19th January Hoby & District Village Hall
“The Founding of the Leicester University” by Elizabeth Blood
In this talk Elizabeth will cover: Why was the University set up in Leicester? Who were the first founders? Who were the first staff? and Who were the first students? Working in the University’s archives Elizabeth has uncovered many original documents and archives relating to the Founding of the Leicester University. These are used to create an informative and fascinating talk.
Elizabeth Blood is a heritage specialist who has worked in conservation, museums, and the historic environment. She is currently a Research Associate at the University of Leicester, uncovering the story of the University’s foundation and its first century of existence. She has previously worked for Historic England, Leicestershire County Council, the Battlefields Trust, and the National Memorial Arboretum. She is also a current Leicester PhD candidate studying First World War memorials and has a keen interest in memorials and tombs, historic buildings, and conservation.
16th March Hoby & District Village Hall
“Reading Houses II – Interiors” by Janet Spavold
Janet Spavold has studied buildings for most of her life, and this talk illustrates the range of domestic interiors from the late middle ages to modern times. It considers how and why changes came about, and how to identify interiors from different periods. The illustrations are drawn on local examples and examples from other parts of the country.
18th May Hoby & District Village Hall
“The History of Walled Kitchen Gardens in Leicestershire & Rutland” by Sue Blaxland
Leicestershire and Rutland Gardens Trust is working on a research project to create a Register of Walled Kitchen Gardens in the two counties. Now, often derelict or put to other uses, these gardens are recognised as forming an important part of our social and garden history.
Sue Blaxland is a committee member of Leicestershire & Rutand Gardens Trust and leads the Trust’s project on walled kitchen gardens. She taught garden design and garden history in adult education, including at Brooksby College. During her years with the Gardens Trust, she has gained extensive experience in garden history research.
20th July – Guided walking tour for us around Thrussington with Janet Spavold
In a previous life Janet carried out a survey of architecture in Thrussington & she will show us the buildings that mark the development of the village & village life. We will meet on the village green at 6 pm & the walk will take about one & a half to two hours. The cost will be £3.00 per head.
21st September Hoby & District Village Hall
“Viking Leicestershire” by Peter Liddle
We are familiar with Viking raids but in 865AD the Great Army invaded England and for over 40 years Leicestershire was ruled by the Danes. By the study of place-names, it appears that they settled along the river terraces that flank the narrow valley of the Wreake. Along that river we find Frisby, Hoby, Rotherby, Brooksby and Rearsby. The word “Wreake” is also derived from Scandinavia, being the Old Norse word for “twisted”. The archaeology is now reflecting the impact of the Vikings which permeates the whole Late Saxon period.
Peter has worked in Leicestershire Archaeology for over 40 years as an excavator, survey officer, museum curator, community archaeologist and Head of the County’s archaeological team. He was awarded an MBE for services to community archaeology and is an Honorary Visiting Fellow at the School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester.
16th November Hoby & District Village Hall
“The History of Brooksby” by Dr Alan Fox
The illustrated talk will comprise the history of the parish from the Old Stone Age to the Agricultural College and quarry of the present day. The Villiers family were lords of the manor for 500 years to the 18th century. A major event was the desertion of the medieval village. The loss of population was accompanied by the conversion from the open field system of agriculture to predominantly pastoral farming, with sheep of major importance. At one point the only buildings in the parish were the hall, church and water mill.
Brooksby was a major venue for the Quorn Hunt and despite its small population it has had some famous residents, including the 1st Duke of Buckingham (favourite of King James I), the 7th Earl of Cardigan (led the Charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War), Lady Sarah Wilson (war correspondent at the Boer War) and Admiral David Beatty, 1st Earl Beatty (hero of the naval Battle of Jutland in World War I). Jenny Harvey (married name Pitman) of Hoby helped with the racehorse training at Grange Farm as a teenager.
Alan Fox has a B. Sc. degree in Geography from the University of Nottingham. After university he taught geography, geology and mathematics in three secondary schools, including two grammar schools and 25 years at Sarson High School Melton Mowbray as Deputy Head. After taking early retirement he completed a Master of Arts degree at the Centre for English Local History at the University of Leicester and went on to complete a Ph. D., the subject of his thesis being published. Since 2010 he has been involved with the Victoria County History project which aims to produce a detailed history of every parish in the country. Alan has written draft histories of Kirby Bellars, Welby and Brooksby which are available to view online. At present he is researching and writing about Asfordby.
14th December Hoby & District Village Hall