Trip Advisor

Founded in 1884 by Louth Naturalists',
Antiquarian and Literary Society
Registered Charity No. 1145436

A Local Independent Museum
Nationally Accredited
Quality Assured Visitor Attraction

Visits and Lectures 2017

Louth Naturalists’, Antiquarian and Literary Society’s (“LNALS”) lectures take place at 7.30 p.m. in the Conoco-Phillips Room of Louth Library which situated between Eastgate and Northgate. The Conoco-Phillips Room is situated on the first floor of Louth Library and has full wheelchair access. Entry to our lectures for LNALS members costs £1.00 and non-members are most welcome, with an entry fee of £4.00 per person is payable on the night. Booking forms for our summer 2017 visits will be available from Louth Museum from 5th April 2017.

January – Lectures

Date Title
24th Carlton Saxon Island Settlement
  Talk by Dr Adam Daubney - Finds Liaison Officer for Lincolnshire

This talk explores the recently discovered Middle Saxon marsh island at Little Carlton. The site is hailed as one of the most important finds in recent years, and the archaeology contained within it is beginning to reveal information about trade, religion, and settlement at one of the region's earliest Christian communities.

Dr Adam Daubney is the Finds Liaison Officer for Lincolnshire. He studied for his undergraduate degree in Archaeology and Prehistory at Sheffield University, and his MA and PhD at Leicester University. After graduating he worked as a field archaeologist and then as Assistant Keeper of Archaeology at Lincoln Museum before joining the scheme in 2003. Adam's research interests are in material culture, landscapes, and heritage crime. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.

31st The Parish Library of Boston Stump
  Talk by Ernie Napier - Former Chairman of the Library in Boston’s Parish Church - The Stump

In the room above the south porch of St Botolph’s church, Boston is a collection of 1700 volumes that is said to be the tenth best Parish Library in the country. Twenty years ago it was in a poor state and no complete catalogue existed. Tonight we will hear the story of the work and fund-raising of a small team of dedicated volunteers that has led to its conservation.

Our speaker this evening is very well known in Boston where he was a Borough Councillor for 28 years. He has been a Trustee of many local groups, including the Boston Sea Cadet Corps, the Boston Preservation Trust and the Thomas Sanderson Trust, which offers support to former mariners and their families. Following the death of his wife Pauline in 2007 he also took on her role as Chairmanship of the Parish Library Committee. He has been worshipping at the Stump for over 30 years and recently introduced the US Ambassador to Britain, Matthew Barzon, to some of the early books and documents in the parish library.

February – Lectures

Date Title
7th Collecting World War One Memorabilia
  Talk by Michael Credland - Great War Enthusiast

Tonight Michael shares his knowledge of the many collectable items from the horrific but fascinating time of the Great War, and introduces us to some of the treasures we shall see during our visit to his private museum in the summer.

Michael Credland is an authority on the First World War and in particular on the role of the Lincolnshire Regiment in the conflict. He has studied Lincolnshire’s War Memorials for over three decades and has written the definitive guide to them, about which he has already given us a much enjoyed talk.

14th Private Lives of the Tudors
  Talk by Tracy Borman – Historian and Author

This talk will take the audience behind closed doors to explore the private lives, loves and scandals of the most celebrated royal dynasty in history. Here, the Tudors led a very different life to the one that most of their subjects witnessed. It was vital for a king or queen to show no vulnerability to the outside world: any sign of frailty, illness or even the natural process of ageing had to be disguised by a mask of invincibility. If this mask slipped, then so might their dynasty. But their closest attendants knew the truth. They saw the tears shed by the seemingly implacable Henry VII upon the death of his son Arthur. They knew the real cause of ‘Bloody’ Mary’s protracted – and, ultimately, fruitless – pregnancies. And they saw the ‘crooked carcass’ beneath Elizabeth I’s carefully applied makeup, gowns and accessories.

In exploring the private lives of the Tudors, Tracy Borman will interweave familiar tales, such as Henry VIII’s turbulent affair with the ‘Great Whore’, Anne Boleyn, and the endlessly debated question of their daughter Elizabeth I’s virginity, with lesser-known episodes such as Henry VII’s courtship of his own daughter-in-law, and the lingering, excruciating death of his grandson, Edward VI. She will also reveal other aspects of their lives behind closed doors: what they ate, how they dressed, their hobbies and friends, health and hygiene.

