It has been an interesting and busy week, and before I get to the William Somner conference on Saturday, I thought I would just mention that it was great to see the new Juxon Room at Eastbridge Hospital. They have certainly transformed a rather dark room into a light space that means the roof timbers are beautifully exposed to be admired at last. The other exciting feature is the glass floor panels that allow you to see the bridge timbers and the river below. See the photo below.
Before I get to news of events next week, including the William Somner conference on Saturday 23 March, and a report on the Kent History Postgraduates meeting, I have a stop-press announcement to make regarding Tudors and Stuarts 2019. Unfortunately, Dr Clive Holmes has had to withdraw due to ill health. Thus, he will not be able to give his lecture on Oliver Cromwell and witches, but I am exceeding fortunate and grateful that Dr Rebecca Warren from the University of Kent and an expert on the period, has generously agreed to step into the breach. She will cover the same topic but from her own angle and her lecture will be entitled: ‘Protector or Persecutor? Witches, the Devil and Oliver Cromwell’. Obviously, everyone at the Centre wishes Clive a speedy and full recovery.
Now that it is just a week away, I thought I would highlight Paul Bennett’s annual Frank Jenkins Memorial Lecture on Saturday 23 February at 6pm in Old Sessions House. As Visiting Professor in the Centre and Director of Canterbury Archaeological Trust, it is always excellent to hear about the work of the Trust, and this year I expect two of the key sites will be in Canterbury: Slatters Hotel and Canterbury Cathedral. This event is another joint enterprise involving the Centre, the Friends of Canterbury Archaeological Trust and the Canterbury Historical and Archaeological Society. All welcome to attend, so please come along.
Because ‘War Horse’ has arrived in the cathedral precincts, I thought I would again draw attention to the ‘100 Years since Armistice’ event that will be taking place on Friday 9 November at Canterbury Christ Church. Details of the talks, music and readings during the day-long programme are available by calling 01227 922994.
To a degree this follows on from last time in that again there is a maritime theme to this short blog. Firstly, although I wasn’t able to attend this year, I have a brief report from Dr Martin Watts about Whitstable Harbour Day, which took place last Saturday. As an ex-merchant seaman, Martin is keen to promote all things nautical and, as he says, it was another excellent day.
This week has been more a matter of meetings and looking forward to future events rather than events themselves. Included in the latter is most definitely the last of the ‘Young Medievalists’ Corner’ activity days on Saturday 21 July at 12 Market Place, Faversham. If you are in the area, please do drop in between 10am and 4pm, it is free to explore the ‘Medieval Faversham’ exhibition and to take part in the activities organised by Dr Diane Heath and Harriet Kersey.
Before I come to the Centre’s involvement in this year’s Medieval Pageant in Canterbury which took place today, I thought I would just mention a couple of other events that have involved Centre and Canterbury Christ Church medievalists over the last week. Firstly, before the King’s School broke up for the summer, I met up with Janet Taylor who runs Classics there to broach the idea of running a sixth form workshop again next academic year for Classics students. Janet was enthusiastic, and I’m also hoping to keep the same link going with Claire Anderson concerning her lower and upper form historians.
Some encouraging news, it seems likely that we will receive the necessary funding to be able to produce the 2nd phase of the ‘Medieval Faversham’ exhibition. Consequently, Dr Diane Heath is checking what we would like to add to the items we didn’t produce last time when the funds ran out. These will include about three more exhibition boards, such as Faversham Abbey’s ‘Book of the Dead’. We also hope to have several more pop-up banners that have the added advantage of being flexible regarding where they are displayed, two life-size figures of King Stephen and Queen Matilda, and items for the ‘Young Medievalists’ corner. All being well, the exhibition will open early July, but as soon as I know more I’ll let you know.
Exciting news this week, we passed the thousand-ticket mark for the Medieval Canterbury Weekend 2018. There are still tickets for all the talks but some of the guided tours have now sold out. So if you haven’t already done so, why not check out the website at: www.canterbury.ac.uk/medieval-canterbury for exciting talks on wonderful medieval manuscripts (Professors Michelle Brown and Richard Gameson), fantastic stained glass windows or medieval beasts (Leonie Seliger and Dr Diane Heath).
Now that we are well into January it is time to move on to the next part of the preparations for the Medieval Canterbury Weekend 2018 on 6–8 April. Speakers have been invited to send details of the books they would like Craig at the Canterbury Christ Church University bookshop to have at the book stall, and several people including Dr Janina Ramirez and Dr Helen Castor have responded already. If you have not heard about the Weekend, please check it out at www.canterbury.ac.uk/medieval-canterbury