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HORNCASTLE HISTORY & HERITAGE SOCIETY

TREADING THE BOARDS

AT THE ADMIRAL RODNEY HOTEL, NORTH STREET AT 7.30PM 

 ENTRANCE £2 MEMBERS, £4 NON-MEMBERS

A talk, in costume, by the author of the book 'Treading the Boards' - Neil Wright

A fascinating look at theatre in Lincolnshire through the ages. From performances in barns to the theatres we know today; the touring companies and the areas they covered and performances in Horncastle, Louth and local areas. 

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Horncastle History & Heritage Society – Minutes of a Meeting of the Executive Committee held 3pm on Tuesday 7th September 2021 at the Joseph Banks Centre, Horncastle

Present: Ian Marshman (IM) Chairman, Bob Wayne (BW), Michael Hiatt (MH), Ian French (IF) and Julie Bates (JB), and for the Item 8 only Trevor Olsson (TO) and Paul Scott from the Joseph Banks Centre

Apologies: Mary Silverton (MS), Nick Fox (NF), Trevor Butterworth (TB) and Ros Rickard (RR)

Item 1. Apologies for Absence

IM accepted apologies from those members detailed above.

Items 2. Approval of Executive Minutes 27/07/2021

Minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as an accurate reflection of what took place with one typing correction as follows:- In the second paragraph of Item 3 Correspondence, Richard Hill was described as a mixed race equality campaigner, scientist and layer – this should read lawyer

Item 3. Matters Arising

27/07/21 Item 7: Local Heritage List: IM had been contacted by the Town Council about this, and he asked if they wanted to work on this list jointly but has not heard back from them. It was agreed that HHHS would continue to put buildings forward as there were concerns we could miss the opportunity to put buildings forward if left waiting for confirmation from the Town Council.

BW advised that himself and David Lawrence had produced a list approximately 10 years ago and BW had taken a photograph of every one of the properties listed. MH asked if a copy of this list still existed as this would be very helpful. BW would try to locate a copy.

Item 4. Planning Report (MH)

MH gave a brief update to those attending the meeting. There had not been much change, with most projects seeing intermittent work with slow progress. MH will put together a planning report to circulate with the minutes and proposes to shorten the list by omitting some of the long standing projects unless there is anything in particular to update on those. We still receive the weekly list of planning applications from the council but it is fairly quiet at the moment.

It was noted that the report on the Flood Relief Scheme June 2019 was still awaited.

The work on the Roman Wall was now more or less complete, just need to lay turf but understood there had been some issues around an elm tree. Professional advice is to pollard the tree and an application has been made in order to do this. So far the Tree Officer has acknowledged receipt of the application but has not yet responded. BW will be collecting remaining fence panels to put around the base of the tree.

On the subject of trees, there has been a planning application approval for a bungalow to be built on land at the back of the Fighting Cocks public house some time ago. Concern has been raised about a number of mature trees in the area that could be endangered owing to the building work. These trees have preservation orders and are being closely watched.

Item 5. Plans for AGM (29th Sept) and Blue Plaque Unveiling (15th Sept)

Blue Plaque: IM contacted the Co-op Community Champion to ask if there would be any refreshments available for the unveiling ceremony - she said yes but still awaiting confirmation of this. JB advised that she was not available on this date and had also received apologies from IF. MH added he was unavailable on this date too. IM and BW were available and it was understood that Colin Gascoyne will also attend. The widow of our late member, Keith Sellars, had been asked to do the unveiling. MS had asked her if she would be prepared to officiate at the unveiling in memory of Keith who had initiated the idea of commemorating Sully and contributed much of the early research for the Thomas Sully project.

AGM: IM confirmed that the AGM would take place in the Tennyson Room at the Community Centre on 29th September, 7.30 pm. JB advised that the examiner would return the signed off end of year financial report to her as MS was currently unavailable, and she would then scan this and send in pdf format to IM for circulation. JB also noted an error on the AGM agenda which had been sent to those members that receive documents electronically. Having spotted the error was able to send an amended version to those members unable to receive their documents by email. IM agreed he would send out an amended version of the agenda with the financial report once this was available – a copy of the financial report will be available to view at the meeting.

Item 6. Suggestions for Future Talks

Discussion took place on possible subjects for future talks. IM started by mentioning a work colleague, Nicola Grayson, who is currently recording historic towns of Lincolnshire and will be researching Horncastle soon. This would involve studying the development of Horncastle through the ages, creating maps of how the town has expanded outwards over the years. Another possible subject convict Maria Carter who had been transported to Australia who had recently come to IM's attention whilst preparing the Heritage Open Day exhibition with the Joseph Banks Society. He felt he could probably gather enough material to do a talk on her. Another topic given the renewed interest in rivers would be a talk on the Horncastle Canal.

Other suggestions were Rachael Miles who has been research the local woad industry. Paul at JBC is able to give a few different talks about the life of Joseph Banks, beginning with his early life, and then others on his Lincolnshire influences.

Other topics which it was agreed would be of interest are Militaria, aviation heritage (possibly someone from East Kirkby of Metheringham RAF heritage sites), the Horse Fair and Lawless and Immoral Horncastle

The Committee also agreed to move meetings in 2022 to the Community Centre (following the existing bookings this year already made at the Admiral Rodney). The room hire at the Community Centre would work out costing less providing we didn’t require the bar to be opened, for which there is a standard £20 fee to open the bar. It was felt that this was a lot to pay and agreed not to have the bar facility though it was noted that people are not allowed to bring their own alcoholic refreshments. We may look to booking another smaller room for a short period for the sale of tea and coffee during an interval. MS had suggested we might try to hold monthly meetings though this would involve a lot more work and needed input from more members rather than the same few taking on all the work. IM would book the room for the 3rd Wednesday in every month for the time being.

It is hoped that one or more members might take on the role of coordinating talks, contacting speakers, confirming dates etc. Please consider putting yourself forward for this role at the upcoming AGM or let us know if you would be interested but are unable to make it to the meeting.

Item 7. Creation of new Roman sculpture

IM had been approached by two of our members, who wanted to put up some statues around the town depicting the Roman heritage of the town. IM had shown them the model of a design based on the four horsemen from the Roman cavalry created by David Lawrence who has since moved away from Horncastle. The original idea had been to put this on the Spa Trail between Horncastle and Thornton Lodge but there had not been sufficient funding.

The members had proposed that they would do the legwork and raise the funds needed if the Society would be happy for them to do it under our auspices. They had provisionally discussed the sculpture being located next to Jubilee Way like the other horse statues, but at the other end near the junction with West Street/Langton Hill (southwest of the traffic lights). IM had in principal said yes as this was a project we had already developed and supported and had only failed to proceed for lack of time and funding, so if members wanted to help with this then it was a good opportunity to make some progress. It was understood that they would be contacting David Lawrence as they were still in touch with him. The Committee agreed that the members who had volunteered should be thanked for their offer and encouraged to start investigating the practicalities.

Item 8. Joseph Banks Centre & Archives - update

Trevor Olsson (TO) and Paul Scott (PS) from JBC joined the meeting at this point to discuss the recent End of the Line Horncastle Railway Exhibition.

All agreed that the exhibition had been a tremendous success with almost 2,000 visitors over the six weeks, and a well-attended talk by Mike Fowler given on Friday 13th August at the Community Centre. Thanks were extended to Chris Bates for all his research work making the exhibition possible, Mike Fowler and his wife Pat for the loan of exhibits and all the members who gave up their time to help setting up and greeting visitors throughout the exhibition.

Whilst all the figures had not been finalised, IM was confident that we had covered all the printing costs and costs of providing accommodation for Mike Fowler (who had travelled from Bedfordshire and made no charge for his time, travel or loan of his collection). The agreement was that donations received on days that the JBC would usually be closed would be retained by HHHS and donations received on days JBC would usually be open would be shared evenly between the two organisations.

There were concerns that the machine installed to take card donations had not worked properly and it was felt that we had probably lost a number of donations. Book sales had done very well, having sold all 50 copies of the book on the Horncastle to Woodhall Junction line purchased from the Wolds Railway, we were able to get a further supply of 50 but only sold around 14 of these so far. It was hoped we may be able to still sell these at meetings etc. We had also taken 10 copies of a new book about Boston Railways written by friends of Mike Fowlers and have sold 9 of those.

Lessons Learned – Trevor and Paul admitted that almost all visitors during the period of the exhibition said they had come to see the railway exhibition, which is attributed to the great publicity we had in local press and in several national railway magazines. However, following the special open weekend (which was extended to an open week) the Horncastle News had featured the model railway which had been lent only for the weekend, and Mike Fowler's collection of artefacts which had only been loaned for the week. Whilst it had been reported that these were only there for the weekend/first week respectively, many people arriving after they had gone and had then gone away disappointed that they were no longer there. It was agreed that in future all exhibitions need to include all exhibits from start to finish, rather than have special events with extra things added. It was also agreed that in future exhibitions should stay up longer to make best use of the huge effort that had gone into preparing them.

Despite having video equipment, Trevor confessed it hadn’t occurred to him to video the exhibition. IM had taken a few short videos and agreed they would look at these and see if we could put them on Facebook and the website for those who missed out.

It was agreed that JBC and HHHS need to get together before the end of the year and put a plan together for exhibitions in 2022.

TO and PS had asked IM to become a Director of Joseph Bank Ltd which is the limited liability company that legally leases and runs the centre, with the charity the Joseph Banks Society - like HHHS does - sub-letting space from it. It was also suggested that a group of external people including specialists in topics like geology, insects, botany, history, archaeology etc be set up as an Advisory Group for the Centre. TO and PS suggested that IM would be useful regarding his expertise in archaeology on such an advisory group. All agreed that it would be a good idea for IM to take on the Directorship role providing there were no legal reasons he couldn’t, and it was accepted that he would sometimes need to abstain or declare interests for items involving HHHS.

Item 9. Any other matters

The Photographic Society have very kindly given the Society a donation of £5,000 following the sale of Watson's Yard to an unknown buyer. They had confirmed to MS that the funds could be used however the Society saw fit, although of course it would be good to use it for purposes related to photography and the important collections of old photos of Horncastle in our Archives. The JBC confirmed they had received a similar gift and are using this money to scan photographic slides, and to purchase a 3D scanner so they are spending this on something connected to photography and imaging. IM has already thanked them on behalf of the Society for this gift and has encouraged them to consider donating any of their photographs, especially those which won any of prizes and trophies that now form part of our Archive.

BW mentioned an Arts Council project he had been involved with whereby people were invited to write articles on their "Memories of Lincolnshire”. BW had written an article including some memories of his time in Horncastle, but was unsure how good or otherwise this was, and had not yet seen any of the other memories included. He understood this would be published on 27 September and he would receive a copy embargoed until then. Contributors were being encouraged to give talks on the book so BW may be able to put something together for a talk.

TO advised that JBC have a recording device available if anyone wanted to sit with people and record oral histories of their memories. Any member who is interested in collecting people's memories should get in touch as time is of the essence. Several older local people have come forward with fascinating stories to tell.

Item 11. Date of next Meeting

The date of the next meeting will be 3pm on Wednesday 27th October at the Joseph Banks Centre.

Julie Bates
Executive Committee Minutes Secretary

NB. Please be assured that Correspondence and Finance sections of the usual agenda have deliberately been omitted here, as there had been no significant new correspondence and the Treasurer was not able to attend the meeting.

Horncastle History & Heritage Society – Minutes of a Meeting of the Executive Committee held 3pm on Tuesday 27th July 2021 at the Joseph Banks Centre, Horncastle

Present: Ian Marshman (IM) Chairman, Mary Silverton (MS), Michael Hiatt (MH), Nick Fox (NF), Ian French (IF), Ros Rickard (RR), June Benton (JnB) and Chris Bates (CB)

Apologies: Trevor Butterworth (TB), Bob Wayne (BW)* and Julie Bates (JB)

Item 1. Apologies for Absence

IM accepted apologies from those members detailed above. All thanked CB for standing in to take notes and wished JB a speedy recovery.
*BW attended the latter part of the meeting.

Items 2. Approval of Executive Minutes 15/06/2021 and Matters Arising (MA):

Minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as an accurate reflection of what took place.

15/06/21 Item 6: MS reported that the Admiral Rodney was insisting on card payments (not cash or cheque) and had been unsympathetic to an explanation of the difficulties this would cause the society. General view was to seek alternative venues for events and to see how we get on using the Community Centre.

27/04/021 Item 9: Thomas Sully blue plaque – MS has been in touch with Co-op to ask about refreshments for unveiling but have been unable to reach manager. Gwen Sellars (wife of late Keith Sellars) who originally suggested a plaque to Sully has agreed to unveil it.

Item 3. Correspondence

MS reported Amazon Smile was offering 5% payment to society from purchases made by members if they signed up to a discount scheme; agreed not to pursue.

IM said University of Lincoln was planning a project on "Untold Lincolnshire” and was particularly interested in learning about women, ethnic minorities and others whose contribution to the county’s life might otherwise be forgotten. Agreed to suggest inclusion Annie Dixon the miniature portrait painter, and Richard Hill, a mixed race equality campaigner, scientist and layer with origins in Horncastle and Jamaica, who subsequently returned to the island where he rose to high office.

Item 4. Financial Report (MS)

Figures with the auditor at 25th June 2021 showed balance of £10,335.51; agreed to invoice SJBS for 50% of delivery of cases. Agreed to discuss with SJBS how proceeds from railway exhibition donations and book sales would be distributed.

Item 5. Planning Report (MH)

MH gave a brief update to those attending the meeting. MH will put together a planning report to circulate with the minutes. He also noted that following enquiries with Lincolnshire County Council the flood investigation report on the River Waring floods in 2019 was still being drafted so had still not been published.

IM said he had attended Horncastle Together meeting on enhancing the town and was informed that Town Council had been allocated £25,000 from the Government's "Welcome Back” Fund which uses some residual EU money to encourage people back to town centres. This would provide £5,000 for new planters, benches and litter bins; £8,780 to improve signage, restore blue plaques and create a mural, £9,600 for "deep cleaning” town centre including railings, telephone boxes, the bus stop, and areas fouled by pigeons. The latter will include one deep clean and weekly follow up cleaning of pavements. The Society has also been given what it has asked for to enhance the Joseph Banks Centre, £100 to improve signage in the Tourist Information area, £350 for a new window hanging system to highlight attractions when the TIC is closed, £670 to produce 20,000 leaflets for the relaunched centre, and £500 to promote our railway exhibition, Horncastle Heritage Open Days, and other events in the town centre.

Item 6. Upcoming Events and End of Coronavirus Restrictions

Agreed that the society needs someone to plan talks as the present programme expires at the end of the year; ideas welcomed on possible topics and speakers and there should be an agenda item for each Executive Committee meeting going forward with everyone invited to make suggestions.

AGM – agreed needed to hold as soon as practical in case of future lockdowns. It was agreed to try to organise it for the 29th September 2021 and IM to investigate use of the Tennyson Room at the Community Centre.

IM said Railway Exhibition due to open Thursday 29th July 2021 in the SJB Centre, thanked Nick Fox and his son for help hanging exhibits earlier that day, and Chris Bates for carrying out all of the research. Noted that the August issue of Railway Magazine (published by Mortons in Horncastle) would include four-page feature on the exhibition, and agreed to have display copy directing visitors to purchase one from Perkins.

Noted that a book on the exhibition was still possible, to include information, photos and images of relics brought to light by the exhibition. IM explained that in addition to the Society's exhibition, there would be an Open Weekend on the 14th-15th August with an operating model of Horncastle station produced by Simon Stuart, and a display of Mike Fowler’s railwayana from the Horncastle railway and other local lines. Mike Fowler had also confirmed he would do a talk on Friday 13th August at the Community Centre.

Noted that "Welcome Back” Fund would also pay for publicity postcards using images of the Horncastle line that had recently been rediscovered and supplied by LCLR Historic Vehicles Trust.

Item 7. Horncastle Suggestions for Local Heritage List

IM reported that the Society had been invited to suggest buildings for 'local listing' as part of a Government funded pilot project taking place across Lincolnshire. This was to encourage all the district councils to create local lists of historic buildings that although no statutorily protected as Listed buildings, were of local importance and which the community wanted to see preserved. This was being coordinated by Heritage Lincolnshire on behalf of the County Council.

IM suggested putting forward all those 'non-designated heritage assets' already suggested in the Horncastle Neighbourhood Plan, but would need to come up with more detailed supporting information as to why we thought they should quality.

MH suggested they should look beyond the Conservation Area as buildings inside already had some protection. It was suggested to also include cottages in Bowl Alley Lane opposite the primary school, pubs, Youth Centre (former Cagthorpe school), Watsons Yard, Holmeleigh cottages, the Water Mill, the Mill on Spilsby Road; Maypole House, former Great Northern Hotel, the railway gatepost in Bush Tyres’ yard; the former newspaper offices in Wharf Road.

Item 8. Sir Joseph Banks Centre and Archives - Update


MS reported a donation of £100 from a man who had asked society for photos of his mother on a trip to Skegness, to help the memory of a relative with Alzheimer’s; he had been delighted with the response and stimulus given by the photos.

MS reported on delivery of new archival pockets, which would enable pictures of Horncastle through the ages, to be displayed; they would help in preparation of exhibitions.

IM reported cooperation with JBS Centre was going well and he welcomed ideas for the official opening.

Item 9. Roman Wall – Update

IM reported that this work which had been long in preparation was now complete, subject to a few minor jobs such as works to trees and laying of turf soft capping on part of the southern wall.

The Community Centre had also received funding from the Lincolnshire Wolds Countryside Service to install interpretation boards, and IM was helping them with the content for these.

It was hoped to run tours during Heritage Open Days, and to have a proper celebration next year for all the donors and supporters once everything was finished.

Item 10. Any other matters

Noted the new membership form designed by NF is ready and printed.

Item 11. Date of next Meeting

The date of the next meeting will be 3pm on Tuesday 7th September at the Joseph Banks Centre (inside or in the garden depending on weather).

Minutes by Chris Bates

Horncastle History & Heritage Society – Minutes of a Meeting of the Executive Committee held 3pm on Tuesday 15th June 2021 in the Manor House Garden, Horncastle

Present: Ian Marshman (IM) Chairman, Mary Silverton (MS), Michael Hieatt (MH), Nick Fox

Apologies: Trevor Butterworth (TB), Ian French (IF), and Julie Bates (JB)

Item 1. Apologies for Absence

IM accepted apologies from those members detailed above. All thanked JB for her work minute taking and wished her a speedy recovery. MS added that Julie's minutes were the best the Society had ever had. IM said he would do his best in her absence

Item 2. Approval of Executive Minutes 27/04/2021 and Matters Arising (MA):

Minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as an accurate reflection of what took place.

27/04/21 Item 3: MS reported that a kind member had donated a copy of the book on the Horncastle Canal for the Society's archive, as well as 20 other books. All thanked the member for her generosity and contribution to the Society over many years.

17/04/21 Item 4: Since the meeting it had been agreed with the Joseph Banks Society that HHHS would not have to pay a cut of any book sales at the centre.

Item 3. Correspondence

MS reported that the story about Victorian copies of the Horncastle News being found in a car park in Melton Mowbray had reached as far as New Zealand. With one expatriate getting in touch to say they remembered holiday with an aunt who ran a sweet shop on St Lawrence Street in the 1960s. All thanked Chris Bates for his tremendous work promoting the Society in the media.

MS added that following a request for help the Society now had a new Membership Secretary, Rosalind Rickard. The Committee looks forward to welcoming her at a future meeting.

IM reported that he had received a request asking that the Society apply to get Harper's Bar on South Street listed as a building of special architectural or historic interest. This was on the basis that not only had it once been the Coach & Horses pub, but the son of one of its landlords in the 19th century who had grown up there was the footballer Ambrose Langley. He had started off playing for Horncastle Town before moving to Grimsby Town, then Middlesbrough Ironopolis before settling at Sheffield Wednesday where he played over 300 games including winning the FA Cup in 1896. He went on the manage Hull City from 1905-1913. It was agreed to do further research in the Archives with view to applying. It was also noted that he could be a candidate for a future blue plaque.

Item 4. Financial Report (MS)

MS advised the balance at the end of May was £10,218. She noted that only around £330 of subscriptions from members had been received out of a total of over £700. Several people had also forgotten to update their standing order to the current rate.

Membership – Could we please remind members that membership fees are due from 1st April with single membership at £12, joint membership £15. If you haven’t already made arrangements for membership to be paid as a Standing Order then could you please consider doing this as it does cut down on a lot of admin work both for members and the Society. If however you prefer to pay by cheque could you please send these.

Item 5. Planning Report (MH)

MH gave a brief update to those attending the meeting, advising that he was now receiving a weekly planning list from East Lindsey so it was now possible to comment of applications outside of the Conservation Area. MH will put together a planning report to circulate with the minutes.

IM noted that a historic building record of Ralph Bennett house at Holmeleigh had been completed ahead of its demolition for the ELDC HQ which would begin soon. He added that the full list of planning conditions had now been published and this included one requiring ELDC to also install a scheme of heritage interpretation about the site's history to make up for demolishing one of the cottage homes which are 'heritage assets' in the Neighbourhood Plan. It was hoped that ELDC would work with the Society on the designs, and that they could be in the same style as those planned for the new town heritage trail planned with Walkers Are Welcome.

IM also commented that it looked as if something was finally happening at the Water Mill, which has now been fenced off. A teleporter had also recently appeared on site. It was not clear if this was a result of ELDC undertaking urgent works themselves or that a new owner was about to start work.

Item 6. Planning Programme of Talks

IM noted that the Prime Minister's announcement that current rules on indoor meetings would be extended means that plans to hold an AGM on 19th July cannot now go ahead. However it was agreed to continue as planned with the other talks being organised.

