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.
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.
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.
Stop press: Dr Claire Bartram’s edited collection Kentish Book Culture: Writers, Archives, Libraries and Sociability 1400-1660 (Oxford and Bern: Peter Lang, 2020) arrived yesterday and it looks a very fine volume. Then today the first group of taught MA students in MEMS and Modern History graduated, congratulations to all and especially Katie Brooke as the winner of the first Lawrence Lyle Memorial MA Dissertation Prize.
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.
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.
As a starting point, I thought I would mention that Professor Louise Wilkinson and I are putting together a series of evening talks for the first week in September 2020 ie beginning Monday 31 August on ‘Kentish Saints’ as part of Becket 2020.
Some of you may remember that about 15 month ago the Centre held a conference on ‘Maritime Kent through the Ages’. Following that successful day Stuart Bligh, Dr Elizabeth Edwards and I decided we should capitalise on the interest shown and edit a collection of essays under the same heading.
I am continuing to make progress on the programme for the Medieval Canterbury Weekend 2020 that will take place from Friday 3 to Sunday 5 April. All being well, work on the website will take place during September and I’m hoping we will be able to go live online in early October. I’ll let you know when that happens.