Air Camden, a century (and more) of aviation heritage :: Lester Hillman
Sep
21
7:30 pm19:30

Air Camden, a century (and more) of aviation heritage :: Lester Hillman

  • Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre, Holborn Library (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

In his lavishly illustrated presentation, Lester Hillman will scan Camden's skies, spotting early balloon ascents and hidden clues in literature such as 'The Thirty-Nine Steps'. A century ago, in July 1917, the Germans bombed the German Gymnasium at St Pancras. Lester Hillman will explain what happened to the 'King's Cross Aerodrome That Never Was', and how V1 personalities are linked to Hampstead Town Hall, the former Midland Grand Hotel and St Pancras International. Athlone House and Agatha Christie's husband also get a look in; and VSTOL Harriers will drop into the story at RAF St Pancras.
Lester Hillman writes regularly on aviation heritage topics and has organised events for the RAF Museum at Hendon and others.

Please note the change of date for this talk.

Price: Free to members. Non members welcome (£1 at the door).

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Hughenden: annual outing
Aug
2
8:45 am08:45

Hughenden: annual outing

This year's outing is to Hughenden, located in in a lovely valley in the Chilterns a few miles from High Wycombe, which was the country home of Benjamin Disraeli, Queen Victoria's favourite Prime Minister, and his wife Mary Anne. In 1804, Disraeli was born at what was then 6 King's Road, which as present-day 22 Theobalds Road, near Holborn Library, is marked with an LCC brown plaque. His parents, writer Isaac and Maria, went to live there 1802-1817 (his four siblings were also born there). The family then lived at 6 Bloomsbury Square from 1817-29, which is recorded by a Bedford Estate plaque. Well-known at first as a novelist, Disraeli was serving as Tory MP for Buckinghamshire when he bought Hughenden Manor. In 1862, the house was 'remodelled' by E B Lamb, the idiosyncratic architect of St Martin's, Gospel Oak. Nonetheless, the house and its contents offer insights into Disraeli's personal and political life, and into its later use as 'Hillside', a secret map-making organisation during World War II. There is also much to explore out of doors: formal and walled gardens, pleasure grounds, and woodland and parkland, where, if we can find it, there is a "champion tree", the UK's largest horse chestnut.

The price per person for coming on the outing is £24 (National Trust members), £34 (NT non-members), to include travel and tip, admission charge (NT non-members), and introductory talk with tea/coffee. No other refreshments are included in the price. The Stableyard cafe serves hot lunches 12-2.30; also sandwiches, cakes and drinks throughout the day; or you are welcome to bring a picnic. Other themed talks (e.g. about Operation Hillside, including visit to the Ice House) and an exhibition on Disraeli the author are available at no extra charge.

There will be three pick-up points, departing promptly as follows:

Camden High Street, outside Marks & Spencer 8.45am  

Hampstead High Street, outside Waterstones  9.00am

Swiss Cottage, outside Swiss Cottage Library  9.15am  

A  booking form was enclosed with the May 2017 Newsletter. The outing is being organised by Jean Archer, 91 Fitzjohn's Avenue, London NW3 6NX. Her phone number, in case of enquiries (including from CHS non-members), is 020 7435 5490. Bookings should be sent to Jean: please enclose a cheque payable to Camden History Society and  a STAMPED ADDRESSED ENVELOPE.                                                           

 

 

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Henry Crabb Robinson (1775-1867): provincial dissenter, Londoner, European :: James Vigus
Jul
20
7:30 pm19:30

Henry Crabb Robinson (1775-1867): provincial dissenter, Londoner, European :: James Vigus

  • Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre, Holborn Library (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

In 1845, Henry Crabb Robinson began to write his Reminiscences, an autobiographical work that was published only selectively after his death. It is now being prepared in a critical edition for the first time, using manuscripts held at Dr Williams's Library, of which Robinson was a trustee. As Robinson re-read and excerpted from his past diaries and travel journals, his Reminiscences became lengthy and substantial. He regarded his own life modestly, regretting the limited education he had received in a dissenting family in Bury St Edmunds. Yet, as a retired London barrister and member of the Athenaeum, he was now famous as an expert on German literature, and for his prominent role in the foundation of the University of London. He could look back on five years in Germany, during which he became the leading British mediator of Kant and theories of aesthetics. He had also been an adventurous journalist: covering the Peninsular War, he was the first correspondent of The Times. For the 150th anniversary of Robinson's death, this talk will retrace some of the most significant aspects of his life and writing, emphasising his development from provincial boyhood to metropolitan life - and beyond, as became one of the most prolific European travellers of his generation. Robinson's home from 1839 until his death in 1867 was in the original house at 30 Russell Square.

