Well, the year 2020 will be a year of history that will not be forgotten in a hurry. Since our last meeting in March when Dr Colin Prosser gave us an insight into the building materials used to build Peterborough, especially the use of the relatively unknown Alwalton Marble, much has happened and the world we knew has changed immeasurably.
Meetings and Summer visits may have been postponed but the society has not been inactive. Speakers have been rearranged and each month the committee has met via internet Skype. Our Chairman Trevor has put together a series of interesting and informative articles, sent out to members in a monthly email.
The April meeting was to have been all about the history of The Delaine Buses, the iconic blue and white buses seen frequently to the north of Peterborough, servicing the Deepings, Stamford, Bourne and Spalding. The Delaine Bus company, based in Bourne, began in 1890 and today is still run by the 6th generation of the Delaine-Smith family. [/vc_column_text]
May was to have been a talk by our Secretary, Julie, about the town of her birth, Spalding. This Fenland market town to the north of Peterborough has a long history from a salt-producing area in the Roman times to occupation by the Anglian tribe in the 6th Century when the hamlet was called Spaldingas was eventually to become a known as the Heart of the Fens. Surrounded by productive agricultural land it’s famous for its bulb industry, especially tulips and the Tulip festival. It’s also the town where I was born.
The three summer visits planned for this year were to begin in June, with a visit to Oundle school Chapel, to include a talk on the Seven Ages of Man. A charming series of windows representing the Seven Ages of Man by Hugh Easton and dating from 1949. The featured stained-glass windows of the chapel take their origins from William Shakespeare’s “As You Like It”
All The world’s a stage,
And all the Men and Women merely players;
They have their exits and entrances;
And one man in his time played many parts,
His act being seven ages…
July would have seen a walk around Titchmarsh. With its origins in the Roman era, Titchmarsh is a lovely mellow stone-built village in Northamptonshire. The first Poet Laureate, John Dryden received part of his early education in the village.
Finally, in August we were to visit The Gentlemen’s Society in Spalding, the town’s ancient society founded in 1710 by Gentlemen of the area to share knowledge. This was sure to have been an interesting evening for us all.