Hoby Village HallAll Hoby and District Local History Society events will take place in Hoby & District Village Hall and start at 7.30pm, unless otherwise stated. Membership of the Hoby & District Local History Society costs £5.00 per annum and gives free entry to meetings. The charge for guests is £2.00 per meeting. Tea, coffee and very good cake is served after our meetings for a donation of £1.00. We pride ourselves on a welcoming and friendly atmosphere so why not come along and learn more about the area we live in.

Previous years events can be viewed here: 20142015, 2016 , 2017 , 2018 , 2019 and 2020.


15th July Guided Walk
“Grace Dieu Priory Guided Walk” with The Friends of Grace Dieu

29th September Hoby & District Village Hall
“Historic Graffiti – the Hidden Story of the Hopes, Fears and Desires of a Nation” by James Wright

Modern graffiti is often seen as transgressive and moronic. However, look closely in the light of a torch at the walls of our historic buildings, trees, caves and rockfaces and you will see a world of graffiti left that illuminates the psychology of our ancestors. The study of historic graffiti enables us to hear the lost voices of ordinary individuals through their images of daisywheels, ships sailing across the walls, knights drawing their swords, demons stalking the stonework and every animal imaginable….

In the last decade or so, the study of historic graffiti has entered the archaeological mainstream. A significant number of buildings and even whole counties have active surveys ongoing; lectures, workshops, day schools and conferences are widespread; press stories, articles and books are frequently published. However, what does all of this mean? Why are we now so broadly focused on what had, until recently, been an obscure niche subject. This lecture looks at the wider cultural meanings of historic graffiti in context.

James Wright is an award winning archaeologist and accredited lecturer with both the Arts Society and WEA. He has experience of teaching undergraduates at the University of Nottingham where he completed Graduate School training courses on lecturing. He is a very proficient public speaker with over fifteen years of experience and has talked to a wide variety of organisations including the Gresham College, Shakespeare400 and the National Trust.

17th November Hoby & District Village Hall
“LIDAR (Light Detecting & Ranging) – Exposure & Interpretation of Historic Landscapes” By Matt Beamish

Matthew Beamish will explain how aerial LiDAR data can be used to illuminate past landscapes. Details of surface topography can be found where they cannot be seen with the naked eye, and in areas of woodland where traditional survey is not practical. The techniques of LIDAR processing and analysis will be illustrated with examples of different types of site from various periods.

Matthew Beamish is a graduate of Cambridge University, and has been working as an archaeologist in Leicestershire since 1990. His archaeological expertise covers all prehistoric sites, including wetland preservation and wood technology. A particular highlight in recent years has been the analysis and experimental reconstruction of the first ever bark shield to have been found in the northern hemisphere.  Technical expertise includes the development and implementation of database systems, site survey, the use of GIS systems, and the use of aerial LIDAR data. Matthew is the Membership Secretary for the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society.

8th December Hoby & District Village Hall
Members Evening: Ghost stories from Brooksby


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.

22nd September Hoby & District Village Hall

Peter Liddle: Subject to be decided

16th November Hoby & District Village Hall
“The History of Brooksby” by Dr Alan Fox

Presentation of his research for Leicestershire VCH

14th December Hoby & District Village Hall
Members Evening