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News 2012
Outings and Events

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Two Lincolnshire Canals
SLHA members lead two Heritage Open Day events

With the theme of "Trade and Travel” it is not surprising that Lincolnshire’s canals featured in this year’s HODs programme. Both the Horncastle Canal and the Grantham Canal were the subject of guided walks by SLHA members.

Stewart Squires took a party along the Grantham Canal from Woolsthorpe looking at the canal and its relationship with Sewstern and Longmoor Lanes.

The party also learned how locally-mined ironstone was transported by inclined plane and railway and the impact which mining had on the landscape.

The walk finished with a visit to the canal workshop to see displays mounted by the Grantham Canal Society.

Ken Redmore took two parties around Horncastle to see features of its canal. He described how the rivers Waring and Bain were adapted to provide two basins for the town.

When the canal was opened there was a dramatic drop in the price of coal and the cost of "exporting” local produce, both of which helped to stimulate the town’s economy.

Whilst the canal is no longer useable, plenty of evidence, including wharves and fine warehouses, survive.

SLHA group led by Stewart Squires, next to Grantham Canal at Woolsthorpe
Group alongside the Grantham Canal
Society's boat "The Three Shires"


SLHA group led by Ken Redmore, next to the Horncastle Canal in Horncastle
On the Spa Trail,
Beside the Horncastle Canal


September 2012

Historic Attractions in West Sussex
Society weekend visit to museums and other heritage sites

Despite dodging the showers and flooded roads, this year’s annual weekend trip, meticulously researched and organised by Ken Hollamby, proved to be yet another good mix of historical sites.

Our accommodation was at the University of Chichester, where we were given a tour around some of the older college buildings, including the lecture room used for coordinating operations during the D-Day landings in 1945.

In the evening we were guided around the ancient walls of the city and learnt about the construction and function of the bastions.

On Saturday we visited Fishbourne Roman Palace, where our guide pointed out the several deliberate errors in the famous ‘cupid on a dolphin’ mosaic.

In the afternoon, we explored the timber-framed buildings of the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, including Bayleaf Farmhouse, one of 47 vernacular buildings rescued from the south and east of England.

Our visit to Amberley Museum on Sunday coincided with Railway Gala weekend, and whilst some of us stayed on in the afternoon to further enjoy the exhibits others travelled to nearby Arundel Castle, whose grounds include the theatrical Duke’s Garden.

Our trip concluded on Monday with a foray around Fort Cumberland near Portsmouth and a guided tour of English Heritage’s archaeological laboratories housed within its ramparts.

SLHA group at Chichester's town walls
Chichester's historic city walls

Bayleaf Farmhouse, Weald and Downland Museum
Weald and Downland Museum 

July 2012West Sussex, Arundel Castle, Amberley Museum, Weald and Downland Museum, Fishbourne, Chichester

A Walk Around Willoughton
Informative guided tour highlights the village's former trades and businesses

The walk around Willoughton on 1 July, led by Mrs Sarah Taylor, was a bit different from the usual. Sarah and her fellow local historians have studied local traders from the 18th century to present and recorded their premises in Willoughton.

The walk entailed looking at the premises, now altered considerably, or the location, now the site of a 20th century dwelling.

She introduced the party to the various traders and their families and had stories to tell of their ups and downs.

After the walk there was tea in the Village Hall, during which there was a programme with photographs of the views we have witnessed but from past years such as a house as a cycle shop with the first petrol pump in the village.

The afternoon had a very personal flavour with the addition of some past villagers sharing their memories.

SLHA group in Willoughton with Sarah Taylor
Sarah Taylor and the SLHA group

July 2012Willoughton, trade, business

Heritage Fair in Spalding
Local and countywide groups meet the public

Approximately 170 people came to the Spalding Local History Fair organised jointly by the SLHA and Ayscoughfee Hall.

There were 18 stands representing a wide range of interests from Archaeology to Windmills and it was good to see one of Lincolnshire's newest heritage attractions, Chain Bridge Forge, present.

It was an opportunity to learn about events and personalities in the area and further afield, to meet friends and to enjoy the atmosphere in one of Lincolnshire's outstanding buildings.

Particular thanks go to Dennis Wolfe (SLHA South Holland Group), Rod Callow (SLHA Administrator) and Julia Knight (Ayscoughfee Hall) for organising the event.

