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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.


November 2018

In September, the talk by Janet Smith on The Families of Holker Hall was a tour-de-force and very well received. We learnt about many families who lived in the Hall and the connection with Chatsworth and Bess of Hardwick.

In October, Richard Mathews talked about the history of the Town Crier and his role in this office in Kendal. He also showed the various liveries worn by Town criers in the past, and throughout the world.

Next term’s talks are:

30 Jan: Henry Brougham’s Westmorland Connection – Ruth Counsel

27 Feb: The Quaker Tapestry – speaker t.b.a

27 Mar: An Amble along the Leeds/Liverpool Canal – Adrian Lees

24 Apr: The Yards of Kendal – Trevor Hughes


August 2018

In April we had Jackie Hinton’s talk on The Border Conflict. Exciting times! Well brought to life.
Then in May we learnt from Ann how Jonathan Dodgson Carr established the biscuit factory in Carlisle which bears his name.
In June, Kathy Webster treated us to a talk on some Cumbrian products and the founding, 200 years ago, of the Westmorland Gazette.

Next term’s talks are:

26 Sep – The Families of Holker Hall – Janet Smith

31 Oct – A Crying Game – Richard Mathews

28 Nov – The History of the Lancaster Canal – Peter Jones

No meeting in December.

Ruth urgently needs volunteers to join the co-ordinating group. Please contact her if you could help run this successful group.


May 2018

We rounded off 2017 with Richard pealing’s talk on Kendal’s Lost Buildings, illustrated with old photos (naturally) and maps. This talk showed us what a pity it is that these buildings are lost to us, and what the 60s and 70s did to Kendal.
In January we had an excellent talk by Peter Holme of the Oral History Society. Life in the yards in the last century was vividly evoked by photographs and recordings of people born in the early 1900s telling their stories.
The February meeting was cancelled due to snow.
We look forward to Adrian Lees talking about William Gilpin’s connection with the South Lakes.

25  Apr: Border Conflict – Jackie Hinton 
30 May:  The Biscuit Maker – Ann Quintilla
27 Jun:  To be arranged
No meetings July and August.

HELP! Ruth needs people to help with the running of the group. Please let her know if you are willing to assist.
This group is full and has a waiting list.

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