Categories for 2016
SLHA News ...
News 2016
Outings and Events

Expand All | Collapse All

On Saturday, 5 November, a group of SLHA members and friends was given a preview tour of the International Bomber Command Centre at Canwick near Lincoln.

Our enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide was Malcolm Stainforth, a volunteer on the project, who explained about the work undertaken so far and what is to come before the full opening in 2017.

To learn more about the project visit

November 2016

Visits in Epworth
SLHA explore the town after the AGM

On the day of the Society's Annual General Meeting in Epworth on 15 October members visited a number of places of interest in the town.

In the morning a tour was arranged in the adjacent Wesley Memorial Methodist Church, built in 1889 by architect Charles Bell. A church member gave a brief account of Methodist history in the town from the birth of John and Charles Wesley through the changing Methodist communities and the building of chapels. A highlight of the church is the large stained glass window over the communion area; it has figures of Christ and his disciples and a roundel with the heads of the Wesley brothers.

In the afternoon a visit was made to St Andrew's parish church on the northern fringe of the town. Recent work, part funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, has been the creation of a heritage area and first-floor ringing chamber at the west end and the relaying of the floor with under-floor heating throughout the building. Outside to the south of the chancel is Samuel Wesley's tomb from which his son John famously preached when he was banned from speaking inside.

A visit was also made to the Epworth Mechanics' Institute (founded 1837) to view the lending library and Houghton Archive. The long history of the Institute and the peculiarities of its library were outlined by an Institute member. Copies of the local newspaper, the Epworth Bells, were laid out in the archive room together with fine historic photographs of the town.

Some members visited the Old Rectory, the childhood home of John Wesley, rebuilt after a fire in 1709.


Visits to St Andrew's Church (left) and Epworth Mechanics Institute (right)

Inside the Wesley Memorial Methodist Church

October 2016

Tribute to Brian Dawson
Concert for Lincolnshire folk singer & song collector

The death of Lincolnshire traditional singer and song collector Brian Dawson in 2013 was a great loss to the folk community of the county.

Brian collected, conserved and performed the folk songs of Lincolnshire. He was a quiet man but his talents were nationally recognised and he performed at festivals the length and breadth of Britain.

A tribute was paid to Brian Dawson in a concert given by fellow folk musicians before an audience of almost 200 in Washingborough Village Hall on Friday 14 October. Splendid music interlaced with telling recollections of Brian and his music was presented by Tom Lane and Friends, The Bell Apple Boys, Kate Witney and John Connolly.

Brian Dawson (1939-2013)

October 2016

New SLHA Book Launched
Neil Wright's book on the Georgian theatre in Lincolnshire

The publication of a new book by SLHA was celebrated at Stamford Arts Centre on Saturday 1 October. The book "Treading the Boards: Actors and Theatres in Georgian Lincolnshire" by Neil Wright was commended and formally launched by Anthony Worth, CVO, Patron of SLHA, in the historic theatre.

Neil gave an absorbing illustrated talk on the theme of his book and later signed copies - now on sale at Jews' Court and by post from SLHA.

Tony Worth and Neil Wright

October 2016

Baumber Brick KIln
Hertiage Open Day event

The restored brick kiln at Baumber, 6 miles north-west of Horncastle, offers a rare example of how bricks were made on a small scale in the Lincolnshire countryside in Victorian times.

On Sunday 11 September, as part of Heritage Open Days weekend, visitors were able to inspect the kiln, learn about the way it functioned, and also gain further information about brick making in Lincolnshire from display material.

Access to the site was generously given by the owner, Cedric Clifford. The event was arranged by the SLHA IA team and led by Ken Redmore and Chris Lester.

Visitors at the Baumber kiln

September 2016

Funny Faces
Family fun: Gargoyles and the Green Man

An appreciative group of 28 visitors young and old, enjoyed a family craft morning organised by Kathy Holland as part of the Past and Present Project.

The workshop included using imagery of gargoyles from churches in Lincolnshire as inspiration for making faces from clay, and some wonderful examples were created.

