Trip Advisor

Founded in 1884 by Louth Naturalists',
Antiquarian and Literary Society
Registered Charity No. 1145436

A Local Independent Museum
Nationally Accredited
Quality Assured Visitor Attraction

Visits and Lectures 2018

Louth Naturalists’, Antiquarian and Literary Society’s (“LNALS”) lectures take place at 7.30 p.m. in the Conoco-Phillips Room of Louth Library which situated between Eastgate and Northgate. The Conoco-Phillips Room is situated on the first floor of Louth Library and has full wheelchair access. Entry to our lectures for LNALS members costs £1.00 and non-members are most welcome, with an entry fee of £4.00 per person is payable on the night. Booking forms for our summer 2018 visits will be available from Louth Museum from 4th April 2018.

January – Lectures

Date Title
23rd Remembering the Sacrifice & Bravery of RAF Bomber Command: the Lincoln Memorial
  Talk by Barry Wallis

Born and schooled in Louth and raised in a nearby farming community, Barry has claim to being a “yellow belly”. His career took him across Europe and throughout the UK but since retirement, his passion for military history and Bomber Command, has culminated in his taking up a volunteer role at the International Bomber Command Centre. In addition to promoting the IBCC through giving talks, he is one of the volunteer tour guides at the Centre who enjoy sharing their passion with visitors and meeting the veterans.

This is an enlightening interactive talk, introducing the International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC) near Lincoln. The IBCC is a world-class facility, developed to serve as a point for Recognition, Remembrance and Reconciliation for those men, women and children, who served, supported or suffered during the bombing campaigns during the Second World War. Providing the most comprehensive record of the Command in the world, the IBCC ensures that generations to come can learn of the Command’s vital role in protecting the freedom we enjoy today and how Lincolnshire became known as “Bomber County”.

30th The Lincolnshire Wolds under Roman Occupation
  Talk by Antony Lee

Antony Lee is Collections Development Officer at The Collection: Art and Archaeology in Lincolnshire, where he curates the archaeological collections of the Lincolnshire County Council Heritage Service. He has a particular interest in Roman archaeology, especially in Romano-British ritual and religion, the development of urbanism and the expression of cultural identity through material culture. He recently published a book on the archaeology of Roman Lincolnshire, entitled 'Treasures of Roman Lincolnshire'.

He completed his undergraduate studies at Bishop Grosseteste University, where he is also now a Visiting Tutor in archaeology, and has postgraduate qualifications in archaeology and museum studies from the University of Leicester and Nottingham Trent University. He is an Associate of the Museums Association, an Associate of the Chartered Institute for Archaeology, and a Fellow of the Royal Numismatic Society.

Traditional narratives of Roman Britain have focussed on evidence that reinforces the might of the Roman Empire and the adoption of Roman culture and values by areas that came under its control. Military sites, towns and high-status villas have come to dominate our perception of life in Roman Britain. In recent years, however, we have started to change this view, placing greater emphasis on life in rural settlements and the hybrid Romano-British culture that developed. This talk will explore evidence for life in the Lincolnshire Wolds during the Roman period, examining recent excavations and finds made by the public.

February – Lectures

Date Title
6th Louth Museum’s Letters written by Wm Wilberforce to Matthew Lister of Burwell
  Talk by Ruth Gatenby & Anita Muchall

Ruth is from a farm is East Yorkshire. She had a career in international agricultural development mainly in Asia, before settling in Manby in 1995. She has a husband Mark and children Clare and Peter, and she works as a scientific editor.

Anita was a Baby Boomer born in Portsmouth. She joined WRAF in 1965 and became a drill instructor. She married Ian Muchall, also in the RAF. Her family now includes two daughters, two sons-in-law and four grandsons. Having moved to Louth area from Germany in 1978, she ran her own shop in the Market Hall, worked for Peter Briggs, Eastgate, then joined Cook and Timson Vets in James Street until retirement in 2007. She is now a Museum volunteer and active member of The Community Singers.

