interest, and also staged three talks which complemented the theme of the event, Genealogy.

The first talk, by Chris Lester, described SLHA’s role in the context in which our ancestors lived and worked. He was followed by Stewart Squires’s talk 'The Way we Worked' looking at SLHA’s recording of industrial and workplace remains. Finally, Pearl Wheatley spoke about one of Lincolnshire’s greatest sons, Sir Joseph Banks, and his activities in Lincolnshire.

The Society stall was busy all day with book sales and enquiries by researchers looking for help with buildings, people and publications.

Society stand at the event

October 2013

Heritage Open Days
SLHA members lead events

The annual Heritage Open Days, arranged by Heritage Trust of Lincolnshire over the weekend September 13 to 15, were busy and enjoyable. SLHA members led several events.

Derek Broughton gave illustrated talks on Victorian cemeteries at St Nicholas Church, Lincoln. A wide range of photographs from across the country - especially the major cemeteries of London, the East Midlands and West Yorkshire - gave evidence of huge and elaborate memorials, now too often neglected and forgotten.

Wrought iron bridges was the theme of Barry Barton's talk at Saxilby on Friday evening. He explained how bridge building developed up to the early 19th century and was then transformed by the introduction of wrought iron. Railway bridges at Torksey and Stamp End Lincoln - both from the mid-1840s - are historically of great importance.

The Sleaford Group of SLHA arranged several events over the weekend. About 30 attended Christopher Micklethwaite’s talk in Sleaford Library on the Saturday, on some C19th stone-built chapels in Sleaford, including one projected church at New Quarrington that was never built.

Later that afternoon Carre’s Almshouses, Eastgate, Sleaford opened up their chapel for visitors, a rare occurrence. Barbara Marriage, the warden arranged for this gem from the 1840s to be opened up and gave a talk on its history.

David Bramford set up a display of photographs in St Lucia's church, Dembleby about the village and church.

A visit to the rare brick kiln at Sutton on Sea was arranged by Ken Redmore and Chris Lester. Visitors discovered how bricks had been made on the site and also saw the fine surviving wind pump alongside the brick pit.

Visitors at the wind pump, Sutton on Sea brickworks

Torksey Railway bridge 1847-49, with wrought iron box girders

The rare pillar piscina at Dembleby, alongside a village & church history display

September 2013

Medieval Inspirations
Exploring St Mary's Guildhall, Lincoln

St Mary’s Guildhall on the lower High St in Lincoln played host to a joint event between the Society and Lincoln Civic Trust on Thursday 8th August. Visitors were offered a guided tour of this intriguing medieval building which is one of the oldest buildings in Lincoln with a very interesting history.

It is thought it may have been the property of King Henry II constructed for the crown wearing ceremonies of 1157. Beneath a glass floor visitors can also see part of the earlier Roman road into Lincoln preserved and displayed for all to see.

In addition to exploring the building, visitors were invited to make jester sticks, discover some facts about herbs used in the middle ages and make some medieval style jewellery from craft materials.

The Society had a bookstall with an abundant display of books for perusal and potential purchase.


St Mary's Guildhall, Lincoln

August 2013

Celebrations in Bardney
Focus on the archaeology of the abbey

The National Archaeology Festival 2013 was celebrated by SLHA with two very different events both held in Bardney and inspired by the Abbey.

Craft and the Abbey: An event for all the family was organised for Friday 26 July and hosted by Bardney Heritage Centre who made us very welcome. Visitors were invited to participate in a selection of craft activities with a medieval flavour. These included investigating real and replica artefacts, painting a medieval tile design, making a face in clay inspired by examples of weird and wonderful carvings from the Abbey, and last but not least making a Jester’s hat!

Stones and the Abbey site: The event on Saturday 27 July began with an introductory talk by the Rev. John Wilford in the church of St Lawrence. The church is home to a small but very interesting exhibition about the stones and carvings originating from Bardney Abbey. The group then walked to the Abbey site where they enjoyed a very informative talk by John about the history of the Abbey, the site itself and the excavations which have taken place over the years.

Our thanks to both Bardney Heritage Centre and St Lawrence’s Church for supporting and hosting the two successful and enjoyable Society events arranged to celebrate the National Archaeology Festival 2013.

Clay faces made by youngsters at Bardney Heritage Centre

July 2013

Canterbury and Dover
Visiting outstanding heritage sites

A large group of SLHA members enjoyed four days of hot sunshine viewing historic sites in east Kent over the weekend 12 to 15 July.

The long coach journey was broken by a visit to Lullingstone Roman Villa, a large and complex building with fine mosaics and excellent information boards. Saturday in Canterbury began with a guided tour to some of the city's earlier history, leaving members free to spend the afternoon to visit the Cathedral, museums and other attractions.

