April 2016 Newsletter


» Last Month: We were unexpectedly privileged to welcome Julie Crawshaw, the Project Manager, no less, for the “New Place Project” which operates under the aegis of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. She gave an animated and comprehensive account of the work being done in Stratford, and inspired many of us to get there to see the results.

» Tonight: Roy Smart will give an account of the career of the First Earl Beatty, under the title of “The Last Naval Hero”.

» Next month May 9th: A not-to-be-missed visit from Dr Richard Buckley of Leicester University who has been a lead figure in the whole of the “Richard III Project”, from its earliest days.


Unfortunately, the Mayor wants the use of the Castle on the date we had arranged for our Siege-based visit in July, so we have moved the event to the 25th July. Because this is so late in the summer, the August outing has been abandoned. There will be major ‘Siege’ events over the last weekend in August as well.

This is a ‘Members Only’ meeting. Please will those wishing to join the party see


Last month, Members were handed a Questionnaire. Its purpose is to establish the resources the Society has to hand in the abilities and inclinations of the Membership.

This was done in the past (eg, 1965) when membership was much smaller, and even then the Society was well-known for the amount of work it did. With the current membership level, it may be that we could do more if we marshalled all our forces.

It is intended that members remain anonymous, but there is no obligation to hide you lamp under a bushel, if you would like to declare your hand. The way it will work otherwise is that when a particular expertise is needed, that need will be advertised through the monthly Newsletter, and therefore on the Website. That will be the time to put yourself forward, but only if you want to. What we are trying to avoid is making anyone feel pressured; if you want just to sit back and enjoy the meetings, then the Committee will be just as happy!

Anyone who didn’t receive a copy, please take one from the table at the door, and those who have completed theirs from last month, please leave it on the table.

» Kenilworth Family History Society: 13 April AGM + Members’ evening Short talks by members. Meetings 7.30 at Senior Citizens’ Club. 11 May Mike Sharpe Writing Your Family History

» Warwickshire Local History Society: Tuesday 19th April, Richard Dace, “The Earls of Warwick in the 12th century” in The Friends’ Meeting House, 39 High Street, Warwick, CV34 4AX, 7.30 for 8pm

» Warwickshire Geology: 20 April : Luke Swain CGeol FGS. Senior Asset Engineer (Geotechnics) – Network Rail: The Harbury landslip. All meetings take place at S. Francis’ Church Hall, Warwick Road (Kenilworth main street), Kenilworth CV8 1HL, with coffee at 7pm before a 7.30pm start

» CADAS: 12th April “The Infancy of the Alphabet” Lecturer: Professor Alan Millard 10th May AGM. All meetings are held at the Friends’ Meeting House, Hill Street, Coventry, at 19:30

Some of us enjoy the privilege of conducting members of other Societies around the Castle and the Abbey Ruins. When we are in the Ruins, we open the “Barn Museum and Heritage Centre” for the visitors to see what we have on offer. We are always delighted to hear the very favourable – indeed, often envious – comments when they see what we have on offer. “If only we had somewhere like this!” they say.

Well, we do have ‘The Barn’. We want as many people as possible to see it. But we can manage only two measly hours a week in the middle of the year for them to enjoy what we have. OK, it’s too cold in the winter and there aren’t many people around anyway. But in the summer . . . . . ?

The only way we can have the place open is by members being prepared to be there and look after it while it’s open. The number of members prepared to help in this is, frankly, pathetic. It isn’t as if they have to have the complete history of the site at their fingertips – they are rarely asked deep questions. It’s just simply to have people there who can smile a welcome and point questioners to the person who can answer the question (there’s always somewhere there from the Committee).

If the truth be told, volunteers actually enjoy being there – it’s fun meeting interested people – but we desperately need more volunteers. It can’t be left to a handful – it’s not fair. See Margaret Kane (864624) or Michael Formstone (777614) tonight, or ring them, and tell them you’d love to help – when can I come?!

The Secretary reports: I’ve been contacted by Andante tours, wishing to draw our attention to the range of tours they offer on historical themes. Details are available at: and

Contacts: Chairman – 01676 532654; Secretary – 01926 858670; Treasurer – 01926 852655;

Vice Chairman & Editor – 01926 858090


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