Recent events and lectures during Autumn, 2001
This year's Annual Luncheon was held at Thoresby Hall Hotel on 3 November 2001. A record attendance of 134 members and their guests gathered at the refurbished and recently reopened Hall. Guests of Honour were Sir Andrew and Lady Belinda Buchanan. Sir Andrew is Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire. Following the lunch the loyal toast was proposed by Professor John Beckett, chairman of the Thoroton Society, and the toast to the Thoroton Society was proposed by Mr Peter Bloomfield. The President, Neville Hoskins, replied on behalf of the Society.
Mr Philip Jones then gave a brief account of the history of the Pierrepont family, and of the three different Thoresby Halls. Members were invited to tour the current Hall, built by Anthony Salvin, and grounds, and to see for themselves the renovation work carried out by the present owners, Warner Hotels. The Society is particularly grateful to the Honorary Secretary, Mrs Barbara Cast, for organising the luncheon, and to the staff of Thoresby Hall for making this such a successful occasion.
Guests enjoying the occasion: Terry Fry and Alf Bowley deep in conversation.
REPORTS OF RECENT LECTURES
13 October – Dr David Knight Excavations of prehistoric and Roman sites at Hoveringham Quarry
David Knight gave an excellent lecture, which had been postponed due
to the theft of his slides; but, armed with a new set, he was able to tell
an enthralled audience of the exciting and unexpected finds revealed during
these excavations. A long record of land use was revealed, stretching back
into prehistory and through into the Roman period - some high quality Roman
pottery was amongst the finds. One of the most interesting discoveries
was the evidence of fairly intensive animal management with complex drove
ways and corrals. Hoveringham is the "settlement of the hump dwellers",
describing the means by which inhabitants avoided all but the worst of
the constant flooding of the Trent. These excavations showed that prehistoric
settlers had adopted the practice of settling on the gravel islands or
humps long before the name was coined. Even gravel extraction is not all
bad, giving the chance to discover more about the county's unrecorded past.
We look forward to David's next lecture on his work of assessing the archaeology
along the route of the Fosse Way in advance of roadworks.
10 November – Dr Linda Lees - Nottinghamshire History Lecture: ‘Lewd and Dissolute Women: Women & Crime in 17th century Nottinghamshire’
The early seventeenth century was a male dominated society. Women were
expected to be chaste, silent, and obedient to their husbands, so when
their conduct was unbecoming they risked the wrath of the law courts, both
civil and ecclesiastical. ‘Scolds' could be cucked, ducked, or restrained
by a ‘Scold's Bridle', all designed to make them mend their ways.
Linda Lees, this year's Nottinghamshire History lecturer, admitted she
might have ended up before the courts herself as a scold! However, she
reassured the audience that she was rather less likely to have committed
the domestic violence, which led to some fairly horrific punishments for
women – imposed, of course, by a male judiciary. Dr Lees' trawl of
the church court and Quarter Sessions records for Nottinghamshire revealed
a remarkable story of women forced to defend their honour against claims
of inappropriate conduct. Her lecture kept the audience enthralled and
will make fascinating (if somewhat gruesome) reading in the forthcoming Transactions.
The Thoroton Room
Fay Weldon visited Bromley House in July when she was to have officially
opened the Thoroton Room; but the Board took the architect’s advice
to have a structural test on the floor, and it was found to be sadly wanting
in its potential strength for the purpose for which it is intended - a
lecture room for up to 50 people. So it’s back to the drawing board!
Instead of the opening, a relaxed evening was enjoyed in the garden, when
Fay talked about her forthcoming autobiography. The garden party was similarly
blessed on an equally glorious day, and Fay met many of the 150 members