Latest news and events round-up from the RHC

E-NEWSLETTER, April 2019

Welcome to the latest e-newsletter from the Department of History’s Regional Heritage Centre. If you have difficulty reading this email please open it in your web browser.

You are welcome to forward this email to any groups or individuals you think will be interested in our activities. If you have received this as a forwarded message please join our mailing list so that we can send you future newsletters directly.
In this edition:
•         Call for bookings: last RHC Study Day of the season, From Farm to Table on Saturday 18 May
•         RHC Director's Event Lancashire 500-1500 Friday 5 April 2019 at the fabulous Whalley Abbey completely sold out
•         Our community engagement project related to the Elizabeth Roberts Working Class Oral History Archive comes to Lancaster
•         External events and announcements, including a link to a new RHC-related website

Welcome to the April 2019 newsletter

Book Now for our last Study Day of the 2018-2019 Season

Bookings have been brisk for the final RHC Study Day of the 2018-2019 season, but there is still time to secure a place. From Farm to Table via Railway and Road - feeding the towns of the North West in the 19th and 20th centuries will be held on Saturday 18 May in our usual on-campus venue, the Biology Lecture Theatre. This Study Day will bring together a range of perspectives on how the urban population was fed, from the phenomenon of dairy cows being kept in terraced streets to the distinctive public houses of Liverpool which operated more like retail shops that the traditional houses that most pubs were based on, and anticipated the branded, themed public houses of the late twentieth century. We will also hear about charitable efforts to support the diet of the poor in times of crisis. Speakers include RHC favourites Dr Michael Winstanley and Dr Alan Crosby, as well as independent scholar Dave Joy. Don't miss out - make sure you book your tickets before it is too late. For more information, click here or to secure your place book now.

Complete Sell-Out for our April Director's Event Lancashire 500-1500: Re-envisioning our Medieval History and Heritage

We’re pleased to announce that this year's very special Director's event Lancashire 500-1500: Re-envisioning our Medieval History and Heritage has completely sold out. This event, to be held on Friday 5 April in the inspiring setting of Whalley Abbey, features seven brilliant speakers including RHC Director Dr Fiona Edmonds, looking at what is known about Lancashire's medieval past, examining the material culture and asking what remains to be discovered. It obviously struck a chord with all you Medievalists, because tickets flew out of our Online Store. We’re sorry for anyone who hasn’t been able to secure a place (seating was limited to just 70), but all is not lost. We do have an alternative suggestion for the day…keep reading below. 

A Chance to Get Involved with a new Online Exhibition linked to the Elizabeth Roberts Working Class Oral History Archive

Now if you weren’t lucky enough to get a ticket for our Whalley Abbey Director’s event, you might be wondering how to engage with regional heritage in the month of April? Well never fear, two of our MA students at Lancaster University, Emily and Naomi, are now inviting local people to become part of the Elizabeth Roberts Working Class Oral History Archive story. They’re hoping many of you will contribute objects and photographs relating to home, work and social life in Preston, Lancaster and Barrow during the period 1890-1940, as part of a project to create a digital exhibition to accompany the Archive. Events have already been held in Preston and Barrow, and on Friday 5 April we will be part of Lancaster University's annual 'Campus in the City Event', at the St Nicolas Arcade in Lancaster. You’ll be pleased to hear there is no need to book – you can simply turn up on the day between 10.30am and 3pm with your treasures, have them documented and help history come alive. 

Click here to see the news item on our website.

Needless to say, all this activity is in addition to the main task of adding material from Barrow and Lancaster to the Archive – we are hoping to have all of our 1890-1940 material available through the website in the next couple of months, and work towards preparing the transcripts of the 1940-1970 material is now well in hand. If you haven’t yet had a look, why not visit the website now. Please note that more material is being added to the site, so it is worth checking in regularly in the coming months. You're in for a fascinating trawl through memories of working class life in the 19th and 20th centuries.

New 'Mapped Histories' website

The ‘Mapped Histories’ element of the ‘Rusland Horizons’ landscape partnership involved the RHC, through our former Director, Professor Angus Winchester. Angus helped to train and support volunteers to gather field names and minor place-names, which offer rich insights into the history of this part of Cumbria. The project has given rise to a fascinating interactive website, which now includes many field–name forms. Click here to visit the website and find out more.

External Events and Announcements

Please note that the RHC cannot provide further information on these events and announcements, nor be held responsible for any inaccuracies in what is posted below. If you have queries or wish to book for any event listed here please contact the organiser/venue/promoter directly.

Lancaster University Library is holding an exhibition to mark the bicentenary of the Lancaster Canal. This free exhibition is accessible to the public during normal library opening hours and runs until 17 April. For more information, contact Liz Fawcett of Special Collections on 01524 593346. The library's exhibition complements a series of events being run by the Canal & River Trust to mark this special anniversary. Click here for more information.

Lancaster Archaeological and Historical Society will hold their Annual General Meeting on Thursday 5 April, followed by the final lecture of the season. This will be a presentation by Christine Workman on Lancaster's Suffragists and Suffragettes: the Votes for Women Campaign. Meet at 7.30pm for a 7.45pm start, at the new venue: St Paul's Parish Hall, Scotforth Road, Lancaster. Visitors welcome at £3.