Dr James Vigus is Senior Lecturer in English at Queen Mary University of London. He is co-editor of the Henry Crabb Robinson Project: www.crabbrobinson.co.uk

Price: Free to members. Non-members welcome (£1 at the door). 

 

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Alphonse Normandy (1809-1864), chemist and pioneer :: Debbie Radcliffe
Jun
15
7:30 pm19:30

Alphonse Normandy (1809-1864), chemist and pioneer :: Debbie Radcliffe

The full title of this illustrated talk is 'Alphonse Normandy (1809-1864): chemist, desalination pioneer and Judd Street resident'. Our speaker, Debbie Radcliffe, is resident of a house in Judd Street, which was for many years the home of Alphonse Normandy, whose 1850 handbook on chemical analysis was recommended as a guide "indispensable to the housewife as to the pharmaceutical practitioner." Dr Normandy has been largely written out of history, despite his mid 19th century reputation as an expert in food adulteration. He took out many patents during his career, including improvements to soap, inks, waterproofing fabrics, thimbles and playing cards. He was also a pioneer in desalination applications that are still in use today. 

Price: Free to members. Non-members welcome (£1 at the door). This talk is preceded at 7pm by the Society's AGM (open to CHS members only).

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The Leper Hospitals of Medieval London :: Carole Rawcliffe
May
18
7:30 pm19:30

The Leper Hospitals of Medieval London :: Carole Rawcliffe

  • Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre, Holborn Library (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Once seen as remote institutions for the forcible segregation and confinement of social pariahs, the medieval leper hospital has undergone a striking change of image, as a result of research conducted by historians and archaeologists over the last three decades. On the one hand, these largely suburban foundations represented a statement of communal pride, while also expressing in bricks and mortar the hard lesson to be learned from the New Testament parable of Dives and Lazarus: anyone lacking compassion for men and women whose sufferings seemed akin to those of Christ would receive short shrift in the next life. On the other hand, they offered donors and patrons, such as Queen Matilda, the founder of St Giles Hospital in c.1117/18, an opportunity to enlist the intercessionary prayers offered by cloistered lepers, which were deemed to be especially effective. It was only during the fourteenth century that leprosaria  began to serve a more strictly medical purpose, as (unfounded) fears of infection were aggravated by frequent outbreaks of plague; and even then, admission was far from compulsory. Through a study of London's eight or more leper hospitals, we can appreciate the complexity of responses to a challenging disease that was understood as much in religious as scientific terms. 

Carole Rawcliffe is Professor Emerita of Medieval History in the School of History, University of East Anglia, and author of Leprosy in medieval England (Boydell Press, 2006; pbk 2016).

This talk is free to members. Non-members welcome (£1 at the door).

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Eleanor Palmer, 16th century benefactress :: Caroline Barron
Apr
20
7:30 pm19:30

Eleanor Palmer, 16th century benefactress :: Caroline Barron

The full title for this talk is 'The Search for Eleanor Palmer, d. 1558: heiress and benefactress of Kentish Town, St Pancras'. Eleanor Palmer was the daughter of Edward Cheeseman, one of Henry VII's 'New Men', who rose to be the Cofferer to the Royal Household and became a substantial landowner. His manors in Kentish Town and Chipping Barnet were inherited by Eleanor, who married first Edward Taylor (d. 1509), and then John Palmer (d. 1542). At her death, she established a charity which still provides financial help for those who need it in the parishes of Barnet and St Pancras. Is it possible to find out more about Eleanor herself?

Caroline Barron is Professor Emerita in the Department of History, Royal Holloway University of London, and President of Camden History Society.

Price: Free to members. Non-members welcome (£1 at the door). 

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Streets of Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia :: Steve Denford, Ruth and David Hayes
Mar
16
7:30 pm19:30

Streets of Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia :: Steve Denford, Ruth and David Hayes

  • Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre, Holborn Library (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

This evening the Society launches two fully revised Streets books: Streets of Bloomsbury and Streets of Fitzrovia.  Steve Denford, Research Team leader, and Ruth and David Hayes, both members of the Team, will introduce the rich and diverse history of the two neighbouring districts of Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia. Bloomsbury has long been home to intellectuals, attracted by what is now the British Library in its former home at the British Museum, and is now an area dominated by University College London. Fitzrovia has had a sightly more racy reputation as the home of artists and bohemians, though the well-known Bloomsbury Group flitted between both areas.

Our talks tonight will highlight some more unusual and lesser known aspects of the two districts, to give a flavour of the latest additions to the Society's popular Streets series. Both volumes will be on sale at the meeting.

Price: Free to members. Non-members welcome (£1 at the door). 

 

 

 

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