Bedford Architectural Archaeological
& Local History Society

Bedford bridge 1824.
Putnoe Heights Church Centre

AUTUMN & WINTER 2018 - 2019

All meetings are held at Putnoe Heights Church
& Community Centre, Putnoe Heights, Bedford MK41 8EB.

Visitors welcome (£3 donation requested)


Wednesday 12th September 2018 at 7.30pm.
The BAALHS Annual General Meeting followed by an illustrated talk by
Peter Tipping and Bob Ricketts - BAALHS THROUGH THE MAGIC LANTERN.

Saturday 6th October 2018.
Coach trip to Ely Stained Glass Museum & Cathedral.

Guided tours, plus time at leisure to explore Ely or shop.
Coach leaving Mowsbury Park Car Park (Kimbolton Road) at 8.45am.
Cost £25 per person, payable on booking. Booking essential.

Wednesday 10th October 2018 at 7.30pm.
Book signing.

Wednesday 14th November 2018 at 7.30pm.
Book Sale.

Wednesday 12th December 2018 at 7.30pm.
Christmas refreshments and wine during interval.

Wednesday 9th January 2019 at 7.30pm.

Wednesday 13th February 2019 at 7.30pm.

Wednesday 13th March 2019 at 7.30pm.

Wednesday 10th April 2019 at 7.30pm.
Barry Tomlinson: THE AIR WAR OVER THE WESTERN FRONT 1914 - 1918.

----------------- FOR MORE DETAILS OF THE ABOVE EVENTS SEE BELOW -----------------

Wednesday 12th September 2018 at 7.30 pm.
BAALHS Annual General Meeting & Magic Lantern Show.

The Society’s Annual General Meeting will be followed by a magic lantern slide show by Peter Tipping & Bob Ricketts illustrating BAALHS in the 1920s and Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. An unique event.

Saturday 6th October 2018.
Coach Trip to Ely Stained Glass Museum & Cathedral

Guided tours, plus time at leisure to explore Ely or shop. Coach leaving Mowsbury Park Car Park (Kimbolton Road) at 08.45. Cost £25 per person, payable on booking.
Booking essential contact Bob Ricketts, BAALHS President on 01234 313608.
The Stained Glass Museum is the only museum in the United Kingdom solely dedicated to the ancient art and craft of stained glass, which has been practised in Britain for nearly 1,500 years. Its unrivalled collection contains over 1,000 stained glass windows and panels, from the 13th century to the present. A visual treat. Access to the Museum is up some steep stairs, but we will stop for a ‘breather’ half-way! We have arranged a guided tour of the Museum and also one of Ely Cathedral, both included in the £25 price. Afterwards, you are free to have lunch, explore the town and its charming riverfront and relax. The coach will depart from Ely at 4p.m.

Wednesday 10th October 2018 at 7.30 pm.
Richard Morgan - Sylvester Stannard, Artist

Illustrated talk by Richard on the renowned Bedfordshire artist Sylvester Stannard. Richard will cover Stannard’s early life, artistic achievements, scandals and four divorces! This promises to be an informative and entertaining evening. Richard will be selling and signing copies of his new book: Henry John Sylvester Stannard with notes on his daughter Theresa Sylvester Stannard.

Wednesday 14th November 2018 at 7.30 pm.
Nora Butler - A Thousand Years of Kimbolton.

Nora, a local historian and guide, will be telling the history of Kimbolton, including that of Kimbolton Castle – seat of the Montagu family. Kimbolton Castle was founded by the 13th century, when the site for a planned new town was laid out. The original moated castle mound still exists, near Park Farm. The castle was rebuilt in 1480. In 1522 the king gave the castle to Sir Richard Winfield, who probably moved it to its present site. The façade of the present building is 17th and 18th century in date. Robert Adam designed the gatehouse, now the main entrance to the grounds and house. There will be a secondhand book sale during the interview, proceeds to the Society.

Wednesday 12th December 2018 at 7.30 pm.
Janet Stow - Christmas in Regency Times.