MS confirmed that the Admiral Rodney had reserved the dates requested for us, but that they were increasing their prices from £30 to £50 per meeting, on the basis that the room takes a lot of time to set up. It was felt that this was expensive, especially considering the amount of revenue they made from drinks bought by attendees, which could more than double those actually drinking in the bar.

IM suggested that we review the situation at the end of the year.

The current programme is therefore

· 15th September, 7:30pm, Thomas Sully (part 2) by Colin Gascoigne

· 20th October 7:30pm, Iron Age East Midlands by Mark Arnold

· 17th November, 7:30pm, Treading the Boards, Georgian Theatre in Lincolnshire – Neil Wright

It is also hoped to stage an unveiling of the Thomas Sully blue plaque erected during lockdown on the 15th September at 6:30 in the Co-op car park prior to the talk. Details to follow in due course.

Item 7. Sir Joseph Banks Centre - Update

IM reported that the centre was now open and had been well-received so far. He thanked all the Society's volunteers, without whom this would not be possible.

He added that we are still waiting for the additional cabinets that were still on order having been delayed by the situation in the Suez Canal. It was hoped that these would arrive in the next week or two as it was understood the ship would be arriving imminently. This, combined with social distancing requirements meant that not much publicity had been done so far as it was felt wise to do a 'soft launch'.

NF who has been volunteering to welcome visitors noted that it hadn’t been particularly busy so far, although visitors were coming in and giving helpful feedback.

MS noted that it had increased interest in the Society's Archives with many people sending enquiries and several new donations of material and artefacts. IM added that Paul Scott had just forwarded an email from a visitor who was a medical historian and was impressed with the displays we had produced, and sent us a copy of an academic paper he had written on local 19th century physician Dr Harrison.

IM reported that plans for a physical railway exhibition were continuing, with plans for it to run throughout August. There was also a plan to hold a special open weekend on the 14th and 15th August when railway expert Mike Fowler was hoping to bring a range of railway artefacts from his own collection and those of his contacts, as well as a model of Horncastle station which has recently been made by a local man. Mike Fowler had also offered to do a new talk on the Friday night. Following discussion it was agreed to investigate accommodation for our guest as he was travelling up from Bedfordshire and giving up his time without asking for anything in return.

Item 8. Roman Wall – Update

IM reported that the main work to conserve the wall had finished last week although a number of smaller jobs remained outstanding and would take further discussions with neighbours and other stakeholders to resolve. The turf for 'soft capping' the wall at St Mary's Square was also now not going to be laid until the autumn in order to try to avoid it perishing in the summer heat. He added that a team from the University of Lincoln were also on site today carrying out a 3D laser scan of the Roman wall, which would mean it could be shown to more people and studied by more people as neither section has ever been properly recorded until now.

MS noted that the videos IM had made as updates on the Roman wall project and shared on the Society' Facebook page were good and suggested they be added to our website.

Following the meeting the Committee went to look at the wall beneath the Community Centre on Manor House Street to see the improvements made. Members are invited to take a look through the fence from Manor House Street and see for themselves.

Item 9. Ideas for Projects to Enhance the Town's Rivers

IM asked the Committee for their ideas on this subject as he was aware that there has been an interest in doing more with the rivers which are an under-appreciated asset for the town. He had discussed it with other members of Horncastle Together and wanted to suggest that a sub-group of Horncastle Together be set up to consider ideas to enhance the rivers. MH also runs Horncastle River Care had already expressed and interest, as had Bob Wayne who wasn’t present today, as well as Gail Dymoke from Walkers Are Welcome and Jade Oliver from the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust. He added that a visit from Lincolnshire Rivers Trust was pencilled in for the 23rd June to discuss what kinds of measures could be taken.

Ideas discussed included:

· New bridges to link up footpaths and green spaces and encourage walking and cycling.

· Improvements to Coronation Walk (such as paving the footpath etc).

· Investigating raising the water level in summer to make canoeing, rowing, punting etc. easier.

· Installing portage steps to improve access to the water in the town, and in the former canal locks so they are navigable to canoeists even if it is unfeasible to reopen to full sized boats.

· Information boards about river and canal heritage (such as The Floods and the Canal)

· Mooring a boat in the South Basin or on land nearby, perhaps as a floating cafe

· Paving or at least cutting grass on riverside path on the land behind Tesco which belongs to ELDC and is meant to be managed as 'amenity land'. This is currently not signposted either, so many don’t know it is there.

Members are encouraged to send any ideas they have to improve the rivers. Anyone interested in being part of the subgroup to explore ideas in more detail should get in touch.

Item 10. Any other matters

NF showed the committee an idea for a new membership leaflet to promote the Society. It was agreed that this was a great improvement on the basic form used previously and would help attract visitors to the Joseph Banks Centre to pick up a leaflet.

IM reported that between meetings he had attended a 3 hour workshop led by an expert from the Government's High Street Task Force about the future of Horncastle. ELDC had put Horncastle forward following the interest from the community and businesses in the previous Vital & Viable initiative. Unfortunately she had not been able to visit because of the pandemic but she had previously done a lot of work in the county and had visited the town before. Her initial conclusions that Horncastle needs its own tourism website, and a joined up vision about what it wanted to be and to achieve, as well as more events to encourage people into town were all sensible. It was understood that the meeting was the start of a process and could lead to further advice, guidance and mentoring depending on what ELDC and the Town Council agree are the area's most needed to improve.

IM also noted that he had been to a meeting with ELDC about creating a mural for the Post Office wall on St Lawrence Street. It was however understood that unfortunately the Post Office/Royal Mail in London have refused to give their permission to ELDC. The Committee suggested Achurch Walk (between Co-op and the High Street), and the side of No. 6 Market Place (the vacant building between Perkins and the zebra crossing) as alternatives.

MS asked if any member might be interested in adopting the Society's planter on Conging Street near the bridge to Tesco.

Item 10. Date of next Meeting

The date of the next meeting will be 3pm on Tuesday 27th July at the Joseph Banks Centre (inside or in the garden depending on weather).

Minutes by Ian Marshman

Horncastle History & Heritage Society – Minutes of a Meeting of the Executive Committee held 3pm on Tuesday 27th April 2021 via Zoom 

Present: Ian Marshman (IM) Chairman, Mary Silverton (MS), Michael Hieatt (MH),  Ian French (IF) and Julie Bates (JB) Minutes Secretary.  

Apologies: Nick Fox (NF) and Trevor Butterworth (TB)  

Item 1. Apologies for Absence 

IM accepted apologies from those members detailed above.  

Item 2. Approval of Executive Minutes 16/03/21 and Matters Arising (MA): Minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as an accurate reflection of what took place. 

16/03/21 Item 7: Marking the 50th Anniversary of the Railway Closing – IM advised that  the railway virtual exhibition had been launched on the new joint site for the Joseph Banks  Centre and had been very well received with lots of positive comments. Unfortunately a  counter had not been set ahead of the launch to calculate how many visits the site had  received but IM was looking into a way of calculating this. CB had done a fantastic job  getting coverage for the event with an article in Lincolnshire Life as well as many local  newspapers. It was still hoped that we would be able to have a live exhibition on this subject at the JBC in August. 

Following our appeals for information of the whereabouts of the model railway built by  Captain Tweed it has been suggested that the model was taken to the primary school when  the children were studying the Victorian era and left behind for the children. It is thought that the model continued to be used and various school caretakers carried out running repairs  over the years until eventually it was put into a storage area beneath the water tower which  leaked – so sadly, the model railway is no more. Whilst we have no reason to question this  theory it would be great to hear from anyone who remembers a train set being used in  lessons at the school in the early 2000s. 

A further result from the publicity for the event was that IM received a private invitation to visit a property in the locality which was being renovated around the time the railway was closed.  The platform paving stones were purchased at the time and used to pave around the  renovated property as well as create a paved courtyard area. IM, accompanied by CB and  JB, had been able to arrange to visit the property and were made extremely welcome and  were also able to look at other historical factors of the property as well as historical  documents.  

IM had received a poster from the Woodhall Cottage Museum advertising a talk being given  via Zoom by Alan Stennett on 11th May – it was agreed to circulate the poster when sending  out the minutes. 

IM would still like to hold a live railway exhibition in August. We have also been offered a  special visit of a new model of Horncastle station for the weekend of 14th and 15th August.

Item 3. Correspondence 

A member had been in touch following the previous meeting with information about a book  on the subject of the Horncastle canal. They had been surprised to learn that we didn’t  already have this book in our collection and have very generously not only offered this but  their collection of books on the history of Horncastle for our archive. All agreed that this  incredibly generous donation. 

IM had received an email suggesting a ‘Tommy’ statue (the silhouette soldier statues  available from the British Legion) could be placed by the horses and other approaches into  the town. Discussion took place and all agreed that it would not be appropriate to have this  in the same area as the horse statues as this would probably give the impression that they  were war horses rather than representing the historical significance of the horse fair. The  group suggested other venues where this type of statue could be placed such as Stanhope  Hall, near the war memorial benches or Hospital – one could also be placed on the grass  near the other traffic lights with West Street as this could represent Tommy on his way to or  from the railway station returning from the war. 

IM felt that the person enquiring was seeking support and advice on how to do this rather  than a direct request for us to do it and it was agreed that IM would respond advising that  planning permission would be required from ELDC and LCC Highways and IM would also  pass this on to the Town Council and Horncastle branch of the British Legion. 

Item 4. Financial Report (MS) 

MS advised the end of year balance was £12,060.90 but there was an outstanding payment  of £1,762.56 to be deducted from this total as the cheque in relation to this payment was still  to clear. 

MS is still to complete formal paperwork but has carried out a bank reconciliation and  everything balances. She advised that she has had to increase our insurance cover which  has cost approximately £100 but this gives us £5k cover plus liability cover for all our  activities and volunteers as well as fully covering our computers etc. 

MS raised the need to create a budget for the Society which has not been updated for a  number of years. Based on the VE Day and also the Railway – note CB has made the  Society aware of a book already published on the Horncastle Railway which could be sold  with profits going to the Society and it was perhaps also possible to create a booklet on the  social aspect of the railway to include material gathered for and as a result of the exhibition.  MS pointed out we potentially have two further books which are already written and sitting in  our archives which were never published – we would need to check any copyright on these  and they would need editing and bringing up to date if we were to use these. 

It was pointed out that JBC would take a hefty percentage of any books sold from the  premises which was a little excessive especially if no postal costs were incurred. We need  to raise funds through sales in order to pay the rent and this was a barrier to doing that. IM  agreed to speak with Joseph Banks Society on this matter. It was also agreed to include a  section in the next newsletter on the subject of leaving a legacy to the Society explaining  how this can be done and how it can benefit the Society and town for years to come.

Item 5. Planning Report (MH) 

MH advised that Emilie Wales, Conservation Officer at ELDC had eventually emailed in  relation to a request for information on the condition of a number of historic buildings of  concern including No 6 Market Place (next to Perkins), the East Street/Queen Street Chapel, Water Mill and Post Office. He went on to give a brief update of existing planning  applications to those attending the meeting and will produce a Planning Report to circulate  with these minutes. He added that a further application had been received in relation to the  Friskney Site who were seeking permission for new advertising signage. 

Item 6. Planning a Programme of Talks 

IM advised that he has paid for a Zoom account to ensure that these Executive meetings  and any future public meetings if necessary can be held without having a time limit. This  account can be stopped at any time without penalty and is paid for in monthly instalments.  

MS felt it should be possible to hold a live AGM in July and hold monthly rather than two  monthly meetings in September, October and November. She was also keen that we  should arrange a Christmas event more ambitious than in recent years and arranging a  venue with professional catering and entertainment rather than trying to run an event  ourselves. 

Discussion took place over the benefits or otherwise of holding live meetings. IM  understood that some organisations had received a lot more attendees to Zoom meetings  than they would usually have attending live meetings but we had only had 15 at our pilot  event. MS pointed out that these were much larger organisations with membership spread  over a significant distance. With a few exceptions our membership is much more  concentrated and it was felt that a significant number of members would feel excluded if  meetings took place on Zoom and many valued the social side as much as the talk .  Obviously if Government restrictions continued to stop live meetings taking place then this  system could be used but if there was a way to hold a live meeting it was agreed we should  do so.  

It was agreed to leave the Special General Meeting until normal times return but on the  basis of the current roadmap out of lockdown that we would hold a live AGM on 14th July at  7pm and arrange ordinary meetings for 15th September, 20th October and 17th November.  MS added we have plenty of speakers ready to give talks and she would look into which  venues would be possible and would also make enquiries about a possible venue and  provider for our Christmas party this year. IM added that if we were not able to secure a  location for this year we could at least offer mulled wine and mince pies at the new JBC! 

Item 7. Sir Joseph Banks Centre – Reopening and Volunteers 

IM advised that display cases have been ordered and 60% of the cost has been paid up  front. Delivery is expensive but we did know this and are splitting the cost with SJBC. The  wallpaper map has arrived but IM is struggling to get a qualified decorator to hang this. MH  was happy to help but still felt it would be better to have this done professionally if we can –  do any of our members have an experienced decorator we can borrow??? IM had  decided it would be better to try to put some of our archive material onto a touch screen  computer and try this out using existing JBC equipment before committing to buying such  equipment ourselves.

IM had discussed opening hours with Paul Scott who had suggested Thursdays, Fridays,  Saturdays and then try summer Sundays and possibly Bank Holidays. All of the would  depend on volunteers being willing and able to help. MS added that she had agreed with  archive volunteers that the archive would be manned all day Wednesday and Thursday  mornings. She had asked the Visitor Liaison volunteers which days they would like to work  but had only had three responses but felt sure we would be able to cope with the days  suggested as the JBC also had some volunteers to help. However, MS pointed out that they  would need some training and familiarisation and it was agreed that this should take place  on the Wed, Thurs or Fri the week before we are due to open. MS reminded that lanyards  would need to be sourced also. 

IM queried how public would gain access to the archive on Wednesdays if the centre was  not open to the public - MS confirmed that Wednesdays it was anticipated it would only be  our volunteers or pre-arranged visitors who would be directed to the side door etc. 

Item 8. Roman Wall – Update 

IM had obtained a banner printed with information on what work is being done – as well as  a QR code to the Society’s website. He said the wall looks really good already but added  that the wall is covered up at night so it was advisable to take a look on Manor House Street during working hours. IM had not been able to arrange for a visit for Executive Group  members but it was felt that it would be unfair for us to visit if our members were not able to do so. IM was however hoping to film when the contractors were preparing the lime and  water mix as they make this in the same way it would have been made in Roman times and  this could be made available to view via our website. 

In addition to this, it was understood that Historic England agreed to fund laser scanning of  the site to create a 3D model of the wall. 

Item 9. Any Other Matters 

MS advised that the silhouette horses had been repainted on Tuesday and Executive gave  thanks to all those who volunteered . 

MS asked if it would be possible to organise an unveiling of the Thomas Sully blue plaque.  IM suggested doing this around the time of the second Thomas Sully talk. On the subject of  blue plaques, the small blue plaque in the bullring area was looking very dishevelled. It was  agreed to ask the Town Council to repaint or replace this (this is not one of ours) The one  outside Costa needs the lettering picking out in white as the whole plaque was painted blue.  IM would be attending the Horncastle Together meeting and ELDC will be there. It was  understood that £10k has been earmarked for long running Interpretation Boards project with Walkers Are Welcome. The were hoping to work with a student from the university to do an  internship where they would coordinate putting the boards together. 

Item 10. Date of next Meeting 

The next meeting to be held on Tuesday 15th June at 3 pm and will be held outdoors at The  Manor House weather and restrictions permitting, otherwise can be held via Zoom. 

Julie Bates, Executive Committee Minutes Secretary


MInutes of meeting 16th March 2021
Executive meeting via Zoom

Horncastle History & Heritage Society – Minutes of a Meeting of the Executive Committee held 3pm on Tuesday 16th March 2021 via Zoom

Present: Ian Marshman (IM) Chairman, Mary Silverton (MS), Michael Hieatt (MH), Ian French (IF), Bob Wayne (BW), and Julie Bates (JB) Minutes Secretary. Chris Bates (CB) attended briefly to update on Item 6 below.

Apologies: Nick Fox (NF) and Trevor Butterworth (TB)

Item 1. Apologies for Absence

IM accepted apologies from those members detailed above.

Item 2. Approval of Executive Minutes 16/02/21 and Matters Arising (MA):

Minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as an accurate reflection of what took place.

16/02/21 Item 3.1: IM had been successful in exchanging the $25 NZ received for a copy of the Mareham Le Fen book. With the current exchange rate he had obtained £11 which easily covers the cost of the book and postage costs. MS confirmed she had sent the book on its voyage.
16/03/21 Item 4: Internet Banking – MS advised she had put off investigating internet banking for the time being as this was not as straight forward as she hoped it might be.

Item 3. Correspondence

MS felt there was a need to tighten up the procedure around new membership welcome packs as we certainly don’t want to be in the situation whereby we are losing new or potential members because of an uncoordinated system.

Item 4. Financial Report (MS)

MS advised the balance at the end of February was £12,223.21. She was expecting that in the region of £50 would come in and £250 out by the end of this financial year, adding that she has received all outstanding expenses claims.

A total of £122 had been raised from selling furniture from Watson’s Yard which will help balance additional insurance costs. MS has sent insurers an update of requirements in advance of the renewal date of 1st April and expects insurance costs to increase.

Membership – Could we please remind members that membership fees are due from 1st April with single membership at £12, joint membership £15. If you haven’t already made arrangements for membership to be paid as a Standing Order then could you please consider doing this as it does cut down on a lot of admin work both for members and the Society. If however you prefer to pay by cheque could you please send cheques from 1st April onwards.

Item 5. Planning Report (MH)

MH gave a brief update to those attending the meeting advising that despite lockdown, planning applications were still coming through and needed to be followed up/checked etc. East Lindsey are now giving us a copy of their whole weekly list for planning applications and whilst it took time to sort out those which only related to Horncastle, it was still a great improvement on not receiving notification at all. Following comments on the amount of blue cladding on the proposed refurbishment of the Friskney site, noting that blue and yellow were the company colours, MH felt that rather than make a formal objection it may be better to ask if the amount of blue could be reduced. He noted that there was no mention on the plans as to what type of fencing and other general signage such as ‘deliveries’ etc to be used. MH will put together a planning report to circulate with the minutes.

Item 6. Sir Joseph Banks Centre - Update

MS advised the group that there had been a fantastic response to our request for volunteers with eight people putting themselves forward to get involved working on the Archives, four people have volunteered to work on Exhibition and Displays and nine people with a possible tenth person wishing to get involved with Visitor Liaison and welcoming visitors to the centre and chatting to them about the town and its history. It was agreed we should look to obtain some name badges for our volunteers. All agreed these should carry the full name of the society rather than just the initials and that a lanyard type badge would probably be the most visible, with a different colour for our volunteers and those from the JBS. It may be useful to have a type of badge with a removable card insert whereby any volunteer could insert a card with their name. MS would look into what was available. Our thanks go to all those putting themselves forward and any further volunteers would always be made welcome.

IM advised that he has had a problem sourcing the display cases, adding that this was not Brexit related! The company providing the cabinets is basically out of stock owing to the number of shops that have been renovating during lockdown and, on getting close to re-opening, need to spend grant monies. It was likely to be around 18 May before we can get our display cases and will need to share with the nature section for the time being.

Wallpaper Map - large copy of our 1887 map of Horncastle on special hard wearing 'wallpaper' for the wall between the two internal doorways (wrapping around the sides) has now been ordered and will cost £174 (£37 less than original quote). IM has been advised that this will need to be hung using heavy duty wall paper paste. With the cost of the wallpaper map all agreed that we should seek a competent person to hang this using the correct materials. If any of our members is a decorator and feels able to volunteer to do this or if anyone can recommend a good decorator then please let us know.

IM had been speaking with Paul Scott and Trevor Olsson of the Joseph Banks Society and have possibly come to some agreements over a logo for the centre, this will use a simplified version of the silhouette of Joseph Banks which was used on the previous JBS logo. It was also agreed to emphasise the purposes of the centre for local heritage and natural history since not all visitors would know who Sir Joseph was. IM will circulate suggested logos to the Executive Group for comment following the meeting.

Item 7. Marking the 50th Anniversary of the Railway Closing - Update

The group extended its thanks to Chris Bates (CB) for the tremendous amount of work he has done on this project, as well as publicity both locally and nationally. In turn, CB wished to thank everyone who had helped, adding that as a result of the story being published in Horncastle Matters lots of people have come forward with new information. CB felt it would be worth putting a further release round ahead of the virtual exhibition.

IM advised that HHHS and SJBC are currently building a joint site for the relaunched Joseph Banks Centre, which will be able to act as a platform for this and other virtual exhibitions, adding that he has got a link on this platform for the railway exhibition to go even though the site is still being built. This platform will be launched as soon as we need it to be. It also has some information about the Society with a link to our own website and information about visiting our archives and collections catalogues etc. It is work in progress but it will be completed soon and we can then add a link to this from our website.

All agreed that there was certainly sufficient information to put together a booklet or small book. CB understood that the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway had produced a booklet on Horncastle 2 – 3 years ago but that if we were to produce a booklet or a small book then ours would focus more on the history of the line and local economy etc rather than just another railway book. MS was aware of a volunteer who has published several books in the past and is eager to get involved. IM felt we should be thinking of something around A5 size selling for around £5. On the subject of booklets, IM advised that 3,000 copies of the new Spa Trail leaflet has now arrived and looks very good. This has been funded by Lincolnshire County Council's Countryside Service. Hopefully this will help to promote it to visitors and encourage them to explore its sculptures and history panels, as well as visit both Horncastle and Woodhall Spa. There has never been any leaflet or map for the Spa Trail before as there was no money left for it when work finished on building the trail itself, and this may itself. It was hoped that the new leaflet would help promote the trail to tourists and new residents who may not be aware of it.