The session also included an informal illustrated discussion about carvings of the "Green Man" often to be discovered when exploring churches and other medieval buildings in Lincolnshire and beyond.

Visitors then had the opportunity to use a variety of craft materials and their imaginations to create their own Green Man Mask. Additional activities included making a Jester on a Stick and decorating a Portrait Pendant.

The workshop took place in St Mary's Guildhall on the Lower High St in Lincoln. It is a very appropriate and attractive venue as it is a medieval building now used by the Lincoln Civic Trust and open to visitors by arrangement.



July 2016

Isle of Man
2016 SLHA Study Tour

The 2016 SLHA summer study tour was based in the Isle of Man from 16 to 20 July. In warm sunshine visits were made to Peel (Castle and Manannan Museum), Cregneash (farmsteads and traditional cottages), Laxey (wheel-driven pump and mine workings), Snaefell, Douglas (Manx Museum and Theatre), Jerby (Motor Museum and Transport Museum) and Ramsey.

The 40+ members of the course enjoyed travel by steam hauled train (Port Erin to Douglas), electric tram (Laxey to Snaefell and, for some, Laxey to Douglas) and horse tram (Douglas seafront). The TT motor racing circuit was also followed - on a relatively safe and sedate coach.

Excellent evening entertainment came in the shape of Manx folk songs and a talk about the Manx language

This highly successful event was arranged jointly by Ken Hollamby (SLHA) and TravelWright of Newark.


Photos: Above - Cregneash (left), Snaefell Electric Tram (centre), in St John's Church, where Tynwald meets (right)
Far Right - Laxey Wheel (top), Laxey mine adit (bottom)


July 2016

Society Summer Picnic
A day in the the Wolds

The annual summer picnic took place on Sunday 19 June in the southern Wolds parishes of Langton by Partney and Sutterby.

David Stocker gave a talk in the early Georgian church of SS Peter & Paul at Langton, which unusually has box pews facing inwards along both N and S sides of the nave. The three-decker pulpit with tester is midway along the south side, a layout which reflects the supreme importance of the "Word" to the builders of this fine brick-built church.

The water supply system at Langton Grange is based on a waterwheel-driven pump situated in a valley alongside Langton Beck, a small stream. Clean, potable water is brought by gravity from a nearby spring to the pump and then raised to the Grange, a house and farmstead, some 65m above the valley bottom and in an area devoid of springs. This water system, explained on site by Stewart Squires to the visitors, was recorded by the IA team of SLHA in 2011.

The third location visited by the picnickers was Sutterby, where local enthusiasts have researched the history and archaeology of the tiny church and village.  Dave Start and David Stocker led this part of the day's activities.

Images: David Stocker in Langton Church (above, right); Stewart Squires at the Langton waterworks (below, left); the party in Sutterby Church (below, right)


June 2016

The Louth Flood
A walk on the anniversary

On 29 May Jean Howard of SLHA led a walk following the path of the Louth Flood of 29 May 1920, starting at almost the same time as this devastating deluge, which claimed 23 lives in just ten minutes.

Jean described the events leading up to the flood (caused by very heavy rain to the west bringing debris to block water courses followed by the bursting of these blockages) and told many of the stories of tragedy and heroism which occurred in the ensuing mayhem.

These stories were vividly recorded at the time by local and national newspaper reporters who were in town for a forthcoming by-election.

The walk was much-appreciated by a capacity attendance of 25 people, being the maximum number which could be safely controlled in Louth's narrow streets and pathways, and a substantial sum of money was raised for the Society.

Jean Howard and group at the end of James Street, centre of the disaster.

May 2016Louth flood

Railways & Radar
A guided walk in the Wolds

Stewart Squires of SLHA led a party of over 50 walkers on a guided walk around the Stenigot area on 21 May as part of the launch of the 2016 Wold Walking Festival.