Dr Borman is an expert on the Tudors and uniquely placed to explore their private lives. Her highly acclaimed book, Elizabeth’s Women, was Book of the Week on Radio 4, and her latest biography, Thomas Cromwell: the untold story of Henry VIII’s most faithful servant, was a Sunday Times bestseller. As well as being a writer and historian, Tracy is joint Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces. She therefore has unparalleled access to the archives, collections and palaces in which so much of the narrative takes place, notably Hampton Court and the Tower of London.

Dr Borman is an expert on the Tudors and uniquely placed to explore their private lives. Her highly acclaimed book, Elizabeth’s Women, was Book of the Week on Radio 4, and her latest biography, Thomas Cromwell: the untold story of Henry VIII’s most faithful servant, was a Sunday Times bestseller. As well as being a writer and historian, Tracy is joint Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces. She therefore has unparalleled access to the archives, collections and palaces in which so much of the narrative takes place, notably Hampton Court and the Tower of London.

Tracy studied and taught history at the University of Hull and was awarded a PHD in 1997. She went on to a successful career in heritage and has worked for a range of historic properties and national heritage organisations, including the Heritage Lottery Fund, The National Archives and English Heritage. She is now Chief Executive of the Heritage Education Trust, a charity that encourages children to visit and learn from historic properties through the Sandford Award scheme. She is also joint Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces, the charity that manages Hampton Court Palace, the Tower of London, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace, the Banqueting House, Whitehall and Hillsborough Castle.

Tracy is a regular broadcaster and recently presented a series based upon her latest book, The Private Lives of the Tudors. She is also a regular contributor to BBC History Magazine and gives talks on her books across the country and abroad.

21st Empire, Collapse and Recovery: Roman Coins in Louth Museum and their Significance
  Talk by Alex Keyes MA Biblical Scholar and Amateur Numismatist

Looking at the four Roman coins on display in Louth Museum, Alex illustrates what they tell us about life in Roman Lincolnshire and the wider empire. During the talk we will travel to Rome at the height of its power, third century Britain rocked by war and instability, and the major trade centre of Alexandria, Egypt. In the process we will see that coins were not only objects of trade, but also items of religious and cultural significance.

Alex has a great interest in Roman coins and Roman Lincolnshire. He is a regular volunteer at Louth museum, and has led an historical walk around Louth to much acclaim.

28th ‘Mock Tudor’ - Architectural Deceptions in Woodhall Spa
  Talk by Edward Mayor - Art Historian and Author

We all recognise Tudor architecture through its black and white timberwork and use of polychromatic brickwork. The Victorians enjoyed reviving this style. Tonight Edward will examine how and why architects created the Woodhall Spa ‘look’ using the Tudor-Jacobethan styles of ‘Merrie England’.

Edward Mayor was born in Sheffield and first grew to love Woodhall Spa through childhood holidays spent there. He trained as an artist becoming an art historian and lecturing in Sheffield for 22 years. Since settling in Woodhall Spa he has written a number of books including a guide to the village’s attractions, a history of the Kinema and is now working on the third edition of the story of the Petwood.

March – Lectures

Date Title
7th OTTAWAY LECTURE: RAF Woodhall: Airfield to Quarry to Nature Reserve
  Talk by Dave Bromwich - Head of Nature Reserves, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust

From old Victorian maps and diaries, the trauma of WWII and the landscape change wrought by gravel extraction, the lecture considers how the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust’s biggest inland nature reserve has emerged from 200 years of human influence.

Born and bred in Melton Mowbray, so a Woolyback rather than a Yellowbelly, Dave Bromwich started his career with the Lincs Trust in 1980 as the Gibraltar Point shorebird warden. A bit of time away followed with the RSPB and swimming teaching before returning to his adopted county in 1986 as Gibraltar Point Assistant Warden, Whisby Nature Park Warden, then in 1998 he moved to the Trust HQ at Horncastle, before becoming Head of Nature Reserves in 2002.

14th Heraldry, the Shorthand of History
  Talk by Alistair Kerr - Retired Diplomat, Author and Amateur Heraldist

Tonight’s speaker will explain how useful a knowledge of heraldry can be, how a coat of arms is designed, the military origins of the idea and who is entitled to use them. He aims to eliminate our misconceptions of the subject and explain how the process works now and how it can expect a bright future.

