I thought I would begin by reporting that we sent our roundup of pre-modern Kent and Canterbury online resources to Dr David Rundle on Monday and hopefully soon it will be on the Kent MEMS Lib. As a further development of this idea, Dr Diane Heath and I, in conjunction with Michelle Crowther (CCCU Learning and Research Librarian), will start adding modern sources to form the CKHH Lib. In this we will have a section on museums in Kent that have a virtual presence with useful material for researchers, including a virtual tour of the Folkestone Museum compiled by a team at the museum with Martin Crowther. This all looks very exciting! As does the CCCU Bookshop’s new online facility: https://bookshop.canterbury.ac.uk/
As we hopefully begin to get some idea of the government’s timetable and strategy regarding how to get out of lockdown, I thought this week I would use the idea of time – in the form of clocks, and bells – the latter because as a mark of the 8pm Thursday clapping for keyworkers, the bell at Canterbury Cathedral tolls for two minutes. Nevertheless, before I come to my topic, I want to report on the fortnightly meeting of the Kent History Postgraduate group.
This week has brought a series of meetings and the chance to be part of Canterbury Society’s celebrations.
This week is more of a brief note in that Professor Louise Wilkinson has been very busy writing the report on History’s impact work over the last few years, including the activities of the Centre, as well as getting matters organised for the new undergraduates, while Dr Diane Heath has also been busy working on her ‘Medieval Animals’ application. She has also been getting ready for the Canterbury Education Day where the Centre is one of the places involved. The initiative is organised by The Canterbury Tales, and St Augustine’s Abbey is another of the venues where activities take place.
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.
Now that we are into October, it is great to report that the School of Humanities’ taught Masters degrees in both Modern History and Medieval and Early Modern Studies are up and running, which is in addition to a taught Masters in English Literature. There may be others but these I know about. The reason I mention it is that my option module group, who are studying late medieval and Tudor Canterbury, might be said to be benefitting from the Centre’s presence at Canterbury Christ Church. For those who may be interested, we had an enjoyable and instructive walk through ‘medieval and Tudor Canterbury’ last Wednesday and will be exploring the city’s topography through maps this week.
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 get down to the news this week, and even though I don’t yet have the final figures, I thought I would update you on what I think the Medieval Canterbury Weekend 2018 has raised for the Ian Coulson Memorial Postgraduate Award fund. As I reported in February, we at the Centre had intended to use the Michael Wood lecture in October 2018 to raise £2,000 for Canterbury Archaeological Trust after the disastrous break-ins to the Trust’s artefact stores. This lecture will now come under CCCU’s Open Lecture series, so instead we have decided to give £2,000 from the proceeds of the Weekend to the Trust, with the remainder of the surplus after costs going to the Ian Coulson Award fund. In round figures, I think this means about £8,000 to the Award fund, which I think is excellent and is due to you, our audiences, being prepared to come to Canterbury to listen to history talks and to be guided around many of the city’s wonderful medieval buildings. Furthermore, I said I would let you know when Matthew Crockatt had set up the ‘legacy’ site for the History Weekends, including the twitter feeds, well he has done a great job and everything is available: http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/arts-and-humanities/research-kent-history-and-archaeology/history-weekends/history-weekends.aspx so please do check this out.
Before I give a brief report on Professor Paul Bennett’s fascinating ‘Part Two’ of his inaugural professorial lecture, I thought I would mention a few events the Centre is running in early 2018 and also the ‘Picture this …’ Advent entry for today: www.canterbury-cathedral.org/heritage/archives/picture-this/summer-blooms-a-wonderful-transformation/ and what could be better than flowers in summer?
This week Dr Sheila Sweetinburgh has kindly suggested I write the blog report on what was for many of us a very exciting event. On Friday, we welcomed Professor Sandy Heslop to the Centre for Kent Heritage and History here at CCCU.