The full day in Dover on Sunday included a tour of the extensive structures of Western Heights, representing almost 200 years of defence; continued with a visit to the remarkable Bronze Age boat in Dover Museum; and concluded at Dover Castle with its wide range of historic features.

On Monday a talk and tour at the Cartoon Archive at the University of Kent provided an entertaining end to the weekend.

Thanks to Ken Hollamby for his planning and leadership.  We are also indebted to the excellent guides and speakers for their contributions to a memorable weekend.

On Western Heights, Dover

At Lullingstone Roman Villa

On the city wall, Canterbury


July 2013

Picnic in the Wolds
A summer visit to farm and village

On a day of hot sunshine some 50 members of the Society spent a leisurely Saturday (6 July) in the tiny Wolds village of Withcall, 4 miles south-west of Louth.

The visit was at the invitation of Henry Smith of Home Farm.  He introduced us to his large collection of old farm machinery - some in working order - and other bygones connected with the farm and village.

Henry and colleagues took groups by tractor and trailer along the former Louth-Bardney railway line (now a private farm road) to the mouth of the Withcall tunnel, a rare experience.

David Stocker provided an on-the-spot account of the settlement's history - of considerable interest and significance - and also introduced the group to the large late-19th century church built by Arthur Blomfield for Nathaniel Clayton, the then owner of the Withcall estate.

Chris Lester, newly elected SLHA Chairman, took the opportunity of thanking Stewart Squires for his energetic spell in the chair and presented his wife Julie with a bouquet of flowers. 

Chris Lester presents a gift of SLHA books to Henry Smith of Withcall

Entering St Martin's church at Withcall


July 2013

Sleaford Walk
The River Slea west of the town centre

On Thursday 20 June twelve hardy souls braved the gap between two torrential downpours of rain to attend Sleaford Group's annual Les Gostick Memorial Walk looking at the main features of the River Slea to the west of Sleaford town centre.

The walk, expertly guided by Michael Turland, looked at the sites of watermills, a lime kiln and land drains amongst many features of the river as far west as the RAF Cranwell railway.

Somehow the rain held off and Mike's encyclopaedic knowledge and meticulously researched notes made it a thoroughly enjoyable and informative event.

The photo depicts the group with Mike fourth from the right. On the extreme right is Tony Gostick in whose father's memory the walk is arranged. 

June 2013sleaford walk river slea

Walks reveal the town's history

After the SLHA AGM on 15 June members of the society enjoyed walks around the Kirton to view the main features of interest.

The town has a wide variety of interesting historic buildings - domestic, religious, commercial and civic. Quarter Sessions for north-west Lindsey were once held here and there was a house of correction, remains of which can still be identified.  The whipping post fittings are also an unusual survival.

The church of St Andrew has a massive west tower and a fine clerestory.  Of particular note is the priest's doorway on the south side of the chancel with its Norman arch and twelfth century tympanum of close beaded interlace.

Thanks are due to Martin Hollingsworth and colleagues of the Kirton in Lindsey Society for leading the tours


June 2013

Branston's History
An evening walk around the village

On a cool early June evening a group of SLHA members enjoyed a walking tour around the older parts of Branston.

Dr Dennis Mills gave a general introduction to the village's history and then the group visited the buildings and other structures featured in the Branston Arts and Heritage Trail. There was much to admire and enjoy.

One unexpected highlight was the recently restored waterwheel (actually turning under water power when the group visited). This was installed by the Leslie-Melvilles of Branston Hall to supply their house and estate with water.

The group was very grateful for the lively and well-informed leadership of Tony Hunt, Secretary of Branston History Group.

Impressively carved tree boles tell a story of Branston's past

June 2013Branston, village history, leslie melville

Lincoln Engineering on Show
Weekend display in the Cathedral

Lincoln Cathedral hosted an exhibition about Lincoln engineering past and present over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend.

A Foster traction engine and wagon stood outside the west door and two Ruston cars greeted visitors in the nave. Lincoln Engineering Society presented a display of old photographs, and a superb time-line gave details of the development of Lincoln's engineering heritage over the past 200 years.

Today's local firms - still making successful engineering products for an international market - were well represented.  The University of Lincoln also promoted their highly regarded engineering faculty and engaged the younger generation in some practical activities.

The SLHA bookstall and display attracted attention and stimulated plenty of conversation.


The SLHA stand in the Cathedral nave

May 2013

On Foot through a Railway Tunnel
A rare experience in the Wolds

Stewart Squires of SLHA led a large and enthusastic group of walkers along the former Louth to Bardney railway line on 22 May.

The walk began in the former station yard at Donington on Bain, followed the attractive cuttings and embankments of the track bed, skirted round Benniworth Haven and ended with a walk through High Street or South Willingham tunnel (560 yards long).

The walk, largely on private land with special permission of the owners, was part of the 2013 Wolds Walking Festival.

Stewart addresses the group at High Street tunnel

May 2013