Between 1820 and 1833 Matthew Bancroft Lister of Burwell corresponded with William Wilberforce, the antislavery campaigner and social reformer. The letters written by Wilberforce are preserved in Louth Museum. We examine these in the light of the lives of the two correspondents and of contemporary events.

13th Love, Laughter and Malice: the Surprising History of the Valentine in the 19th century
  Talk by Dr Alice Crossley

Alice Crossley is a Senior Lecturer in English Literature at Lincoln University in the College of Arts, specialising in nineteenth-century literature and culture. She joined the department in 2016. Her research focuses on masculinity and representations of adolescence in the Victorian novel, as well as nineteenth-century valentines.

She taught previously at the Universities of Leeds, Leicester, and Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln, with an emphasis on Victorian fiction, Georgian and Romantic literature, age studies, and children’s literature.

20th The Saga of Louth’s Lost Distillery – or What You Can Do with Beetroot
  Talk by Chris Page

Chris trained as an engineer but later moved into museums, first in Birmingham and later in Lincoln at the Museum of Lincolnshire Life. He was appointed curator of the Cogges Manor Farm Museum in Oxfordshire and became Director of the Museum of East Anglian Life. His final post was at Cregneash Folk Museum on the Isle of Man. Chris has now retired to Lincoln where he undertakes industrial, agricultural and social history research and recording projects.

The large car park behind the Northgate Co-op in Louth was the site of one of the early experiments into the use of sugar beet. This factory was part of a national scheme that focused on the production of industrial alcohol rather than extracting sugar. It was an attempt at diversification and exploring new markets for the farmer. However, although it started with great hopes it soon all ended in failure. This talk will explore the origins of these experiments and chart the progress of the two entrepreneurs who established the Louth distillery. The talk will explain some of the reasons for the failure but also look towards the rise of the domestic sugar industry.

Along with this subject Chris Page will provide an update on the research into the Grounsell family and their agricultural machinery business. He will close his talk with the intriguing but sad stories of Louth’s two exploding chemists!

27th The Non-Jurors of 18th Century Louth
  Talk by Alex Keyes MA

Alex Keyes was born in Boston and educated at Cordeaux School, Louth. He obtained his BA in Theology and Religious Studies from the University of Wales in Lampeter and his MA in Biblical Studies from the University of London, Heythrop College.

Alex has supported Louth Museum in a number of capacities including as a tour guide and guest curator.

In 1714 the accession of King George I led to a national crisis of conscience. While most people happily swore allegiance to their new monarch a small minority found they could not profess loyalty to a king they deemed illegitimate. Preserved in a remarkable document in the Lincolnshire Archives are the names of those Louth people who fell into the latter category. Who were they? What were the reasons for their decision? And what can they tell us about a largely forgotten political and religious schism?

March – Lectures

Date Title
6th OTTAWAY LECTURE: Insects and Insect Habitats in Lincolnshire
  Talk by Dr David Sheppard

Dr Sheppard worked for the Nature Conservancy Council/English Nature/Natural England as an invertebrate ecologist for more than 30 years. Now retired, he is a self-employed invertebrate conservation consultant and undertakes a few survey and monitoring contracts each year. He lives in Alford, but previously lived near Bourne for 27 years.

The talk will look at how insects live in various major habitats in Lincolnshire. It will seek to present the world as insects see it by examining insect life cycles, their use of microhabitats and the roles they play in the environment. The management of nature reserves for insects and by insects will be highlighted.

13th Liberty’s: Family, Firm and Fashion
  Talk by Horace Liberty

Horace has worked as a schoolteacher and Associate Lecturer with the Open University and has a wide range of interests. He is a member of the Betjeman Society and edits The Betjemanian, the annual journal of the Society.

Arthur Lasenby Liberty founded his well-known London store in 1875. He aspired to promote good design that would never be out of fashion. More than just a fabric retailer, Arthur Liberty was influential in promoting the Arts and Crafts style and the Art Nouveau movement. This talk covers aspects of family history, social history and the decorative arts.