Item 8. Roman Wall – Update

At long last the work to the Roman Wall has now begun and IM hoped to be able to arrange for members of the Executive Committee to visit.

IM has received a form of words from Historic England for us to include in our press release which he will discuss with CB. IM has also been working on a short video which we could share on our Facebook Page and the Horncastle Community Facebook Page so that everyone who has sponsored stones or supported us can see the work they funded taking place. He had also seen that there is something on the Community Page with people asking what was going on and were the contractors building on the medical site etc. MH noted here seems to be a number of rumours and misinformation going around the town about what is happening with the wall and asked if it would be worth putting something in the Horncastle News. IM said we will be sending a press release round asap which should answer any concerns people have.

In the meantime IM asked if he could spend in the region of £20 to get a banner printed with information on what work is being done – as well as giving HHHS some credit for all the work carried out over many years to preserve the wall for future generations. Discussion took place as to how long ago the Society first acted and at least one letter mentioning the state of the wall and trying to get something done had come to light from 9 years ago so congratulations to everyone who has worked on this, chipping away over the years! The Society is indebted to Sheila Jonkers, Mary Silverton, Bob Wayne, and the current and previous chairmen of the Community Centre, as well as the residents of properties nearby who have supported the project. Celebration events will follow the work, whenever it is safe to do so as it will be an achievement the Society and the town should celebrate.

Item 9. Any Other Matters

IM and Paul Scott had spoken about the possibility of trying out a Zoom meeting to give a talk to members of both societies about plans for the relaunched Joseph Banks Centre. This will be at 6:00pm on Wednesday 14th April. Joining instructions will be sent out before the meeting. If this goes well it is hoped to begin planning some Zoom talks until physical meetings are allowed to resume again.

CB was keen to agree wording for a press release about the discovery of the copies of the Horncastle News dating from 1893 which were discovered abandoned in a car park in Melton Mowbray adding that these news papers will enable us to tell the story of the economy of Horncastle. It was agreed CB would copy IM into draft press releases for both this and the Roman Wall in order that wording can be agreed and the releases could be sent out as soon as we were ready. That said, it was felt that the press release for the Roman Wall needed to be circulated first in order to quell any misinformation and rumours surrounding the work being carried out on the wall and send out the release on the news papers the following week.

MH asked if there were any books on the topic of the Horncastle canal. IM was sure he had come across a small green A5 book at some point but couldn’t remember where. All agreed that the history of the canal could well be a topic for the future. BW has the report which was carried out several years ago but we were £31M short several on the funded needed to re-build the canal!

Item 10. Date of next Meeting

The date of the next meeting are still to be arranged and will be held via Zoom unless restrictions are lifted and we are able to meet in person. This was later confirmed as 3pm on Tuesday 27th April 2021, via Zoom.


Julie Bates, Executive Committee Minutes Secretary

Minutes of a Meeting of the Executive Committee held
3pm on Tuesday 16th February 2021 via Zoom
Present: Ian Marshman (IM) Chairman, Mary Silverton (MS), Ian French (IF), Bob Wayne (BW),
Trevor Butterworth (TB) and Julie Bates (JB) Minutes Secretary. Chris Bates (CB)
attended briefly to update on Item 9 below.
Apologies: Nick Fox (NF) and Michael Hieatt (MH)
Item 1. Apologies for Absence
IM accepted apologies from those members detailed above noting that MH hoped he may be able to
join the meeting later.
Item 2. Approval of Executive Minutes 14/10/20 and Matters Arising (MA):
Minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as an accurate reflection of what took place. There
were no matters arising which were not already on the agenda for discussion.
Item 3. Correspondence
3.1: We have received a letter from New Zealand enclosing $25 NZ dollars for a copy of the
Mareham Le Fen book. Its author grew up in Mareham before joining the Merchant Navy
aged 15 and settling in New Zealand. IM will take the currency to the post office to see if
this can be exchanged and will pass the letter to MS who will arrange to post a copy of the
book.
3.2: A full run of copies of the Horncastle News in 1893 has been discovered abandoned in a car
park in Melton Mowbray. The Town Estate has kindly agreed to post them to us as a
donation to the Society. How they came to be there is a mystery! Noted that these had not
yet been received.
3.3: There has been an enquiry from the Town Council to ask if we know how Ndola Road got its
name. Ndola is the second largest city in Zambia. What link does it have with Horncastle? Its
only claim to fame seems to be that in 1961 (around the time some of these houses were
built) an air crash there led to the death of the UN's Secretary General. CB recalled writing
an article many years ago during the early years of his career in journalism about Ndola
sending a sum of money they had raised to help the people of Horncastle following a
catastrophic flood but BW said there had been a link with the church many years before the
flood, adding that the alter in Holy Trinity came from Ndola. MS would direct her attention
towards this.
3.4: We have been asked to write a letter of support for the group trying to save the Youth
Centre, including its importance as a part of the town's heritage. This also served as a
reminder of the potential for us to use the centre for exhibitions and events in future if
needed.
Item 4. Financial Report (MS)
MS advised the balance at the end of January was £12,464.23. She asked for approval for
payments of costs incurred moving the archive to the Sir Joseph Banks Centre (SJBC) advising
these were for racking, removals and stationery. MS had obtained three racks for storing archive
materials, two were on the top floor of the building. Costs associated with the move itself was £25
and approximately £100 had been spent on stationery – mainly on new files for the archive. MS
added that we had purchased the chairs in Watson’s Yard for a token sum of £32 and, as we needed
to dispose of these prior to moving to JBC, these have been sold to interested parties. Assuming the
last batch of these are collected as currently arranged, we will have received a total of £72 for these
chairs.
MS was trying to investigate the possibility of using internet banking but felt it was questionable as to
if this was an option as two signatures are currently required for signing cheques. MS currently has
some of the Societies Direct Debits and Standing Orders linked to her own account that she then
needs to arrange to be refunded back to her which is not only time consuming but can be quite
difficult arranging for cheques to be signed. For clarity MS, IM and TB are the only registered
signatories for the Society accounts.
Auditor – MS advised that as we have had the same auditor for three years we now need to appoint
somebody else. She had asked the former Treasurer Ruth Addison if she or her husband would feel
able to act as auditor subject to approval. Ruth is happy to do this and the group confirmed they
would be happy to appoint Ruth Addison as the auditor.
Item 5. Planning Report (MH)
MH had intended to join this Zoom meeting but had been called away at short notice. Despite still
hoping to join the meeting later this had not been possible. His intention had been to update the
group on plans for the Friskney site for which some ‘before and after’ plans for the site had been
distributed to the group ahead of this meeting. All agreed there seemed to be quite a lot of blue
cladding and agreed that it would be preferred if this was neutral though it was noted that the
company colour scheme was blue and yellow. IM would distribute a copy of the plans for Friskney’s
site & consultation on changes to ELDC Local Plan following the meeting.
Item 6. Plans for Heritage Displays at Sir Joseph Banks Centre
We are pleased to confirm that the Memorandum of Understanding was signed and Mary & Graham
Silverton, Ian Marshman and a man with a van were able to move the Archives from Watson's Yard to
the SJBC before the third lockdown came into force in December. Mary has since unpacked
everything and it is now looking really good, just waiting for volunteers to be able to use it again.
The SJBC have now purchased cases for their part of the museum area in what had been the former
shop. We are incredibly grateful to the Town Council for their decision to honour their contribution of
£5,000 originally earmarked for the Watson's Yard heritage centre plans, which means we can also
now purchase some cases to display material from our Archives.
Since our last meeting we have also designed and printed pop-up displays on the Horse Fair and
hangman William Marwood, which were amongst the most popular topics when we consulted people
previously. This complements the display board on the Roman town already produced.
IM circulated some initial ideas for how our heritage part of the museum could be laid out ahead of
the meeting asking for comments. One item of note was that the former cash desk had already been
removed and that it is planned to reduce this to a lectern and seat for a volunteer to welcome people,
creating more space. The two cases in the middle of room could also be moved for temporary
exhibitions in the corridor gallery. One current issue is that the SJBC needs to keep some of this
space for their Love Lincs Plants Project with the Natural History Museum. However, as we don’t
actually have displays ready, this will give us room to grow in future as that project winds down.
It is proposed that we spend £2,376 (+ delivery tbc) on four illuminated display cases. One tall case
to display our artefacts, and three counter style cases for displaying material from our Archives. All
also have storage space under. IM suggested putting a photographic background on the tall case to
make it a bit more interesting, the cost would be £31.15. He also suggested printing a large copy of
our 1887 map of Horncastle on special hard wearing 'wallpaper' to the wall between the two internal
doorways (wrapping around the sides) as a backdrop to a case with some of our Victorian archive
material, at a cost of £211. We have previously talked about having a touch screen to display a
variety of our archive material, but we do not have a cost for this yet as it depends on the model.
Total proposed costs so far £2,618. IF asked if these display cases were from a British supplier as, if
not, then there may be additional costs incurred with export taxes imposed by the EU. IM wasn’t
sure but would double check, adding that SJBC had already purchased some of these cases – we
are buying ours to match what is already there. MS also commented that we need to add these
cases to our insurance as there is a value to them and the cases themselves can be replaced even if
the contents can not. She also reminded everyone that the Photographic Society had suggested
they would give us some money for a display case in order to display their items.
Item 7. Roles for Archives Volunteers
It was hoped that now vaccinations were taking place that we may have turned a corner and that
the time was right to start to encourage people to think about getting more involved. MS has
outlined some information on the different roles volunteers could help with at the new heritage
and natural science centre, when it is able to open. Please let us know if you would like to get
involved – note MS already has the names of a couple of keen volunteers but more are always
welcome.
· Archiving Work
· Exhibition and Display Work
· Visitor Liaison
1) Archiving Work
This area currently falls under Mary Silverton’s responsibility.
In the past we have had up to 10 members assisting with this work, but our new room will not
permit this number, although there is another room which can normally be used. However, on
the plus side, the archive room is available for us to use 24/7, which means we can have
different teams working there on different days. Initially however I would suggest that we could
work there at any of these times:
All day Wednesday, Tuesday afternoons and Thursday mornings.
This work involves receiving, sorting and listing donations to the archives. Deciding on the
appropriate file and material and preparing the documents for input to the database.
Maintaining and improving the files of documents and photographs. Some volunteers will
have specific areas of responsibility and you will be trained as you go along.
This is really interesting work and invites you to discover amazing and interesting facts about
the town and its people. There is usually a fun and social atmosphere.
2) Exhibition and Display Work
This area will fall under Ian Marshman’s responsibility.
One or two volunteers will be needed to work with Ian to mount various exhibitions and
change displays using material from the archives. It would be useful if the volunteers had
some experience of display work using both traditional formats and modern media, although
help and guidance is readily available.
It is necessary liaise with the archivist on subject matters and decide when and what changes
are made to displays. The archivist should provide the relevant materials for displays and
exhibitions but the Display team will work to research and present the actual displays in an
attractive and informative way.
Volunteers are also very welcome to help with specific exhibitions as and when the topic is of
interest.
3) Visitor Liaison
This work will cover both the History and Heritage display area and the Natural Science
display area which adjoin each other and coverage will probably be arranged jointly through
HHHS and SJB. The Centre also hosts Horncastle's Tourist Information Centre, so it will be a
nice opportunity to meet new people and help them find out the attractions of our lovely town.
It is anticipated that the centre will be open from 10am to 4pm excluding Wednesday but
including Saturday. It is hoped that volunteers will cover either a morning or afternoon, but this
is flexible.
The work will be to make visitors feel welcome and help with their enquiries where possible.
Queries can be referred to staff working in the building, or notes taken for later contact.
Familiarisation with the contents of the displays will be provided, but don’t worry volunteers
are not expected to be experts! Archive material can be made available to visitors under
supervision. Archivist or Display volunteers can work in this area in a dual capacity. Leaflets
for the societies will be available and encouragement could be given to visitors to purchase
books or pick up a walk leaflet about subjects that interest them etc.
Item 8. Should we resume our talks using Zoom?
With the lockdown looking to continue for some time and no immediate end in sight for social
distancing rules, the question was asked if we should have a go at using Zoom to run our talks?
In order to hold meetings longer than 40 minutes with up to 100 attendees we would need to buy a
'Pro' version of Zoom, for £119.90 annually or £11.99 monthly (note that you can cancel at any
time). This compares relatively well with hire of the Admiral Rodney. There is a system called
'Eventbrite' which we could use to automatically deal with bookings for attendees (sending people a
link to Zoom). They charge 3.5% + £0.49 on any ticket sales. So if we kept prices at £2 for members
and £4 for non-members we would receive £1.33 and £3.24 respectively. It was understood that the
Society for Lincolnshire History & Archaeology has recently started doing their meetings using
Zoom, attracting 90 people (considerably more than attended in person). However they have now
started to charge £3 for tickets (also using Eventbrite) and it isn’t yet clear if demand will stay the
same now it is no longer free.
It was agreed to take a monthly subscription for the ‘Pro’ version of Zoom and perhaps do a trial run.
Then if this goes well then we have received an offer to deliver a Zoom talk from Mike Arnold, who
was due to be our next speaker before the talks were cancelled last year and IM said he would be
happy to do a ‘paid for’ talk on the Roman Wall later.
There are issues that some of our older members may feel excluded that we need to give some
thought about. One possible solution might be to record the talk onto a DVD that we could loan to
anyone interested who wasn’t able to use Zoom.
Item 9. Marking the 50th Anniversary of the Railway Closing - Update
Chris Bates (CB) has done a tremendous amount of work on this, including with publicity both locally
and nationally. We have been trying to locate a lost model of the station from the old Horncastle
Museum, but sadly despite publicity we've drawn a blank.
CB has drafted information for the exhibition so we are well prepared. IM has also purchased a few
small items for display which will be donated to the Archives. IM felt that we ought to try to put on a
physical exhibition in the summer (August-September time?) at the SJBC, as once it can open we
need to do all we can make use of it and encourage visitors adding that we also need to try to
generate some donations if we are to make it sustainable. He felt that if it becomes clear opening is
impossible we could do another online exhibition but pointed out there are copyright issues about
reproducing some images online, and it also makes it hard for us to generate any revenue. A virtual
exhibition though would undoubtedly reach more people, as found with the one for Virtual VE Day.
CB however felt that we should look to creating a virtual exhibition a few weeks before Easter – 5th
April being the anniversary of the closure of the railway. He felt that this would act as a flag to
anything we can do later in the year whilst giving something to our members in the meantime. He
also updated the meeting that he had written up 95% of the information for the event and a possible
booklet. He had also recently identified an old Great Northern train ticket from Horncastle to
Willoughby and has permission to use images of this and other tickets in the collection without
charge. IM pointed out that the VE Day virtual exhibition website had been set up at a reduced
introductory charge and was unsure of the cost of setting up a further site but would look into
possibly re-badging the VE Day site as a general virtual exhibition site and then put both the VE Day
and Railway exhibition on this site – however he pointed out that he would need help from
somebody more web site technology minded to do this. Hopefully by Easter we should know when
lockdown is likely to be lifted and work towards putting on an exhibition in SJBC as soon as we are
able to do so.
TB suggested that whilst he wasn’t one of them, there were still a number of local residents that
used the railway. IM advised we had already appealed to our membership for people to share their
memories of the railway but have had little response. TB agreed to approach people he knows
asking for their memories – CB is happy to chat with anyone volunteering information.
BW added that a contact of his in Lincoln had told him that his father had been involved with the
railway and has provided a photograph of him in railway uniform - BW will drop this into SJBC.
Ian M has also asked Lincolnshire County Council's countryside team to fund a new leaflet for the
Spa Trail as a railway walk. Apparently the trail has never had a leaflet as money ran out building it,
so this would help to promote it to visitors and encourage them to explore its sculptures and history
panels, as well as visit both Horncastle and Woodhall Spa.
10. Roman Wall – Update
At long last the work to the Roman Wall is now scheduled to start in March 2021. A pre-start
meeting was held last week, which IM was unable to attend in order to keep numbers down.
However, he understands it went very well and things are in place to start, provided there are no
unexpected new restrictions or other issues to contend with.
We were originally meant to be holding open days so that the public could speak to the contractors
and find out more about the work they are doing. This obviously cannot happen now to protect both
staff and visitors, so IM has suggested we try to film a few short clips which we could share on our
Facebook Page and the Horncastle Community Facebook Page so that everyone who has
sponsored stones or supported us can see the work they funded taking place.
It has been a very long road indeed to reach this point. The Society is indebted to Sheila Jonkers,
Mary Silverton, Bob Wayne, and the current and previous chairmen of the Community Centre, as
well as the residents of properties nearby who have supported the project. Celebration events will
follow the work, whenever it is safe to do so.
Item 11.Any Other Matters
Horncastle Heritage Trail Interpretation Boards. Just to note that this long running project continues,
and IM has recently taken photos of potential locations for the boards to try to set the ball rolling
around getting permission etc. This has been discussed at Horncastle Together with agreement from
the other partners, and ELDC's Conservation Officer Emilie Wales has also approved them from her
perspective of not harming the conservation area or listed buildings. The Town Council and ELDC are
still discussing what if any planning permission may be required and whether the Town Council can
grant itself 'deemed consent' and thus avoid a full application. There is also the question of funding
the boards. ELDC have allocated £50,000 in their Vital & Viable Horncastle Action Plan towards
improving "signage and interpretation". It is estimated that the boards would cost around £10k, so it is
hoped that this is something they will consider funding especially as we have already done so much
of the work for them.
Item 12. Date of next Meeting
The next meeting to be held via Zoom on Tuesday 16th March at 3pm unless restrictions are lifted and
we are able to meet in person.
Julie Bates, Executive Committee Minutes Secretary
Executive meeting 14th Oct 2020
Notes on Executive committee meeting

Minutes of a Meeting of the Executive Committee held 3pm on Wednesday 14th October 2020 at Watson’s Yard

Present: Ian Marshman (IM) Chairman, Mary Silverton (MS), Ian French (IF), Bob Wayne (BW), Michael Hieatt (MH) and Julie Bates (JB) Minutes Secretary.

Apologies: Nick Fox (NF), Ashleigh Bird (AB) and Trevor Butterworth (TB)

Item 1. Apologies for Absence

IM accepted apologies from those members detailed above.

Item 2. Approval of Executive Minutes 01/09/20 and Matters Arising (MA):

Minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as an accurate reflection of what took place.

27/07/20 Item 10 – Members suggestions to help town recover from Coronavirus: IM advised the group that he had passed on our list of suggestions to the Town Council and they had been discussed at the latest Horncastle Together meeting. He provided updates on some of the items as follows:-

Pedestrianisation of St Lawrence Street: The County Council did not agree to the pedestrianisation of St Lawrence Street but have allowed for part of the north side of the Market Place to be closed to allow cafes to put tables outside. In its present state this only appears to be of benefit to the Pop-Inn Cafe. It was understood that other outlets had been invited to put tables in this area through a speeded up pavement licencing scheme. This wasn’t ideal when compared with them being able to put tables outside their doors if St Lawrence Street had been closed, which also would have benefited the safety of pedestrians walking from Tesco and the car parks into town.

Free parking for up to 2 hours in line with Woodhall Spa and Coningsby: The Council have agreed to free parking for 1 hour in the St Lawrence Street car park, and have reduced the cost of parking there to £1 for 4 hours. There continues to be free parking for 30 minutes in the Market Place, and all day at The Wong.

Canopies for people queueing for shops: It was agreed this was a sensible idea and the Town Council will write to ELDC to ask if they could recommend somebody to repair existing canopies and to give examples of the types they would be favourable to approving in the Conservation Area. It was hoped this would make it easier for businesses to make an application.

Parking for cycles and new cycle paths: We were warned to be careful what we wished for in that the County Council have recently installed a modern style of cycle parking in the shape of a life-size neon green cartoon car (intended to show how many bikes can fit in the space of a single car), which proved to be so unpopular it was removed from several towns within days. New cycle parking was going to be provided by the County Council in Horncastle, and as these were now ‘available’ it is quite possible they might try to deposit them on us! On the plus side, it was understood that talks between the Town Council and West Ashby Parish Council have been taking place about how they might create a cycleway from West Ashby to Horncastle.

Hot Chocolate Competition: MS asked if this had been raised as she felt this would be a good novelty scheme to get people out around town. It would need to run over a number of weeks as there is only so much hot chocolate people could sample in one day. IM said it had been very well-received at the Horncastle Together meeting but that people had felt it might be best left until the spring when regulations might be being relaxed again. IM agreed to raise it with the newly formed Horncastle Traders Association who had unfortunately not attended the most recent meeting. All agreed it was an excellent idea that would raise a lot of interest.

Heritage Trail: Gail Dymoke had reported that ELDC had now printed the new town heritage trail leaflet that MS, BW and himself had been working on with Walkers Are Welcome for some time. The launch had had to be postponed due to a mix up with the Heritage Open Days brochure which had not included the event, but the leaflets were available from the Sir Joseph Banks Centre. Plans to install interpretation boards around the town to compliment the trail were still progressing and IM had attended a meeting in the churchyard with the Friends of St Mary's, the Town Council and the Rev Charles Patrick and Gail Dymoke to discuss potential designs likely to get 'Faculty' approval from the Diocese. They had also discussed some potential improvements to the churchyard as had been raised by members.

Item 3. Correspondence

MS had received an email from a film company in New Zealand who asked for permission to download a picture of William Marwood, Hangman for the British Government, adding we will be credited for this. The title of the proposed film was not known, nor if it will be shown in the UK.

