Categories for 2011
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News 2011
Outings and Events

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Manchester Ship Canal Cruise
SLHA group take the journey from Birkenhead to Salford

On the 17th September 29 members and friends joined the Mersey Ferry "Snowdrop” for a 6-hour cruise from Birkenhead along the Manchester Ship Canal to Salford Quays. Leaving Birkenhead, they sailed six miles up the river Mersey past Liverpool’s famous historic waterfront and into the canal at Eastham.

Opened in 1894, the 35-mile canal linking industrial Manchester with the sea has many interesting features including swing bridges, aqueducts, five sets of very large locks and several docks. There was also plenty of gentle countryside and many species of bird to be seen en route.

There was a comprehensive commentary throughout the voyage which supplemented some 30 pages of tour notes prepared by Ken Redmore, who also organised the trip. The party returned to Lincoln by coach after a long but thoroughly enjoyable day.

September 2011Manchester ship canal,

Railway Architecture and other Special Heritage Visits
A wide range of tours led by SLHA members over the Heritage Open Days weekend

As part of the Heritage Open Days events this year (September 8 to 11) Stewart Squires, Chairman of SLHA, led a 2.5 mile walk along part of the former railway line between Bourne and Saxby to look at two of the main engineering features and how they were built. These were the 300-yard Toft Tunnel (TF078190) and the Lound Viaduct (TF062186).

Other tours over the weekend led by SLHA members were: Bytham Castle (Ken Hollamby); Boston's Railways (Neil Wright); Lincoln's Victorian Cemeteries (Derek Broughton); Carre Street, Sleaford (Simon Pawley); Kirk & Parry, Sleaford architects (Mike Turland); Victorian Remodelling of St Denys Church, Sleaford (Douglas Hoare). 

September 2011Toft Tunnel, Castle Bytham, Kirk, Parry, Victorian cemeteries,

Horncastle Canal
A visit to locks and other surviving features of the canal

On Sunday 14 August a group of SLHA members visited some of the surviving features of the Tattershall to Horncastle Canal, which was constructed in the period 1793-1802.

The North and South Basins of the canal at Horncastle (developed from the Rivers Bain and Waring respectively) show few traces of their once important commercial use. One or two warehouses remain in the town, notably the wool warehouse in Bridge Street.

The Staunch or Stanch, close to the former railway station, was located near the confluence of the two rivers and the beginning of the canal proper. Its role was to control water levels throughout the town, which was necessary not only for the successful operation of the canal but also to avert flooding.

Most of the eleven locks along the canal have been modified to form sluices, and variable amounts of original brick and stonework remain alongside modern in-situ concrete. A short section of the canal has been filled in at Kirkby-on-Bain (though a fragment of the lock structure survives) allowing the original by-pass channel to the adjacent mill to receive all the water passing down.

Apart from the mill pond formed by a junction off the canal, all traces of another large mill (Tattershall Mill) north of Coningsby Lock have been lost. However, this brick-built lock has survived remarkably well, and to the south is a fine railway bridge over the canal. (This carried the Kirkstead to Little Steeping line, the so-called 'New Line', of 1913-1970.)

At Tattershall the original Gibson Cut of 1784 formed the final link to the Witham. Here a surviving C18 grain warehouse in dark-red brick was long ago converted into 3-storey housing.

August 2011Horncastle Canal, Tattershall, locks, Coningsby, New Line, Gibson Cut, Kirkby on Bain

Weekend Visit to Edinburgh and Scotland
A study tour includes outstanding heritge sites

A very large and comfortable coach transported the small party to Edinburgh in July 2011. The main stop en-route was at Alnwick where there was a choice for the afternoon. Some spent time in the gardens and saw the grand fountain display on the hour, others visited the castle and its environs, whilst others visited the town and the famous station bookshop. Those with more energy packed several visits in.

