This blog appears in the final week of Professor Louise Wilkinson’s time at Canterbury before she takes up her new appointment at the University of Lincoln. I, Diane Heath, am writing it instead of Sheila Sweetinburgh, but all of us at the Centre of Kent History and Heritage, and everyone (staff and students alike) in the School of Humanities at Canterbury Christ Church University shall miss her very much and wish her a wonderful time in Lincoln.
While governments – national, regional and local, continue to grapple with the situation, and a large number of businesses and charities are equally trying to manage, even survive – note, for example, the grave problems being experienced in the horticultural and agricultural sectors; universities, too, are feeling the strain. This is certainly the case sorting out what to do for the best for students regarding teaching, assessments and exams, and thus matters of progression and completion of degrees.
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.
I thought I would start by saying that the university, like other educational institutions, is keeping abreast of the advice coming from Government in the current circumstances. Consequently, as and when I have anything definite, I’ll let you know regarding upcoming Centre events, and we will similarly inform those involved whether as speakers, attendees, volunteers etc. However, in the meantime individual vigilance is obviously important and there is plenty of information through official channels, including NHS England and other public health and safety organisations.
I thought I would begin with some news and then turn to the planning for the exhibition at Eastbridge Hospital on ‘Kentish Saints and Martyrs’ in late August/early September 2020.
I thought I would just begin by mentioning that Dr Diane Heath is intending to submit her HLF ‘Medieval Animals’ project application in the next week or so, which is excellent news! Also good news is that several of the taught MEMS MA students are going to be working on Canterbury research projects this term: Amber’s project is linked to the Roman Museum, Ed will work on Canterbury Castle, Beth will be looking at the history of St Mildred’s church and its patron saint, keeping with Kentish saints Steph will be exploring material for the ‘Kentish Saints and Martyrs’ exhibition to be held at Eastbridge, while Alisha and Lizzie will be working with Professor Louise Wilkinson in conjunction with people from the Medieval Pageant organising committee.
This week I want to feature a few of the events that will be taking place during the Medieval Canterbury Weekend 2020 and link them to medieval Canterbury. However, before that I just want to say that Dr Martin Watts will be speaking at the Canterbury branch meeting of the Historical Association tomorrow (Thursday) evening at Kent College. His topic will be his book on the Royal Marines in the Second World War. If you want a taster, please see this earlier blog and if you live locally and this sounds interesting, the local HA will be delighted to see you at 7pm: https://blogs.canterbury.ac.uk/kenthistory/from-anglo-saxons-to-wwii-exploring-canterbury-faversham-and-the-royal-marines/
As well as mentioning a couple of events that are due to happen over the next couple of weeks, I shall be reporting on Robert Baldwin’s talk this week, with a brief note about the earlier Gender and Medieval Studies conference in Swansea.
This week I’m exploring what we have planned for 2020.
As the last blog of 2019, I want to record my thanks to many for their efforts this year and to offer my top three events.