Sunday, 11 June 2017

Picnic in the Park

So sorry for not posting last week: I'm in the midst of completing a final assignment for my course, and it's taking a lot longer than I anticipated! Still, when it's all finished I'll be able to blog more authoritatively about trade in Loughborough during the 19th century!

In the meantime, this week I've been out and about in Queen's Park. I say this week, but of course I don't mean all week, only Saturday! The event taking place was Picnic in the Park, an annual event that's been going for 36 years, making this the 37th event. The focus is on music, dance, street theatre, art, and stalls featuring arts and crafts and local groups. 

As part of the festivities, last year the Loughborough Library Local Studies Volunteers set up an information camp - the Ludd Hub - in commemoration of the Luddite attacks on John Heathcoat and John Boden's lace making factory on Market Street in 1816. Alongside the stall, they also had a reading - in full costume - of Lord Byron's maiden speech to the House of Lords. Visitors were invited from Tiverton Museum - Tiverton being the place that Heathcoat moved to after the attacks - and the long, nearly 200 mile journey from Loughborough to Tiverton that Heathcoat's Loughborough workers made in 1816, was re-enacted by the "Tivertonioians", accompanied by one of the LLLSVs. I believe it took them two weeks to reach their destination!

So, this year the LLLSVs information camp focused on Lord Hastings and the Civil War - hte Hastings Hub - in and around Loughborough. Looking back at my blog posts this time last year, I see there is a Civil War connection between Loughborough and Tiverton: 

"Both towns were affected by the Civil War of 1642-1651. Royalist Tiverton Castle was under siege from Parliamentarians in 1645, and in December of that year Oliver Cromwell paid it a brief visit. On 17 March 1644 there was a minor battle at Cotes Bridge, just outside Loughborough, when Parliamentarians occupied the bridge. "

Anyway, this year's LLLSV stall told the story of the Civil War in and around Loughborough, and a brief history of the Hastings family, the Lords of the Manor. 




They also had a visiting 17th century family, complete with dining table, woollen fleeces awaiting spinning, and two strapping sons, one with a pike, the other with a musket. They had some very interesting information to impart to me on the subject of dyers, and pinfolds!



During the early part of the afternoon, I was lucky enough to be able to attend a debate between parliamentarians and royalists, and with the levellers, diggers and ranters (for a better explanation of what these groups were about pop over to the Oxford Scholarship Online webpage) presenting a completely different view. The case for the beheading of Charles I was ably put by local MP, Nicky Morgan, whilst that for the case against the beheading was engagingly presented by Dr Robert Knight of Loughborough University. The case for the levellers was put by Professor Martin Bennett of Nottingham Trent University. Following the debate, questions from the floor and the rebuttals, a vote was taken, and sadly, it was agreed that Charles I would lose his head.



This was a truly exciting day, made even better as the rain held off, and the sun tried to shine a little! Of course, as well as the buzz of the picnic and stalls, it was business as usual for Loughborough Queen's Park Bowlers:



Here are some pics of the day:






















You are welcome to quote passages from any of my posts, with appropriate credit. The correct citation for this looks as follow:

Dyer, Lynne (2017). Picnic in the Park. Available from: http://lynneaboutloughborough.blogspot.com/2017/06/picnic-in-park.html [Accessed 28 May 2017]

Take down policy:
I post no pictures that are not my own, unless I have express permission so to do. All text is my own, and not copied from any other information sources, printed or electronic, unless identified and credited as such. If you find I have posted something in contravention of these statements, or if there are photographs of you which you would prefer not to be here, please contact me at the address listed on the About Me page, and I will remove these.
Thank you for reading this blog. 


Lynne 


Saturday, 27 May 2017

Pamphlet Day and newsletter time!

Another busy week in the little market town of Loughborough!

If you were out and about around the parish church area of Loughborough on Tuesday evening you might have encountered a couple of groups of folk having a guided tour of that area of town. There really is a lot to show people at this end of town, much more than can be covered in the time available!

I hope you made it to the talk in the public library on Thursday evening, a talk delivered by Stuart Bailey, Chair of the Leicester Civic Society. This was a fascinating insight into the work of the Civic Society, and their campaigns to protect some of Leicester's heritage. Of course, they are not always successful, but a side-effect of their campaigns, successful or otherwise is that there is now a rich heritage of photographs of buildings, before demolition, before refurbishment, and afterwards. There are a number of people in Loughborough who would like to [re-]form a similar society for our town: if you're interested, do get in touch.

On Saturday there was an event taking place across many venues in Loughborough, celebrating the "rich history and radical traditions of the political pamphlet". The event actually started on Friday, with a full day conference, being followed by the opening of the accompanying exhibition in the Charnwood Museum. Pictures at an exhibition:












Saturday saw Queen's Park, Charnwood Museum and the public library being venues for workshops, stalls, zine-making, and badge-making, amongst other things. I wondered around the beautiful Queen's Park, and spoke to a number of stallholders. Here's some pics:









This week also seems to be the week of the Spring newsletters, and several of these have popped through my letterbox over the last few days. 



I was also lucky enough to receive a copy of the book produced as part of the Charnwood Great War Centenary Project, which contains a huge amount of fascinating information about the town of Loughborough, about those who gave their lives, and the Zeppelin raids on the town, which I very much look forward to reading.


I would say I am looking forward to another busy week this coming week, but actually, I feel I could do with a rest - or at least a bit more time to investigate the heritage of our lovely town!

