During the spring and summer, the RHS takes advantage of the better weather to visit sites of historic interest. During the winter months, the RHS meets on the first Monday of the month (except for January, when it is the second) at the Village Hall, Uttoxeter Road, Hill Ridware.
When Ridware History Society was established in 1990, it met at the Chadwick Arms, Hill Ridware. Meetings then moved to the Bull & Spectacles in Blithbury, before going to the Coach & Horses in Abbots Bromley. It seems appropriate that we are now returning to Ridware, for this new phase in our history.
Below is a list of events planned. This schedule is, of course, subject to change at any time, so check for updates.
Winter Programme 2016-17
3rd October 2016
Rediscovering Thomas Anson
A talk by Andrew Baker
Thomas Anson was the younger brother of
Admiral George Anson and succeeded to his fortune in 1762. Working with the architects Thomas Wright and
James ‘Athenian’ Stuart, he rebuilt Shugborough and filled the park with
temples and towers, all in the Greek revival style, which he studied during his
extensive and adventurous youthful travels.
He was MP for Lichfield from 1747 to 1770 and was involved in many of
the scientific and cultural movements of the Georgian period
Andrew Baker is a former Staffordshire
librarian and musician, who has researched Shugborough’s history and found
inspiration as a composer in its landscape.
7th November 2016
Prostitution in Victorian Lichfield
A talk by Linzi Cooke
For her MA dissertation at Birmingham
University, Linzi Cooke researched records of prostitution in Lichfield from
1877 to 1896, relying mainly on accounts in local newspapers and records from
the police courts. The stories she tells
are both funny and desperately sad, as she discovers how and why some women became
prostitutes and why prostitution flourished in Lichfield.
As well as being an historian, Linzi Cooke
was until recently the vocalist with band Crimson Clocks and is the steampunk
author of The Automata Wars.
5th December 2016
The Highwayman and his Image in Popular Culture
A talk by Lee Timmins
Lee Timmins has been fascinated by
highwaymen, in books and in cinema, since he was a boy. He studied archaeology
at the University of Exeter and the University of Bradford, before working as a
self-employed gardener for 25 years. He is now finding more time for research
The talk will be followed by our traditional festive CHRISTMAS BUFFET.
Bookings must be made in advance to David Smith.
9th January 2017
Annual General Meeting
The Beautiful Gothic Window
A talk by Alan Bloor
At the time of the Reformation, Tixall Hall
was owned by the Aston family, who remained Catholic. There was a private chapel in the hall, which
contained ‘the beautiful Gothic window’, dated 1555. In the 19th century the Cliffords,
who were also Catholic, erected the church of St John in the grounds of Tixall
Hall and incorporated the window in its east end. The church was later moved stone by stone to
Great Haywood, but without its stained glass.
The Haywood Society, with the assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund,
has researched the history of the Gothic window and restored it. The chairman of the Haywood Society, Alan
Bloor, will talk to us about the project and will illustrate his talk with
excerpts from the DVD, ‘The Beautiful Gothic Window’.
6th February 2017
The Vicars Choral of Lichfield Cathedral
A talk by Michael Guest
The vicars choral were founded at Lichfield
Cathedral in the 13th century, to provide the alto, tenor and bass
parts. They were given a plot of land in
the north-west corner of the Cathedral Close to build accommodation and a
common dining room; the beautiful half-timbered buildings which survive
today. Michael Guest has made a
particular study of the vicars choral of the 18th century, many of
whom were celebrities in their time and included some rather eccentric
characters. He is well qualified to talk
on this subject as he is the senior lay vicar choral at Lichfield Cathedral,
where he has sung tenor since 1977.
Monday 6th March 2017
A talk by Roger White
Wroxeter, which lies near the foot of the
Wrekin in rural Shropshire, was the fourth largest Roman city in Britain. Many
excavations have taken place there, providing especially important evidence for
the continuity of urban Roman life into the Dark Ages. Yet only a small
fraction of this extensive site has been excavated and it remains largely
unknown to the general public. Roger
White is a distinguished archaeologist, who has worked at Wroxeter, and is
co-author of Wroxeter: Life and Death of
a Roman City.
The winter meetings, between October and March, all commence at 8 p.m.
They are held at Hill Ridware Village Hall, Uttoxeter Road, Hill Ridware
Visitors are always welcome