20th The Heneage Family and their Hainton Estate
  Talk by Dave Start

Dave Start is a retired archaeologist living in the Louth area, with an interest in landscape study and medieval settlement. For many years he was Director of the Heritage Trust of Lincolnshire. He has been involved in recent surveys of historic buildings on the Heneage estate.

The Heneage family have been at Hainton since at least the early fifteenth century and have been major Lincolnshire landowners and politicians for five centuries. They profited greatly at the Dissolution and yet remained some of the county's most notable recusants. Dave Start will present a brief history of the Heneage family, its house and estates, including the results of recent survey work in Sixhills.

27th AGM and DAVID ROBINSON MEMORIAL LECTURE: The Geomorphology of the Lincolnshire Wolds
  Talk by Helen Gamble

Helen has worked in the countryside industry for 30 years in some stunning areas of the British Isles, and has been involved with managing geological sites for a large number of these years. Since moving to work in the Lincolnshire Wolds AONB, Helen has been involved with the Lincolnshire RIGGS/Geodiversity Group, manages part of Welton le Wold site along with achieving her BSc (Hons) in Geoscience with the Open University.

The talk will showcase the best geology and geomorphology of the Lincolnshire Wolds, one of the reasons it was designated an AONB in 1973. Taking inspiration from David Robinson's love and guided tour of the Wolds for which he became renowned, we will take a virtual trip around, stopping off at key sites to discover the what, why and how of the landscape.

June – Summer Outing

Date Title
3rd Guided tour of the Hainton Estate with Dave Start
*Fully Booked

July - Summer Outing

Date Title
15th Guided tour of the International Bomber Command Centre
*Places Still Available

September – Lectures

Date Title
25th The Archaeology of the Lincoln Eastern Bypass
  Talk by Ruben Lopez

Ruben Lopez is an experienced archaeologist and site director. Ruben has worked in the UK for many years after working throughout Europe and is currently devoted to the Lincoln Eastern Bypass project.

The Lincoln Eastern Bypass, commissioned by Lincolnshire County Council on behalf of the people of Lincoln, is currently under construction. BAM Nuttall and Carillion, two prestigious construction companies are collaborating to deliver this project. Once the road is opened in 2019, we will all start to see the positive benefits and the building of it provides opportunities too.

What many of us don’t know is that beneath the bypass lies a wealth of ancient remains. During several years of planning for the scheme, preliminary surveys located numerous sites and a team from Network Archaeology started work on the most important of these in September 2016.

The results between Washingborough Road and the River Witham, have been nothing short of spectacular. A member of the team exclaimed “…it’s like a shopping list of all the things you would ever like to find on an archaeological dig; every major time period is here: Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Medieval, and Post-Medieval”. In excess of 40,000 artefacts have been recovered during the first 7 months of excavations.

October – Lectures

Date Title
2nd Edward II: the Unconventional King
  Talk by Kathryn Warner

Our speaker holds two degrees in medieval history from the University of Manchester. She is considered a foremost expert on Edward II and an article was published in the English Historical Review, her book on the subject in 2014. She has run a website about Edward II since 2005, plus a Facebook page since 2010, carving out a strong online presence as an expert on the king and the C14th in general. Kathryn grew up in Cumbria and lived in Germany and Poland for many years.

Edward II is one of the most reviled English kings in history. He drove his kingdom to the brink of civil war a dozen times in twenty years; allowed male lovers to rule the kingdom; led a great army to the most ignominious military defeat in English history. His wife took a lover and invaded his kingdom and he was ultimately forced to abdicate. According to popular legend he died screaming, impaled on a red-hot poker.

Using almost exclusively contemporary sources and the king’s own letters and speeches, Kathryn strips away the myths to provide a more accurate and vivid picture of her subject.

9th The Branch Lines of the East Lincolnshire Railway Part 2
  Talk by Mike Fowler

Mike is a retired broadcaster and film producer. He grew up in Spilsby and spent many happy hours on Spilsby and Firsby stations watching trains. He bases his presentations on these experiences and draws on extensive memories and research with considerable enthusiasm.