Ayscoughfee Hall
Ayscoughfee Hall

June 2012Spalding, Heritage Fair, Ayscoughee Hall

Highlights of Stamford
Two town churches, Browne's Hospital and other notable buildings visited

On the afternoon of 16 June, following the AGM, SLHA members visited some of Stamford’s magnificent stone buildings based on a route and information provided by Leo Tours (Jean Orpin and Susan Lee).

Special visits were made to Browne’s Hospital and the churches of All Saints and St John, where David Stocker provided an introduction to their architectural and historical significance.

Browne's Hospital, Stamford
Browne's Hospital, Stamford
All Saints, Stamford
All Saints Church, Stamford


June 2012Stamford, David Stocker, Browne's Hospital, All Saints church, St John Church, Leo Tours

Railway and Canal at Horncastle
Guided walk follows former transport features

On a very warm afternoon SLHA members Ken Redmore and Stewart Squires led a group of 40 walkers on the canal towpath from Horncastle to Thornton and back along the Spa Trail, the former Woodhall-Horncastle railway line.

Beginning at the town swimming pool (once the canal’s dry dock), stops were made at the first lock, Thornton Lodge railway crossing, in front of fine sculptures alongside the Spa Trail and finally on the site of Horncastle railway station.

The Horncastle Navigation opened in 1802 and closed 1889. The Horncastle to Woodhall Junction Railway opened in 1855, ceased to carry passengers in 1954 and goods in 1971.

This event, on Monday 28 May, was part of the 2012 Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival

Group on the Spa Trail (former railway line) near Thornton, Horncastle
On the Spa Trail near Thornton

May 2012Horncastle, canal, railway, walk

Ellys Manor House and Rutland Railway Museum
A fascinating day trip in the south-west of the county

A coach outing to Ellys Manor House, Great Ponton, and 'Rocks by Rail' (Rutland Railway Museum), Ashwell, was enjoyed by thirty SLHA members on Saturday 21 April.

The Manor House was rebuilt in stone in the Tudor period by the Ellys family, wealthy Lincolnshire wool merchants. Its distinctive crow-stepped gable on the prominent eastern elevation is similar to contemporary houses in northern Europe of the Renaissance period.

Of outstanding interest are the early 16th century wall paintings on the first floor, widely recognised as among the country’s best examples in a domestic setting. The Ellyses were also responsible for rebuilding the large tower of Holy Cross church adjacent to the Manor House in 1519.

The afternoon was spent at the Rutland Railway Museum near Ashwell which is currently being upgraded and re-branded as 'Rocks by Rail'.

The museum location is the railhead for an extensive area of ironstone quarries which were served by a network of temporary lines, though only a relatively short section of line survives.

There are a large collection of working locomotives, almost all of which worked in ironstone quarries here or elsewhere, a wide range of wagons and other related rolling stock, and excavators to undertake quarry work.

Thanks to Ken Hollamby for organising the outing; to Clive Taylor, owner of Ellys Manor; and to the knowledgeable volunteer guides at 'Rocks by Rail'.

Ellys Manor House, Great Ponton
Ellys Manor House, Great Ponton

Rutland Railway Museum, Rocks on Rails
Rutland Railway Museum
(Rocks on Rails)

April 2012ellys manor house, Great Ponton, Rutland Railway Museum, Rocks by Rail, wall paintings

Engineering Faculty at University of Lincoln
Special tour of the engineering faculty at University of Lincoln

On 7 March members of the SLHA Industrial Archaeology team were given a special tour of the impressive laboratories and teaching rooms in the recently established engineering faculty at the University of Lincoln.

Dr David Waugh was our informative and lively guide. We were given a taste of the wide range of projects being undertaken by David and his colleagues and were introduced to the latest equipment in several fields of engineering.

The international engineering firm Siemens have played a major role in funding the building and its facilties and the Lincoln-based plant now conducts all its staff and apprentice training alongside the University in its new building.

SLHA members hope that both staff and students will be given a clear reminder of the great engineering heritage of the city.


Siemens trainees at work on turbines
Siemens trainees at work on turbines
Dr David Waugh and SLHA visitors
Dr David Waugh and SLHA visitors

March 2012Engineering, University, Lincoln,