Alistair Kerr was born in Edinburgh where he read History and Law at Edinburgh University, later studying at London and Cambridge Universities. He joined HM Diplomatic Service in 1975 and served, among other places, in Paris (twice), Nairobi and Khartoum. He has so far managed to be caught up in two coups d'etat, one civil war and the occasional skirmish. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He was a Parliamentary Clerk from 2006 to 2009. History – including heraldry - remains his first love. He fell in love with Lincolnshire almost by accident; and has been based near Louth since 2014. Alistair is the author of a number of articles in journals, and in 2015 Cambridge Academic published his first book, a military biography: Betrayal, the Murder of Robert Nairac GC. Apart from History, his other hobbies include ornithology and listening to classical music.

21st The Branch Lines of the East Lincolnshire Railway
  Talk by Mike Fowler - Retired Broadcaster and Film Producer

To commemorate the 45th anniversary of the closure of the East Lincolnshire Railway, Mike organised an exhibition of surviving railwayana at Alford Manor House in October 2015. He opened the exhibition with a talk which he repeated for our Society to considerable acclaim. We asked if he would develop another lecture on the branch lines and tonight will doubtless be another highly polished and entertaining evening.

Mike is a retired broadcaster and film producer. He grew up in Spilsby and spent many happy hours on Spilsby and Firsby stations watching trains. He bases his presentations on these experiences and draws on extensive memories and research with considerable enthusiasm.

March – AGM

Date Title
28th AGM and Presidential address: A Present from Lincolnshire
  By David N Robinson OBE - Honorary Life President

The coming of the railways and the start of holidays for working people opened up travel to folk other than the wealthy. The growth of seaside resorts led to a demand for souvenirs. The Goss family, who owned Falcon pottery Stoke on Trent, is credited with starting the craze for crested china. These are small white glazed porcelain wares bearing crests and names of seaside and inland resorts. Louth Museum’s medieval ewer was the inspiration for one of the classic designs since the factory sent agents out to find inspiration. It is from his long study of the Lincolnshire seaside that David developed his interest in crested ware which he will share with us tonight.

If it’s true of anyone, it’s true of David: he needs no introduction. Born in Horncastle, he graduated from Nottingham University with an honours degree in geography. He began a teaching career in schools in Grimsby and Immingham, but moved into adult education (and Louth!) in 1965, as a Tutor Organiser for the WEA. Through his writing, notably in Lincolnshire Life, he has become a household name. His work for our Society has included the redevelopment of our Museum and his knowledge of ‘All Things Lincolnshire’ has brought us nearly 30 years of annual Presidential lectures.

July - Summer Outing - LAST FEW PLACES - BOOK NOW!

Date Title
23rd Walking Tour of the Architecture of Woodhall Spa - Edward Mayor
Visit to Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre with an Expert Introductory Talk

Meet at the car park of the Petwood Hotel, Stixwould Road LN10 6QG at 11.00 am. (I have not arranged for us to have tea/coffee at the Petwood beforehand as it is less expensive for it to be done invdividually! I shall arrive early enough to host Edward for drink.) Walk will take about an hour. Break for lunch: bring a packed lunch or book somewhere for lunch.


Meet at Thorpe Camp, Coningsby Road, LN4 4PL at 2.00 pm. After an initial talk the rest of the afternoon (the Visitor Centre closes at 4.00 pm) is for us to look around. The café on site will be available.

Total cost per person is £7.00 (refreshments are not included)

Booking is essential as numbers are strictly limited for this outing. Please can you ensure that payment is received by no later than Saturday 3rd June to secure your place(s). Booking forms are available from Louth Museum, Wednesday to Saturday 10.00 am to 4 pm. Cheques should be made payable to LNALS and sent together with your booking form to Jean Howard, Winterbourne, Church Lane, Tathwell, LN11 9SR.

August - Summer Outing - LAST FEW PLACES - BOOK NOW!

Date Title
9th Guided tour of Fydell House Boston
Guided Tour of St Botolph’s Church (The Stump)

Meet in the front garden of Fydell House, South Street, PE21 6HU at 11.00 am. Guided tour of the house and weather permitting, the garden, by a volunteer from Boston Preservation Trust. Break for lunch: bring a packed lunch or choose one of the many eateries in Boston. I can recommend the White Hart Hotel at 1-5 High Street, The Moon under Water at 6 High Street (a Weatherspoon’s pub) and Tates Fish and Chip Restaurant at 4-6 New Street. It will be market day in Boston.


