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Dr Dennis Mills (1931-2020)
A celebration of his life and work

A large number of former colleagues, students, and friends of the late Dennis Mills joined an on-line conference on Saturday 4 December. The event was jointly sponsored by the British Association for Local History, Lincoln Record Society, Survey of Lincoln and SLHA. Dr Andrew Walker was the conference's coordinator; sessions were chaired by Prof David Stocker (LRS), Dr Paul Dryburgh (BALH), Catherine Wilson (SLHA) and Beryl George (SoL).

The introductory talk, presented by Dr Kate Tiller, Reader Emerita in English Local History, Kellogg College, Oxford, considered Dennis's legacy. She referred to several of his published books in illustrating the varied nature of his interests and output. Some of his work was pioneering and was to have a lasting impact in historical geography and related fields. As well as the quality and volume of his research, Dennis will be remembered by many students and fellow researchers for his generous support and encouragement - and his engaging sense of humour.

Dr Sarah Holland, Assistant Professor at the University of Nottingham, has recently published a book entitled "Communities in Contrast: Doncaster and Its Rural Hinterland, c.1830-1870". The framework and initial impetus for her work came from Dennis Mills' book "Lord and Peasant in Nineteenth-Century Britain", published in 1980. Refining and developing his model, Dr Holland has analysed the complex relationship between rural communities and the town.

Dennis Mills' analysis of open and closed parishes was also the starting point for Dr Martin Watkinson's study of Humberston from 1750 to 1850. (Dr Watkinson is a former colleague of Dennis's at the Open University.) This parish had a single landowner, Lord Carrington, who never lived in the village, though he occasionally made visits. Day to day village affairs were tightly controlled by the vicar, the landowner's agent and the small group of wealthy tenant farmers - much as Dennis's model postulated.

Dr Rob Wheeler collaborated with Dennis Mills in the publication of "Historic Town Plans of Lincoln" (Lincoln Record Society, 2004), which includes the important city maps by J S Padley beginning in the 1840s. Close comparison of Padley's surveys with the published maps gives insight into his methods and provides an understanding of the occasional errors and inconsistencies.

Dr Shirley Brook emphasised the importance of the collection and application of farmyard manure in the successful 'industrial' operation of a farm in the period of High Farming of the mid-nineteenth century. Developments of farmstead design not only addressed the economical use of manpower but also enabled the collection of manure from shelter sheds and crew yards to be conducted efficiently on a large scale.

Lincoln's Building Application Database was the focus of Dr Andrew Walker's presentation Dennis had co-ordinated The Survey of Lincoln's website pages relating to this source. The paper covered the period from the 1860s to the 1930s, and examined how this collection of plans, specifications and other documents enabled changes in housing density and improvements in sanitation and drainage to be tracked. The early twentieth-century material shows when and where bungalows first appeared and how garages were introduced.

A significant period of Dennis Mills' life in the early 1950s was spent as a Russian linguist working for the Royal Navy's Special Coder branch. Dr Claire Hubbard-Hall, Programme Leader in Military History and Postgraduate Study at Bishop Grosseteste University, spoke about the general context of this work and described the recruitment, training and practical experience that Dennis underwent, including his spell at Cuxhaven in the then West Germany.



December 2021

SLHA Awards for 2021
Presentation at 2021 AGM


The Flora Murray Award for 2021 has been presented to the Horncastle History and Heritage Society for their exhibition and events on the theme 'Horncastle Railway: 50 Years since Closure'. The award was announced at the on-line Annual General Meeting of the Society on Saturday 23 October 2021. The presentation of the award was made by Ian George (SLHA Chairman) to Ian Marshman (HHHS Chairman) at the Sir Joseph Banks Centre, Horncastle, on 25 November. It was attended by several members of the Horncastle Society.

The exhibition had been held in the town's Sir Joseph Banks Centre from late July to early September 2021 and attracted over 2000 visitors. Display boards gave information about the construction of the railway, its 100+ years of operation, the railway's closure and today's surviving features of the line. A wide range of documents, artefacts and other general railway memorabilia were displayed as part of the exhibition. The project also produced a new illustrated guide to the popular Spa Trail for walkers and cyclists.

An Award for Excellence was made to West Lindsey District Council for their project "Pilgrim Roots - Gainsborough's cultural programme for Mayflower 400". This celebration delivered on-line information, creative projects and community activities.