You are welcome to quote passages from any of my posts, with appropriate credit. The correct citation for this looks as follow:

Dyer, Lynne (2017). Pamphlet Day and newsletter time. Available from: http://lynneaboutloughborough.blogspot.com/2017/05/pamphlet-day-and-newsletter-time.html [Accessed 28 May 2017]

Take down policy:
I post no pictures that are not my own, unless I have express permission so to do. All text is my own, and not copied from any other information sources, printed or electronic, unless identified and credited as such. If you find I have posted something in contravention of these statements, or if there are photographs of you which you would prefer not to be here, please contact me at the address listed on the About Me page, and I will remove these.
Thank you for reading this blog. 


Lynne 


    

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Loughborough local history rooted in Charnwood

So, lynneaboutloughborough has been out and about and a bit busy again this week! Let me tell you about it!

During the week there was a meeting about the Old Rectory Museum: don't forget, they are open most Saturdays from now until the end of October, and the new display is about the Civil War at Cotes. Check out their facebook group to keep up with the latest news!

Pop-up cinema at the Charnwood Roots Festival




Cinema is big on my list of interests, so I was really enthralled to listen to Brian Johnson talk about the village cinemas of Leicestershire and Rutland. Ok, so this didn't cover any of the cinemas in Loughborough, but it was fascinating to learn about all the little cinemas in the surrounding villages, the ways they were run, and the antics that both people running them and people visiting them got up to! 







The Roman mosaics in Leicester with GCR behind


Saturday we ventured further afield and had a tour of the excavations taking place in Leicester under what was the Stibbe building (the one in town, opposite the Highcross, not the one near De Montfort University that was demolished about 10 years ago). Yes, on one side was the Highcross shopping centre, but on the other side was the former Great Central Station. According to our guide, the company responsible for building the new premises will also be renovating the station, so that's something to look forward to. Anyway, we saw some stunning Roman mosaic floors, some surviving Roman wall, layers and layers of road surfaces, including the Roman one, and glimpses of the hypocaust. All this will be eventually displayed in the Jewry Wall Museum.  

 
Today, I was lucky enough to be able to go to the Charnwood Roots Festival, and gosh, did I have a great time!!! Charnwood Roots is a lottery-funded project to delve into the history of the towns and villages in Charnwood - so that includes Loughborough - uncover the facts and the stories, which will eventually be written up as part of the Victoria County Histories. These VCHs were originally created in the early 1900s and were a comprehensive guide to each parish in the country. However, although other counties have published updated versions of their histories, Leicestershire's, which was originally published in 1907, was briefly updated by W G Hoskins in the 1950s, but has not revised recently.

According to Professor Chris Dyer, Emeritus Professor of History in the Centre for English Local History at Leicester University, the idea to revise the Leicestershire VCH was re-born around 2007, and after applying for Heritage Lottery Funding, the Charnwood Roots project took off in about 2013. This project has seen hundreds of volunteers from across Charnwood get involved in researching the history of the area, from religion to work, from archaeology to education, from crime and punishment to health, from the land-owning gentry to the lowly peasant. 

In his lecture, Professor Dyer stressed that every place has a history, but that that history is more than just the infamous little Civil War skirmish, or the famous person who hails from the place. History is more than this. History exists partly because of the people who lived, worked and died in a place, so it's a combination of the experience of hundreds of people over thousands of years. People's experiences make history, and if we care to look around us we can find information about our hamlet / village / town history by simply looking - think of buildings and their architecture, place, street and field names, the village plan, the archaeology, the landscape etc.. When this is added to interpretation of the wealth of written records that exist - parish registers, wills, census returns, newspapers, memoirs etc. - the history can be extensive.   

The Charnwood Roots Festival was staged to present some of the research that has been done, this presentation being achieved through lectures, films (on laptops and in the pop-up cinema - pic above), storyboards, displays and interactive opportunities. Alongside this "story of the stone wood", local history societies and local heritage sites, local researchers and other organisations showcased their own work, information being presented in banners, artefacts, leaflets, books, noticeboards, and some very passionate people!

I spent most of the day talking: talking to people I know and love, and to people I've never met before; talking to people about things I was also passionate about, and I talked to people about things for which I only had a passing interest. I found out who some of blog readers are, and I promised to include some posts from new angles, so do look out for those over the coming months! I even managed to talk to some people about the #delaytheonsetofdementia initiative I run as part of my role as a DMU Dementia Ambassador!

So, enough writing, let's get to the pics!! Some didn't come out too well, as Beaumanor Hall can be quite dark downstairs and I didn't like to put my flash on, and some of my angles were a bit odd, so here's the best selection!



























You are welcome to quote passages from any of my posts, with appropriate credit. The correct citation for this looks as follow:

Dyer, Lynne (2017). Loughborough local history rooted in Charnwood. Available from: http://lynneaboutloughborough.blogspot.com/2017/05/loughborough-local-history-rooted-in.html [Accessed 21 May 2017]

Take down policy:
I post no pictures that are not my own, unless I have express permission so to do. All text is my own, and not copied from any other information sources, printed or electronic, unless identified and credited as such. If you find I have posted something in contravention of these statements, or if there are photographs of you which you would prefer not to be here, please contact me at the address listed on the About Me page, and I will remove these.
Thank you for reading this blog. 


Lynne