Guided Tour of St Botolph’s Church (The Stump) led by one their guides. Meet in the Market Place at the statue (at the east end of the Church PE21 6NW) at 2.00 pm. Guided tour of church for approximately one hour ending with a drink and a slice of cake in the Church’s coffee shop beneath the tower.

Total cost per person £10.50 (including Church refreshments but not lunch)

Booking is essential as numbers are strictly limited for this outing. Please can you ensure that payment is received by no later than Saturday 3rd June to secure your place(s). Booking forms are available from Louth Museum, Wednesday to Saturday 10.00 am to 4 pm. Cheques should be made payable to LNALS and sent together with your booking form to Jean Howard, Winterbourne, Church Lane, Tathwell, LN11 9SR.

September – Lectures

Date Title
26th Industries and People of Louth Riverhead
  Talk by Stuart Sizer - Society Education Officer

After an initial period of slow growth Louth canal began to establish itself as a major player in the growth of the town. Several families began to use the canal and form partnerships with one another. This talk looks at some of these partnerships and how their fortunes grew, none so more than the Nell dynasty. It will look at the types of goods imported and exported to make Louth one of the most important ports in the county.

Stuart trained as a teacher at Bishop Grosseteste College, Lincoln and taught at a number of local schools, retiring as headmaster at Kidgate, Louth. He has played a part in many local organisations including Louth Museum, Louth Navigation Trust and St James’s church where he is senior guide and editor of the parish magazine. He has continued to teach through the WEA and in leading church tours around the area. His walks of Louth, particularly the ghost walk, are very popular. He is co-author of a book on Louth Canal, ‘People and Boats’.

October – Lectures

Date Title
3rd Into the Darkness but Shining a Light
  Talk by Paul Money - Freelance Astronomer and Reviews Editor of the BBC Sky at Night magazine

Our speaker tonight has entertained us on previous occasions with his amazing photographic images of space. Tonight we take a look at the astounding discoveries made about Pluto by the New Horizons mission.

Paul has had an interest in the stars from a very early age. He began his working life for M & S at Boston, where he saw a poster for a lecture on Mars at Boston Astronomical Society. He joined, gave a brief filler on Saturn and found other groups wanted to hear him. As his astronomical knowledge and bookings expanded he reduced his M & S hours until he finally left in 2007. He is now a self-employed lecturer and writer and has just published his first novel, a ghost story.

10th Traditional Vernacular Chair Making in Lincolnshire with special mention of Louth, Alford and Spilsby Examples
  Talk by William Sergeant - Local Farmer and Proprietor of the Lincolnshire Chair Museum

William Sergeant will outline the fascinating history of chair making in the county, explain how to recognise the local design features using examples of each type and show how it is possible to attribute chairs to specific makers. He will highlight the chair making tradition in the north east of the county in the towns of Louth, Spilsby and Alford as well as the tradition of Windsor chair making in the south of the county.

Our speaker is a Lincolnshire farmer, born in the county, who has always had an interest in local history. This distilled into collecting vernacular chairs which in turn led to the development of his Lincolnshire Chair Museum. He is the UK's leading expert on Lincolnshire chairs and is the only person doing research into the subject. He is a leading member of the Regional Furniture Society, contributes to their publications and gives regular talks.

17th WALLIS LECTURE: The Architectural Drawings of Claude Nattes
  Talk by Carol Bennett - Education Officer - Lincoln Cathedral

John Claude Nattes (c1765-1839) was a watercolourist and topographical draughtsman whose work is in many great public collections. However it is for over 700 views of our county’s stately homes, churches and abbey ruins that he is remembered in Lincolnshire. This wonderful body of work was commissioned in 1789 by Sir Joseph Banks and the artist’s eight years of work provides researchers with an incomparable resource.

Carol Bennett was born in New York City, where she studied history of art and architecture at Columbia University. She moved to England on her marriage to Nicholas Bennett (later Lincoln Cathedral Librarian, recently retired). She is Education Officer at Lincoln Cathedral, where she organises lectures, study days and concerts, and writes educational texts and interpretation for the cathedral.

24th Sir John Franklin: The Dark Myth Darkens
  Talk by E C Coleman - Former Naval Officer and Amateur Historian

Tonight’s talk will examine the politically correct myths surrounding the disappearance of the 1845 Franklin Expedition. Were there really lead poisoning, cannibalism, and ships that sailed by themselves? Probably not.

