17th January Hoby & District Village Hall “Leicester Cathedral Revealed – yesterday, today & tomorrow” by The Very Reverend David Monteith, Dean of Leicester.

There has been a St Martins church on the site since at least Norman times, and quite possibly considerably longer. Whilst excavating for foundations for a new spire in the 1860s, builders found clear evidence of a significant Roman building on the site, possibly a temple. Two pillar bases excavated at the time are currently held in safe storage by the city council. David will chart some of the major developments and look ahead to the plans which are currently being developed to complete the re-ordering work by 2020 through a £11.3 million project called ‘Leicester Cathedral Revealed’.

David Monteith has been Dean of Leicester since 2013.  He led the process which resulted in the completion of the first stage of major reordering in the cathedral building since 1927.  This included everything associated with the reinterment of King Richard III.

21st March Hoby & District Village Hall “Glenfield Park Cauldrons” by Dr John Thomas

The Iron Age settlement at Glenfield Park is an exceptional archaeological site, with a fantastic array of finds that highlight this as one of the more important discoveries of recent years. The settlement is extensive, with evidence for occupation over several hundred years, but it is the metalwork assemblage that really sets this site apart. The quantity and quality of the finds far outshines most of the other contemporary assemblages from the area, and its composition is almost unparalleled. The cauldron assemblage in particular makes this a nationally important discovery. They represent the most northerly discovery of such objects on mainland Britain and the only find of this type of cauldron in the East Midlands. The cauldrons are currently undergoing scientific analysis by Museum of London Archaeologists (MOLA).

John is a Project Manager with ULAS & has worked in archaeology for over 30 years (20 of those in Leicestershire). He has directed excavations at several important Iron Age settlements in the area, including Burrough Hill and Glenfield Park.

16th May Hoby & District Village Hall “Dissolution: Monasteries to Mansions ” by Peter Liddle.

The Dissolution of the Monasteries was one of the fundamental turning points at the end of the medieval period. The talk will examine what happened to Leicestershire’s abbeys and priories – often becoming the mansions of the emerging rulers of Tudor Leicestershire and how certain corrupt public officers did very well out of the changes.

18th July “Visit to Welford Road Cemetery”

August/September TBC Field walking in the Parish.

19th September Hoby & District Village Hall “Leicester & the DNA Connection” by David Farrer QC.

This talk will focus on the ground–breaking work carried out at Leicester University under Sir Alec Jeffries into the use of nuclear DNA profiling as a vital forensic tool, now used throughout the world, for the identification of offenders in crimes of all kinds. David will talk about its initial use in the investigation of the Enderby murders in the early 1980s, first to pardon the man wrongly charged and then, after an extraordinary sequence of events, to convict the true offender. DNA profiling now has many uses outside the criminal justice system and David will outline the development of the relevant techniques in Leicester and then elsewhere which led to the highly sophisticated DNA tests and databases which exist today and play an often decisive role in so many important investigations, for example the use of mitochondrial DNA to establish that the Greyfriars skeleton was Richard III and the identification of the remains of the Auschwitz doctor, Josef Mengele in Argentina in 1989.

David Farrer Q.C. practised at the bar in Leicester until 1986 and then in London till 2014. As a new QC, he was instructed to prosecute the man later exculpated by Sir Alec’s analysis of his DNA and thereafter represented the real culprit, Colin Pitchfork. In the following years he prosecuted a series of murder and rape trials in which the validity of DNA testing and databases and of the calculation of match probabilities were challenged. He has studied the development of DNA profiling, from the standpoint of a lawyer and the way in which the courts have handled the problems that it has presented. Now retired, he has just completed an online Cambridge continuing education course on current developments in the forensic use of DNA.

21st November Hoby & District Village Hall “The Medieval Knightby Richard Knox & Jed Jaggard

Richard and Jed have performed medieval combat several times together and have a good working knowledge of medieval arms and armour. But military prowess was not the only element of medieval knighthood, and this illustrated presentation will explore the other aspects of being a knight and paints a colourful picture of the world in which they lived. The presentation will finish with the presenters arming for battle, so bring your cameras!

Richard Knox, a resident of Rotherby, is the manager at the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre and an archaeologist. In his spare time Richard re-enacts various periods of history, including the 13th and 15th centuries.

Jed Jaggard, another local lad, runs his own historical based company, Up an’ at ‘em History!,  which brings a lively portrayal of characters from many historical periods to schools, societies, museums and events around the country.

5th December Hoby & District Village Hall Members evening

Other Events:

4th April All Saints Church Hoby Half Muffled Quarter Peal to commemorate the centenary of the death of Private Victor Coleman.

5th May All Saints Church Hoby Half Muffled Quarter Peal to commemorate the centenary of the death of Rifleman Charles Gamble.

1st September All Saints Church Hoby Half Muffled Quarter Peal to commemorate the centenary of the death of Private Sydney Graham.

14th September All Saints Church Hoby Half Muffled Quarter Peal to commemorate the centenary of the death of Major Arthur Beresford.

3rd October All Saints Church Hoby Half Muffled Quarter Peal to commemorate the centenary of the death of second Lieutenant J0hn Wheatley.

19th October All Saints Church Hoby Half Muffled Quarter Peal to commemorate the centenary of the death of Private William Crane.

11th November All Saints Church Hoby Remembrance Day Service.

11th November Hoby & District Village Hall A “meat tea” to mark the end of the First World War Centenary Commemorations.