Event Archives

Discover more about what our events entail, check back at some previous events.

The April 24th 2019 Charity Event in the Cathedral’s Knights Chamber.

A Sell Out!!

The Society’s annual fund-raising event on 24th April was completely sold out, with people eager to share what the afternoon had in store.  

Proceedings commenced with one of the Society’s Committee members, Rita McKenzie, presenting “Peculiar to Peterborough” – a look at what makes our city different! Rita shared images from her own collection of photos and memorabilia and gave an insight into the intriguing title – did you know that the woman with the smallest waist in the history of mankind lived in Peterborough, or why the bells of St John’s Church are always rung on 15th March? What about this oversized armchair – you’d hardly find one like it in Furnitureland today! Fascinating stuff!

After Rita’s presentation, refreshments were served by volunteers from the Society. Visitors took the opportunity to catch up with friends over a cup of tea and there were crowds around the photo displays, as everyone was eager to look at the old pictures on show.

After the break the raffle was drawn – can you believe – 17 raffle prizes, but I didn’t win anything ☹

The Society Chairman, Trevor Pearce, then presented “Lost Buildings of Peterborough”. A Peterborian, Trevor drew from his own experience to share details of buildings lost during the last 60+ years – perhaps I shouldn’t say that he actually remembered some of the images he shared of those that went before that era!

Did you know that the Peterborough’s Showground has been sited in 4 different places, over the years, this being the entrance to one of them?

What a fantastic afternoon! I can only suggest that you think about putting the date in your diary for next year now, so you’re not one of the unfortunate people who didn’t manage to get a ticket – Wednesday 29th April 2020 – see you there!

Peterborough Heritage Festival 2019

Once again, we were delighted to be part of Peterborough’s Heritage Festival – the largest multi-period city centre living history festival in the United Kingdom.

With this year’s theme being the Victorians, marking 200 years since the birth of Queen Victoria, Victorian amusements added to the mix of entertainment over the 2 days. A traditional Punch and Judy show was enjoyed by adults and children alike, and our Chairman took a sneaky ride on the swing boats when he wasn’t greeting visitors to our stand!

You’ve seen Norwich Cathedral hitting the media recently – well we enjoyed a helter-skelter in Peterborough first! Inflation has hit since Victorian times though – “penny on the mat” has become “£2 on the mat”!

Over 300 re-enactors spanned more than 3,000 years of history – but did the mobile phone really belong to that age?

Peterborough’s friend, Stuart Orme, brought along medical instruments that he certainly hadn’t collected from the City Hospital on the way! Thank goodness for the NHS!

Sunday afternoon saw the succession of mayors and councillors for the annual mayor-making ceremony, processing behind the Mace Bearer carrying the city’s mace. Appropriately, given the theme of this year’s festival, the Mace was presented to Henry Pearson Gates (Peterborough’s first mayor) in 1874 by Queen Victoria.

April 25th 2018 The Annual Local History Society Charity Event.

For the second year in a row the annual charity event was held in the recently restored Knights Chamber in the Peterborough Cathedral Precincts. The Knights Chamber is a large airy events room directly above the archway to the Bishops Lodgings. The Chamber, now part of the Visitors Center, is a Grade I listed building and Scheduled Ancient Monument. It was originally constructed in around 1220 for the use of the sixty knights of Peterborough Abbey. Despite its ancient credentials the Visitors Center is a sensitivity restored and refurbished ultra modern space for 21 century use. An ideal venue for a local history event.

Tickets had sold well and the event was well attended with the remaining spaces being taken up by People visiting the Cathedral. In the past the event has been held in the, afternoon and again in the evening. This year it was decided to hold the afternoon event only. Part of the proceeds would be donated to the Cathedral Funds.

Speakers this year were our own Rita Mackensie and our Chairman Trevor Pearce. Rita had put together a fascinating nostalgic look around the Villages that surrounds the Peterborough area and looked at how the years have changed those villages.

