Although not quite changing decisively hour by hour, things do seem to be doing that on a daily basis as national leaders scramble to keep abreast of this pandemic in various ways. This is such a tough time for so, so many across the world, including a whole host of groups and individuals in this country, and it is vitally important that everyone supports those working in health and care services wherever they are who are doing a brilliant job.
In this fast-moving world that we live in, I thought I would bring out a short update. For the health and safety of speakers, those attending, and all concerned, we have cancelled the following events. These are the Centre and FCAT lecture this Thursday 19 March; the joint Centre and KAS Local History Societies Forum on Saturday 21 March; the Becket Lecture on Friday 27 March; the Medieval Canterbury Weekend between Friday 3 and Sunday 5 April, and the Church, Saints and Seals day on Monday 18 May.
It really will be a short blog this week because it is in some ways a slight breather before a very hectic time next week that has several meetings, two conferences and a workshop. Nevertheless, this week has seen Dr Diane Heath and her co-producers getting to the final stages on their ‘Medieval Animal Magic’ booklet for primary schools, while Professor Louise Wilkinson has been busy working at The National Archives and giving papers, as well as attending Exam Boards – it is that time of year!
Quite a bit of time this week has been taken up with getting ready for the Tudors and Stuarts 2019 on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 April, and this will increase over the coming week until the big weekend. There are still some tickets available, details at: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/tudors-stuarts or contact the CCCU box office on 01227 782994.
Before I come to the Medieval Education Day report, I thought I would just mention one or two other events staff from the Centre have been doing this week. Firstly, Professor Louise Wilkinson went to give a lecture on Eleanor de Montfort and the Second Barons’ War to a group at Folkestone. Then I walked over to the International Study Centre at Canterbury Cathedral to give members of the Cathedral Guides a talk on civic institutions and civic ceremonies at the Kentish Cinque Ports in the Middle Age, and, finally, Dr Diane Heath gave a paper at a conference on magic at Oxford in which she focused on the phoenix.
Before I come to ‘Maritime Kent though the Ages’ this weekend and the great array of speakers, I thought I would very briefly mention that I attended two of the sessions last Saturday of the University of Kent’s Medieval and Early Modern Studies Summer Festival that featured six speakers from Canterbury Christ Church University.
Before I come on to two saints, one at Dover and Chichester and the other at Folkestone, I thought I would bring you some breaking news about the Tudors and Stuarts History Weekend 2019, as well as advance notice of the Medieval Canterbury Weekend 2020. Over recent weeks I have been working on the 2019 History Weekend programme and even though it is not yet complete, I thought I would mention that in the last day or so I have had several confirmations. Among the speakers who will be coming to Canterbury are Professor Glenn Richardson (speaking on Cardinal Wolsey) and Dr David Starkey (on Henry VII’s financial policies); and for the Stuarts – Professor Maria Hayward (on perfume at the royal court) and Dr Clive Holmes (on Cromwell and witchcraft). Then in 2020 we will be welcoming for the first time the Revd Dr Rowan Williams and Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch, but much more on this nearer the time.
In some ways a great deal has happened this week and in other ways very little, a sort of treading water time before various decisions are made and implemented. On a positive note it is now two weeks to the Maritime Kent through the Ages conference and some of the final arrangements are being put in place for Richard Holdsworth’s keynote lecture on Friday 22 June: ‘Kent, the Royal Navy and the Defence of Britain’ at 7pm [wine reception from 6.30pm]. All welcome, booking not required.
Before I report on the first phase of the ‘Medieval Faversham’ exhibition that has been installed in the Town Council’s new Heritage Hub, I want to mention the Centre’s conference (jointly with Maritime Museums Greenwich and Kent Archaeological Society) on ‘Maritime Kent through the Ages’ that is now just a month away. On Friday 22 June after the wine reception [no need to book just come along that evening – wine reception from 6.30pm], Richard Holdsworth will give a free, open lecture on ‘Kent, the Royal Navy and the defence of Britain’. Then on the Saturday we have a great group of speakers who will explore four themes: ‘coastal topography and the environment; ‘coastal communities’; ‘trade and industry’, and ‘defending the coast’, looking at different periods of Kentish history. For more details and information about tickets for the Saturday, please check out the website: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/maritime-kent
This week I want to bring you a report on the first Faversham History Fair that I attended last Saturday, which was organised by the Faversham Society, because it gave me a chance to meet old friends and make new acquaintances, as well as sharing some ideas about medieval religion and the painted pillar in the town’s parish church. However, before I get to that this is just to let know that both the “Campfire Tales with a Canterbury Twist” and Saturn’s guest appearance at Canterbury Waterstones have been finalised: http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/arts-and-humanities/school-of-humanities/medieval-canterbury-weekend/medieval-canterbury-weekend-2018/chaucers-tales.aspx while Saturn’s event is free (see below).