Prestigious inaugural lecture for Stamford and District Local History Society

A new history group is hoping to attract members by 
holding a prestigious inaugural lecture with free admission.

The newly formed Stamford and District Local History Society will hold its first event at Trinity Methodist Church, Barn Hill on Wednesday at 8pm - with refreshments available from 7.30pm.

During the past year volunteer members of a steering group, led by chairman John Plumb, have been working hard to bring the new society into being. It will incorporate the Stamford Survey Group which was formed almost 40 years ago.

Local historian and lecturer Philippa Massey, formerly of Stamford Museum, is a committee member. She said the steering group members were keenly looking forward to the launch.

“In May 2012 an exploratory meeting at the Arts Centre confirmed a desire for a new society in Stamford to work alongside and embrace all local history groups.,” she said.

The steering committee has consulted various groups, producing a calendar of all local history talks and events and setting up an initial programme of future lectures, events and activities.

Giving the first lecture will be Professor John Beckett of Nottingham University and his subject is Contesting Stamford’s Past – Local Historians in Conflict from the 17th to 19th Centuries.

“The whole committee is excited and very pleased to have secured such a distinguished speaker for our inaugural lecture,” Philippa said.

Mr Beckett is Professor of English Regional History and, among many other roles, is chairman of the History of Lincolnshire Committee and chairman of the editorial board of Midland History.

He has written extensively on English regional and local history and in 2007 published Writing Local History, a book which looks at the whole range of written histories since the 16th century.

His lecture will take up some of the themes of that book, but within the context of Stamford and its unusually rich historical legacy.

The new society will aim to take a proactive approach to local history within the town. As well as lectures and visits plans are being made to foster research and publication of topics which interest members about the area.

The steering committee comprises: David Baxter, Susan Brooks, Stefanie Crowson, secretary Chris Davies, Chris Hunt, Philippa Massey, Jean Orpin and Mike Sockett.