This is Mike Fowler's third visit to talk to us and this time he completes the story of the East Lincolnshire Railway Branch Lines. Last year we covered the Boston to Lincoln Loop Line, the Horncastle Branch, the Spilsby Branch and the Skegness Branch. This year we complete the story with the Louth to Bardney, the Louth to Mablethorpe, the Willoughby to Mablethorpe and the Woodhall Junction to Firsby lines. As before, Mike will bring some surviving railwayana from these lines and will be showing archive film to support the images. This is one of five railway presentations Mike will be giving in the county in 2018 and we are pleased to secure his services again.

16th WALLIS LECTURE: Pictures in the Windows: the Stained Glass of St James’ Church, Louth
  Talk by Stuart Sizer

Stuart Sizer is a Retired Headteacher and Local Historian with particular interest in Louth Navigation, The Marsh and Churches with particular onus on Louth St James'.

Louth has lost all its medieval windows to be replaced by Victorian and Edwardian stained glass of varying quality. But they all tell a story of the makers and those who gave the windows in memory of loved ones. We will look at what we know was there before the present glass, how the glass was made and painted. The stories of some of the windows will be told in detail.

23rd Bouyer in Lincolnshire: Stuff Balls, Spinning Schools and Saving the Church 1770-1811
  Talk by Prof. Joanna Innes

Our speaker was born in London in 1954, and educated in England and the United States, where her parents emigrated in 1967. Returning to England in 1972 to go to University, she studied at Cambridge, and was then offered a job at Oxford. She will take (slightly) early retirement from Oxford in September 2018. Her research focuses on British social policy 1688-1830, and she has published an overview of some of this in a book entitled Inferior Politics: Social Problems and Social Policies in Eighteenth-Century Britain. She is also involved in an international collaborative project on changing ideas about and practices associated with ‘democracy’, in Europe and both Americas, from the middle of the eighteenth to the middle of the nineteenth century: the period over which the ancient concept of ‘democracy’ came to be applied to modern circumstances.

Reynold Gideon Bouyer was a high-profile clergyman-activist in late eighteenth-century South Lindsey; his reputation extended not just to Lincoln, but also to London and the royal court. In this talk Prof. Innes will describe his two most notable, linked projects: the founding of a Stuff Ball, at which all who attended were supposed to wear Lincolnshire worsteds, and the establishment of a network of parish ‘spinning schools’ which at its furthest extent embraced more than one hundred parishes. Surviving records take us right into an outlying school, in Nettleham, showing us which children attended and what they achieved there. She will explain what motivated Bouyer to pursue these projects and how he went about it, with whose help and in the face of whose opposition. She will also talk about his increasing concern to defend the Church of England against what he saw as ignorant and fanatical itinerant preachers, and how this led him to refocus his later educational work, after he had been hand-picked by the Bishop of Durham to promote education in that diocese. But Bouyer didn’t only change his mind from his own volition: he also had to respond to criticism he encountered from parents who had their own ideas about what kinds of education their children needed.

30th Out of the Spotlight: the Lives and Writing of Some Lesser-known Lincolnshire Poets
  Talk by Jean Howard

Jean was born in Norfolk though her farmer parents brought her to a farm on the Lincolnshire Wolds when she was five years old. Her career began in industry in Lancashire but she returned to Lincolnshire with her accountant husband Russell in 1974, working for the county library service before training as a Blue Badge Tourist Guide for her adoptive county. David Robinson challenged her to take on the task of Hon. Curator for Louth Museum and she pursued this role for 18 years. She now organises the Society’s lecture and outings programme.

Our speaker’s elderly mother still testifies to the recitation of nursery rhymes which woke her parents in the early hours! At her first school in Hemingby it was hearing Tennyson’s Lady of Shallot that cemented Jean’s love of rhyme and rhythm that still pleases her ear. Tonight we will learn more of the life and verse of Emily Mucklow, now perhaps best remembered for being the young sister of the eight Beechey boys who served at such cost in WWI. Samuel Palmer Chapman, the subject of Henry Winn’s scolding poem that begins ‘Dear S P Chapman – are you dead?’ will be another Yellerbelly to feature in tonight’s programme. The others? – we’ll see.

