As well as being the feast day of St Calimerius – a 3rd-century bishop of Milan, persecuted and killed by being flung head first into a well, and invoked against drought; and that of several other saints, the 31st July also marks the end of the academic (financial) year. Consequently, amongst those leaving (retiring) from Christ Church are Professor Jackie Eales, co-director of the Centre, Professor Peter Vujakovic, from Geography and someone we at the Centre have worked with on several projects, and Dr Lesley Hardy, who as readers of the blog will know is one of the leaders of the ‘Finding Eanswythe’ project. We at the Centre wish them all the best for the future.
Just to say thank you very much and more ‘animals’ have been making their way to Dr Diane Heath’s door, including several dragons, a stag, a pig, a bee, an octopus and a bonnacon. I’ll leave you to find out about the latter! If there are any more budding tile-makers out there, please do send in your design to firstname.lastname@example.org as the more the merrier.
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/
Before I get to the topic for this week – food and its uses in medieval Kent, I thought I would flag up an initiative by the Graduate College if you are thinking of studying for a postgraduate degree – Taught Masters, Masters and PhD by research, PGCE and many more, at CCCU next year. The College is running online weekly sessions throughout June on Thursday late afternoons between 4pm and 5.30pm. Professor Susan Millns, as Dean of the College, will provide information about postgraduate student finance as well as how to apply for a place and what it means to be a postgraduate student at Canterbury. You will also have plenty of opportunity to discuss how you can gain the postgraduate edge and take your studies to the next level. For further details and to book a place, please email: email@example.com
This week I thought I would catch up with what Dr Diane Heath has been doing recently, as well as where I and my fellow editors are with Maritime Kent. In some ways the later stages towards publication are more feasible at the moment, compared to the earlier part of completing research and writing where access to archives and libraries is extremely important. However, before I come to these developments, the CCCU Kent History Postgraduates met again this week.
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.
Thanks firstly to Dr Diane Heath for last week’s blog, and today I thought I would start with Professor Louise Wilkinson’s virtual ‘Farewell’ last Friday where she was joined by most members from History, several members of the School of Humanities administration team and Dr Harriet Kersey from CCCU Research, who is a former doctoral student of Louise’s. As all agreed, it is a great pity that such a great scholar and lovely, caring person is leaving CCCU after about sixteen years, but as her parents will still be here in Canterbury for the time being, we haven’t ‘lost’ her completely. Consequently, there will be a ‘proper Farewell’ once the lockdown is over when she will be given a rather special gift to mark everyone’s appreciation of what she has done for History and the university more widely.
With all Centre and other events in Canterbury cancelled until the autumn at the earliest, and even September may be in doubt – more news when matters become clearer; and the Prime Minister remains in intensive care, the gravity of the situation at all levels is clear. Hence, developing ways to adjust to the present circumstances are paramount in order to fulfil government requirements to help those on this ‘war’s’ frontline.
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.
This week I’m reporting on the Kent History Postgraduates meeting and bringing news about future Centre events.