Our speaker was born in Lincoln, raised in Grantham. He entered the Royal Navy as a ‘Junior’ in January 1960, and retired as Lieutenant RN in January 1996. He has mounted and led four Arctic expeditions in search of evidence from the 1845 Franklin Expedition. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in 1991. He has written several books on Naval, Polar, and Medieval history.

31st Tales of Old Tathwell
  A Talk by Jean Howard - Lincolnshire Blue Badge Guide and Church Historian

Jean has taken a great interest in her village since researching it for a temporary display in the parish church in 1986. She leads walks around the settlement when requested, and always during the annual Art Exhibition each May. With two miles to walk and only two hours before the lure of Tathwell’s home-made cakes tempt her listeners away, there are only so many stories that can be fitted in, so tonight she takes advantage of the time available to convey some of the information – some of it a bit scandalous! - that awaits exposure.

Our speaker is Norfolk born, but has lived in Lincolnshire for most of her life. Time staffing the mobile library and dealing with local studies enquiries fuelled her love of local history. Qualification as a Blue Badge Tourist Guide led to her speaking on a number of subjects, mainly about Lincolnshire and church architecture. She was Hon. Curator of Louth Museum during the period of its resurgence as the enviable visitor and educational facility it now is.

November – Lectures

Date Title
7th The History of Cinema in Louth
  Talk by Steve West - Society Member

The talk tonight will begin with the earlier identity of the Playhouse as the Congregational Chapel, then cover the history of this building as a cinema and also the Electric Picture Palace. This latter cinema (now Heron) was owned by Arthur Ingleton who died in WWI and his partner, who was injured. Eventually Bertie Hallam managed both venues. The Palace closed in 1960 but Mr Hallam continued to run the Playhouse until he retired in 1972. A number of Playhouse owners followed, until Parkway Entertainment, who also own Cleethorpes and Beverley cinemas, secured its future in 1996.

Steve is Louth born and bred and his first visit to Louth cinema as a child was to see The Tales of Beatrix Potter. He also saw the last Playgoers pantomime produced there, Dick Whittington, in 1972. He has been collecting material about the history of Louth’s cinemas for several years and hopes to produce a book on the subject. Besides cinema and film his other main interest is railways, particularly local lines, but he is also a member of a Kent heritage railway and part owner of an engine under restoration.

14th Charles Dickens and the Women in his Life and Literature
  Talk by Valerie Purton - Emerita Professor of Victorian Literature, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge

Dickens is famous for popularising the ‘Victorian Heroine’, innocent, delicate and, like Little Nell, liable to weep at any opportunity. Little Nell’s death at the end of The Old Curiosity Shop, seems to have reduced the whole country to tears. He is also famous for having, supposedly, ruthlessly abandoned his dutiful wife Catherine, mother of his ten children, in favour of a young actress, Ellen Ternan. I want to re-examine the Life and Literature of this remarkable man to reveal the true complexity of his attitude to women and to suggest how the ‘Victorian Heroine’ might be reclaimed for the twenty-first century.

Valerie Purton is from the North East of England but was introduced to Lincolnshire, and especially to Louth, by the Lincolnshire scholar Christopher Sturman, with whom she wrote Poems By Two Brothers (a study of the poetry of Tennyson’s father and brother) in 1993. She is editor of the Tennyson Research Bulletin, which gives her an excuse to come back to Lincolnshire quite frequently (!), but her main academic subject is Charles Dickens. She published Dickens and the Sentimental Tradition in his Bicentenary Year, 2012.

21st Martin’s Miscellany
  Talk by Martin Chapman - Society Chairman

Tonight we take a tour around the UK taking in various points of interest including earth sculptures, bridges, ferries, Rosslyn Chapel, the T Wood and the village of Temple, the demolition of Louth malt kiln and building of Aldi – and possibly more…

Martin is a Yellerbelly and a local farmer, but has many varied interests including archaeology, drainage, engineering and the Knights Templars. He is a founder member of Far Welter’d, the East Lincolnshire Dialect Society.

28th The Disappearing Policeman - a Victorian Tragedy
  Talk by Brian Davey - Local Historian

On Monday, October 21st 1861 the Lincolnshire Constabulary was stunned when one of its best-known Superintendents disappeared. Discovering what happened to him is an exploration of life in the nineteenth-century police force, and of some of the darker places of Victorian England.

Brian Davey taught history at the Immingham School, the University of Lincoln and for the WEA. His book ‘Lawless and Immoral’ about the early constabulary in Horncastle remains a favourite book with our programme coordinator!

Our past Visits and Lectures (2016)


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