An Award for Excellence was also made to Louth Museum for 'Ruth's Blog', a regular feature on the Museum's website. This provides illustrations and information about the museum's artefacts and other local heritage topics.

 


October 2021

SLHA Annual General Meeting, 2021
Reports and elections on-line

The Society's AGM for 2021 took place on line on Saturday 23 October. SLHA President, Naomi Field, took the chair. About 40 members were in attendance.

The meeting approved the Society's general report for 2021 and the Treasurer's 2020/21 financial reports for both Lincolnshire Heritage and SLHA.

Patron:Ursula Lidbetter, Chief Executive Officer, Lincolnshire Co-Operative Limited, was introduced as the new Patron of SLHA.

Officers elected for the coming year were as follows:
President: Naomi Field
Chairman: Ian George
Treasurer: Chris Hewis
Committee/Team Chairmen: Archaeology: Ian George; Building Recording: David Stocker; History of Lincolnshire: Andrew Walker; Industrial Archaeology: Stephen Betteridge; Local History: Mark Acton; Publications: vacant
Additional members of Executive Committee: Caroline Crane, Ken Hollamby, Michael Jones, Eva Moore, Ken Redmore, Stewart Squires, David Start, Neil Wright, Jonathan Fitzgibbon

Honorary Vice-Presidents: Thora Wagstaffe, Pearl Wheatley, Catherine Wilson
Trustees: Stewart Bennett (2021-25),Stephen Betteridge (2020-24), Michael Daly (2020-24), Rosalind Mellows (2019-2023), Nicholas Moore (2018-22), Stephen Stefaniuk (2018-22), Andrew Walker (2021-25), Neil Wright (2021-2025)

The Flora Murray Award for 2021 was made to the Horncastle History and Heritage Society for their exhibition and events 'Horncastle Railway: 50 Years since Closure'. West Lindsey District Council and Louth Museum received Awards of Excellence for their projects 'Pilgrim Roots - Gainsborough's cultural programme for Mayflower 400' and 'Ruth's Blog', respectively.

 





October 2021

SLHA Annual General Meeting
Report and elections on-line

The Society's AGM for 2000 took place on line on Saturday 6 February. Former SLHA President, Catherine Wilson, gave an introductory welcome and the Acting Chairman, Ian George, took the chair. About 60 members were in attendance.

The meeting approved the Society's general report for 2020 and the Treasurer's 2019/20 financial reports for both Lincolnshire Heritage and SLHA.

Officers elected for the coming year were as follows:
President: Naomi Field
Chairman: Ian George
Treasurer: Chris Hewis
Committee/Team Chairmen: Archaeology: Ian George; Building Recording: David Stocker; History of Lincolnshire: Andrew Walker; Industrial Archaeology: Stephen Betteridge; Local History: Mark Acton; Publications: vacant
Additional members of Executive Committee: Caroline Crane, Ken Hollamby, Michael Jones,  Eva Moore, Ken Redmore, Stewart Squires, David Start, Neil Wright, Jonathan Fitzgibbon

Honorary Vice-Presidents: Thora Wagstaffe, Pearl Wheatley, Catherine Wilson
Trustees: Stephen Betteridge, Michael Daly, Ian George, Rosalind Mellows, Nicholas Moore, Stephen Stefaniuk, David Start, Neil Wright

The Flora Murray Award for 2020 was made to the Heritage Trust for Lincolnshire for their project 'Layers of History'

Particular thanks were expressed to Kathy Holland, SLHA Secretary, and her husband Colin for their dedicated work under difficult circumstances at Jews' Court during the pandemic.




 


February 2021

SLHA Awards for 2020
Presentation at 2020 AGM

The Flora Murray Award for 2020 has been presented to the Heritage Trust of Lincolnshire for their project 'Layers of History' led by Cola Jennings. The award was announced at the on-line Annual General Meeting of the Society on Saturday 6 February 2021.

This project involved over 200 volunteers who were given the background knowledge and trained in the skills to investigate, record and understand landscapes at a variety of sites in the county.

