Categories for 2019
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News 2019

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Brenda Webster (1933-2019)
Accomplished local historian

SLHA has lost a prominent and highly regarded member in the death of Brenda Webster. Brenda was for many years the chairman of SLHA's Local History Committee.

Brenda passed away on Saturday 24 August 2019 after a short stay in Lincoln County Hospital. She was born in Grimsby, where her father was a policeman, and in 1955 married John Webster, who served in the RNAS. One posting was in Cornwall where their accommodation was a caravan. This was still on the farm there until comparatively recently, providing a quiet holiday place for Brenda. John died in a plane crash whilst on active service.

Although her family had moved from Grimsby to Heighington before she had completed her course at Winteringham Grammar School, Brenda boarded in Grimsby to finish her studies. She went on to Keele University before becoming a civil servant at the American Base at Wyton, where she advised the troops on life in England. She followed this by employment with the Community Council.

Her love of Local History led her to read for a Local History degree which she completed under the tutorship of Jim Johnston at Bishop Grosseteste College (now University). Having completed the course, along with fellow graduates, she organised regular meetings for many years in the pursuit of further studies of Lincolnshire. Not content with a BA, Brenda went on to obtain an M. Phil. with Hull University in the 1990s.

The house at Heighington had the smithy attached and it is only a few years ago that Brenda disposed of the tools and equipment left just as if her father had completed a day’s work. Her mother was a WI member and the daughter continued to enjoy the community there.

Brenda was a long time member of SLHA and before that the Lincolnshire Local History Society, being willing to take office on the various committees and spend time in active participation in a number of projects. She served on the Executive Committee and supported the Industrial Archaeology Team. She was also involved with the Family History Branch in their churchyard memorial inscription recording and with transcriptions for their numerous publications. Above all, she was very active in the Local History Committee and was chairman of the group for a number of years.

Having written a history of Potterhanworth Parish Church, she prepared guidelines for other would-be authors. These are published on SLHA website. Naturally Brenda has made other studies of Heighington and area, given talks on it and conducted village walks. Heighington parish registers have been transcribed, giving Brenda a useful source of information so that she could answer national and international queries sent to the Parish Council. In addition she mounted exhibitions on the village with documents and artefacts she has accumulated. Another contribution to the SLHA website is an article for local history group giving a range of tips and general advice.

‘Ration Books and Rabbit Pie’, a book published by SLHA in 2008 about the Lincolnshire Home Front in World War 2, was edited by Brenda’s close friend and colleague, Linda Crust. Brenda was a key member of the small team that worked with Linda collecting oral material and preparing it for publication.

On a different note, Brenda took pleasure in catering for any and every opportunity, always being the first to volunteer. She did a good professional job. Many who enjoyed the spread said she had missed her vocation. Certainly, volunteering was written large on her list of interests and activities until, of recent years, she had problems with her eyesight. Nevertheless, despite this handicap, it did not stop her in her enthusiastic approach to all things to do with history and her zest for life in general. She was a dedicated student of Lincolnshire history and was an outstanding contributor to research on it.

August 2019

Rose Clark (1928-2019)
Founder of South Holland Group

Rose was the stalwart organiser and chairman of the SLHA Spalding Group for many years.

Rose and her husband Bernard taught at Spalding Girls’ High School. They were both keen historians and together wrote ‘Spalding in Victorian times’, After Bernard died in 2001 Rose wrote ‘Spalding 1625-60, A Fair Town in a World turned upside down’.

Bernard and Rose Clark were both members of the Family History branch of SLHA and when this section hived off from SLHA in 1989 to form the Lincolnshire Family History Society, the Spalding Group, under the leadership of the Clarkes, decided to stay with SLHA.

The branch flourished under the guidance of the Clarkes and became a very successful and active history group. There was a full programme of talks, there was always a bookstall and the financial situation was fine.

After the loss of Bernard, Rose soldiered on with, eventually, less and less support from the members. By the time she left Spalding a few years ago, the meetings at St. John’s Church room were at a low ebb. It is sad to record that after all the responsibility, energy and hard work Rose gave to the group, it has now folded.

We extend our sympathy to Rose’s family and express our grateful thanks that she encouraged the study of history in the Spalding area for so long and with such commitment.

August 2019

Vera Miller (1938-2019)
Dedicated Family Historian

We record with sadness the death of Mrs Vera Miller in Lincoln on 26 August.

Vera was a keen and experienced member of the Lincolnshire Family History Society. She served on LFHS committees and was part of a small select group that attended Lincolnshire Archives on a weekly basis to research answers to the society’s members’ queries and collate parish records.

For a short while between 1989 and 1990 Vera was SLHA’s Honorary Treasurer.


August 2019

David Bramford (1945-2019)
Sleaford Group Secretary

David Bramford, who died on 19 June, played a leading role in setting up and running the Society’s Sleaford group. He served as secretary there for many years and could always be relied on to represent the group’s interests with vigour and, if necessary, persistence. His particular interests were family history and local history in the Sleaford area.

In his career as gardener and groundsman, David worked at Caythorpe Court, Belton House and various County Council estates. He lived his whole life in Dembleby – in the charming ‘Lovely Cottage’ – and was intimately involved in life of St Lucia’s church in the village.

David Bramford will be fondly remembered for his solid contribution to many local organisations and for his cheerful and lively outlook on the world.

July 2019

Marjorie Whaler (1928-2019)
A much valued SLHA member

Marjorie Whaler, who died recently, grew up in Cleethorpes and after marriage and moving around the country, she and her husband Bernard returned to their native county. In particular, Marjorie was pleased to dwell near Lincoln and be in a position to build on her interest in archaeology.

She did not get involved in much active archaeology but found several organisations in which she could foster her interest. SLHA became an important one of them.

Marjorie became involved with the library at SLHA and, with the aid of a lottery grant, she fully indexed the collection and kept it up to date for many years. She also produced a card index of articles published in the Society's magazines (before the days of digitisation).

Answering a multitude of queries about LIncolnshire's history and archaeology - often involving considerable research - was another invaluable contribution that she made over several years in the 'backroom' at SLHA. She was also one of the reguar volunteers delivering the quarterly mailing to members in her local area to the east of Lincoln.

Marjorie was one of those most valuable workers behind the scenes so vital to the wellbeing of the Society.

April 2019