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Speakers for 2024-2025

Towcester and District Local History Society monthly meetings

Meetings are on the second Wednesday of every month, except August, starting at 7.30pm unless informed otherwise.

Meetings will be hybrid meetings, both live and by Zoom. Members and visitors can attend the live meeting at the Sawpits Centre, Towcester. Members who want to join remotely are given the Zoom information.

Refreshments at the monthly meetings are included. Apart from the main speaker there may be extra events such as short talks, or a discussion group on a topic related to Towcester heritage that you may join at the end of the main meeting.

There is some parking at the Sawpits Centre, but please leave that for people with limited mobility. There is more parking a short distance away at the Richmond Road Car Park or at the Sponne Arcade car park.

Meetings are free for members, and £5.00 for visitors. Annual membership is £15.00.

Wednesday 13 March 2024
A History of Towcester Mill

David Wilcock
After a brief history of Towcester Water Mill, we will look at the water supply, the 1911 fire, and the 1995-1996 restoration, which changed a derelict building into office space, and which now houses Towcester Mill Brewery.

Wednesday 10 April 2024
Sulgrave Manor and the Washington family
Martin Sirot-Smith
A former Director of Sulgrave Manor Martin will present this talk in full Tudor Costume as Lawrence Washington, the Tudor builder of Sulgrave Manor. He will tell the history of the Washington family in Britain, the life history of Lawrence and his direct link to George Washington, the first President of the USA.

Wednesday 8 May 2024
Silverstone from WWI to Formula I
Gerald Lovell
Silverstone resident Gerald’s talk is about a village dominated over centuries by the wood trade, yet post-war becoming “Home of British Motor Racing”.

Wednesday 12 June 2024
The Women’s Land Army in the First World War
Helen Frost
Come along to hear about the quite incredible contribution made by this oft-forgotten, overlooked 'army' of women who, during the great war years were recruited mainly from towns and cities to work on the land; often for the first time in large numbers.

Wednesday 10 July 2024
Brian Giggins
A history walk along Silverstone Brook.
Note the earlier start time of 7.00pm.

No meeting in August 2024

Wednesday 11 September 2024
Stowe – Past, Present and Future
Representative from Stowe House
This talk explores the rise and fall of the Temple-Grenville family, highlighting their great social and political ambitions, the three sales leading to the eventual creation of Stowe School in 1923 and plans for the future.

Wednesday 9 October 2024
The Washingtons and the Wool Trade
Martin Sirot-Smith
A follow-up from Martin’s talk in April, this time he will tell of the Washington family’s connection with the wool trade.

Wednesday 13 November 2024
The Gunpowder Plot
Peter Stratton
Peter will tell of the little-known details of conspiracy and mayhem with Guy Fawkes and his co-schemers including those from the local area.

Wednesday 11 December 2024
A Magic Lantern and German Christmas
Kevin Varty
A collection of magic lantern slides, (the First World War version of a projector) showing how the Germans might have entertained themselves at Christmas.

Wednesday 8 January 2025
Volunteering at the Northamptonshire Records Office
Lesley Armstrong
Lesley will talk to us about her role as a volunteer and projects undertaken. Examples of amazing, interesting, enlightening, unusual and peculiar items she has catalogued and seen. A fascinating insight into the work carried out at the Northamptonshire Records Office.  

Wednesday 12 February 2025
Queen Eleanor of Castile – a cycle through history
Andy Tennet
A presentation regarding the life and influence of Queen Eleanor of Castile, her links to Northampton and her impact on many of the things that we take for granted in our everyday lives. The talk ends with Andy telling of a charity cycle ride he and his wife and I took part inwhich followed the route of the Queen Eleanor crosses erected in her memory.

Wednesday 12 March 2025
The 2025 Annual General Meeting.

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