Recent events and lectures during Autumn, 2001

Annual Luncheon

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.

From left: Ann Hoskins, Lady Belinda Buchanan, Sir Andrew Buchanan and Neville Hoskins at the Luncheon

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.

Mr Philip Jones speaking about Thoresby and the Pierrepont family.

Guests enjoying the occasion: Terry Fry and Alf Bowley deep in conversation.


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.
Barbara Cast

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.
John Beckett

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 attending.
Julia Wilson