MS had contacted Neil Wright who has written a book about the Theatre in Georgian Lincolnshire. He confessed that there had been an error in the book in that they had put the wrong location on the map for the theatre in Horncastle (as noticed by BW). He agreed to do a talk for us and noted that he can do theatrical talks, dressed in female period theatre costume. All felt that this would be something for us all to look forward to in the future, MS adding she has a number of suggestions for speakers going forward, not forgetting the ones which were already planned for this year which we have not been able to hold owing to current legislation.

Item 4. Financial Report (MS)

MS advised the balance on 25 September was £9,293.38 and there has been little change in that she has spent in the region of £100 on archive materials but has also paid in approximately £160.

IM handed over his completed paperwork which would allow him to be able to countersign cheques going forwards.

Item 5. Planning Report (MH)

MH apologised as he had not been able to compile a formal report ahead of the meeting but hoped to produce a report for circulation with the minutes. He updated the meeting on a number of on-going planning applications and a number of applications involving flats above shops in the Market Place. The windows and doors on the cottage at the back of the Punch House have been approved, MH commented on how nice the timber work was, even though it cannot be seen by passers-by. He hadn’t heard anything else about the application for two properties on Holt Lane which seems to have stopped short with just one property and a number of sheds which are becoming to look like they are intended to be permanent but were not as per the planning application. Work on the Fighting Cocks appears to be on hold and work seems to be intermittent on the Old Stables at the back.

IM reported that he had been asked for historic photographs of the Water Mill to be included in a publication by the national Save Britain's Heritage charity. It seems that this has been for sale for ever and previous meetings had recently Cllr Hinkins had been trying to lobby ELDC to sort it out. Vegetation has recently been cleared from around the mill and it was not clear if this had been done by the owner or organisations maintaining the river banks but it was an improvement. What was less good was that IM had heard rumours that there might soon be an application to demolish the mill, which if true would have to be strongly resisted.

It was noted that the windows had fallen out of the building behind the old bike shop in the Market Place and also that the roof had collapsed. This had left debris next to the alley from Perkins to the St Lawrence Street Car Park. IM reported this to ELDC after the meeting and has now been informed that the site has been secured, although not actually repaired.

There is an issue with pigeon droppings in the area, though an expert sent by the council said ‘there wasn’t a pigeon problem’. A return visit had been planned and MS noted that the Horncastle News today featured a story that hawks had been suggested as a solution. In order to tackle some cleanliness issues in the town (also raised by members), IM understood that the Town Council was considering paying to arrange additional street cleaning.

Item 6. Arrangements for Archives move to Sir Joseph Banks Centre (SJB)

MS advised that shortly after the last meeting we had been invited to put together a 'pop up' display in the former shop area so that the building could reopen and give a taste of what is to come. In a very short time IM and MS had put together a small display of Roman artefacts from the town with an information board and a wall of old photographs of the town. The technically minded volunteers from the SJB had helped set up a TV to besides the Roman display to play the recreation of how the town's Roman walls may have looked.

A very provisional first draft of a memorandum of understanding between the SJB and HHHS had been prepared. IM circulated copies of the draft agreement for discussion and comment and IM/MS would raise the comments below from the Executive Committee when they next meet with SJB representatives.

· We are currently referred to as Horncastle History Society (HHS) rather than Horncastle History and Heritage Society (HHHS)

· No mention of how the building will be referred to, although this might not need to go in the agreement, all agreed it was important that a name included 'Heritage Centre’ – and the new use of the centre needs to be quite clear on the outside of the building, potentially with new signage.

· Concern around the wording on the length of the agreement – agreed it should be for a minimum of 3 years

· Section 2 – no mention of the Town Archives. HHHS objectives should be the same as worded in our proposed new Constitution (on hold because of pandemic restrictions on holding an AGM/SGM).

· Item 4 should read ‘at no additional cost’

· Item 8 – would we have costs for separate business rates? – thought not but clarity needed

The question was raised when was our payment due? MS advised we would pay this one year in advance, adding that they were being very helpful, and she was sure our comments would be incorporated within this draft agreement.

MS has been back in touch with the Photographic Society who confirm they will be putting Watson’s Yard on the market. IM suggested we should give them a copy of the feasibility study which may help to give potential buyers some ideas on how to convert the property sympathetically, as well as its current condition, and that it isn’t as bad as it might appear.

Archives – MS has been looking for materials such as banners adding we could easily utilise three banners using photographs and information already collated on William Marwood, the Horse Fair and perhaps the Floods which would make the pop up space at the Sir Joseph Banks Centre look more like a Heritage Centre and reduces the need for us to display artefacts until such a time we can obtain suitable display units. MS felt we could apply to the Town Council as they had previously earmarked £5,000 funding towards a proposed Heritage Centre. MS happy to collate information for banners if IM could design what went on there. MS had looked at a number of banners available advising they ranged from £45 to £130 and it was agreed to look at mid-price range but agreed we need to keep to the same width and height as current banners - also that we should do this sooner rather than later.

Item 7. Planning future events (Thomas Sully Plaque, Railway 50th Anniversary)

Thomas Sully Plaque: Owing to the 'Rule of 6' being brought in it had not been possible to hold an unveiling ceremony. It was agreed that the plaque would simply be erected and, once this is done, send out a press release and have leaflets available in the Co-op. Vaughan and BW will arrange to erect the plaque. It could always have a formal unveiling ceremony at a later date.

Railway 50th Anniversary: Chris Bates (CB) was scheduled to meet tomorrow with Alan Stennett, a local railway historian, author and broadcaster and Patricia Duke-Cox, Chair of the Cottage Museum in Woodhall Spa and would discuss what we could do jointly with Woodhall, including talks, or what we could each do so as not to disrupt each other’s plans.

Display/Exhibition: There were currently two separate opportunities and owing to the current situation CB felt we should look at different options we would have for these. The most appropriate opportunity was that we have a number of photographs and articles about the local railway within the HHHS archive and have been offered access to private collections of railway photographs detailing Lincolnshire Railways including some previously unpublished material. CB had suggested if it was not possible to hold a live event owing to Government restrictions then this could work well if done similarly to the excellent website set up to commemorate the VE Day Anniversary earlier this year. The other opportunity was that we have been offered the loan of a national collection of railway photographs which have previously been displayed at the National Railway Museum in York. This collection is not specific to Lincolnshire and CB pointed out that this was something which could be held separately at a later date if we were unable to hold an event owing to restrictions, noting that owing to copyright we would not be able to reproduce this collection on a website.

It was agreed that we initially look to house both displays over the anniversary weekend with the additional option to invite Mike Fowler to bring along and talk about some of his collection of railway lamps and the potential of a talk given by Alan Stennett depending upon CBs forthcoming meeting. A provisional booking for the large hall at the Community Centre was made as we expect there would be on-going distancing requirements and this would give more space to operate a one way system noting that the Railway 50th Anniversary falls on the Easter weekend 2021 so it was expected the town would be busy. It was then hoped that the displays from the HHHS archive and smaller private collection of Lincolnshire Railways could then be kept on display in SJB for a few weeks following on from this.

CB had also contacted operators of a miniature railway with a view to giving rides but it was agreed it would be difficult to find a suitable location to set this up as it needed to be close to the town centre and would need to be protected overnight.

BW was still keen to look into organising a drive in movie with the Horncastle Lions, perhaps showing classic movies over two nights such as The Railway Children and the Titfield Thunderbolt. Louth Lions had already done this very successfully recently at Manby.

We invite all our members to get in touch with their memories of local railways, particularly the line between Horncastle and Woodhall Spa and let us know of any artefacts, photos or documents they would be prepared to loan or let us copy for an exhibition - There is also the potential to produce a booklet.

Item 8. Roman Wall - Update

IM advised again there was very little to update. A contractor has now been appointed but conservation works has been delayed difficulties agreeing suitable access. It was still hoped that some work might take place this year if Historic England would agree to pay the grant in this way.

Item 9. Plans for 2021 Horncastle 'Then & Now' Calendar

IM had circulated a draft calendar in advance of the meeting along with costings. The calendar format would show a photograph of the same scene in two different time periods and would measure 14 x 42 cm. It was acknowledged that prices were reduced the more notice that was given so at this time of year we perhaps didn’t have the best deal, also the larger the order, the better the price.

MS was concerned as there was already a larger ‘Horncastle Past’ calendar on sale in the town. Whilst this was in black and white it was on sale for £4.50 with £1 of sales going towards Lives and if we were to go ahead and produce a calendar we would not be able to compete with the price of this calendar. Other concerns were that there would be no Christmas Market this year, which is our main sales outlet, though it was hoped that going forward we would also be able to sell through the on-line shop at SJB. It was agreed not to proceed with this year and perhaps look to create a 2022 calendar and get these ordered early next year in order to achieve a more competitive price using the photos already organised.

Item 10. Any Other Matters

Discussion took place on how best we can continue to raise funds for the Society as well as what are we able to offer to our membership. IF pointed out that whilst we were unable to hold organised talks, this was very much taken out of our hands and all organisations had this same problem. He felt our membership fees were very reasonable and hoped members would continue to support us, adding that we still continue to provide services such as overseeing planning applications within the Conservation Area, producing and erecting blue plaques, as well as holding Executive Meetings and meetings with partners to try to improve the town, and keeping our membership informed with minutes etc. In addition to this we had produced a special website for the VE Day Anniversary and IM had also created wonderful virtual tour of the town during the Heritage Open days, and other members have continued to work hard all summer maintaining the flowers in the town.

Consideration was given to reprinting the Horncastle's Great War book to sell on SJB site, along with booklets on Thomas Sully and potentially a Railway booklet.

IM agreed to put a Newsletter together and that this could be printed and sent to all members as a way of keeping them informed and reminding them of the Society's work. BW agreed to contribute by writing something on 40 years membership – and MS suggested that a newsletter has generally been sent out in November.

MS has had a few members of the archive team working socially distanced whilst regulations permit though there are some of the team desperate to return that she has had to turn down owing to the vulnerabilities.

We would, however, like to hear from all members who would be interested in helping to greet visitors to the new nature, heritage and tourist centre at the Sir Joseph Banks Centre in the future. There will also be opportunities to help care for our Archives, to research or design exhibitions and organise events, so it was hoped there was something to interest everyone, once the current situation improves.

Item 12. Date of next Meeting

The next meeting to be held at Watson’s Yard, Horncastle on Wednesday 25th November at 3 pm.


Julie Bates, Executive Committee Minutes Secretary

Horncastle History & Heritage Society – Minutes of a Meeting of the Executive Committee held Tuesday 1st September 2020 at Watson’s Yard, Horncastle

Present: Ian Marshman (IM) Chairman, Mary Silverton (MS), Ian French (IF), Bob Wayne (BW), Ashleigh Bird (AB), Julie Bates (JB) Minutes Secretary and Michael Hieatt (MH) who was unable to attend the start of the meeting.

Apologies: Nick Fox (NF) and Trevor Butterworth (TB)

Item 1. Apologies for Absence

IM accepted apologies from those members detailed above.

Item 2. Approval of Executive Minutes 27/07/20 and Matters Arising (MA):

Minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as an accurate reflection of what took place. There were no matters arising that were not already covered on the agenda.

Item 3. Correspondence

MS had received a newsletter from Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology (SLHA) and reminded the group that these newsletters and magazines are available to members to look at under normal circumstances and will be accessible once restrictions are lifted etc.

IM had received an enquiry asking about Thomas & Mary Benson who lived in Horncastle in the mid 1800's, he had been butcher on West Street, and she had later been landlady of the Cross Keys on East Street/Foundry Street. MS said there would probably be some information about butchers shops in the town within the archive but pointed out that such requests are more Family History rather than the town’s history and heritage. She questioned if people were using us to gather family history information to avoid having to pay for information on some of the genealogy websites. IM added that Leicester University had scanned historical directories, including Lincolnshire from the 1800’s to WWI which is a very useful data source for researching businesses. http://specialcollections.le.ac.uk/digital/collection/p16445coll4

Another member of the public has asked if we know the whereabouts of the Manor Court Rolls for Horncastle, specifically during the 1600s. The Committee did not know the answer with Ian suggesting maybe they were in Carlisle as the Bishops of Carlisle were the Lords of the Manor.

Horncastle Matters – MS pointed out that the advert in Horncastle Matters still gives her name and her old telephone number. Chris Bates to be asked to contact them and ask this to be changes to IM’s name and phone number going forward.

Horncastle Together – IM had been advised that these meetings are going to be held once more, the next one being 14th September at 6 pm which he plans to attend.

Item 4. Financial Report (MS)

MS advised the balance on 27 July was £10,934 but there is still an outstanding uncashed cheque to the value of £1,166 being the money we received from the Tesco Roman Wall appeal which has now been made payable to the Community Centre who administer these funds. This, with other small items of income and expenditure, leaves a current balance of approximately £9,900. BW will follow up the outstanding cheque with the Community Centre which MS posted by hand.

MS and AB were still chasing a number of members for their membership fees. It was agreed they would write to the majority of these members though it was sadly agreed to remove one lapsed member who had also failed to renew membership the previous year. We appreciate we have not been able to arrange talks and visits this year which has been very much beyond our control and hope our members will continue to support us as we do rely on your memberships. Discussions on future activities will take place under Item 7.

Item 5. Planning Report (MH)

MH confirmed that regrettably the Homeleigh application had been approved on the recommendation of the Planning Committee. We do have some comfort in that whilst the demolition of the Homeleigh Cottage was approved (in order to give six car parking spaces) it was made a condition that this building cannot be demolished until such a time that the new council building has been built. This itself could well be affected depending on the outcome of the Governments request to Lincolnshire councils to work on plans for devolution involving the creation of one or more unitary authorities which would lead to the abolishment of all the individual districts including ELDC.

It was not clear who owned the surrounding land on the Homeleigh site, whether it still belonged to the County Council (CC) or if it had been sold to different groups and it was not known who was looking after the site which has been fenced off – ELDC or the CC, though it was noted that nearby residents already had concerns about the security of the site and anti-social behaviour taking place there.

MH apologised as he had not been able to circulate the full planning report following the previous meeting and would combine this with the August report. He continued to update the group on work now underway at various properties which had been stalled owing to current circumstances but noted that many projects remained stalled and there was still no action at the Health Centre site. He also noted that the application to convert Cagthorpe Hall from offices to a house have now removed the parking space from the application as this was too narrow to be practical. An application had come in to build several houses on land off Croft Street but with access along the unmade Hammerton Lane. IM noted that this area was full of Roman archaeology, and expected they would need to do some work before any permission would be granted. The state of Hammerton Lane was discussed and how a lot of work would be needed to even get access to the site as the area behind the Methodist Church was very overgrown. A full copy of the planning reports for July and August will follow.

IM reminded the group about the major Planning reform which the Government would be consulting on until end of October. He felt that we should be notified and consulted on all planning applications in Horncastle, not just those within the conservation area as large building schemes do have an impact on the town as a whole. It was noted that the housing being built up Langton Hill has now spilled over into Thimbleby and can be seen as a sprawling housing estate when approaching Horncastle from the east, and looming over the town when walking along the river. It was agreed to ask ELDC if we could be consulted on all applications going forward, even if we only commented on the applications where there were concerns.

Item 6. Future of the Archives

IM had written to the past secretary of the Photographic Society who have now confirmed we can continue to rent Watson’s Yard up until the end of the year and asked if we would like to negotiate an extended rental period in order to give us time to raise funding. IM explained that there is very little hope of us receiving the Grant we had been working towards, especially as a number of established schemes are struggling to remain afloat in the current climate. He advised them that we have received offers from three other organisations all hoping to consolidate resources and that these offers would be discussed at this Executive meeting.

MS added that the lockdown had highlighted many issues we would have faced if we had been further down the line and owned the building as our plans were very much to rent out the main room for other groups to hold activities in order to help fund the running costs. We ourselves would have been struggling financially if we had to run and maintain the building without any hope of income for a prolonged period of time. Nor was it simply a case of raising the asking price for the building but the much larger amount of money needed to bring the building up to modern standards, in good repair and eliminate damp. She had called in to check the building last week to find water pouring through the ceiling owing to a heavy downpour of rain which she had reported. During the meeting a neighbouring popped in and advised that a pane of glass has fallen out of a window which we hadn’t noticed as it was covered on the inside by a black out blind. The neighbour had kindly boarded this up and MS would notify our landlords.

IM continued to outline the proposals we had received which were discussed as follows:-

Youth Centre: Whilst annual rental costs had not been discussed, it was understood that the building still belongs to the CC. The Youth Centre is less central to the other two locations and unsure how viable this would be going forward as there was some way to go for the volunteers seeking to run it to be able to take it on and bring it up to date, as well as fund ongoing activities and equipment.

Community Centre: The Executive Group had been able to view a potential available space at the previous meeting. A rental figure hadn’t been agreed but it was understood that around £1,000 per year was the minimum that they could envisage. This annual rent would be an increase on what we currently pay but could be affordable. It would provide us with warm dry accommodation within the town centre though not in a very prominent position. However, the space isn’t very large and would require money to be spent to divide it up from other users so it could be secure. Another important issue was that we would not have our own access and it would be difficult and costly to resolve this because of the location next to the Listed church and the difference in ground level between the old school room and the churchyard outside.


Joseph Banks Centre: Noted that this offer of accommodation is based upon Joseph Banks Society (JBS) taking over the lease of the building from Joseph Banks Ltd who until recently have run a shop with paid staff in the room downstairs, alongside the Tourist Information which was provided for ELDC without any funding. The costs of running the shop were outweighing the income it generated, which was no longer sustainable, and this has led the JBS to rethink what they do with the ground floor rooms, with plans to create a natural history and education centre. We had been approached to see if the Society would consider joining this so that the displays could also include local history, which it was thought would complement their plans. Rental costs would be the same as those proposed by the Community Centre, an affordable increase (in ordinary non-coronavirus years) but with a more prominent position in the town centre.

IM and MS had met to discuss what would be on offer in terms of space allocated and restrictions etc. We would have permanent use of a 1st floor room overlooking the Bridge Cafe to store our Archives with space for two tables to do some smaller group work (this would not be exclusive use as other users would need to pass through to access a kitchen area), with additional storage space in the loft for items not needed on a regular basis, proper storage for our books downstairs in a library room. There is another larger committee room on the 1st floor which could also be used by agreement with other tenants - there is a diary to book the space, for when larger groups of volunteers work on material in the archives on a Wednesday morning. The suggestion was that we could book the room for every Wednesday morning which would allow the archive team to be split between the two rooms as there wouldn’t be sufficient space for the whole archive team to work in the smaller archive room. We would also have space in the downstairs shop area to display material from our archives to the public as had been envisaged in our Watson's Yard heritage centre plans. There is also space for temporary exhibitions in the modern link corridor, which we could make an entry charge for at weekends or evenings, but we would need to staff these and could keep any proceeds. JBS would want at least one member of HHHS to join their committee working on bringing their own collection up to modern museum standards. This was important as they need to achieve a certain level of collections standards before they will be able to borrow natural history items from other major collections to put on display. They also discussed what JBS hoped to achieve going forward and MS had questioned as their collection grows would we be pushed out? She was assured this would not be the case. This would also help us as we could work together on this as we also hoped to improve how we care for our Archives as well.

Some costs would be involved in that we would need to match display cabinets with those used by JBS and produce more professional display materials but we would be able to utilise some of the expertise of JBS volunteers in collections and in computer skills. MS said from an archives point of view it ticks all the boxes for being dry, heated etc and whilst she felt it was secure there was an acknowledgement that there would be other people walking through the area and we should have lockable cupboards to keep anything of value just as a general security measure.

It was also noted that as a joint facility with natural science collection and education, local history and the tourist information all under one roof in this historic building with the beautiful garden, it could be a real asset for the town. The Society would also benefit from being able to sell books both in the shop, and on the SJB website, and from being able to raise money from exhibitions, and the much raised profile of having a presence in the town. The SJB also hoped that our members would be interested in volunteering at the centre to welcome people to our historic town.

The Executive Committee unanimously agreed that the Joseph Banks Centre was the best option available and agreed to the move in principal, subject to clarity needed on various issues:

· Would need a formal agreement – IF suggested we would need a Licence Agreement outlining what has been agreed in terms of space and also questioned the length of the agreement. We need to know it will last and IF felt there was no point going to a lot of trouble just for one year, suggesting we should be looking at a 5 or 10 year agreement but pointing out that we would have to commit to pay rent for this period.

· BW felt we should also have some presence on the shop floor of the building, for example a desk labelled HHHS and though staffing may be an issue, it would be good to have someone on hand who was perhaps able to help with enquiries, particularly on Wednesdays.

· It was felt that such a move would raise the profile of the Society but we do need to be careful to maintain our own identity and not get absorbed into JBS.

In principal the Executive Committee agreed to pursue the option of working with the Joseph Banks Centre. There was not going to be a lot of money around for the next five years and it was agreed that different groups needed to join forces to get through these difficult times. MS asked if we should seek money from the Town Council who had committed to offer £5k towards our heritage centre plans, particularly as we would be helping to provide a resource for the whole town, adding that going forward she would like to see a dedicated budget for the archive in order to display and better preserve documentation and artefacts. Outcome from all town plans have suggested that the people want a heritage centre, and there was a great deal of support during our recent consultation. Going forward she would like to get more people involved and envisages two teams, an Archive Team and Exhibition and Display Team.

Regardless to whether or not we move to the JBC, we had agreed to loan some items of interest to fill a space in the 'pop up' museum/heritage centre now that the shop has closed.