Friends of the Lake District announce the Kirkby Lecture with Paul Rose Friday 26 April from 19:30-21:00 at Kendal Town Hall. TIckets cost £10 (£7.50 for Friends of the Lake District members). To find out more, call 01539 720788 or book here.

Cumbria Industrial History Society's Spring Conference will be held at the North Lakes Hotel, Penrith on Saturday 27 April. The theme "Out of the Ground" will be illustrated by talks on the development of mechanical excavators, the history of Tilberthwaite Copper Mine, Shap Pink Granite past and future, and lead smelting in Cumbria. Further information and a booking form can be found on or obtained by phoning 015395 68428. Non-members very welcome.

The Judges' Lodgings, Lancaster is looking to recruit volunteers to become room stewards and help in the garden. The Judges' Lodgings is Lancaster's oldest town house and a Grade 1 listed building. The Room Stewards role is to create a warm, friendly and welcoming environment for visitors and provide them with information about this historic building during their visit. The gardening role is to help maintain the garden to a high standard for visitors. The museum is open until November every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. For more information on volunteering as a room steward, click here. For information on volunteering in the garden, click here.

Cumbria Archives Services is planning improvements to some of its venues. Ongoing construction means some closures and changes to archive services, particularly in Kendal and Whitehaven. Click here for more information on their website.

The Lancashire Local History Federation reports that one of their members has compiled a list of sites associated with the Peterloo massacre. For full information, email The LLHF also draws your attention to a Peterloo website being promoted by Manchester Histories Festival (, which is at which has details and images of the proposed memorial to be erected in August, but the Campaign is more regularly updated on their Facebook page.

Meanwhile, the Federation's "At Home" will be hosted this year by the Lancaster Archaeological & Historical Society on Saturday 15 June at the Quaker Meeting House in Lancaster. The day runs from 09:15 to 16:30, and features talks from many RHC regulars, such as Dr Michael Winstanley and local author Mike Derbyshire. For more information and to book, please contact Judith Horsfield Tel: 015242 62108 or email

Lancashire Archives announces a special talk on Friday 10 May 7pm. Dr Jonathan Healey, Associate Professor in Social History, Kellogg College, Oxford, will speak on The Origins of the Poor Law in Lancashire. Tickets are £13 including a glass of wine and a buffet supper. To book, please email: or phone 01772 533039 (Tuesday-Friday) Payment MUST be made in advance. Please make cheques payable to Friends of Lancashire Archives or to pay by BACS please see website:

And for those of you interested in family history, Lancashire Archives is running a series of family history surgeries on the 2nd Friday of every month from 09:30 - 12:00. Experts are on hand to help you solve your genealogical puzzles. This is a free session, so no need to book. Simply drop in at Lancashire Record Office, Bow Lane, Preston, PR1 2RE.

Lunesdale Archaeology Society (LAS) and around 50 volunteers spent 16 days in 2018 excavating a prehistoric settlement at High Carlingill in the Lune Gorge, Tebay, as part of a Heritage Lottery Funded project to better understand the lives of the native inhabitants at the time of the Roman occupation. They are now planning the 2019 follow-up excavations that will take place 20 May to 4 June and are seeking volunteers of all abilities and levels of prior experience to get involved. With the help of experts, LAS will be providing training in excavation techniques so that those with no prior archaeological experience can play a part alongside more experienced amateur archaeologists. LAS are now recruiting volunteers to help with the study. For more information, please visit or email

Feather Bed and Shive of Cheese by Sophia Martin, Pat Jones and Liz Kingston

In 2016-17 the Regional Heritage Centre was involved in a local history initiative as part of the community-led Rusland Horizons programme in South Cumbria.  Entitled ‘Mapped Histories’, the HLF-funded project involved training volunteers to collect and interpret field-names and other minor place-names in the Furness Fells area.  An important spin-off of that project has now appeared in print. Three of the volunteers became so fascinated by how the wealth of detail in these names illuminated the past and present that they continued their research and have published a remarkable book which records and discusses hundreds of names of fields and woods in a group of villages at the south-west foot of Lake Windermere.  The authors have used archives and local tradition to build up a fascinating picture which echoes both ancient and modern farming and woodland working practices.  Hatter Parrock, Justice Scar, The Prison Field, Bell Intake, Sourbutts, Washhouse Hill and the Cuckoo Bridge are just some of the names of fields, woods, and minor landscape features documented in this book, which also contains short histories of Finsthwaite, Lakeside, Stott Park and Ealinghearth.  The book is illustrated with photographs and 50 maps pinpointing every field and wood.

Feather Bed and Shive of Cheese is available by contacting Pat Jones by email (cost £17, inclusive of p&p).


We hope this newsletter gives a good idea of the range of heritage activities on offer locally, but for a concise listing of RHC events for 2018-2019, please view our programme card here. We look forward to seeing you at an RHC event soon.

Best wishes,

Ann-Marie Michel

Regional Heritage Centre

Department of History,
Bowland College,
Lancaster University,
Lancaster LA1 4YT

RHC telephone: 01524 593770 (Tues/Thurs/Fridays 0930-1530)
For more details of our activities and publications visit our website at
We will send you updates from the Regional Heritage Centre at Lancaster University about various matters (e.g. information about Study Days, our engagement activities and projects, external events, enrolment of Friends and Patrons and other fundraising). Your data will be held in accordance with our privacy policy ( If you wish to opt-out of any form of communication from the Regional Heritage Centre at any time, you can notify us by emailing