The accommodation in an Edinburgh University hall was excellent although it took some time to sort out the best of the menus on offer in the melee of Chinese and other nationalities.

Ken Hollamby, our tour organiser, had arranged an interesting and varied programme again. Saturday morning saw us poring over old maps in the National Map Collection, and in the afternoon there was the opportunity to choose venues in Edinburgh. Some visited John Knox House, the Cathedral, the new Parliament and/or other stops on the Royal Mile, but others ventured further into the new town, the Royal Yacht or the Botanic gardens.

Sunday morning we had a mini-cruise on the Falkirk Wheel followed by a guided tour of the Museum of Rural Life at East Kilbride. On Monday morning we enjoyed a guided visit to Corbridge Roman town followed by an excellent pub lunch.

Thus ended a most varied four days with something to satisfy everyone. It poured with rain whilst we pored over maps but Ken managed to ensure the weather was clement the rest of the time. Many thanks go to Ken for organising for another successful trip.

July 2011Edinburgh, Falkirk Wheel, National Map Collection

Heritage For All in the Heart of Grimsby
St James's Minster Grimsby was the venue for this vibrant Heritage Fair

St James's Minster Grimsby was the venue for a vibrant Heritage Fair arranged by SLHA on Saturday 9 April. Thirty societies and groups had stalls with attractive displays about Lincolnshire's heritage - including archaeology, local history (Grimsby and several villages), family history, churches, RAF stations, windmills and watermills, pumping stations, archive film, Wesley, Tennyson and Joseph Banks. The local Civil War re-enactment group, Sealed Knot, camped on the green outside and demonstrated warfare techniques.

The event, formally opened by the Mayor of North East Lincolnshire (Cllr Mrs Norma Lincoln), was regarded as successful and enjoyable.

Thanks are due to Jo Middleton, Community Projects Officer, St James's Minster, and to David Robinson (NELALHS) for local liaison. The event was organised by Rodney Callow, SLHA Administrator.

April 2011Grimsby, James, minster, fair, church, RAF, windmills, watermills, Wesley, Tennyson, Banks, war,

Honour for Dennis Mills on his 80th Birthday
Members and friends met in Branston Village Hall to celebrate his 80th birthday

A large group of members and friends of Dr Dennis Mills met in Branston Village Hall on 26 March to celebrate his 80th birthday and launch a book - a festshrift - written and published in honour of Dennis's achievements.

Dennis has himself published a large number of books and articles over a 50 year period and he is particularly admired for his willingness to share his wide experience and knowledge.

Mick Jones, SLHA President, welcomed guests and Andrew Walker, formerly of the University of Lincoln and joint editor of the festschrift, spoke about the book and its contributors.

Kate Tiller, University of Oxford, gave her own personal tribute to Dennis and formally presented him with a copy of the book.

Dennis, having expressed thanks, gave an illustrated account of his early life and career.

Neil Wright, SLHA Chairman brought the formalities to a close with a vote of thanks. An excellent tea followed and Dennis and Joan Mills cut a celebratory cake.

Copies of the new book, Lincoln Connections, are now available on sale. It is a collection of essays written by Dennis's academic friends on aspects of Lincoln and its neighbourhood covering the period 1700 to the present day. Buy a copy

March 2011Dennis Mills, Branston, festshrift, book, publication, Lincoln Connections,

Lincolnshire Pots And Tiles
FLARE/Archaeology Team re-examine large quantity of ceramic tiles

The FLARE/Archaeology Team at SLHA is hoping to work with local pottery and tile experts to re-examine the large quantity of ceramic tiles deposited in the Lincolnshire Museum's store.

The aim is to re-assess and evaluate what is held in store, to devise a stardardised typology, and produce a Lincolnshire type series against which all local tiles can be identified and recorded.

This would be an invaluable tool for all future excavations where tile is found.

Final details of the project are currently being worked out; it will depend on a team of untrained volunteers.

January 2011pots, tiles, pottery, ceramics,