Meeting reports 2018 and 2019

  • Roman archaeological discoveries on the A14
    A talk by Dr Steve Sherlock, the Archaeology Lead for Highways England as it redevelops the A14 and A148 in Cambridgeshire.
  • The End of The War to End All Wars
    Dr Sean Lang’s third lecture to the Society launched the sequence of events to commemorate ‘The True Sons of Stapleford’ being held throughout November. He cast a very interesting light on several aspects of WW1 with many new slants and surprises for the non-historians among us.
  • What’s Beneath Our Village – Report on Test Pit Excavations
    Additional to our normal series of talks, this extra meeting was held to display and talk through the findings from the four-year series of Test Pit Excavations, carried out in 33 locations in the village.
  • Ports, Waterways and Railways
    Tony Kirby treated us to an authoritative lecture on the economic development of East Anglia between the Middle Ages and the present, all disguised as a slide show.
  • The David Parr House
    Tamsin Winhurst, the Trustee of the David Parr House, gave a most interesting illustrated talk:s full of detail about David Parr (1855-1927) himself, his family and working life.
  • Six Things You (probably) Didn’t Know About Stapleford
    We were delighted to persuade Helen Harwood, the all-but-official historian of Great Shelford, to cross the frontier with more Stapleford curiosities.
  • Billy Lincoln And His Films Of Biggleswade Life In The 1930s
    A talk by Hilary and Edward Street. Another nostalgic evening at the History Society to start the new year.  Biggleswade in the 1930s is only a county and a generation distant: instantly familiar as our parents’ world, yet vastly remote from today’s preoccupations.
  • Oliver and More: The Revival of the British Musical 1958-1970
    Mike Levy gave us the agreeable sensation of being rejuvenated as he took us through the development of the British musical.  First he charmed us by saying we didn’t look old enough to remember the 1960s; then his musical illustrations took us right back there.
  • The Thin End Of The Wedge: How The Door Was Opened To Women At Cambridge
    In the centenary of the year when some women first gained the right to vote in elections to Parliament, History Society member Felicity Cooke took us through the seemingly even more convoluted process which finally enabled women to receive degrees from Cambridge University 30 years later (and 60 years after London University).
  • Hideous Cambridge
    David J. Jones, author of the 2013 book “Hideous Cambridge: A City Mutilated” treated us to a talk about what he sees at the appalling developments and architectural disasters in and around Cambridge, from the 1960s to the present day.
  • The Battle of the Somme through the eyes of one Cambridge man
    The distressingly commonplace story of a brave young man, Robert Quilter Gilson who was killed at the Battle of the Somme. Less commonplace are the recollections of him preserved in his family, and particularly his letters home. These were presented by some of Gilson’s relatives who attended our meeting, and extracts from the letters were movingly read by an actor.
  • Cambridge Ghosts
    A talk by Robert Halliday, who has been investigating local ghost stories for many years and has written a number of books on the subject.
  • Bringing the Cemetery to Life: The American War Cemetery at Madingley
    Arthur Brookes, who worked there for many years and now knows more about it than just about anybody else, told us story after story about the men (and some women) who lie there.  Most died on active service in the US Army, Air Force or Navy, and there are over 5000 names on the Wall of the Missing whose remains were never found: airmen whose planes did not return or sailors lost at sea.