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A group of enthusiastic members who meet on a monthly basis and who have an interest in all aspects of history. We aim to develop those varied interests through talks by our members, invitations to speakers and arranging visits to places of significant historical interest.

Where and When

Venue: Church Hall, Good Shepherd Church, Park Road, Loughborough, LE11 2HJ
Frequency: Monthly
Day: 4th Wednesday of the Month
Time: 10:00 am to 12:00 noon

Other Information

Group Charge: £13.00 per annum
Group Size: 70

Contact Details

Group Leader: Jim Miller
Telephone: Visit Members Area

History - January Meeting
Wednesday, 26th January. 10:00am
Faster, Better, Cheaper
a Brief History of Manufacturing. Part 2

Our member Chris Butlin has agreed to return to this subject and speak again to us on the topic Faster, Better, Cheaper – a Brief History of Manufacturing.

Please contact Pauline May or Jim Miller know if you would like more information

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metal spinning - small factory
Wednesday 8 December
(NOTE earlier date)

If all goes well we aim to offer two short talks, along with a prize quiz, mince pies and wine and soft drinks.

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History 3 - November Meeting
Wednesday, 24th November. 10:00am
Faster, Better, Cheaper
a Brief History of Manufacturing.

On Wednesday, November 24th, starting at 10 am we are at last going to resume our programme of face to face talks at the Good
Shepherd Church Hall. Our member Chris Butlin has agreed to speak to us on the topic Faster, Better, Cheaper – a Brief History of Manufacturing.

That sounds like a very formidable subject, and indeed Chris has asked if he can deal with it over two meetings, so all being well he will be speaking to us again with episode two in January!

Please contact Pauline May or Jim Miller know if you would like more information

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metal spinning - small factory
History 3 - October Meeting
Wed 27th October

Our next meeting will be a visit to Stanford Hall, a Grade 1 listed heritage home built in 1697, near Lutterworth. We will begin with coffee/tea and biscuits available from 10.00am and will follow this with a guided tour of the house at 10.30, lasting just over an hour. We will then visit the early 14th century church, which has exceptionally interesting family monuments and wonderful stained glass. Lunch can be pre-booked and pre-paid for those wishing to stay on to eat and perhaps to explore the grounds.

The admission price (which includes our “bottomless” morning coffee) is £13.00 per person.
The booking form must be completed by all wishing to attend, and payment made by October 4th.
History group members have been sent details about how to join this trip but if you require further information please email

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Stanford Hall
History 3 - September Meeting

Wed 22nd September

will be held at Longcliffe Golf Club alongside our annual lunch. The speaker will be Dr Matt Hefferan of Nottingham University, and his topic will be Edward III and his Knights.

It is important to let Pauline May or Jim Miller know if you would like to attend this meeting.

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History 3 - August Zoom Meeting

Wed 26th August, 10 am:
'Victorian Clean Fast Public Transport: Atmospheric Propulsion'
speaker Roger Boyle, Aberystwyth u3a

When steam engines were first used to move trains in the early
19th century it soon became clear that, although they were in many ways at the cutting edge of technology at the time, they nonetheless presented a number of problems. Locomotives were much heavier than the coaches or waggons that they hauled (partly because the latter were so flimsy and thus very unsafe!), so very heavy and robust rails were necessary; the adhesion between the metal wheels and the rails was limited, so there were problems with gradients and also in any weather which made the rails greasy; the locomotives were very noisy; and huge amounts of filthy smoke, steam, ashes etc were emitted, making life uncomfortable for the crew, the passengers and for those living by the lineside. Several inventors therefore proposed the use of
stationary steam engines (which could be large and powerful) to generate a vacuum, usually in a tube lying between the rails. Trains carried a coach linked to this tube by a rod and a piston, and the differential pressure behind and in front of the piston moved the train.

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Starcross Pump House

Copyright: Geotek
History 3 - July Zoom Meeting

Wed 28th July, 10 am: History 3,
'Nanpantan and the Paget Family
speaker Anne Speight

There is a good deal of interesting history concerning Nanpantan more generally, as many members of our group will know. It’s an odd name to start with – some think it is derived from “Nan’s Pantain” – a pantain apparently being an old Anglo-Saxon word for an enclosure (not in any of my dictionaries!), as in Pantain Road. Sometimes, however, the name seems to be spelt differently as “Nanpanton” – maybe just a mistake. A century ago Nanpantan had its Hall, some 20 cottages, presumably owned by the Paget estate,

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History 3 -June Zoom Meeting
Wed 23rd June 'London Frost Fairs' -
speaker Mike Stringer

For various reasons (not all of them meteorological) the last such fair, i.e. the last time the lower reaches of the River Thames froze sufficiently solid to allow a great range of activities on the ice (including nearly a dozen printing presses!) was in 1814. In that year solar activity was quite low and a number of substantial volcanic eruptions worldwide (including La Soufriere in St Vincent, which was recently in the headlines again) caused a lowering of global temperatures.

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History 3 - May Zoom Meeting

Wed 26th May, 10 am: History 3,
Bless this House'
speaker Michelle Howes

How people sought to protect their buildings and their occupants in medieval times.

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History 3 - April Zoom Meeting

Wed 28th April, 10 am: History 3,
'A History of Fast Writing'
speaker Liz Tarrant (Beckenham u3a)

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History 3 - March Zoom Meeting

Wed 24th March, 10 am: History 3,
A History of Dartmoor Prison: The Early Years'
speaker Tony Westaway

Planned for closure in 2023, this 200+ year old prison is one of Devon's leading tourist attractions. It has proved the inspiration for film makers, TV shows and novelists. The story of how it came to be built in an almost inaccessible and competely desolate part of England is intriguing as is its links to the gambling debts of a member of the Royal family. The story is full of amazing characters, mutinies, riots, escapes and even opera! It is impossible to cover all 200+ years in 45 minutes and so Tony's talk will concentrate on the early years.

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Copyright: Lewis Clarke
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Prisoners leaving for work duties. c 1900
History 3 - February Zoom Meeting

Wed 24th February, 10 am: History 3,

WG Hoskins and the Making of the English Landscape'

speaker Marilyn Palmer

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