All agreed that whilst it may look on the surface that we have done a lot of work for nothing by carrying out the feasibility study on Watson’s Yard, this study was funded and has not directly cost the Society anything other than the time of dedicated members which was to be applauded. The Executive Group is also able to use a lot of the valuable information gained from carrying out this study such as fundraising, equipment needs and have made many excellent contacts with other groups and grant organisations, with many of the ideas still able to be used in displays at the Joseph Banks Centre. The drawings prepared showing how the building could be adapted without harming it's heritage may also be helpful to the Photographic Society and may help them to sell the building. It is a lovely building and whilst it will be sad that it wouldn’t be accessible to the public if sold into private ownership, nor can the building be demolished because it is in the conservation area, so we are confident that the building will be restored and hopefully our plans could be used as inspiration for this.

Item 7. Potential to resume some Society activities

MS was keen to see us getting something organised to benefit our members, especially as we didn’t know how long restrictions would remain in place.

As the law stands at the moment up to 30 people may meet indoors and whilst this legislation was initially set for weddings etc – the wording around this also includes Community Activities and Support Groups. Based on this, MS had asked the Admiral Rodney if we would be able to rent their room as before, to which the answer was no! This is probably based upon the costs of cleaning the room before and after people have used it and this is not viable for a group like ourselves renting room only for a couple of hours (£30) as opposed to a wedding with guests dining and drinking etc.

BW felt there could be the potential of using the large hall at the Community Centre. There would have to be limited meetings with limited numbers and it was agreed to investigate how we would be able to do this, what would be the restrictions on numbers for the size of the hall and how we would fill those spaces – for example would people need to book their place in advance or would it be first come first serve? We would have to be fair to all.

IM questioned if everyone would need to wear masks and queried what happened in the cinema. AB advised that masks only needed to be worn in the foyer and whilst moving in corridors but once seated then masks may be removed.

The flowers around the town are still being looked after – a big thank you to our volunteers for all their hard work! Also we continue to monitor planning applications. Whilst we would dearly like to hold an AGM it is not feasible to do so as we cannot place a restriction on member numbers, and it was agreed that holding it electronically would be unfair as many members wouldn’t be able to take part. It was agreed that we should produce a newsletter for members.

BW asked about Heritage Open Days and asked if we had planned to do anything. IM advised that it had originally been our intention to organise a walk around Horncastle this year about how the town has changed in honour of Conservation Area's 50th anniversary. Instead he has created a digital walk. IM added that he thought Gail Dymoke had planned to launch the new town Heritage Trail developed with us, Walkers Are Welcome and ELDC, but understands this has been put off. BW queried if an organised walk was allowed? IM would look into the possibility/viability of arranging a walk.

MS advised a lot of her archive volunteers want to come back and she had agreed with one of the team to help her to look at how they could space themselves out. She asked for permission to reinstate the archive group if it was restricted to once per week maintaining 72 hours between visits and surfaces were sprayed and wiped down before and at the end of each visit as per guidelines with a record kept of those attending and everyone taking their own drinks etc, and keeping the space well ventilated. All agreed this would be acceptable and MS to proceed.

Item 8. Planning future events (Thomas Sully Plaque, Railway 50th Anniversary)

Thomas Sully Plaque: The plaque has arrived and MS brought this to show the group advising the Thomas Sully leaflets and the Mareham booklets would be ready on Friday of this week. We need to arrange to erect the plaque with a date and time for unveiling etc. MS will contact the Co-op and ask if we can stage a socially distanced event, probably a Sunday in October, and ask if we can perhaps tape off the necessary part of the car park for this. There had originally been some suggestion of providing light refreshments but unsure if this is something that can be done in the current climate. We need to give some thought as to who to invite in way of guests bearing in mind keeping numbers low. All agreed it was important to keep things happening so that members remained interested.

Railway 50th Anniversary: Chris Bates (CB) had provided a progress report updating the group with who he had approached or managed to contact to obtain support and collaboration. He also advised that the anniversary of the closure of the railway will coincide with Easter 2021. He questioned whether a continuation of coronavirus restrictions would prevent the Society staging ‘physical’ events such as exhibitions, talks and displays and if we should consider staging a ‘virtual’ exhibition such as that successfully done to mark the Horncastle VE Day anniversary. All agreed that we should work towards staging live events and could revert to virtual events if no other option.

CB had asked Alan Stennett, a local railway historian, author and broadcaster if he would be interested in giving a talk at such an event. MS added that the Cottage Museum in Woodhall Spa had also been in touch with Alan Stennett – one of the things suggested by CB was a joint event with the Cottage Museum. Our understanding was that we have received all the talks on local lines by Mike Fowler which were very popular and perhaps we could ask MF to give a talk on his collections.

CB asked how best to gather and collate information and memories from people who either worked on the railways in the district or who’s parents/family members did and may have artefacts and photographs which could be used for an exhibition. MS suggested we ask all our members to get in touch with their memories of local railways, particularly the line between Horncastle and Woodhall Spa and let us know of any artefacts, photos or documents they would be prepared to loan or copy for an exhibition. She would have some photographs in the archive and CB had also contacted a noted photographer of Lincolnshire railways. MS felt it may be possible to compile a booklet of the Social History of the Railway if enough information and memories were submitted.

Other ideas of events which could take place over the weekend of the anniversary were to arrange for a model railway or ideally a garden railway to operate giving rides – perhaps in Friskney’s yard or the garden of the Joseph Banks Centre if small enough. If not then we could perhaps approach Bush’s and the building supplies on the site of the original railway station but this was a bit far out from the town centre for visitors to walk between. BW had attended a drive in movie held at Tedder Hall, Manby Park which had been arranged by the local Lions Group and wondered if we might arrange a similar event at The Wong, perhaps screen the Titfield Thunderbolt or similar. All thought these were wonderful ideas and asked BW if he could speak with the local Lions Group to ask if they might be prepared to help organise such an event.

This has the potential to be a really good event but it was stressed that we MUST get a sub committee together to get involved with helping to put the Railway event together. All members are urged to help in any way they can and get in touch either by email info@horncastlecivic.org.uk or approach any member of the Executive Group direct – once we have names then we can arrange to meet or how best to keep in contact with each other but we will need to work together to make an event happen.

Spa Trail Leaflet – IM had found a version of this leaflet but it only covered a small section, not the whole route. IM will check with the County Council and ask if they will consider re-issuing this as part of the anniversary events next year.

Item 9. Roman Wall - Update

IM advised there was very little to update. Tenders have been received although a contractor had not yet been appointed and there was various paperwork with Historic England to complete. It is not known when the works will be carried as we are moving towards worsening weather it is possible it might not be started this year.

Item 10. Any Other Matters

There were no other matters raised.

Item 12. Date of next Meeting

The next meeting to be held at Watson’s Yard, Horncastle on Wednesday 14th October at 3 pm.


Julie Bates, Executive Committee Minutes Secretary

 Minutes of a Meeting of the Executive Committee held Monday 27thJuly 2020 in the Community Centre, Horncastle

Present: Ian Marshman (IM) Chairman, Michael Hieatt (MH), Mary Silverton (MS), Ian French (IF), Bob Wayne (BW), Ashleigh Bird (AB) and Julie Bates (JB) Minutes Secretary.

Apologies: Nick Fox (NF), Chris Bates (CB) and Trevor Butterworth (TB)

Item 1. Apologies for Absence

IM accepted apologies from those members detailed above.

Item 2. Approval of Executive Minutes 26/02/20 and Matters Arising (MA):

Minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as an accurate reflection of what took place with a minor spelling correction in relation to the Archive within Item 7 which should read ‘run on a shoestring’ though MS said they do have a lot of 'fun on a shoestring' whilst working on the archive!

26/02/20 Item 8 - Plans to mark 50th Anniversary of Conservation Area: MS felt it important that we got other members involved in this project and JB pointed out that we are still to identify which ‘Then’ photographs we plan to use. Once we have done this then we can appeal to our membership to go out and take some ‘Now’ photographs of the same buildings and hopefully be in a position to have a selection of each venue to choose from. IM understood the sooner we can proceed with the calendar the cheaper it will be so he will look out some ‘Then’ photographs – BW offered to help with this also as he said he probably has a photograph of every Listed building in Horncastle.

Item 3. Correspondence

MS had received the latest magazines from our membership of Lincoln Society of History and Archaeology (LSHA) which includes a feature on The Punch House in Horncastle. She reminded the group that these magazines are available to members to look at under normal circumstances and will be accessible once restrictions are lifted etc.

IM had received a letter from a Mr Roughton asking if there were any books on the history of Roughton, and whether there were any other people of the name of Roughton connected with the village. BW knew of a prominent farming family by the name of Roughton not far from Willoughby near Alford - IM would follow up on this.

Item 4. Financial Report (MS)

MS advised the balance on 26 June was £11,847 but there are outstanding uncashed cheques to the value of £2,214 - one of these being £1,166 being the money we received from the Tesco Roman Wall appeal and have now made payable to the Community Centre. This leaves a balance of approximately £9,633.

Item 5. Planning Report (MH)

MH updated the group on work underway at various properties and also advised that a planning application to convert the upper floors of Mantles into flats had been approved but with various constraints. A full copy of the planning report will follow.

It was understood that the proposed works on Horncastle College were still awaiting decision and that the campaigning charity Save Britain's Heritage had submitted a strong letter of objection to the demolition of the Holmeleigh Cottage Homes, and asked the council to reject the application. IM also noted that the Government was asking Lincolnshire councils to work on plans for devolution that would involve the creation of one or more unitary authorities (where there is only one council instead of a county and a district). This would lead to the abolishment of all of the districts including ELDC, and as such and surely it would be better to wait until the outcome of this is known before any works are carried out. It would be a travesty if public money was spent demolishing Horncastle's historic buildings only for them to left as rubble for the foreseeable future, or for the new headquarters to be built only to be abandoned in a matter of months when the councils merged. IM would write again to the leader of ELDC in view of this, though he added he had not received a response from his previous letter.

One point worth noting was that the Government had brought in new changes on planning requirements which is intended to make the process of ‘change of use’ quicker as well as being able to demolish certain buildings such as an industrial unit or block of flats without the need for permission providing you build housing on the same footprint of the demolished building (although they could be two storeys higher). MH pointed out that this would not affect much of Horncastle in that you cannot demolish without permission within a conservation area. IM noted it could however affect buildings on the industrial estate as these could be redeveloped for housing alongside the remaining industrial units, as has happened in other areas, leaving future residents in poor living conditions.

Item 6. Watson’s Yard Project and Archives

IM had written to the past secretary of the Photographic Society to explain the position we are in, in that the Grant we had been working towards would not now come to fruition. He had responded advising that he could not speak for the Trustees but asked if we would like to negotiate for a much longer extension to beyond our current lease of September 2020, as he for one did not want us to be 'homeless'.

The Executive Committee agreed that whilst with great effort we could possibly raise the £45,000 needed to buy Watson's Yard this could take several years to achieve without lottery funding. We would also have no money to make the building fit for purpose, and it was agreed it was only fair to advise the Photographic Society that, due to these insurmountable problems, we would not be able to proceed with the purchase. IM would write to this effect and ask if we may continue to rent the building beyond September up until Christmas, assuming they do not find a buyer before then. It was also agreed that we would of course continue to look after their archive as agreed.

The Executive Committee discussed the initial results of discussion with several other parties in the town who might be able to store and display the Archives. It was agreed to continue to find out further details about how any future arrangements might work in practice before any decisions could be made about their future home. It was welcomed that there were now several possibilities and the outlook was not as bleak as when the Archives had to relocate from the Joseph Banks Society a few years ago.

Item 7. Plans to mark 50th Anniversary of Railway Closure in 2021

CB had circulated a document ahead of the meeting outlining the history of the railway between Woodhall Junction and Horncastle [circulated with these minutes]. Whilst passenger services ceased in 1954, freight services continued up until April 1971. He had submitted a number of ideas on potential events and activities to mark this anniversary for discussion.

All agreed this would be a worthwhile event and it would be really good to have a joint exhibition with the Cottage Museum at Woodhall Spa who also had much material on the history of the line. MS agreed to contact them to tell them about our plans and see if it would fit with whatever plans they had for 2021. Another suggestion had been to ask Mike Fowler if he would be prepared to give a further talk on the line and perhaps loan some items for an exhibition – posters etc. It was also suggested to approach Alan Stennett on a similar basis – we could perhaps have both talks over the course of a weekend. JB advised she and CB would be meeting with Mike Fowler to collect a loaned item from him and would ask him if he would be prepared to do this. IM would love to bring a steam loco to Horncastle but felt that may be beyond the realms of possibility. JB pointed out that there are some smaller steam locos and even smaller narrow gauge locos so wouldn’t rule this out. CB to be asked to approach Morton’s to see if they might consider sponsoring something like this or to help with their contacts in the railway world. Other suggestions for events built around the railway were perhaps setting up a garden railway giving children rides around the churchyard. IM also suggested we speak to Walkers Are Welcome (of which BW is also a member) to ask if there was still a leaflet on the Spa Trail in production, and if not, to see if we could re-vamp it to encourage visitors. All agreed that CB's statement that "the line probably caries more 'passengers' today than when it closed in the 1950s" was a very interesting point, and it is good that it continues to be an asset to the town in a different way.

It was noted that all previous events and talks on the subject of the railway has generated a lot of interest at our meetings and we appeal to any of our members who are interested in helping research the history of the town's railway or with contacts in railways or model engineering to please get in touch.

Item 8. Thomas Sully Plaque – Update

MS has ordered the plaque and has asked for two quotes for the production of a leaflet – only one has come back to date which works out at £125 for 500 tri-fold leaflets – an example of which was circulated.

Item 9. Roman Wall - Update

IM explained the current situation, as there had been a delay caused by Historic England insisting that one of the three interested contractors could not accepted as they had replied after the deadline stated in a newspaper advert Invitation to Tender. Initially only two tenders were received – not surprising as there are not that many companies that specialise in Roman walls! Historic England however demanded there must be three tenders. The third application was received but this just missed the deadline, and Historic England had suggested that the whole process must start again which would delay the work until next year. IM managed to negotiate that the process should continue with the three interested parties in light of the pandemic and the urgent need to both carry out the work and support the struggling contractors who Historic England were currently offering grants to keep them in business. It was felt that it was unlikely that there would be any further interest even if we were to re-start the process and there was no public benefit in delaying and there would be no unfair trading. Unfortunately whilst this has been agreed, it had obviously still delayed things.

However IM confirmed that the three contractors are visiting the site in the following weeks to help prepare their tenders. The work may still be able to happen this year depending on the contractor's availability, and if not there is every confidence that it will happen next year – adding that we are closer than we have ever been to saving the Roman Wall!

Item 10. Members suggestions to help town recover from Coronavirus


IM reported on how on an individual basis he had proposed that previous plans agreed in the Neighbourhood Plan to pedestrianise St Lawrence Street from the Market Place to Dog Kennel Lane by revived. Noting that he now full understood what it is like trying to push a pram down narrow lanes with cars trying to get past! Others had also been calling for pedestrianising part of the Market Place to allow cafes to serve customers outside whilst maintaining social distancing, so he had tried to include a proposal for this in the plans whilst still allowing cars to park in the centre of the Market Place. From the comments he had received on his suggestion there was a roughly 70:30 split in favour from our members. Other comments/suggestions received to help the town recover are summarised below:-

· Free parking for up to 2 hours in line with Woodhall Spa and Conningsby

· More information and displays – History Boards (MS added that the council had come back to her recently on putting QR codes on historic buildings – there is an App where you enter the code and get all the information on the building etc).

· Better coordination between Councillors and Groups to help resolve issues and develop projects. (IM noted that unfortunately the Town Council had cancelled upcoming 'Horncastle Together' meetings so it was more difficult to know what others were working on or how the Society could help).

· Improve St Mary's churchyard as people were now using it more for social distanced meeting friends and family and with a few benches and planting it could be a much more welcoming and usable space. (It was noted that MH and the Friends of the Church had been working on similar plans for some time).

· Parking for cycles in the town centre and in the Market Place – this raised a point in relation to Planning – and it was noted that the Society should use our response to planning applications for bike shop/cafe to raise the issue of parking for cycles being provided MH to action

· New cycle paths, and more split space for cyclists and pedestrians to help them feel safe. Noted in particular Louth Road where very narrow pavement despite wide verges and that one requirement of the new zoo is that they have to put a pavement on the other side of the road to connect it to town. It was suggested that one side could be for pedestrians and the other for bikes. BW noted that he thought the new pavement for the zoo was only from the residential development next door to their gates, and as the development had ground to a halt, it was unclear when the full path would be built.

· Alleyway through to Perkins from St Lawrence Street Car Park could be improved to make it more welcoming and signposted as a safe route for pedestrians avoiding St Lawrence Street if it is not pedestrianised.

· Canopies for people queueing for shops – come winter people will not want to stand out in the rain waiting to be able to get into a shop, and without action their trade will suffer.

· Other ideas for encouraging visitors were a covered food court on The Backs near the Library off Wharf Road. With a covered but open area for eating/drinking as prove popular in many markets.

· One novel suggestion was a Hot Chocolate competition – all cafes to come up with their own recipe, with a map provided and be judged by the public on which one is the best – this is something a few committee members volunteered to judge! It is a good idea of the kind of event that could be planned for minimal effort and expense and that would bring people into town but not pose any issues for social distancing.

On a larger scale there was a suggestion of:

· Returning to a phased opening of the canal, with a member indicating that although it had been found that a full reopening would cost many millions of pounds, it was suggested that a phases approach be pursued as reopening for canoes could be accomplished from Dogdyke to Horncastle for minimal cost. BW noted that a grant had been applied for to install steps near the swimming pool to allow access for canoeists but had been unsuccessful so had not continued.

· Urban tree planting. IM noted that this was something the Civic Society had previously done, and in fact had been its first project in the 1960s. There were now many different grant schemes available with Forestry Commission, Woodland Trust etc all doing everything they can to plant as many trees as possible to help improve habitats and tackle climate change.

It was agreed that there were so many ideas it had not been possible to discuss them all properly and we will keep this as an agenda item for further discussion to see which the Society might be able to push forward.

Members are invited to get in touch if there is a project they feel passionate about and would like to work on. There is no shortage of excellent and achievable projects but we need your help if any of them are to be moved forward.


Item 11. Any Other Matters

Horncastle Matters: An article has been submitted for the next edition on the 50th Anniversary of Conservation Area – thanks to CB for putting this together. The deadline for the next edition after this is 30 October – one suggestion for a possible article was Selwood House.

Mareham le Fen book:
MS advised she had totally sold out of the Mareham booklet and has ordered a further 50 copies.

Planters: Thanks to everyone that helps to look after the planters, a number of members have commented on how nice they are and the Council has also commented how pleased they are with them. BW added that the Lions will be putting up flags in the town centre this weekend as part of a project to brighten up the town and make it look 'open for business'. If any other members would like to help with this, please get in touch as we could ask the Town Council to purchase additional planters if we can maintain them and make the town look even better!

Donation of artefacts: IM reported that the library had some Roman and other artefacts donated to them which had been found at the allotments. The library can’t house them and the Town Council didn’t want these to go to Lincoln and we have been asked if we can look after them. We would need to see how much there is etc before committing to looking after this. It was noted that any artefacts found on the allotments belong to the town council as landowners and should have come to them not kept or sold privately. It was agreed to write to the Town Council to ask if this could be included as a clause in their agreement for the allotment holders, as it would also encourage them to be alert for artefacts.

Item 12. Date of next Meeting

The next meeting to be held on Tuesday 1st September at 3 pm – venue to be agreed depending on current restrictions.


Julie Bates Executive Committee Minutes Secretary



Executive meeting 16th June 2020
Minutes from Executive meeting

 Minutes of a Meeting of the Executive Committee held Tuesday 16th June 2020 in the garden of the Manor House, Manor House Street, Horncastle

Present: Ian Marshman (IM) Chairman, Michael Hieatt (MH), Mary Silverton (MS), Ian French (IF), Bob Wayne (BW) and Julie Bates (JB) Minutes Secretary.

Apologies: Nick Fox (NF), Ashleigh Bird (AB) and Trevor Butterworth (TB)

Item 1. Apologies for Absence

IM accepted apologies from those members detailed above.

Item 2. Approval of Executive Minutes 26/02/20 and Matters Arising (MA):

Minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as an accurate reflection of what took place.

26/02/20 Item 8: Commemorating VE Day in May 2020: IM thanked all those who contributed to this project adding that despite not being able to hold events how we would have wished to, the VE Day website had been very successful. In total it had cost us £28.80 to set up this dedicated website and we have received 780 unique visitors to the site with a total of 3,180 hits on different pages so far. These have come from all over the world – USA, Spain, The Netherlands, France to name but a few. A suggestion was made that we may be able to make a booklet using the information gathered. IM also pointed out the publicity the Society received from having an article in the Horncastle News – JB passed on apologies on behalf of her husband who had compiled the information gathered by members in order to write up the article for the newspaper as, when published, this gave the impression that this was entirely his own work. This had certainly not been the intention and he wanted to ensure the credit went to those who had worked so hard to gather the information – his role was simply to pull it all together into an article for the paper and the website.

Item 3. Correspondence

The Society had received a request from Australia for a copy of the Mareham le Fen booklet.

IM has been contacted by the attendees of the Wong Disability Day Centre who IM had met with in relation to the Feasibility Study for Watson's Yard. They were keen to help us and were asking if we knew if we had received our grant yet.

Item 4. Financial Report (MS)

MS advised so far we have received membership renewal payments from 49 out of 118 members, adding that one person had now taken out life membership and some honorary members have now started paying membership too. We would like to thank everyone for their continued support, particularly at this difficult time, and gently remind those who are still to renew their subscriptions that they can do so by sending a cheque to either Ashleigh Bird, the Membership Secretary or to Mary, or by bank transfer to Sort Code 20-52-78 and Account No. 90481599. Don't forget that the rates are now £12 for an individual or £15 for joint membership (two members in the same household).

