2022 programme

We have a provisional list of evening talks for the first 4 months of 2022.  Provisional because the actual title of each talk has yet to be finalised.  Our intention is to host the talks in Colmworth Village Hall, Church Road, Colmworth MK44 2JX  but the Covid-19 situation may mean that some or all of them will need to be presented via Zoom.

The following are all on Friday nights and the meetings will start at 7.30pm.

21st January – *** via Zoom *** – David Ingham of Albion Archaeology will talk about Crucifixion in the UK: excavations at a Roman roadside settlement in Fenstanton, Cambridgeshire.  Only in early December 2021 was a news embargo on reporting of this find lifted so we are going to be amongst the first people to listen to a full description of what Albion Archaeology actually discovered.

18th February – cancelled due to expected very bad weather.

18th March – David Fowler will tell us about the Pyghtle Works, Baillie Scott and Sir Albert Richardson.  These were founded in 1896 by John P. White immediately north of the W.H.Allen works close to Bedford Station.  They started with the manufacture of architectural joinery but later added the design and manufacture of garden furniture and ornaments. During WWII their craftsmen were employed making aircraft parts including rudders and doors for Spitfires.  The works closed in June 1960.

22nd April – David Turner will present a talk about the artists Thomas Fisher and George Shepherd.  These two outstanding topographical artists visited Bedfordshire, separately, between the years 1811 and 1822 and have left us with paintings which enable us to see what places around the county looked like before industrialisation and intensive agriculture brought changes to every aspect of life.

20th May – Yvonne Pinchen will talk about the David Parr House in Cambridge.  Decorated in the late Victorian era, this house lay undiscovered until a few years ago when its extraordinary story began to be uncovered. David Parr was a ‘decorator artist’ who worked for some of our best known Victorian designers of the day such as William Morris and George Bodley. He decorated churches and palaces for those who could afford such decoration but in his spare time he come home and decorated his humble terrace house in the same style. Lived in by his granddaughter until a few years ago its interior remained a wondrous hidden secret. Now it will be saved, restored and opened up to the public so that many more can enjoy its unique atmosphere.

17th June – Mark Steinhardt and Deb Bassnett will tell us about Abelard and Heloise, a Medieval love story. Abelard and Heloise are one of the most celebrated couples of all time, known for their love affair and for the tragedy that separated them.

Tuesday, 19th July – we shall be visiting Lamport Hall in Northamptonshire.

16th September – AGM. Details to follow.

21st October – John Hutchings will tell us about North Bedfordshire Medieval Churches. We shall hear the story of the local medieval church as it was before Henry VIII’s disastrous legislation that changed beliefs held for perhaps 1,000 years. John has visited more than 70 neighbouring churches in the past three years. These have revealed a wide range of masonry included for the mass, from the beautiful, sophisticated and highly skilled to local DIY. Evidence, extracted from medieval wills, is included of more ephemeral items that would have been seen in the mediaeval church. We are fortunate also to have examples of surviving icons and idols together with wall paintings recovered from beneath their whitewash coatings.

18th November – Barry Tomlinson will describe many of the achievements of possibly the greatest engineer of all time, Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

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