Gill Shapland visited to present her talk, based on the Ely ‘Quarter Sessions’. We did not have one of our volunteers writing up this talk for us. A write-up of a very similar talk by Gill Shapland can be found on the British Association for Local History Newsletter archives of winter 2020.
A talk by Professor Emerita Evelyn Lord
The similarities between the Great Plague and its societal consequences and what we have recently experienced with Covid-19 were brought out by the speaker. There are two types of plague: bubonic, caused by the transfer of a bacterial infection from the fleas on rats, and pneumonic with Covid-19, caused by a sort of cold virus, being the most recent example.
This talk was given by Mary Dicken, a vicar’s daughter, who has spent all but her student years living in Sawston. The talk focussed on the young men who came into the area and decided to set up businesses, having been attracted primarily by the natural resource of the lime rich waterway.
From a Scottish Croft to a Cambridge Shop: this was the story we were told by Duncan MacKay.
Speaking without notes for over an hour, he was armed with a formidable memory for his family’s history and a series of amazing photographs. These ranged from an early daguerrotype image of his great great grandparents, Donald MacKay and Isabella Fraser, to one of the Meccano prototype of the radio telescope with which Martin Ryall won his Nobel prize.