In the interval with yet another change, where, instead of tea and coffee there was a selection fruit juices or wine as refreshment. Raffle tickets had sold well and the raffle was drawn before the second part of the program.

Trevor then took the rostrum for his talk entitled ‘In the Shadow of the Cathedral.’ This was a snapshot of the historical events that had taken place in what was the Market Square but now called Cathedral Square and the Cathedral Precincts over the last 150 years. Trevor has a large postcard collection and he used these to illustrate his engrossing talk.

This was a entertaining and engaging afternoon and Thanks go out to all the Committee and Members who helped to make this afternoon successful.

Peterborough Heritage Festival 2018

The weekend of 16th & 17th June saw the 10th year of Peterborough’s Heritage Festival. Peterborough Local History Society is proud to have supported this event from the outset. Vivacity (the organisers) have thanked us for our hard work, dedication and enthusiasm, in helping to make the event what it is. This year a massive 32,000 people experienced the festival and our stall, in the Cathedral Precincts, put us at the heart of the action, giving us a unique opportunity to showcase the Society.

In the famous saying “if a picture paints a thousand words”, please enjoy some moments from the weekend, with these pictures:

37, 635 people attended the two days of the Heritage Festival, in July 2016. The Festival has gone from strength to strength. The initial concept grew out of an idea from the Peterborough Local History Forum (which our Society is a member of, and is represented at meetings). It seemed an impossible task, to stage an event to surpass that of 2015, where jousting took place in the Cathedral Precincts; the first time that such an event has been staged in the middle of a town centre in England since 1467. All credit to Vivacity, in collaboration with the Cathedral (in particular, with Stuart Orme, Director of Operations) for pulling it off once again, with an increase of 9% on visitor numbers.

It provides a wonderful chance to showcase our Society. Our stall in the Cathedral Precincts puts us right at the heart of the action. We are on the main thoroughfare for Vikings, Saxons, Bronze Age warriors, World War II airmen, and even royalty, to pass by. More importantly, we have a good vantage point to attract members of the public, with our displays and the publications we offer for sale (often written and published by members of the Society).

Our unique position allows room for members of the public to spend time looking at the displays, browse the book stall and chat with our members who are manning the stand. The ultimate outcome of the weekend, for the Society, is the gaining of new members, which we do, year on year. Alongside this is the knowledge that we have enabled visitors to go away with just a small insight into the Peterborough long since gone.

The sun is shining – it’s a glorious evening – we’re with like-minded friends and (often) visiting somewhere that we cannot access as a member of the public. You’ve guessed – we’re on a Peterborough Local History Society summer visit! For three months every summer, this is what a group of us do. It would be lovely, in the future, if as many members as possible are able to share this experience. Do please consider if you can go on any of the planned visits in 2017. We are often fortunate to be able to gain access to places not usually open to the public. This year, one of our visits was to Walcot Hall, which usually opens its grounds just once every four years, for a charity fundraising occasion. We were doubly honoured, to be guided around the estate by the owner, Mr Darby Dennis. His commentary was fascinating and his obvious love for both the Hall and the grounds was evident. Whilst the Hall has a very similar appearance to that of Thorpe Hall in Peterborough, the actual architect is unknown. Mr Dennis implored anyone who could provide any insight into a possible architect, to get in touch.

One of our other visits this year was to Buckden Towers, linking the evening with an earlier talk that we enjoyed in our indoor meeting, back in September 2015 (this link-up with an indoor and an outdoor meeting is something we like to arrange, if possible). The peace and tranquillity of this religious site was evident. Our guides were passionate about the place and their enthusiasm was infectious. Tea and “buns” on the terrace provided an added bonus, where we soaked up the early evening sun, before starting the tour.

Many enjoyable visits have occurred over previous years. To reminisce, just a few recent visits; Tolethorpe (2010); The Orchard House (2012); Browne’s Hospital, Stamford (2013); Holmewood Hall and Island Hall Godmanchester (2014). More summer visits: Moulton Mill (2014); a walk around Exton and The Burtey Fen Collection (2015).

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