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Local History

Meeting Details

Meeting DayLast Wednesday in Month
Time9.45am. tea/coffee 10.00am. start.
LocationShakespeare Centre, Kendal
Co-ordinator(s)Ruth Counsel

What we do

The Local History Group was re-started in September 2008. Initially it was quite small with about 20 members but since then it has grown like ‘Topsy’ and 114 members attended our January 2016 meeting.

The co-ordinators encourage members to research subjects that interest them and share their findings with the group. Assistance is available for putting this into a Power Point presentation and if the group member does not want to deliver the talk one of the co-ordinators will do that for him/her. It is quite rare for us to have an outside speaker as we prefer to adhere to the U3A principle of learning from each other. We are all amateurs who are enthusiastic about Local History.
We try to organise an interesting programme covering a wide variety of subjects.

Once a year, usually in June, we have an outing by coach to a place of historical interest but not necessarily ‘local’. Last year, for example, we went to the Helmshore Mills Textile Museum and then to the 14th century Towneley Hall in Burnley. This year the destination will be Port Sunlight, near Liverpool, built by Levers for their factory workers in the late 19th century.

Before the meeting, tea/coffee and biscuits are available up to 9.55 a.m.

There are no meetings in August and December

Regrettably, due to the large numbers of members (in excess of 100) attending these meetings, we are unable to accept any new members. However, you can leave your contact details with one of the co-ordinators who will inform you when a place becomes available in the future.


January 2020

29th January - THE YARDS  -  PART TWO -Given by Trevor Hughes

26th February - FRANCIS STRICKLAND AND THE  '45 REBELLION - Given by Ian Hodkinson

Once again, I have to point out that this is a huge group, with a very long waiting list.  There could easily be two Local History groups if anybody was willing to start a second.  Is there anybody out there who could help?

November 2019

Don’t Just Turn Up... Organise!

The SLU3A Local History group is proving to be extremely popular. Not only is the group fully subscribed at around 140 members, there is also a very long waiting list of people wishing to participate in its events.

This level of interest cannot be satisfied by one group alone, so group leader Ruth Counsel would be very grateful if one member (or more) could come forward to organise a second local history group. Please contact groups coordinator Hilary Claxton if you might be able to assist in clearing the log-jam.

For those local historians lucky enough to have their feet already under the table, the Local History group has already booked two meetings for 2020:

29 January: The Yards of Kendal – Part Two, by Trevor Hughes

26 February: Francis Strickland and the 1745 Rebellion, by Ian Hodkinson

Nancy is also asking anyone who can give a talk to let her know.

August 2019

Nearly 100 people came to the talk by Trevor Hughes on The Yards of Kendal, which was very well received, and in May our own Terry Parr spoke on the subject of Serpentine Woods - also much enjoyed.  In June some of the group went on a coach trip to the Hat Museum and Bramall Hall in Cheshire - again, much enjoyed.

This autumn,  meetings are as follows:

25th September:  Jean Turnbull "Between a Rock and a Hard Place"

30th October:  Barbara Blatchford - Westmorland 1688-1837 - The Lakes through the eyes of early travellers

27th November: T.B.A. 

This group is full and there is a long waiting list, so please do no just turn up!  unless, of course you are willing to help run the group - or to start a new one - or to volunteer to give a talk!

May 2019

In November, Peter Jones explained the need for the Canal and spoke of the difficulties – financial and practical – which caused such a long delay in completing it. Finally reaching Kendal  in 1819, it was a very important carrier of goods and passengers.  It is sad that it had to go!

In January, Ruth spoke about Henry Brougham – the somewhat reluctant candidate for the County of Westmorland election of 1818, and his ownership of Brougham Hall, an ancient building that he and his brother completely renovated. On a snowy and slippery morning 38 members attended which was very pleasing.

In February, we welcomed Jane Chattell who told us about the Quaker Tapestry and how the original idea came from the Taunton Meeting. She explained the various stitches used and how the designs were transferred onto the finished tapestries.

Next term’s talks are:

24 April: The Yards of Kendal – Trevor Hughes

29 May: History of Serpentine Woods – Terry Parr

27 June: Combined outing to ‘The Hat Works’ and Bramall Hall with the Culture Trips Group.

                  This trip is fully booked.

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