21st June 2022......The Society meeting was by way of a visit to Lidgate. On a very fine summer's evening members gathered at the approach to the church
, where Anthony Foreman started by talking about the Lidgate Castle with the aid of a model of the immediate area. We then proceeded into the church where
Anthony elaborated on the history of the Church. All very interesting and informative.
3rd June 2022.....The Society had a gazebo on the Severals on the occasion of Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee. The theme was of course the Royal connections with Newmarket. Later Sandra and Chris moved the display to All Saints Church where they remained on view over the weekend.
19th April 2022....Tony Pringle, assisted by Peter Norman, gave a presentation about the pubs, clubs and hotels of Newmarket over the ages. Intended to be live on line from the Society webiste, the wi-fi was too slow, so the files were accessed from a memory stick. A brief history of pubs in general followed by a look at many of the pubs the audience may have used, or certainly knew of, and several that no-one had any idea had existed (unfortunately neither do photographs exist of most of the latter. Tony pointed out that his Newmarketpubs.co.uk website no longer existed, it was now incorporated into this, the Society's own website.
29th and 30th March 2022...The Jockey Club laid on a presentation at the Memorial Hall to explain their ideas for improving the training grounds, and at the same time providing more facilities for the townspeople. An all weather race track with the dual purpose of training, some small starter stable yards, these at the back of the Flat. For the uninitiated, that is the area between the Rowley Mile race course and the A14. Part of that, the Seven Springs area, to be a park for use by the townspeople. At the Exning Road end of Hamilton Road, part of Hamilton Stud would become a housing developement. Another facility to benefit the non racing folk is the offer of housing a cinema in the old Subscription Rooms, the site until recently of the National Horse Racing Museum. It seems to be a long overdue attempt for Racing to act in partnership with the non-racing fraternity, for which it should be praised.
15th March 2022......The monthly talk was a joint venture by Joanne Garner, Louise Mangles and Tony Pringle (assisted on the projector by Steve Garner).
"Up Camps'..tales from beyond the grave". This was due to the project undertaken to transcribe all the writings on the headstones in Newmarket Cemetery. Still needing the completion of a searchable spreadsheet, this project has at least preserved some records, just as well as since the project actaully at the cemetery was finished and COVID stopped some work, already some of the inscriptions have beome unreadable. In addition Tony had transcribed all 14,000 entries in the burial register (1853 to 2017).
Tony startedby explaining why the term Up Camps' was used...due to the Camps family being custodians and living at a cottage just inside the gates. Joanne then related the story of the 2 pairs of sisters who drowned, the Palethorpes and Flatmans, the two jockeys, Tom French, who basically taught Fred Archer and then the naughty vicar at the Workhouse who seemingly inappropriately acquired considerable funds. Louise then spoke of the various occupations carried on in the late 1800s which gave a better idea of life in those days. Tony then gave the background to some "residents" of the cemetery, Pte Arthur Norman, Steward Ponny Morris, Pte Tom Morris and Rachel Parsons.
He ended with imploring members to take steps to record today's Newmarket lest there be no records for researchers to seek for after another 100 years.
15th February 2022......Kevin Boardman gave a talk entitled "Portraits, what is the artist trying to tell us?"
16th November 2021......(from Joanne Garner) There was a good attendance for the local history lecture with a difference, that being it was another county's local history.
Mathew Morris, Project Officer at the University of Leicester Archaeological Services gave a detailed talk about his personal and first-hand experience of the discovery and identification of King Richard III, discovered buried under a Leicester car park. After setting the historical scene (the King's body having been laid to rest by monks in Grey Friars church, after his death in battle on the fields of Bosworth), Mathew illustrated, by the use of overlaid maps, just how fortunate the team had been in positioning their two initial excavation trenches. Once human remains had been unearthed, Mathew explained how meticulous and lengthy work, involving osteological examination, battle wound and weapon comparisons, mitochondrial DNA sequencing, diet analysis, and radiocarbon dating, had been carried out to determine that the remains were that of the King, now reburied in Leicester cathedral.
19th October 2021....Almost like old times, a talk at the The Stable. Needs more attendees though to really get back to normal.
We were treated to a very interesting talk about Anglesey Abbey, mainly since the ownership of Lord Fairhaven's family. The talk was given and illustrated in a very professional way by Helen Ackroyd from the National Trust. With speakers of her quality, the Society cannot go wrong.
July 20th 2021.......At long last gatherings were permitted again and the Society paid a return visit to Bottisham Airfield Museum. One of our visits in 2019 was to the museum, which was then a work in progress. The volunteers there have not been idle in the interval and we enjoyed seeing the result of their labour on Tuesday 20th July. Some members had a conducted tour, others explored at their own pace. Attendance was better than was feared since we had suffered the enforced COVID break .
The Wetherby Crossing.
Local residents are aware of the long established pedestrian crossing of the railway line, connecting the Granby Street area on the north side to the Cricket Field Road/ New Cheveley Road area on the south side. The line also provides a boundary between the counties of Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.
Sandra Easom has had a query from Town Councillor Peter Hulbert who is looking for evidence (including personal testimony), that the Wetherby crossing was always a public right of way. I know older Newmarket residents must have memories of using the crossing in their younger days.
Sandra has sent him a section of the 1896 OS Map which appears to show a dotted footpath coming from there. However, extra evidence to back this up would certainly help matters. If anyone has anything, please send it to me or Peter (in that case please copy Sandra in)
Tony Pringle is positive that every single day of any year at least several dozen folk would have used that route from Newton Terrace to town, and hundreds on some days. Living as his family did at the town gate side and his father running his business from the Maltings, they were in a better position than most to judge the use of the crossing. Even the days when there were 7 or 8 lines in constant use during working hours no one was ever hurt there.
On 3rd December 2020 the Newmarket Journal recorded that the Inspector at the first enquiry had ruled that the alternative route suggested by Network Rail "would add greatly to the travel time of users and that safety concerns through the New Cheveley Road underpass would put people off walking, especially for elderly and disabled residents". Jnue 2021 we thought, saw the end to this long running and expensive saga, with a victory for the natives. The saga has not yet ended, we await yet another decision based on yet another enquiry that was held. Until then the ultimate fate of the crossing remains unknown.
March 17th 2020.......Was to have been an "Old Photographs of Newmarket" show from the vast collection of member Peter Norman, but was the first hit of the COVID19 cancellations.