February 2021

Lincolnshire Anniversaries 2021
People, Events, Buildings

1521
* Anne Askew, Protestant martyr, born at Stallingborough

1571
* Severe storm on Lincolnshire coast; 60 ships stranded between Boston and Newcastle
* John Whitgift, later Archbishop of Canterbury, became Dean of Lincoln

1671
* Fossdyke between Lincoln and the Trent improved and Torksey Lock built
* Act of Parliament for improvement of River Witham for navigation
    
1721
* Thomas Cowley, landowner and benefactor of Donington, died, aged 96 (17 July)
* Thomas Thistlewood, plantation owner and diarist, born at Tupholme (16 March)
* Chaplin family bought the Riseholme estate from the St Pauls and subsequently built the Hall
* West tower of St Botolph's Church, Lincoln, rebuilt by Henry Grix

1771
* The Carholme on Lincoln's West Common first used as a racecourse
* George Bass, surgeon and navigator of Australia, born at Aswarby (30 January)
* First Stamp End lock built on the Witham in Lincoln
* Reconstruction work begun at St Luke's church, North Carlton
* The re-building of St Peter's church at Doddington, funded by Lord Delaval, began
* Cogglesford Mill built on the River Slea

1821
* Thomas Scott (born at Bratoft), theologian and author, co-founder of the Church Missionary Society, died
* Coal mine shaft started in Coal Pit Wood, Woodhall Spa, by John Parkinson
* The Crescent at New Bolingbroke started by John Parkinson for weavers in his factory
* St Peter's Church at Frithville built
* Congregational Chapel in Horncastle built, Grade II
* Wainfleet All Saints church built on site of medieval church
* Whaplode St John church built by Jephtha Pacey
* Torksey St Peter nave, aisle and chancel rebuilt
* Sibsey Wesleyan Methodist chapel built
* Swineshead North End windmill built
* Messingham Wesleyan Methodist chapel built
* Horncastle St Mary's south aisle rebuilt
* Sleaford Primitive Methodist: first society formed

1871
*Lincoln Corporation acquired Hartsholme Lake as source of the City's water supply
* GNR railway line opened between Firsby and Wainfleet, for goods (11 Sept) and passengers (24 October)
* Passenger services ceased on the Little Bytham to Edenham railway after only 19 years
* New C of E churches built: Apley, St Andrew; Fosdyke, All Saints; Lincoln, St Mark;
* Anglican churches remodelled or restored:  Burgh on Bain, St Helen; Claxby, St Mary; Freiston, St James; Helpringham, St Andrew; Salmonby, St Margaret; South Ormsby, St Leonard; Tealby, All Saints; Thornton le Moor, All Saints
* New Methodist chapels built: Belchford (Wesleyan); Kirkby on Bain (Primitive); Lade Bank (Wesleyan);
* New school buildings: Brant Broughton; Brattleby; Saxilby infants. Belchford school board formed and laid plans for the first school in the village
* Gainsborough Temperance Hall on Spital Terrace opened
* Mablethorpe's Lincolnshire Seaside Convalescent Home, built by James Fowler of Louth, opened
* Butterwick windmill built; it had four storeys and four sails
* Boston gasworks extended by J T B Porter & Co of Lincoln
* Boston People's Park in Boston opened by W H Wheeler
* Louth town water supply from Hubbards Hills began
* Boston Cottage Hospital opened, the forerunner of Pilgrim Hospital

1921
* Liz Smith (film and TV actress) born, Crosby (Scunthorpe) (11 December)
* Many First World War memorials unveiled and dedicated in Lincolnshire towns and villages
* Robert H Crawford & Son, agricultural engineers of Frithville, founded
* Belton House gardens remodelled
* William Dennis, potato grower, died Kirton in Holland (7 January)
* Steve Race (composer, pianist and TV presenter) born Lincoln (1 April)

1971
* Theddlethorpe gas terminal opened
* Samantha Cameron, who grew up at Thealby Hall on the Normanby estate and became business woman and wife of UK PM, born (18 April)
* Horncastle-Woodhall Spa railway line finally closed to goods traffic (5 April)
* Lincoln City Council offices built by John Roberts Associates
* Methodist chapels closed: Haltoft End (Freiston), Owmby by Spital, Moorby, Little Steeping, Keal Coates, Susworth, East Kirkby, Swaby, Frampton, East Stockwith, Amber Hill, Partney, Beaumont Street (Gainsborough).
* Lincoln St Marks church demolished
* Village school closures: Swarby, Stainby, Wickenby, Timberland, Silk Willoughby, West Deeping, Stainfield, Stubton, Dowsby, Claxby, Old Somerby, Irnham, Upton cum Kexby, Kirkby Underwood, Pickworth,
* Laceby Road Methodist Church, Grimsby, opened
* Bracebridge Heath became an independent parish
* First phase of new Pilgrim Hospital in Boston opened

January 2021