Whilst a very difficult subject to talk about, it was also agreed that we should give some thought to asking members to consider the Society in their Wills. This is something several charities do to raise much needed funds and even a few small donations can make all the difference to keeping the Society going and thus protecting our Heritage.

MS distributed a copy of the End of Year Accounts which have been audited and signed off by the Auditor. These accounts have been approved by the Executive Committee subject to the inability to hold an AGM at the moment, and MS will check with the Charity Commission if there are any issues with this. MS pointed out that Income and Expenditure relating to our meetings is now shown separately on the accounts and also pointed out the significant amount raised from gift aid. A copy of the accounts will be distributed with the minutes.

Following the Closing Balance of £13,255.90 with uncashed cheques to the value of £855.90 there has since been a number of large payments made in relation to the Feasibility Study, as well as a final payment received in relation to the study giving a balance at the end of April 2020 of £9,424 and balance at the end of May 2020 of £9,880. IM was keen to point out that whilst there has been a lot of cost involved in carrying out the Feasibility Study, this has all been funded by a grant specifically for this purpose and the Society has not incurred any additional costs.

Item 5. Planning Report (MH)

MH has still not received a response to this enquiry re Foundry Yard. There has still not been any attempt to build a second house as per the planning application and still not known if a separate planning request has been made to change this to include a number of metal sheds.

The new conservation officer at ELDC Emilie Wales had not got back to MH following his enquiry about the orange signage on a shop in the town, and he would follow this up with her.

A full copy of the planning report will follow.

Item 6. Coronavirus Issues for the Society and Horncastle

AGM: Firstly we would like to say we hope all our members are keeping themselves safe and well. We have been unable to arrange an AGM owing to the current circumstances and will not be able to do so until guidelines permit. The AGM will be held as soon as possible though for safety/distancing reasons we would need to find a suitable venue. It was proposed we hold a SGM at the same time in order to incorporate a vote for the new constitution. It was also agreed that it would not be fair to try to hold the meeting via electronic means as many of our members cannot use such things and would therefore be excluded.

Speakers/Talks: It was agreed we would pick up these when we can and re-book those missed for next year. MS was confident that the Thomas Sully talk would be able to go ahead at reasonable short notice but we will need to be led by science as to when this could be.

Impact on the Town: Whilst we are keen to stress members should not put themselves at risk, it was agreed that there was a civic duty upon us all to spend in local shops whenever possible. In many cases this could also be done over the phone or online, if people were not comfortable visiting in person. It is a very difficult time for shopkeepers and local businesses in general, and without our support they will not survive. It is also possible that we could lose some local businesses despite this, and it was understood that Travis Perkins were re-modelling their business, which could lead to their Horncastle shop closing. MS pointed out there had been two new businesses open up in the town during the lockdown period, both cycle shops, though the one in the old HSBC Bank building also has plans for a bikers cafe. MH queried if this should have a change of use planning application.

If members have any suggestions for things that could be done to help the town recover from the crisis, please do let us know so we can make sure we are lobbying the local authorities.

Item 7. Watson’s Yard Project and Archives

Feasibility Study: IM circulated a copy of the Feasibility Study ahead of the meeting (copy attached) and had three printed copies with him. The Feasibility Study finished on time and in budget though we were slightly late submitting the final paperwork evaluating the project. Since submitting the paperwork however we have not had any information from the Heritage Lottery Fund as to what happens next. Concerns were raised that the aftermath of the Coronavirus lockdown meant that many existing well established heritage sites, museums and attractions were on the brink of closing down and Lottery Funding may well be diverted to keeping them afloat rather than funding new projects such as ours. The National Lottery Heritage Fund has also suspended all their grant programme indefinitely (likely until at least the end of the year, and probably the financial year) in order to redirect grants to helping ongoing costs of heritage groups in difficulty. It was agreed that IM should get back in touch with our grant manager Jeremy Thackeray at the Lottery to find out what options there might be for us. The Society has until September to come up with the money to buy the building or firm plans for how we will raise it, with the Photographic Society having the potential to then grant us a rolling 3-month rolling extension.

Archive: MS explained that when the archive started this was a minor part of the Society and was run on a shoestring. She felt we need to agree it is now much bigger part of the Society's work with a group of around 8 volunteers meeting every week, and contributing to talks, publications and exhibitions. Going forward she explained that she feels the Society should budget money toward running the archive, such as for proper conservation materials and equipment, perhaps by running extra meetings and exhibitions to fund this.

Item 8. Plans to mark 50th Anniversary of Conservation Area

2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the former Lindsey County Council designating the Conservation Area to protect the historic heart of Horncastle. So far we have nothing planned in order to mark this occasion and a suggestion was made that we perhaps produce a calendar with a ‘Now and Then’ theme showing historical pictures of the town and buildings with the same up-to-date view - which in turn will give us something to sell at the Christmas Market, assuming the market will still go ahead in some form.

We have plenty of ‘Then’ and 'Now' pictures of the town but our ‘Now’ pictures themselves date back to the 1970s! So we definitely need more pictures of how things look today. Once we identify which ‘Then’ pictures we will use we could perhaps ask our members to take some up to date pictures of the same areas/buildings.

Item 9. Holmeleigh ELDC HQ Redevelopment - Update

IM wrote to ELDC to express the Society's concern of the future of the Holmeleigh site following reports in the Horncastle News which seemed to indicate that their plans for the proposed new headquarters were close to being finalised, with talk of demolishing some of the 1930s cottage homes. We had not been notified of a planning application being submitted despite reassurances from the Leader of the District Council that we would be consulted, and the fact we are usually consulted on 'major' applications in the town. Thankfully MH had noticed the application had been put in with the consultation running during lockdown meaning it was difficult for many parties to comment. Several members also contacted the Society to say they were unaware of the planning application having been submitted. Whilst the Town Council had not questioned the demolition of the cottage homes despite them being identified for protection in the Neighbourhood Plan, they had raised concerns that the Traffic Assessment for the development had been carried out during Lockdown when the roads were quiet and Banovallum School was closed. Its validity was certainly questionable!

We were able to make comments before the deadline which were acknowledged, but our letter to the Leader has gone unanswered. We did however receive an acknowledgment from the Executive Councillor in charge of Planning and Conservation, thanking us for raising our concerns but saying that he could not comment as it was a live planning application. This despite ELDC being the 'developer' as well as the decision maker.

Chris Bates (CB) sent out a press release on the matter which resulted in a large article in the Horncastle News 10 06 2020's edition -- two pages on the society's concerns and other matters relating to the proposed demolition of one of the crescent of Holmeleigh cottages, with photos etc. IM had also been invited to speak about the issue on BBC Radio Lincolnshire, and it was hoped that the coverage would encourage ELDC to rethink the demolition, which would only achieve an extra six car parking spaces.

MH noted that the plans looked to have not been thought through very well, with many trees being lost as well that could be kept with small tweaks to the design.

Item 10. Thomas Sully: approval of leaflet, blue plaque and quotations (MS)


MS has not progressed this but will speak with the Co-op in due course. IM suggested placing the order for the plaque so that we would be able to arrange for this to be erected as soon as possible once restrictions permitted.

Item 11. Roman Wall Update

IM advised there has finally been some progress. The specification has almost been agreed so the Tender process will soon be able to commence with an invitation to tender going out to conservation experts and in the Lincolnshire Echo (as required by the Historic England). We have also been told we can now go ahead and put out a press release in relation to the grant support for the project from Historic England. It is possible that the work may happen this year on the basis that the National Trust and many other conservation bodies have cancelled much of their planned works so we may be able to get the necessary experts sooner rather than later as they are looking for work.

We have received £1,166 from Tesco which will be paid direct to the Community Centre. Despite the fact we were well ahead of the other two charity boxes as far as tokens were concerned, Tesco stopped the voting because of the coronavirus just before voting closed and a decision was made nationally to split the money three ways. Thank you to all members who collected tokens and voted for us when they were doing their shopping.

IM will speak with CB re: press release.

Item 12. Any Other Matters

MS asked if anyone had anything to go into Horncastle Matters and suggested CB might be asked to put an article together on the 50th Anniversary of the Conservation Area. Another possible article could be done on Selwood House.

Chris Bates had raised that next year would see the 50th Anniversary of the Railway closing in Horncastle and IM and MS felt we should have an exhibition on this, possibly in collaboration with our friends at Woodhall Spa Cottage Museum since their collection would also likely contain much material on the line.

MH pointed out that as part of planning applications he receives there is a section on the history of the buildings in question and asked if this would be of interest to the archive. MS would welcome such information for the archive but realises the information may not be able to reproduced in exhibitions etc. because of copyright would be useful for research.

Item 13. Date of next Meeting

In light of the ever changing situation it was agreed to leave the date and venue of the next meeting to be confirmed at a later date.

Julie Bates

Executive Committee Minutes Secretary


Horncastle History & Heritage Society – Minutes of a Meeting of the Executive Committee held Wednesday 26th February 2020 at Watson’s Yard, West Street, Horncastle

Present: Ian Marshman (IM) Chairman, Michael Hieatt (MH), Mary Silverton (MS), Nick Fox (NF), Ian French (IF) and Julie Bates (JB) Minutes Secretary.

Apologies: None

Item 1. Apologies for Absence

None Received

Item 2. Approval of Executive Minutes 04/12/19 and Matters Arising (MA):

Minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as an accurate reflection of what took place.

15/01/20 Item 2: Horncastle 'Vital & Viable' Regeneration Event: IM advised this second workshop event led by ELDC was held at the Stanhope Hall on 18th February was well attended. He reported that following the first meeting businesses had got together and Horncastle once again now has a Traders Group, which will hopefully help to promote Horncastle. Following the recommendations in the Vital & Viable Horncastle Report, ELDC proposed to develop a public realm and signage strategy to improve public access and the appearance of the town through pavements, bus stops, signage etc. IM noted that it was also hoped that we could at long last move forward with interpretation boards as part of this, working with Walkers are Welcome. A lot of work has been carried out developing ideas for these boards but there has never been money available to progress producing them. It was understood that all signage would conform to the same style in way of branding for the town and Horncastle would also have its own page on a new ELDC website to promote the town to visitors. All agreed that the town does need to sell itself better, and the report recommended understanding what brought people to the town and what its unique selling point (USP) is – suggestions from the Executive Meeting included book shops, antiques, literary events and small galleries would be a good choice. Sadly it was understood that the newly formed Traders Group planned only to promote individual businesses and did not want to get involved with organising events. IM noted that all towns were being encouraged to put on events to encourage people onto the High Street but in Horncastle there was a lack of volunteers willing to help, with Horncastle Festivals now only able to put on the one annual event, the Christmas Market. Horncastle risks being overlooked and left behind if organisations cannot work together to promote it – although the VE Day plans were an example of how things could be done.

15/01/20 Item 11: Speakers – MS had already come up with a number of ideas for speakers at the previous meeting and had since thought of a few more topics – Lincolnshire dialect and also Horncastle Theatre. Sadly none of our members have so far come forward to volunteer as meeting coordinator and we once again appeal to our members for help with this. Generally somebody will suggest the topic and will provide the name and contact details for speakers, it is simply a case of slotting speakers into the date slots and getting back in touch with them closer to the date of their talk and confirm what equipment they need etc.

Whilst on the subject of speakers, JB raised the issue that we had still not received contact information for the person scheduled to speak at our November meeting. This was a speaker suggested by one of our members at the last AGM and whilst they have provided a name and suggested the November date was their preference, they have not given us any contact details so JB was unable to confirm the details etc.

Item 3. Correspondence

IM had received an email from the Society for Lincolnshire History & Archaeology asking for information on water supplies for the town, particularly before the first piped water. Specifically asking about public water pumps, conduits and specifically if there had ever been a water tower in the town. MS was confident there would be information in the archives about pumps but suggested Bob Wayne and Paul Scott might also be well placed to provide information on this.

IM had noted an article in Horncastle Matters from the Allotment Society who were looking for information. MS confirmed she had already passed on information.

Item 4. Financial Report (MS)

MS advised the last statement she had received was from the end of December 2019 which showed a balance of £12,660.50. A lot of cheques (approximately £3.5k) have been paid out during January and February mainly in relation to the feasibility study. We had also received the first two tax rebates of £83 and £72 thanks to Ruth completing all the paperwork needed to claim back Gift Aid and a big thank you to all our members who have also completed gift aid forms.

MS confirmed that the new mandate forms have still not been cleared by the bank. On chasing this she has been told that this is due to the fact that all charities are dealt with in a different way which is very time consuming and paperwork often gets held up in different sections. It was hoped this may become easier if were to become incorporated as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). The bank suggested that if they were in receipt of a letter from both MS and Trevor Butterworth then it should be possible to at least get correspondence sent to MS for the time being.

Item 5. Planning Report (MH)

MH advised it was still very quiet at the moment in relation to planning with only two new applications, one in West Street and one in East Street, which were both for replacing timber framed windows like for like so we wouldn’t look to object to these applications.

He had queried if planning had been changed in relation to Foundry Yard as planning had been given for two houses but there currently appears to be one house and a number of metal sheds put up instead. He has still not received a response to this enquiry.

There were no further developments on Langton Hill and MH is still trying to find out some information on the flood relief scheme. It was noted that one of the new properties on the Thimbleby Hill development had been flooded during the recent storms!

A full copy of the planning report will follow.

MH and IM reported on their meeting with the new conservation officer at ELDC Emilie Wales who had visited to see the Society's plans for Watson's Yard, but then agreed to a walk around the town listening to some of our members' concerns. EW explained that her role would be different to that of her predecessor Rob Walker, with her job title being 'Historic Environment Officer'. She would be an internal consultee to the District Council, rather than a part of planning team that made decisions, this meant she would only be consulted when a planning officer felt her specialist advice was needed, with officers taking decisions based on their own judgement at other times.

IM and MH reported that EW had explained that the planning application for the building on the corner of the marketplace had been refused on the basis they had wanted to completely remove an internal staircase and in a listed building this could not be permitted. It was understood that this issue was now being re-visited and discussions were ongoing with the owner and she was confident that a way forward could be reached that didn’t require losing the whole staircase or adding an ugly external fire escape. IM and MH had pointed out the buildings painted bright green and orange on Bridge Street and asked if this contravened planning regulations within the conservation area. EW said what colour you painted your property was not considered as 'development' so unless a building was Listed it did not need permission. The Council could take action if was so bad as to harm the whole area's amenity, but were unlikely to make a fuss unless they were sure they could win a case. EW did however agree that the large orange signs were advertisements that looked to need permission, and were certainly not in keeping with the area and she would investigate.

They then visited the Water Mill which had been of concern to members and townspeople for many years. They noted that a Town Councillor had contacted ELDC to ask for it to use 'Section 215' powers to make the owner tidy it up, but received a dismissive response saying it was ‘not bad enough’ for intervention. EW felt it could be a building worthy of the Council using its powers but she explained that before it could do so it needed to look at all buildings in the immediate area and ensure that it was prioritising the worst cases (she noted other buildings in town were in a worse condition and should take precedence) – as they couldn’t force action on one building for bringing down the appearance of the area. EW also noted that she had spotted the state of the condition of the old chapel on the corner of East Street and Queen Street and had raised a case with planning enforcement.

It was noted that owing to changes in the structure of what was the conservation officer role, EW is not always consulted by planning officers. Therefore the committee agreed that the Society and our members continued to be very much the eyes and ears for the conservation area. She advised that if we noticed anything happening which we felt should be challenged that we get in touch with her.

IM raised the issue of the redevelopment of Holmeleigh, the proposed new headquarters for ELDC. He had written to the leader of the council when we first heard of the proposed move in October 2019 and to raise our concerns that the site's history be respected. We were told not to worry and that the community would be consulted, but we have not heard anything else from them. Reports in the Horncastle News seemed to indicate that plans were close to being finalised and there was talk of demolition of existing buildings as they were not economical. EW was not able to tell us more during her visit, and it was agreed MH should write to express the Society's continued concern and seek reassurance that none of the Holmeleigh cottage homes would be demolished.

Item 6. Future of Watson’s Yard Project

Update on Project: We have now received the written valuation from JH Walter which was slightly lower than anticipated and it was agreed to discuss this with the Photographic Society.

Progress had also been made with volunteers visiting other local heritage and arts centres to collect ideas. So far there have been visits to Heckington Windmill, Boston Guildhall, Bardney Heritage Centre, Caister Arts & Heritage Centre, Kirton in Lindsey Town Hall's Heritage Room, Brigg Heritage Centre, Woodhall Cottage Museum and Utterby Church (Nr Louth). A group of volunteers also visited the County Museum in Lincoln to see material in their stores from Horncastle. They were keen to support our project and would be happy to let us borrow things back from the archive for display providing we create the right conditions for preserving items. IM was disappointed that they had been unable to locate the Roman lead coffin! Support caring for Archives was also offered, and the potential to laser scan and create replicas of some artefacts that were probably too precious to be borrowed except on short loan.

Since the last meeting plans had been continued to be developed with architect Philip Hawkins. These plans had been shared with the public at our open day on February 15th which went extremely well with approximately 150 people visiting Watson's Yard and commenting on the various plans and ideas. Our thanks to everyone who helped on the day and especially to those making wonderful cakes which kept everyone smiling despite the terrible weather. Thanks were also offered to Joanna Pass from Horncastle Art Group who ran a print making workshop and Geoff Taylor from Chain Bridge Forge in Spalding who provided a demonstration of virtual reality and 3D printing models of historic buildings that proved fascinating.

Following the Condition Survey, it had been agreed with the National Lottery Heritage Fund that contingency funds could be spent on commissioning a structural engineer to inspect the roof space, which after much delay finally took place yesterday. MH had been present and reported that although there has been a few small leaks in the past the main beams appeared to be ok. We need to budget in for some smaller timbers and the ceiling to be replaced, but it looked likely that it would be possible to plaster over the surviving timber lathes, rather than removing them and installing modern plaster board. Overall, no major problems.


Outstanding tasks: At the Watson's Yard sub-committee meeting held on Monday it was agreed to pursue Option 2 which was by far the most popular option voted on at the open day (75%). Several visitors had also suggested that we should aim for Option 2 as we could always fall back to Option 1 if it became unfeasible, whereas it was harder to 'scale up'. However it was agreed by the sub-committee that we should raise concerns about the layout of the stairs with Philip Hawkins (PH) as we would prefer these to be the other way round as we wanted to avoid an unwelcoming lobby in front of the new front door. There was also something on the plans about removing a beam on Option 2 but it was noted that the ‘before’ drawing showed the beam in the wrong place so it was hoped that no beams would need to be removed. A member with significant architectural experience had sent detailed comments on the plans and reminded the Committee that the beams are of unusually large proportions and as original features they should not be ripped out lightly. The Committee also would like to ask if it is essential to have a toilet indoors as this also takes much needed space and created a further wasted lobby space – IM thought said PH had been told by ELDC that a disabled toilet should not be designated for use by able bodied people but all agreed it would seem to be very discriminating if we were to provide a new toilet indoors for the able bodied but sent disabled people outside! It was agreed to ask PH to look at these concerns and provide an updated section view for Option 2 showing how the reversed stairs and lobby would look. MS added a further suggestion a member had raised with her was that we could perhaps have the upper floor boarded out etc. and use as a storage area with the use of a substantial retractable loft ladder for the time being with the option to install a staircase in the future. IM confirmed that we have received permission from the Lottery to increase the amount spent on plans (by moving underspend between cost headings) so we can go ahead and ask PH to revise the plans and seek estimates for the work from contractors.

Following the sub-committee meeting we urgently need to collate some costing information by 6th March to help Heritage Lincolnshire model viability. This included estimating both future income and expenditure in terms of running costs (utilities, insurance, wifi, software, archive matrials etc.). Other than membership fees we would need to work out what other income we would possibly have from hire fees and visitor admissions. MS confirmed that we do charge £5 to any non-members wishing to visit the archive, but added that most people visiting at the moment were already members or took out membership at the time of accessing the archive. NF suggested we should have a donations box along with a leaflet explaining how much our annual costs are, similar to those produced by churches to encourage visitors to give more. Another thing we should talk about is asking members to remember the Society in their wills.

MS agreed to speak to the Photographic Society regarding current insurance costs and she would also look into the Society's current income and some of the potential outgoings. IM explained he was due to meet the managers of the Community Centre to get a worst case scenario of operating costs as theirs was a similar but larger building. NF and MS both agreed they would look at costs for buying display cases as it was noted that our architect or builder would not be able to cost items such as this in the plans. This should take into account that Paul Scott has got a few artefacts we might want, from the old Horncastle museum, plus we would need a case for displaying (not just storing) documents. It was agreed to try to do this by email owing to the impending deadline – IM will send out an email so people can do a ‘reply to all’.

Also outstanding is the need to call an Extraordinary General Meeting to ask our members to vote on the Society being incorporated as a CIO (see Item 7 below).

Item 7. Incorporating the Society and New Constitution

Discussion took place in relation to the draft constitution and proposed rules and under the section ‘Area of Benefit’ we had put in ‘and surrounding villages’ keeping this deliberately vague as, if we were restricted to only be able to research Horncastle itself, we wouldn’t be able to do things like the Mareham le Fen book etc. Patrick Cordingly (PC) had queried this wording as legally it was vague and open to challenge, but it was agreed that if Chattertons and the Charity Commission were happy with the wording then we should leave it that way. IM noted organisations such as the Community Centre referred to "Horncastle & District" but as there had not been a rural district since 1974, the phrase district was also unclear but had been allowed.

PC had made a number of other helpful comments that were considered. This included a comment proposing that rules could allow the Trustees/Executive Committee to appoint the Officers but MS felt strongly that members should elect Officers. It was also agreed to include a section on the role of Patron, President and Vice President to make clear what their roles were.