Included in the tour were the early concrete farm buildings of the Stenigot estate, the parish church, remains of the Louth to Bardney railway line and the abandoned Chain Home Radar station.

The event concluded with tea in Donington on Bain where the entire village seemed to have contributed to making the launch event a wonderful success.

Stenigot radar tower

May 2016Stenigot concrete farm buildings

Early houses in Southwell
An active recording project

Members of SLHA Building Recording Group and others visited Southwell on 16 April and were entertained to an excellent day of talks and visits arranged by the Southwell Community Archaeology Group.

The Southwell group has been running a project funded by English Heritage under the direction of Chris King (Nottingham University) & Matt Hurford (Trent & Peak Archaeology) to study and record pre-1750 buildings in the town.

Several buildings have been closely examined and recorded and it is already clear that Southwell has a wide range of significant timber framed houses (not always evident behind later brickwork).

Visits were made to two properties in West Thorpe and to The Saracen's Head in the centre of the town.

Photos: Timber-framed cottages in High Street, West Thorpe, Southwell, visited by the SLHA group

April 2016

Visit to Norwell
Impressive timber-framed buildings

The first visit arranged by the recently established Building Recording Group (known colloquially as RUBL - Recording & Understanding the Buildings of Lincolnshire) was to Norwell led by Norwell resident Professor Michael Jones who has lived in the village since 1980 and with his group has produced a brilliant series of local history books.

We were greeted by his wife Elizabeth with coffee and biscuits in the parish church of St. Lawrence where Professor Jones gave an introduction to the village emphasising that the parish had been owned by the church and later the Church Commissioners for a 1,000 years and was only sold in the 1950s.

The church's conservative approach meant that there was little development, even enclosure was late in the 1830s. Laxton the adjacent parish was never enclosed.. Outside the trees were in fine autumn colour.

Our first visits were to Greasley and Pitchfork Cottages where we had friendly welcomes from the owners as we did at each of our visits. RUBL has many members with detailed knowledge of timber-framed buildings so there was plenty of discussion and interpretation of the surviving timbers.

These buildings have been dated by English Heritage to probably mid C16 and have been drawn by the local group but there has been no detailed interpretation. There are parallels here with the findings of the RUBL Trent Valley survey.

Our next stop was at The Old House with its earliest date of 1494. Some timbers are still in situ but most of the upstairs timbers were re-used in the C17 reconstruction.

Outside is an old timber fingerpost by what was the village green but now is a road junction. On the junction is a Methodist chapel with an 1841 date stone but this is when the Wesleyan's took it over. It was built in 1821.

By now it was lunchtime and we retraced our steps to Parr's Cottage, c1800, where Mrs Jones had prepared a gourmet buffet. On the way we stopped to look across what once had been open fields but still with remnants of ridge and furrow cultivation.

After lunch our first visit was to School Road to see the evolution of schools in the village. The oldest is the endowed school from 1727, now a private house. Next door is the 1872 National School in need of TLC. Opposite is the 1960s Nottinghamshire County Council replacement.

Nearby is the Old Farmhouse with a dendro date of 1362. Two bays of the original building survive. We interpreted the C18 and C19 extensions as rebuilds of earlier end bays which means that the original building had four bays.

Back on the main road we had a brief stop to look at c. C18 farm buildings at Bay Tree Cottage. Nearby is the Auld Cottage dated to 1512 but not listed. It has no electricity or running water. The village would like to buy it and turn it into a heritage centre.

After a brief stop to look at the 1830 pinfold, which unusually was built after enclosure, we continued to Palishall.  This site has been occupied from at least 1215 and possibly earlier. The building seems to have originated as a tower house, now two stories but possibly originally three. A medieval hall of two stories abutts it. It fell into serious disrepair and has recently been restored by the current owners. This impressive building with its large garden and extensive grounds was an ideal end to an excellent day.

RUBL's next visit will be to Southwell on Saturday 16 April.

Pitchfork Cottage, Norwell

The Old House, Norwell

Palishall, Norwell

February 2016Norwell, timber framed buildings