Janet will entertain us with a seasonal talk on Christmas in Regency times (the alternative title is “Jane Austen’s Christmas”). Janet has been a lover of Jane Austen since childhood and, by a series of co-incidences, started talking about it for various "Ladies' Groups.” Janet was a leading light of Bury Park Brownies, being an Elf.....thinking of "others not herself".....; becoming a 'Sixer' and flying up (of course) to the Guides. Here she was a Magpie, which goes some way to explaining why she never stops chattering! At college as part of her 'Education' thesis she wrote an account of Baden -Powell and the Scout Movement which is still held in the College Library as being the definitive work on the subject! An Austen enthusiast, she says she is the kind of speaker who just goes on and has to be bound and gagged before she realises everyone is asleep! Expect a lively evening.
Wine and seasonal refreshments will be served during the interval.

Wednesday 9th January 2019 at 7.30 pm.
David Fowler - Bedford's Transport Heritage.

David is well-known to members as co-chairman of the Society’s Conservation Committee, senior town guide and authorative speaker on many aspects of Bedford’s history. His talks are always interesting, informative and well-presented and illustrated. Tonight’s talk should be of particular interest to transport buffs, covering varied aspects of transport in Bedford, including railways.

Wednesday 13th February 2019 at 7.30 pm.
Bob Ricketts - A Thousand Years of Putnoe.

Bob will tell Putnoe’s long, but largely forgotten history. For over nine hundred years Putnoe, part of the parish of Goldington, was the focus of a continuously occupied large farm, owned successively by Anschil (a thegn of King Edward the Confessor), the Beauchamps (the Barons of Bedford), the Cistercian monks of Warden Abbey (who established a grange there – the largest in Bedfordshire), the Gostwicks, the Duchess of Marlborough, the Dukes of Bedford, and the Pope and Hartop families. ‘Putnoe Park’ was used as a military parade ground and as a RFC landing strip during World War One. Suburban ‘ribbon’ development took place from the early twentieth century principally along Kimbolton Road and Putnoe Lane, followed by large-scale housing estates from the 1950s, enabled by Bedford Corporation’s purchase of 448 acres from the Hartops. Putnoe is now a suburb of Bedford. Today there are few reminders of the hamlet’s medieval and early modern history, aside from Putnoe Wood (recorded in the Domesday Book), the medieval trackway leading to Renhold and the echoes of former field names in some of its modern streets.

Wednesday 13th March 2019 at 7.30 pm.
David Bond - Why do Churches have Towers?

Churches in the East Midlands and Bedfordshire are part of its rich architectural hertage. David Bond will explain why churches have towers in an informative talk, well-illustrated with local examples. Should be a treat for members interested in church architecture and history, and perhaps the prelude to some summer car trips.

Wednesday 10th April 2019 at 7.30 pm.
Barry Tomlinson - The Air War Over the Western Front.

We welcome back a popular speaker, Barry, who has entertained and informed us previously at the BLHA Conference and last year on aeronautical research at Thurleigh. Barry’s talk traces the activities and evolution of the Royal Flying Corps during the conflict on the Western front and identifies some Bedfordshire ‘aces’, people and their contributions. The RFC was established by King George V in April 1912. When war was declared two years later, however, Britain was initially able to send to France only three Squadrons of about 40 aircraft, to join a larger French Air Force and to face an even larger German and Austrian adversary. The first role for the RFC was aerial reconnaissance, but tasks soon expanded to include spotting for the Army’s artillery, air combat and bombing. The RFC contributed significantly to major campaigns from August 1914 onwards. Britain, starting with almost no aircraft manufacturing capacity, finished the war having produced over 50,000 aircraft. Bedford and Bedfordshire made important contributions. W H Allen delivered more than 3,000 Aero engines (of French design) between 1916 and 1918. Aircraft were built for the RFC at Leagrave. The main schools provided pilots and other personnel, but losses were very high. Many pilots became “aces”, some winning VCs, including Charles Watson, RCC (see the article by Stuart Antrobus in April’s Bedford Local History Magazine).


For any queries about the programme, contact Bob Ricketts, 68 Mendip Crescent, Bedford, MK41 9EP, telephone 01234 313608 or e-mail Bob, info@baalhs.org.uk.