18th January Hoby & District Village Hall “The Life & Times of John Ferneley” by Derek Holloway.

Born in Thrussington in 1782, the son of a wheelwright, John Ferneley was first apprenticed to his father’s trade. However, his artistic talent was recognised by the Duke of Rutland and, under his patronage John became the foremost animal artist of the 19th century. The peak of John’s success coincided with the heyday of fox hunting in Leicestershire and John received commissions from landed gentry all over the United Kingdom. At our January meeting, Derek Holloway will tell us about “The Life & Times of John Ferneley” and also about 19th century Melton Mowbray, a time when it was known as “The Capital of Foxhunting”.

Derek Holloway is a retired Chartered Surveyor and has lived in Thrussington for over 40 years.  Since his retirement Derek has been researching the history of Thrussington and other topics of interest. He is a well known local speaker.

15th March Hoby & District Village Hall “The Battle of Bosworth” by Richard Knox.

In this illustrated talk, Rotherby resident Richard Knox will be telling the story of how the location of one of England’s most pivotal battlefields was lost to history, but rediscovered during a systematic survey started in 2005. Richard will explain what happened at the Battle of Bosworth on the 22nd August 1485, how the location became lost and will describe how a dedicated team of archaeologists worked for five years to find evidence of the two hour action fought 500 years earlier. The results of the project, although modest compared to some Battlefields have started to resolve decades of academic debate and opened the doors to further research and experimentation on late medieval artillery. The talk will finish with a brief description of Richard III’s burial and rediscovery by Matthew Morris and the Leicester University team.

There will also be a chance to handle some replicas of the sort of weapons and armour used in the Battle, including some of weapons responsible for Richard III’s gruesome death.

Richard Knox is the Heritage Development Manager for Leicestershire County Council, has worked with County’s Museums Service since 1990 and has been involved with the Bosworth Battlefield Centre since 2004.

17th May Hoby & District Village Hall “Cottage Industries in Leicestershire” by Ray Sutton.

The sheep on Leicestershire’s coat of arms is testament to the county’s long association with the textiles industry. The region has been a traditional centre for knitwear, hosiery and footwear for hundreds of years. It is estimated that in 1844 there were 18,494 knitting frames operating in Leicester, far more than in neighbouring Nottingham. But prior to the Industrial Revolution production of textiles was very much a cottage industry, carried out in people’s homes with simple equipment.

At our May meeting Dr Ray Sutton will chart the history of cottage industries in Leicestershire, the impact of the industrial revolution on them and put the activities of Luddites into context as the move to a mechanised factory based systems brought unemployment and poverty to textile workers.

Ray Sutton is a well known local historian who worked for many years in the shoe industry in Leicester. Ray obtained his first degree at the University of Ulster and then when on to study for his Phd in Australia. Ray delivers lectures on a variety of subjects at various locations around the County.

19th July “What Did Robert Bakewell, the Great 18thc Livestock Improver Do For Us?” A visit to  Springbarrow Lodge , Grace Dieu to see the Longhorn herd and the Blackbrook Gallery.

August/September TBC Field walking in the Parish.

20th September Hoby & District Village Hall “Buried Between Road and River: Investigating a Roman Cemetery at Western Road in Leicester” by Mathew Morris.

Today, standing in Leicester’s West End amongst the Victorian terracing, the old factories and the student bars, it is hard to imagine that only 150 years ago this was still largely open countryside. Look closely, however, and clues to the area’s past are recorded in the street names – Roman Street, Saxon Street, labels that remember discoveries made by workmen in the 1890’s of skeletons buried in the vicinity with Roman and Anglo-Saxon artefacts.

In “Buried between Road and River”, Mathew Morris of University of Leicester Archaeological Services will reveal how the recent excavation of eighty-three Roman skeletons at Western Road is revealing exciting new insights into the diverse lives of the people living in Leicester over 1,600 years, including rare evidence of a late Roman soldier.

Mathew graduated from the University of Leicester in 2003 with a BA in Archaeology and an MA in Landscape Studies. Since graduating Mathew has worked for archaeological units and museums in Cambridgeshire and Leicestershire, excavating a wide range of rural and urban archaeology from the prehistoric period to the Industrial Revolution. Since 2004 he has worked for ULAS where he has participated in a series of major urban excavations.

20th/23rd September at 7.30pm

“Hoby Entertains Again: Curtain’s up – 100 years late”

In 1917 a crowded, enthusiastic audience in the village of Hoby enjoyed an evening of light entertainment to raise funds for the Mayor of Leicester’s £100,000 Fund created for local wounded soldiers.

The positive newspaper reviews said it should be repeated again in the neighbourhood. So, 100 years late, the Hoby & District History Society is doing just that on two evenings in September.

This free event will recreate the atmosphere of community that was trying to find some respite in the midst of traumatic times.

A full programme will have musical songs of the period, a very amusing comic recitation by WS Gilbert and two short playlets re-discovered by the Society: one about two confirmed bachelor brothers doing their best to avoid marriage to a young heiress; the other about two women trying to cope with a robotic domestic helper – this could have been written today!

All are welcome to what will be funny enlightening evenings: dress up [optional] in period dress and enjoy the evening. A bar with refreshments will be available.

Entry is free but bookings need to be made in advance by phoning 01664434482 or 01664434422 or email secretary@hobyanddistricthistory.co.uk.

15th November Hoby & District Village Hall “Medieval Manor Houses in Leicestershire” by Peter Liddle

Discover the medieval houses of Leicestershire & Rutland in this illustrated talk. Some are renowned and open to the public, others are private houses and less well known, whilst others have disappeared and have been revealed by excavation.

6th December Hoby & District Village Hall Members evening

Other Events

23rd April All Saints Church Hoby Half Muffled Quarter Peal to commemorate the centenary of the death of Private John Ward.

14th May All Saints Church Hoby Half Muffled Quarter Peal to commemorate the centenary of the death of Private Arthur Felstead.

21st June All Saints Church Hoby Half Muffled Quarter Peal to commemorate the centenary of the death of Private William Harris.

9th October All Saints Church Hoby Half Muffled Quarter Peal to commemorate the centenary of the death of Major William Beresford.

26th October All Saints Church Hoby Half Muffled Quarter Peal to commemorate the centenary of the death of Lt Col Percy Beresford D.S.O.

30th November All Saints Church Hoby Half Muffled Quarter Peal to commemorate the centenary of the death of L/ Corporal Charles Read.