November – Lectures

Date Title
6th The Darwin Farms: the Lincolnshire Estates of Charles & Erasmus Darwin and their Family
  Talk by Peter Worsley

Peter is a native of Grimsby, leaving Winteringham Grammar School initially for University College of North Staffordshire - University of Keele - to read for a double honours degree in Geography and Geology. Thereafter he studied at the University of Manchester (PhD in 1967). Although in 1980s he was Chair of Physical Geography at the University of Nottingham, it was the University of Reading that furnished both his first job and a longer-term post as Professor of Quaternary Geology, and where he was conferred as Professor Emeritus in 2000. He has published over 150 research papers and now his first book, on the subject he will speak on this evening.

Erasmus Darwin was a larger-than-life character and a leading member of the Lunar Society or ‘lunatics’, an eighteenth century group of entrepreneurs and experimenters who made significant breakthroughs in science and engineering. His grandson, Charles Darwin, best known for his epic book, The Origin of Species, was descended from two famous scientific families, the Darwins and the Wedgwoods. But until now the history of the Darwins as owners of several farms in Lincolnshire, including Beesby and Claythorpe near Louth, has been virtually unknown. The letters, financial accounts, photographs and maps discussed in this lecture reveal how the Darwin family influenced the lives of their tenant farmers, and provide new insights into the nature of rural Lincolnshire from the Elizabethan era right through to the mid-twentieth century.

13th Remembering Lincoln’s Tank Men and Women
  Talk by Andrew Blow

Tonight’s speaker is a Lincoln based former newspaper, radio and TV journalist. He now runs his own media production company.

Andrew has been involved with the story of Lincoln’s tank production during the 1970s, 1990s and again since 2014. He will recall his days at Yorkshire TV and tell how he came to find the only known film of the tanks in Lincoln during WWI (on Foster’s training ground).

20th Sir Titus Salt and his Workers’ Village
  Talk by David & Vanessa Ford

David and Vanessa were involved with the Saltaire Village Society when they lived there, with Vanessa being Chair for a couple of years. Further, David was Chair of the Saltaire Traders’ Association as he ran a bookshop in Saltaire. They moved to Louth in 2015 and David is now involved with the Museum as a volunteer.

David and Vanessa will be outlining the history of Saltaire and its founder Sir Titus Salt. They will be examining how he came to found the village and its mill and develop the production of alpaca. The presentation will be an oral and visual resume of the village, drawing on both historical and contemporary resources.

27th Lincoln’s Pioneering Caroline Martyn
  Talk by Prof. Krista Cowman

Krista came to Lincoln in 2006 as Professor of History after working in the School of Cultural Studies, Leeds Metropolitan University, and the Department of History, University of York. Her doctoral research centred on women and politics in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and used Liverpool as a case study for investigating the impact of the suffrage campaign on a range of other political organisations. This led to more detailed research on women who worked as paid organisers for the militant Women’s Social and Political Union. Krista has published a number of books and articles on these themes, as well as consulting and appearing in various radio and television projects.

It was as part of these studies that she came upon Caroline Martyn, born in 1867 in Lincoln to James W Martyn who became Deputy Chief Constable of Lincolnshire, and his wife Kate. Though initially a member of the Conservative Party like her parents, Caroline lodged in Reading with an aunt who had strong left-wing views. Ill health forced Caroline to give up work and she devoted herself instead to the socialist cause. As a devout Christian she became sub-editor of the Christian Weekly, later, as a leading member of the Independent Labour Party, their magazine, Fraternity. She campaigned for workers’ rights, published many magazine articles but became nationally known as a lecturer, commanding large audiences as she travelled the country. Sadly, her fragile health failed her while on a speaking engagement in Dundee, dying at the young age of 29. Keir Hardie considered her the leading socialist of her day.

Our Past 'Visits and Lectures'

Visits and Lectures (2017)
Visits and Lectures (2016)
Visits and Lectures (2015)
Visits and Lectures (2014)
Visits and Lectures (2013)
Visits and Lectures (2012)


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