It was also discussed whether members should declare their interests in addition to trustees (noted by PC) but this was already in our existing constitution. It was agreed that this was needed to avoid circumstances where a member might have an interest in an issue being discussed such as a new development, so it was necessary for members to be transparent about this to avoid conflicts of interest.

The clause regarding our intentions in the event of winding up on the Archives was also discussed – we want to keep this in to help avoid the circumstance of the Photographic Society and Watson's Yard where they are forced to sell assets to donate the proceeds, when in some cases donating the assets themselves might better further the Society's objects.

MS felt the Executive Committee should be the ones making decisions but agreed a premises committee would be useful to help with day to day management if we go ahead with the Watson's Yard project. MS to come up with a form of words.

15 people have agreed to propose the motion, need 12 people at the meeting to be quorate.

[Following the meeting via email it was agreed to set the Special General Meeting on 1st April 2020, 7:30pm at Watson's Yard to ensure 28 days' notice could be given even those technically no changes to the existing constitution are being proposed.]

Item 8. Commemorating VE Day in May 2020

Following our appeal in the last meeting notes and two appeal in the Horncastle News only two people have come forward with memories of VE Day, and only one of which might be in a position to work with the children from the town's schools to record their memories. This sadly meant we probably wouldn’t be able to involve all three schools unless more people came forward, but it was noted that an appeal had only just appeared in Horncastle Matters so more volunteers may come forward with memories or photographs. MS reminded IM to get in touch with Mary Elliot who remembers dancing in the street with her sister well into the night.

NF recalled that the primary school had previously created a video, interviewing older people in care homes asking for their memories of wartime, in connection with Lincolnshire Arts Film and TV Awards. A Mr Bird was involved who is still a teacher at the school. IM would try to find out more about this as he had not been told anything about it when he met the primary school who were keen to be involved again now.

IM and Chris Bates (CB) have been working to reproduce relevant sections of the Horncastle News from VE Day and IM had created an A3 mock-up of the VE Day paper, with the idea of putting other information about the Society on the reverse side such as membership forms, Sponsor a Stone, Feasibility Study etc. CB had discovered that the local editor could also give permission for this as he had responsibility across the whole East Midlands, and he sounded favourable to the idea.

Item 9. Thomas Sully: approval of leaflet, blue plaque and quotations (MS)


Nothing to add.

Item 10. Roman Wall Update

Development work including a procurement strategy was still ongoing. IM had raised a further £250 over the last couple of weeks through giving talks, and £100 had been very kindly donated during our recent open day at Watson's Yard. The Tesco tokens are also doing very well, thanks to everyone for giving us your tokens! IM suggested doing a walk around again for Heritage Open Days in September, as it was not known what the position would be regarding the Archives so we could not commit to another exhibition.

Item 11. Setting Membership Subscriptions

Discussion took place as to whether we should increase our membership fees which have been held at the same price for the last ten years, which are £10 per individual member (£5 Junior) and £12 for a couple. Looking at how much costs have increased over the years such as insurance and postage as well as things we now need which we didn’t have ten years ago such as computer software licences and Wi-Fi it was agreed to increase the membership fees to £12 per individual (£6 Junior) and £15 per couple and resolved to re-evaluate these on a yearly basis. All Members – Please note these new membership fees and for those who pay by Standing Order, please update your Standing Order with your bank. You should be able to do this online or by contacting your bank by telephone or in person. New members who have joined since December 2019 will not be affected until April 2021 as your payment covers the new financial year as well.

Item 12. Any Other Matters

Society Outing(s): MS suggested that Brigg Museum would be a good place for a group visit. IM reminded her that he had already muted the idea of a trip to Batemans as we have been invited to visit one midweek evening by Mike Fowler to the Railway Exhibition being held there (date to be arranged between August and October). There is no reason why we can’t have more than one trip but as IM pointed out he hadn’t had any responses yet following the newsletter. Members are requested to let us know if they are interested in either or both of these trips. If we get interest then we can look to set a date.

Mareham le Fen book: MS asked for permission to have a further 50 copies of the book printed as these have all but sold out. All agreed more copies should printed and this was excellent news – well done to MS and Helen Huthwaite. Please get in touch if you would like to buy a copy!

Item 13. Date of next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 8th April 2020 at 3pm at Watson’s Yard, West Street, Horncastle.



Julie Bates

Executive Committee Minutes Secretary


 

 The Society is delighted that Dr Ian Marshman has accepted the position of Chairman of the Society. He received a unanimous vote at the meeting of the Society on the 20th November 2018.  Ian is an Archaeologist and currently works for Lincolnshire County Council as an archaeological planner.  He has a special interest in conserving the Roman Wall in the town.

Mary Silverton, on stepping down after seven years as Chairman, stated that she was pleased that under her stewardship the membership of the Society had grown from 30 to 93 members, and was now in a good position to go forward under the guidance of a forward thinking, younger person.

Chairmanship of HHHS

Horncastle History & Heritage Society – Minutes of a Meeting of the Executive Committee held Wednesday 15th January 2020 at Watson’s Yard, West Street, Horncastle

Present: Ian Marshman (IM) Chairman, Michael Hieatt (MH), Mary Silverton (MS), Nick Fox (NF), Annie Clark (AC) and Julie Bates (JB) Minutes Secretary.

Apologies: Ian French (IF) and Bob Wayne (BW)

Item 1. Apologies for Absence

IM accepted apologies from those members detailed above.

Item 2. Approval of Executive Minutes 04/12/19 and Matters Arising (MA):

Minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as an accurate reflection of what took place.

04/12/19 Item 2: Horncastle 'Vital & Viable' Regeneration Event: IM advised there is to be a further workshop led by ELDC at 6pm Tuesday 18th February at the Stanhope Hall to progress some of the suggestions from the report to regenerate and promote Horncastle. For anyone interested the full report on Horncastle written by the Chartered Institute of Place Management can be found here https://www.e-lindsey.gov.uk/media/14882/Horncastle-V-V-report/pdf/Horncastle_V_V_report.pdf?m=637109798670170000

04/12/19 Item 5: Planning: IM to contact and arrange to meet with the new conservation officer Emilie Wales – also noted her initials EW not EM!

04/12/19 Item 6: Christmas Party and Market Events: The Christmas party had been a successful evening with everyone enjoying themselves. As too was the Society's stall at the Christmas Market which raised in excess of £600. Thanks to all who donated chocolate for our traditional tombola and special thanks to Nick (NF) who donated proceeds from his book on the Lincolnshire Rising to the Society. For anyone unable to purchase a book on the day, NF advised they are on sale in the Joseph Banks centre. There was also a lot of interest shown and many positive comments received in relation to the Watson’s Yard project, including 3 people with memories of going to school there in the 1940s!

Item 3. Correspondence

One of our members had very kindly provided information on the WWII soldier Arthur Hunt, which IM passed on to the Belgian correspondent in whose town Arthur was buried. We now know he was a boy from the Holmeleigh Children's homes and lived with a foster family in Croft Street and worked for the grocers Lunn & Dobson before going off to war. However, as yet there is no sign of a photo of Arthur Hunt, so it was recommended that an appeal be put in the Horncastle News.

A letter had been received from one of our members that had paid their membership fees twice. JB had spoken to the member and had passed this on to MS to follow up.

Item 4. Financial Report (MS)

MS has not heard anything from the bank in relation to the change of signatories, nor the main contact changing from Ruth to Mary. Cheques signed by the new signatories have been cashed which would suggest this change has all gone ahead but MS has not received any confirmation from the bank and will contact them if she doesn’t hear anything else.

MS advised the last bank balance available to her was that of 27 November 2019 which was £15,184.51. Whilst payments of approximately £4k have been made this still leaves us with a healthy balance, not forgetting the receipt of money in excess of £600 from the Christmas market.

Item 5. Planning Report (MH)

MH advised it was still very quiet at the moment in relation to planning, adding he is getting planning application information from within the conservation area but not for the whole Horncastle area. MS understood that he would need to request this information – IM’s understanding was you can request the full list but would have to then filter out anything specific to Horncastle from the whole of the East Lindsey district but could possibly ask the Town Council for a copy of the list they receive.

MH had queried if planning has been changed in relation to Foundry Yard as planning had been given for two houses but there currently appears to be one house and a number of metal sheds put up instead. He has not yet received a response to this enquiry.

MH had chased up information from Lincolnshire County Council on the Langton Hill development as he hadn’t received a response to his previous requests for a copy of the drainage system plans for Langton Hill and results of the flood relief scheme following the July flooding. Of particular concern is what happens to excess flow from the attenuation ponds on Langton Hill as the plans MH was provided with only show the water as coming off the site but not where it goes.

Whilst we had objected to a planning application to replace the rear windows of the almshouses with upvc, this had been approved and there is now a further application for a property in Queen Street to replace rear windows with upvc though it is understood that there is already upvc windows installed on this particular property, and their proposal was for a design that was in a more traditional form.

It is understood that the County Council 2020 budget plans to invest in and expansion to the Horncastle industrial estate. There would also be funding to improve pinch points on the A158 'Lincolnshire Coastal Highway', but there was no indication if there would be any improvements in the town now that a bypass had again been ruled out.

A full copy of the planning report will follow.

Item 6. Future of Watson’s Yard Project

Update on Project: A meeting has taken place before Christmas involving our architect Philip Hawkins (PH) and Heritage Lincolnshire at which we were able to come up with two sensible options for the building. Option 1 is to have no major building work, other than reinstate the front door as all agreed this was a relatively simple but very useful improvement, as well as a number of interior alterations such as heating, lighting, panelling, and storage and display cases for the archives. Option 2 had more major works, with the creation of a staircase to the first floor which had once been the teacher's bedroom and reinstating the dormer windows to make use of the upper floor. The Group were able to view and discuss the drawings and raised a number of queries which we hope PH will be able to address.

We are still awaiting the written valuation from JH Walter. They have now been paid for this and it is hoped we should receive the valuation soon once the surveyor returns from holiday on the 20th January.

MS and IM met with the residents of Watson’s yard yesterday, which was very positive. Generally our neighbours were happy that it might be us that buys the property, and the only concerns raised were those of security and noise if the building was hired out. We agreed that the building should not be used for anything involving loud music or noisy events such as music lessons or discos and MS agreed to put a few words together in the new 'rules' to reflect that if we do buy the building then activities should be for 'quiet enjoyment'. The residents don’t have any major issues with our plans to improve the footpath to the building if we can fund the works, but have said they want to retain the stone paving (definitely not tarmac over) and would also prefer foot lights rather than down lighting or lanterns stuck in the ground – if the lighting was motion activated then this could also be a security feature.

Plans for public exhibition of options for reconfiguring the building: IM explained that our funding bid had included that we would set up an exhibition in order to show the options for the building to the public. He noted that as plans can be a bit tricky for people to understand without an explanation, so he suggested we could come up with some 'mood boards' showing examples of materials, equipment and displays might look like –such as examples of panelling and window shutters. MS noted that she had only today discovered some photographs taken in the 1960s by the Photographic Society showing the original panelling where the peg boarding is now on the walls, and it is hoped that this will mean we can accurately recreate it. It was agreed this exhibition should take place early February and a date was set at Saturday 15th February, 10.00 – 14.00 hrs at Watson's Yard. Members are invited to attend and provide their comments, and any help promoting the event or on the day would be very welcome.

Outstanding tasks: MS started the discussion by pointing out that IM is doing far more than his share of the workload on this project and the onus is on the whole of the membership to get involved and take on some of the tasks, some of which are no more laborious than visiting an existing attraction and writing up a short one page report (see below). As per our appeal in the previous minutes, all members are asked to consider getting involved. The Executive Group is a small number of people trying to do everything, and with the expanding membership we welcome our new members getting more people involved in projects to keep the organisation running for the future of Horncastle.

IM pointed out that one of the things we really need to get on with is visiting other heritage centres to get ideas, as some of these are closed over the winter or only open by appointment. These are:-

Cottage Museum, Woodhall Spa – MS has visited the Cottage Museum previously and is able to write a short report on this.

Louth Museum – volunteer needed

Brigg Herigage Centre – MS said she would visit

Caistor Heritage Centre – this has been visited and BW has written up a report.

Kirton in Lindsey Town Hall – includes heritage room run by their Civic Society. – IM will visit

Sleaford Museum – it was understood Mark Bamford was happy to talk to us about their experience establishing this small museum that goes from strength to strength. – IM can visit if needed

Corby Glen, Willoughby Gallery – also in a historic old school with small archive and regular art exhibitions. It was understood this was only open when they had an exhibition. NF will attend as he has family in the village.

JB asked if there were any attractions in Heckington which could be reviewed for the project as she was thinking of visiting the area. Both the Windmill and the Railway and Heritage Museum would be viable attractions to visit but the Railway Heritage Museum will not open until Easter. JB will make every effort to visit the windmill.

Other suggestions could include:

Gainsborough Heritage Centre (volunteer run with a large archive similar to ours)

Utterby Church (nr Louth) with a new 'touch table' to display documents in their parish chest

Alford Manor House

Navigation House in Sleaford, has many 'interactives' run by a district council not volunteers

Grantham Museum

and many more!

As a guideline for anyone visiting these sites, we need to submit some notes (no more than one A4 sheet) on the heritage centre you visit, noting what has been done well, especially things we can copy and where possible take photographs. Also, when we have the opportunity to speak with those involved, find out from them what they found didn’t work so we can avoid making the same mistakes. Volunteers can also claim their travel expenses back as the Lottery grant included funding for this but please get in touch and put your name down for visiting one of the venues in advance so we can avoid duplication.

We had also receive the initial report from Heather Lomas the collections expert, but IM will chase to see if there is any progress regarding a return visit and a final report.

Sub-Committee Meeting: It was agreed that we really need a subcommittee meeting towards the end of January in order to be able to discuss the arrangements for the exhibition in February. A date was agreed for Wednesday 29th January, 3pm at Watson's Yard by those Executive Group members who were able to give some time to this but any society member will be most welcome to attend and get involved. ALL – please send pictures of what you consider to be good examples of things you'd like to see that we can use to create the 'mood boards' to horncastlecivic@gmail.com

Visit to the county museum in Lincoln – Dawn Haywood had invited us to visit the Lincolnshire Archives and 'The Collection's store to look at some of the items they have stored which came from the old Horncastle Museum or were found in the town, with a view on us displaying some of these items (or copies) in a future heritage centre at Watson's Yard. IM will arrange a date.

There is also money in the budget to pay for training for our members/ volunteers on any aspect related to the Archives– for example the caring for archive, databases, or creating attractive displays. MS was thinking about getting in touch with the Spalding Gentleman’s Society for advice on looking after the archive as they have previously offered this to us on a visit.

Item 7. Incorporating the Society and New Constitution

It had been agreed that the Society should formally explore looking at becoming incorporated as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) and IF had met with Roly Freeman who provided a model constitution produced by the Charity Commission. IF, IM and MS have looked at this with the solicitor to draft a version of the model constitution. It was noted that members of the Executive Committee effectively became a board of trustees, but we will need to have a separate set of 'rules' regarding officers roles etc., as this wasn’t something there were options for in the model constitution.

Once set up this will be very beneficial as it would mean the Society could carry out transactions and own land and objects in its own right (not vested in holding trustees), and that its committee/trustees and members would have limited liability with no financial contribution to make if the Society ever folded with debts to pay.

Following discussions a draft constitution and proposed rules have been drawn up and we are just waiting for a copy to be returned incorporating all the changes. Once we receive these we will be in a position to circulate them for consultation to Members, noting that nothing can proceed without a vote at an Extraordinary General Meeting. We need to give one month notice of an Extraordinary General Meeting which we ideally need to hold before the end of March so we can use the lottery funding to pay the solicitors fees for handling the incorporation. It was agreed to hold this meeting within 28 days of receiving the finalised constitution, subject to positive comments from members during the consultation.

Item 8. Commemorating VE Day in May 2020

VE Day 75, is a three-day international celebration that will take place from 8th May to 10th May 2020. IM advised that the May Bank Holiday has been moved to Friday 8 May and a number of events are being planned in Horncastle with the Society being part of the organising committee. Over the weekend there are hoped to be events such as a ration book baking competition, 40s style dress with a big event in the market area on the Saturday including 1940s classic cars and a church service and bell ringing on the Sunday. We plan to help with an exhibition in the Community Centre of wartime memories and memorabilia. MS suggested we should approach Ken Argent for help with this. Though we haven’t been able to find any photographs in our archives, we understand that the town was decorated in bunting, flags and streamers and there was a dance late into the night in the Market Place, and we would love to hear from any of our members who remember this or have any photographs or memorabilia. In particular we would like to record people’s memories from this time and seek volunteers both to share their memories, and help interviewing. We understand that schools are keen to get involved and we hope to work with them to record the 'oral histories', building on the success of our work with QEGS last year for Heritage Open Days. The intention is to play these recordings at the exhibition as well as being able to keep them in the archive for future generations so that these important events are remembered.

With help from Gail Dymoke, IM had managed to find a copy of the Horncastle News on microfiche in the library and wondered if Horncastle News or Morton might be interested in helping us reproducing this on the anniversary weekend. It was hoped Chris Bates might be able to help to see if this might be possible.



Item 9. Thomas Sully: approval of leaflet, blue plaque and quotations (MS)


At the last meeting we agreed the date of 19th June to unveil the blue plaque as we understood this to be Thomas Sully’s birthday. Since then Colin Gascoin has received a lot more information from who is understood to be Sully’s Gt, Gt, Gt Grandson in America and there is now some query as to if his date of birth was the 8th June. It was agreed that we would stick with original plans as agreed at the last meeting.

Item 10. Roman Wall Update

The lead advisor Dr David Watt is coming to look at the wall next week to see what needs to be done in light of its current condition, 2 years after his original condition survey. It is hoped that work will start and be completed this year in the warmer months, although at present Historic England has only given funding for the development work and tendering etc. It is understood that the Community Centre was now interested in looking at what is under the ground in the area using geophysics to see where the wall actually goes, and to hold a celebration of Roman Horncastle once the wall was restored. MH would be interested in seeing if geophysics could be used to detect where the wall runs in his garden across the road from the community centre.

Item 11. Any Other Matters

Speakers: MS has a number of ideas for 2021 speakers having one contact that does talks entitled ‘Lawless and Immoral’ and ‘the Disappearing Policemen’ as well as somebody who gives a talk on Lincolnshire dialect but we really do need a volunteer who will take on the role of contacting speakers, and getting in touch ahead of the proposed talk checking the speaker knows where they are going, time needed etc. IM noted that unlike in some Societies we have no problem finding speakers, it would just help to have someone coordinate this part of HHHS's work.

Literary Festival – will be held at the walled garden at Baumber on the 1st and 2nd May. Attended by authors, local publishers, book buyers – NF will be attending and thought it may be of interest to our members.


Item 12. Date of next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 26th February 2020 at 3pm at Watson’s Yard, West Street, Horncastle.

Julie Bates

Executive Committee Minutes Secretary


Executive meeting 4th Dec 2019
notes on exec meeting

Horncastle History & Heritage Society – Minutes of a Meeting of the Executive Committee held Wednesday 4th December 2019 at Watson’s Yard, West Street, Horncastle

Present: Ian Marshman (IM) Chairman, Bob Wayne (BW), Michael Hieatt (MH), Mary Silverton (MS), Ian French (IF), Nick Fox (NF) and Julie Bates (JB) Minutes Secretary.

Apologies: None

Item 1. Apologies for Absence

No apologies had been tendered.

Item 2. Approval of Executive Minutes 23/10/19 and Matters Arising (MA):

Minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as an accurate reflection of what took place.

Mareham Le Fen Book: MS advised the group that herself and Helen Huthwaite had recently been invited to talk about the book on BBC Radio Lincolnshire. They were given a 20 minute slot and were able to give a good plug for the Roman Wall and Heritage Centre Project as well as the book, and even invited to go back and talk about the Christmas Market! IM suggested we should record a copy of the interview to keep in the archive along with a copy of the book. A number of the books have been sold already. The Royal Oak at Mareham kindly let us meet in the pub and served us coffee on a very wet day and then went on to buy five copies which they would make available to their customers and the Bontoft family also bought a number of copies. The books are available to purchase at the Post Office in Mareham and Perkins in Horncastle – they will of course be on sale from our stall at the Christmas Market.

You can listen again here https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p07s7rhn (starts at 2:33).

Town Heritage Trail: IM confirmed that after a number of drafts, the final text for the trail leaflet had been agreed for the Walkers Are Welcome town heritage trail, and this has now gone to the designers at ELDC. We have supplied a selection of pictures from the Archives to help illustrate it. The trail brings visitors past Watson’s Yard which is featured on the leaflet so we hope this will encourage a few people to pop in whilst following the trail. ELDC are kindly funding the leaflet.

Horncastle 'Vital & Viable' Regeneration Event: IM advised that a report has now been issued following this event organised by East Lindsey District Council. The report itself is can be described as a little ‘generic’ in that a large part of the report is the same as that used for other market towns in the area who have also held such events. The latter part of the report however focuses specifically on Horncastle and at the top of the list for the key strengths of the town raised by businesses and councillors is its history and heritage. There will be a follow up meeting to discuss actions raised by the report and IM noted that one recommendation was for new attractions and facilities that could build on the town's antiques reputation by presenting the town's Horncastle's history and heritage to visitors. IM hopes to attend the follow up meeting when this is arranged.

Item 3. Correspondence

IM had received a request from Donna at the library for photographs of the town in the 1960s as the library will be celebrating their 50th anniversary this December. MS advised she had already spoken with Helen at the library was waiting for her to come back to her with some ideas of what information they wanted.

