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.
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.
The last few days have been exceedingly busy, partly because we are now a fortnight away from the Medieval Canterbury Weekend 2018 – there are still tickets available from ‘Campfire Tales’, with The Canterbury Tales, on Friday 6 April for ‘younger medievalists’ to the wide range of Medieval History talks from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon – www.canterbury.ac.uk/medieval-canterbury and also because I have been involved in several meetings about the Faversham exhibition, about working with schoolchildren on History topics and drawing up details for the next Nightingale Memorial Lecture, the joint event with the Agricultural Museum, Brook.
This will be the last blog before the rescheduled Becket Lecture, consequently I thought I would start by sending out a final reminder that it will take place in The Michael Berry Lecture Theatre, Old Sessions House, on Tuesday 6 March at 6pm. Dr Marie-Pierre Gelin will be the lecturer this year and her chosen topic is ‘Thomas Becket and his Predecessors at Canterbury’. Everyone is most welcome, so please come along and bring your friends.
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).
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
In 2018, we will be heading back to the Middle Ages for our Medieval Canterbury Weekend from the 6 to 8 April. Regarding the lectures and tours, we will start on the Friday evening as usual with a lecture by a leading expert in his/her field.
Keeping with the theme from last week of activities of those involved directly or indirectly with the Centre in ‘history in the community’, this week I’ll focus on the Kent History Federation’s one-day conference at Sandwich, before mentioning Dr Diane Heath and medieval animals.
For the last four days, History and the Centre at Canterbury Christ Church has hosted the Gender and Medieval Studies conference under the overarching theme of ‘Gender, places, spaces, thresholds’. Dr Diane Heath, the organiser, has been brilliant and the appreciative audience has been treated to a veritable feast. Live tweeting is now the name of the game and if you want to get a flavour of what has been happening, please tap into #GMSPlaces