It was understood that the Society for Lincolnshire History & Archaeology (SLHA) want to know where our blue plaques are located so they can feature them on their website. MS advised the location for all our plaques are on the website. Whilst on the subject of blue plaques it was noted that a few of these were in need of a coat of paint on the raised white lettering.

We have received a request from somebody in Belgium asking about an Arthur Hunt who died on 5th October 1944. Arthur's name appears on a WW2 war memorial in Belgium saying he was from Horncastle and the person making the enquiry was interested in finding out more about Arthur along with other British soldiers who died near their town. It was agreed that this was more a family history item rather than town history and it would be sheer luck if we did have anything specific about Arthur in our archive. It was agreed the best way forward would be to suggest that they send a readers letter to the Horncastle News in the hope that this would be picked up on by somebody who has traced family history and knows Arthur’s story.

MS felt that we should be more selective about which requests we follow up as many requests we receive are really those of family history and we do not have the resources to research every individual case.

Item 4. Financial Report (MS)

MS confirmed we received the first (50%) payment of the money from the National Lottery Heritage Fund of £6,700 on 21 October for the Future for Watson's Yard project, and have spent £2,746 plus the cost of the dongle (mobile Wi-Fi) for the Archives. IM said in terms of the next batch of money the wording was a little confusing as he wasn’t sure if it meant we need to spend half of the money before the remainder is paid or if we need to have completed half of the work. MS intended to create a separate column within the accounts for the project and would also set up a separate Excel sheet – IM will share his document with MS in order to ensure that column headings were consistent.

MS advised the bank balance as of 27 October was £15,196 less £3,178 spent to date leaving a total of £12,018.

AB had not yet been able to provide all the paperwork MS required for the mandate forms but other paperwork had been received.

Item 5. Planning Report (MH)

MH advised it was still very quiet at the moment in relation to planning, adding he hadn’t had anything come through from the council and would check that this wasn’t due to a glitch in the system.

He had sent an email to planning enforcement in relation to Foundry Yard as planning had been given for two houses but there currently appears to be one house and a number of metal sheds put up instead. MH has queried if planning has been changed.

MH had also emailed Lincolnshire County Council to try and get a copy of plans of the drainage system for Langton Hill and noted that we have still not received results of the flood relief scheme following the July flooding.

MH had looked at The Mill after IM had discussed it with Cllr Hinkins who had written to ELDC suggesting they should get in touch with the owners about the state of the site. IM felt we should look at the site and make notes of specific things which are wrong with it and how this drags the area down, as this would be harder for ELDC to dismiss out of hand. MS recalled that a report had been compiled approximately 10 years ago by Craig Leyland (now Leader of ELDC) who had been responsible at the time for Heritage and Conservation. In the report the building had been marked as being in very bad condition. IM noted that in the Neighbourhood Plan, the building was identified as the most complained about building that residents wanted to see restored. MS would try to find this report.

MS raised concerns about a building which has been painted bright green, next to the bright orange building on Bridge Street/West Street. She had emailed the new conservation officer Emillie Wales (EM) who’s response was to ask if this was a listed building. MS was concerned that EM didn’t seem to understand that this was within a conservation area and MS also queried if there was a limited number of colours that could be used within the conservation area without the need for planning consent. IM thought that the 'Article 4' regulations that restrict some permitted development within the conservation area may well differ between private residences and businesses. It was agreed we should ask EM to meet with us in order we can clarify the position and familiarise her with the conservation area in Horncastle.

A full copy of the planning report will follow.

Item 6. Plans for Christmas Party & Market Events

Members Christmas Event: BW confirmed he would update the questions from a previous festive quiz he had run. MS had very kindly cleaned the room and more or less set up the tables and IM has made some paper chains. MH and Marilyn would also come round to do some festive decorations. IM and MS agreed who would buy what for the night and also agreed to buy a prize for the quiz. MH wouldn’t be available on the evening as this clashes with the Christmas Tree Festival in the church which we had intended to get involved with this year, but had overlooked with all that has been happening – we will make sure to get involved in good time next year.

Christmas Fayre: MS would like to express her thanks for all the chocolates donated for our chocolate tombola which has become quite a popular tradition on the Christmas Market. IM confirmed we have got stall numbers 100 and 101 by the opticians in the corner of the Market Place and Bridge Street. One stall is for the tombola, and the other for sales, badges, and membership in addition to giving out postcards prompting people to visit our website and comment on plans our arts & heritage centre plans for Horncastle. We will also be inviting people to write their thoughts and comments on a blackboard which we will collate. MS added we should take any remaining sales stock as well as the Mareham Le Fen book to cover the cost of one of the stalls, the other stall will be funded via the feasibility study.

MS questioned if it was worth considering doing something else rather than try to organise another Christmas party next year. Whilst uptake is much better this year, it was agreed we would consider doing a members only talk with the option for people to stay on and have a little drink afterwards, rather than organising a Christmas Do as many people had several of these to attend as well as it being a very busy time of year.

Item 7. Future of Watson’s Yard

Update on Project: IM is trying to keep everyone up to date via emails as it isn’t possible for everyone to meet up to discuss everything separately. As mentioned in the finance section, we have received 50% of the grant towards the Feasibility Study meaning we really need to get on and do all the things we have said we will do.

We have held a project launch at Watson's Yard, which was well attended by approximately 30 people including members from the Photographic Society and the Cottage Museum at Woodhall Spa, as well as town, district and county councillors. We are delighted that the town council has agreed to earmark £5,000 for the purchase of Watson's Yard whenever we need it which is incredibly kind of them. Other things underway are the Condition Survey on the building which has been commissioned from Horncastle-based architect Philip Hawkins, and Heather Lomas, a collections expert, has spent a day with the archive volunteers and will produce a report for us on how we could improve the ways we care for it going forward.

Heritage Lincolnshire, who are going to write the Feasibility Study, came along to our recent ‘50 years in Horncastle’ talk as well as the launch, which was very well attended many of whom were not members but a lot did take membership forms away with them. A surveyor from JH Walters, Lincoln has made an inspection but we will not get the report until they have received payment though we should hopefully have this by the 18th December when we next meet with Heritage Lincolnshire. IF has also been working with Roly Freeman at Chattertons who are investigating the possibility of formally incorporating the Society as a 'Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) so that it can own properties and protect our Trusties from liabilities. IF, MS and IM have a meeting with Chatterton's on Monday 9th December. More information on this will follow for members to contribute to, as soon as we know more.

IM pointed out that one of the things we really need to get on with is visiting other heritage centres to get ideas, as some of these are closed over the winter or only open by appointment. These are:-

Cottage Museum, Woodhall Spa – can have a private visit by appointment

Louth Museum

Brigg Herigage Centre

Caistor Heritage Centre – this has been visited and BW will write up a report.

Kirton in Lindsey Town Hall – includes heritage room run by their Civic Society.

Sleaford Museum – it was understood Mark Bamford was happy to talk to us about their Experience establishing this small museum that goes from strength to strength.

Corby Glen, Willoughby Gallery – also in a historic old school with small archive and regular art exhibitions. It was understood this was only open when they had an exhibition. NF will attend as he has family in the village.

As a guideline for anyone visiting these sites, we need to look at what has been done well, especially things we can copy and where possible take photographs. Also, when we have the opportunity to speak with those involved, find out from them what they found didn’t work so we can avoid making the same mistakes. Volunteers can also claim their travel expenses back as the Lottery grant included funding for this.

We were also meant to have discussed our plans with schools but IM has struggled to find the time for extra meetings. He noted that Fiona Martin had raised the Society's plans to record memories of VE Day during a meeting with the town's head teachers. Banovallum are very interested as their head teacher is a historian and they have their own school history group. He had not had a response from QEGS.

We are also behind in not having yet receive the result of Heather Lomas' collections report, but IM will chase to see if there is any progress.

Responses to Consultation so far: IM had circulated an overview of public responses to the consultation on the plans for an arts and heritage centre at Watson's Yard in which we had asked four very specific questions which were:-

How could we use Watson's Yard for the benefit of the local community?

Which stories would you like to see told in a potential heritage centre?

What does a heritage centre mean to you?

Who should we be working with on The Future of Watson's Yard project?

You can still share your ideas in our quick survey here https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/LLQSQ8W

People seem to be very supportive and we have received lots of positive feedback. The Wong Day Centre for people with disabilities based at the Old Court House and the Horncastle Art Group have both said they would be interested in taking part in activities.

It was felt that sustainability was the main issue, so we will need a business plan to work out how it would be financed as part of the feasibility study. It was agreed that it has got to be open to other people, especially young people, as we could not afford or justify a clubhouse just for ourselves.

Discussion of potential options for use of space: MS would like to see the front door reinstated adding we could use the upstairs if this was galleried i.e. a mezzanine. IM added that the recent condition survey had shown that the original Georgian fire place was still in place in the loft space, which had once been teacher's bedrooms.

As we were running out of time IM asked for all to give some thought to the use of space suggesting these should be sent to him in advance of the meeting scheduled for 18th December with the architect and Heritage Lincolnshire. JB gave her apologies for this meeting as she already had another commitment.

It was agreed that we really need a subcommittee to focus on the plans for Watson's Yard and all members are asked to consider getting involved. The Executive Group is a small number of people trying to do everything and with the expanding membership we welcome our new members getting more people involved in projects to keep the organisation running for the future of Horncastle.

Item 8. Incorporating the Society and New Constitution

It had been agreed that the Society should formally explore looking at becoming incorporated as Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) and IF had met with Roly Freeman who has provided a model a constitution produced by the Charity Commission. IF has looked through this with IM and MS, and it would appear that the Executive Committee effectively become the board of trustees, but that we will need to have a separate set of 'rules' regarding officers roles etc as the approved model constitution had to be kept to the fundamentals with any changes only where absolutely necessary.

Once set up this will be very beneficial as it would mean the Society could carry out transactions and own land and objects in its own right, and that its trustees and members would have limited liability. But it was agreed that there was a lot of work involved in setting this up.

IF pointed out that we are trying to stick to a generic format but queried if we should have some specific reference to the archive, which was not mentioned in our current constitution.

Ideally we need a small group to hammer out what we want and really need someone from the current trustees but MS has not been able to get hold of any of them other than Graham Silverton in a position to get involved. IF had not had any costing for this but it was understood this had been agreed at a one off 'token' fee of £1k + VAT.

Members would be fully consulted on the new constitution and 'rules', and nothing can proceed without a vote at a Special General Meeting.

Item 9. Thomas Sully: approval of leaflet, blue plaque and quotations (MS)


Discussion took place as to when would be best to arrange for the Blue Plaque to be unveiled. The first talk on the life of Thomas Sully was scheduled for 15 January and IM advised we have got to put on an exhibition around February so it would be best if this could be put off for a while, perhaps until May/June. As Thomas Sully was born on 19th June 1783 it was agreed 19th June would be an ideal date to do this. It was agreed we should invite the Town Council etc and MS had also thought about extending an invitation to the American Embassy as Thomas Sully painted the portrait which appears on the US $20 bill.

Item 10. Roman Wall Update

It was understood that Historic England had now offered a grant for the first phase of development works (drawing up specifications and tendering for contractors) have now been signed and the work has got to be completed by the end of August 2020. This project development work will be covered by a grant of £14,165 towards the full cost of £15,337 and they have made an offer in principal of £101,005 towards the full cost of the conservation works. There is the complication that Historic England are asking for three tenders on all the work which lead advisor Dr David Watt is frustrated by as there are not many experts in the field of protecting Roman walls! We are still receiving sponsor a stones forms back with over £150 raised in the last few weeks. These will also be on sale at the Christmas market.

Item 11. Any Other Matters

Vice Chairman: MS has broached this subject before but our constitution makes clear that it is essential that we have a Vice Chairman. We really need somebody to take on this role which isn’t as daunting as some may feel we do need somebody to give some back up to the Chairman, although they are rarely if ever called for.

There was a query from the SLHA regarding the statement on our membership form which stated that joining HHHS meant members also became members to the Society of Lincolnshire History and Archaeology (SLHA). MS would check if we are still paying to be corporate members of their society, adding we do receive their magazine and can send a representative to their AGM etc. We need to think how we can best share some of the information we receive from them. It was agreed to remove the confusing clause from membership forms, as no one could remember how this arrangement had been reached and it had been on membership form for some time.

MS would like to get another volunteer to help with the archive, so please get in touch if you'd like to join the friendly team of volunteers on Wednesday mornings.

Item 12. Date of next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 15th January 2020 at 2.30pm at Watson’s Yard, West Street, Horncastle.

Julie Bates

Executive Committee Minutes Secretary


Executive meeting 12th Sept 2019
minutes of executive meeting

Horncastle History & Heritage Society – Minutes of a Meeting of the Executive Committee held
Thursday 12th September 2019 at Colkirk House, Manor House Street, Horncastle

Present: Ian Marshman (IM) Chairman, Bob Wayne (BW), Sheila Jonkers (SJ), Ian French (IF), Annie Clark (AC) and Julie Bates (JB) Minutes Secretary.

Apologies: Michael Hieatt (MH), Mary Silverton (MS)


Item 1. Apologies for Absence

IM accepted apologies from those members detailed above.

Item 2. Approval of Executive Minutes 31/07/19 and Matters Arising (MA):

Minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as an accurate reflection of what took place, although it was noted that Colin Gascoigne had written to clarify that there was no evidence of any link between Thomas Sully's actor parents and the old theatre in Dog Kennel Yard where it was previously hoped to put a blue plaque.

Speakers: JB had emailed Greg Roberts who had been recommended by Chrissie Chapman but hasn’t yet received a response and would attempt to contact him again before the next meeting. We still have the July, September and November 2020 dates to fill so if Greg Roberts is able to speak on one of these dates, this leaves two dates for two proposed speakers who are being contacted direct by members. JB will email the two members who have suggested speakers and it was agreed that if nothing had been confirmed by the next meeting we should give further thought and seek more suggestions for potential speakers.

Thomas Sully Plaque: JB advised she had received an email from Colin Gascoyne (CG) asking that a correction be made as there was no evidence that Sully’s parents had performed at the theatre in Horncastle. MS was not at the meeting but has worked closely with CG and had previously enthused about the amazing amount of information on Thomas Sully which left no doubt that he was a worthy candidate for a Blue Plaque. The location for the plaque is undecided now there is no link with the old theatre in Dog Kennel Yard.

New Planter: IM expressed his thanks to Ashleigh Bird (AB) who has taken responsibility for the new planter which has now been planted up and looks wonderful. Our thanks go to all those who volunteer to look after the planters and keep them watered throughout the year. Chris Bates (CB) has drafted an article about the planters for Horncastle Matters and has sent this to MS for comments in order to get the article finalised before the October deadline. MS had suggested it would be nice to be able to get some photographs of planters with HHHS volunteers and IM said he would try to get a few people together holidays permitting to take some photographs around the planters.

Older People’s Fair: JB confirmed our intention to take part at this event and passed on the contact details for AB who would lead on this project.


Item 3. Correspondence

Magazine Donation: We have received an offer of two years’ worth of history magazines which are free but would need collecting. IM would get in touch to try and find out how many magazines there are and assuming these could be collected and stored the suggestion was that we could perhaps put these on our stall at the Christmas market.

Horncastle Regeneration Event: IM advised that he will attend an event being organised by East Lindsey District Council with the Chartered Institute of Place Management, which will focus on Horncastle's strengths and challenges and what can be done to regenerate the town, particularly its businesses. IM understands that the Mayor Fiona Martin will attend and it was hoped that we can get as many local businesses involved as possible, as we no longer have a Chamber of Commerce there isn’t a voice for local businesses. Horncastle Together had tried to get businesses involved previously but had failed to raise much interest, so this event might spur greater interest in working together. The event will be held on Thursday 19th September at the Admiral Rodney Hotel 7.30 – 9.00 pm. The Group sadly noted the closure of Lewi’s Greengrocer shop which was said to be due to lack of custom, and reminded all of the need to support local businesses if we wanted them to stay.

Item 4. Financial Report (MS)

MS was unable to attend the meeting but had emailed a brief update as follows:-

· Bank Balance has not changed since the previous meeting

· Ruth has managed to successfully submit the claim for gift aid. This had been a very complicated procedure but should now be straightforward in the future. MS asked that all members be encouraged to complete a Gift Aid form if not already done so as this is of great benefit to the Society

· MS asked that IM and AB be reminded that she is still waiting for the return of mandate forms as changes cannot be made without these. As AB was not at the meeting then JB would email a reminder.

Item 5. Planning Report (MH)

MH was unable to attend the meeting but sent a brief update on current planning applications. A full report will be circulated at a future date. So, in brief:-

- No major applications have been received

- An amendment has been received concerning the application for Flats at 3/5 Bridge Street. The amendment does not alter the proposal for 6 flats but does provide a detailed archaeological review of the site. Comments raised on behalf of HHHS note that the objection and queries relating to the earlier application still hold and raising a query on the "site" as referred to in the Heritage Impact Assessment: one place states that the site does not contain a Scheduled Monument, another place states that the site does include a Scheduled Ancient Monument (and Grade 1 listed structure). I suspect that the difference arises from the use of the word site, in one instance referring to the proposed construction location, the other referring to the ownership boundary

- A query has arisen about uPVC windows being fitted to a cottage in St Lawrence Lane. There is a query as to whether or not the cottage lies in the area designated for traditional construction

- Foundary Yard (Holt Lane): only one the two houses shown in the planning application has been built to date. Further corrugated and steel sheds have been erected which were not in the application

- The application for replacement windows and internal modifications at Banovallum House has been approved



Item 6. Future of Watson’s Yard

IM thanked all those that got back to him with comments on the draft bid and confirmed that as a result he was able to submit the bid on time and the National Lottery Heritage Fund are now looking at our bid. It was understood that we should know if we have been successful by late September/ early October.

MS had been concerned as she had bumped into a member of the Photographic Society who said he had been told that we were no longer interested in the building. MS assured him that we were and, whilst we have no idea who would make such a comment, she advised that nobody should take any notice unless they hear it directly from herself or IM.

IM advised that a sub committee consisting of IM, MS, Trevor Butterworth and Patrick Cordingly would meet with the Photographic Society on 24th September to discuss the way forward and allay their concerns.

It was understood that the Photographic Society had already disposed of their display boards which was unfortunate as we would have been interested in retaining these. MS has persuaded them that we will buy the chairs from them and it was understood that Jonothan Read had kindly re-donated the crockery which he had initially donated to the Photographic Society. The committee thanked Jonothan for this invaluable gift to the Society.

Item 7. Heritage Open Day 14th September (IM)

IM thanked all those who have worked so hard leading up to this event, especially to Mary Read and Vaughan, and MS who have helped researching information for the exhibition, to BW for the loan of his wonderful desk and easel for display in Watson’s Infant School, to SJ for all her work planning the guided walks and the loan of her replica Roman artefacts to be displayed in the library and to all those who have helped clear up the weeds in the yard in order that we can have some playground games for young and old (big kids and little kids) to enjoy. IM has managed to get hold of a hoop and stick game, marbles and of course there will be hopscotch! Unfortunately we have not been able to obtain any skipping ropes so if anyone is able to loan some on the day that would be great.

IM has had a leaflet printed to promote the six events taking place in the town on Saturday which he has been distributing around the town but just in case you aren’t aware of the events, in brief these are:-


Roman Horncastle Revealed
9am-1pm: Display of local artefacts in library and guided tours of the town’s Roman walls at 10am and 1pm (walks need to be pre-booked Tel: 01507 524727)

Horncastle’s Radicals & Revolutionaries 10am-1pm: Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School – discover some of the revolutionary characters educated here including a pioneer suffragette.

Watson’s Infant School 10am – 4pm: Displays will share photos and memories of Horncastle’s schools plus playground games.

St Mary’s Church 10am-4pm: Children can become young detectives with their own Mini Church Spotter booklets

Joseph Banks & the New Lincolnshire Herbarium 10am-4pm: ‘Love Lincolnshire Plants Project’ together with an exhibition about Sir Joseph Banks.

Plant Wisdom & Folklore 11am-4pm: Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, Banovallum House – learn about old techniques and modern uses of specimens plus guided tours of the historic grounds.

Item 8. Roman Wall - Update (IM)


There was very little to update. Fundraising is ongoing and IM advised that we have very gratefully received £1K from the Town Council but are still waiting to hear about the large grant from Historic England that was submitted in December. IM will have some Sponsor a Stone leaflets to hand out on the Heritage Open Day!

Item 9. Any Other Matters

Town Heritage Trail: IM and MS have continued to contribute to this Walkers Are Welcome project, which has now identified locations for 12 display boards to form a Heritage Trail around Horncastle and will be meeting with East Lindsey District Council Tourism Officer to discuss further. The Town Council are supporting this and it is estimated it will cost in the region of £15K to do all the design work and install the boards etc.

Item 10. Date of next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 23rd October 2019 at 3.00pm at Colkirk House, Manor House Lane, Horncastle.

Julie Bates

Executive Committee Minutes Secretary


Executive meeting 31st July 2019
Minutes of executive meeting

Horncastle History & Heritage Society – Minutes of a Meeting of the Executive Committee held
Wednesday 31st July 2019 at Colkirk House, Manor House Street, Horncastle

Present: Ian Marshman (IM) Chairman, Bob Wayne (BW), Michael Hieatt (MH), Mary Silverton (MS), Ian French (IF), Annie Clark (AC), Ashleigh Bird (AB), Nick Fox (NF) and Julie Bates (JB) Minutes Secretary.

Apologies: Sheila Jonkers (SJ)

Item 1. Apologies for Absence

IM accepted apologies from those members detailed above.

Item 2. Approval of Executive Minutes 19/06/19 and Matters Arising (MA):

Minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as an accurate reflection of what took place.

Speakers: JB advised that she had received responses from some of the speakers that had been approached by members but was waiting to hear back from two of those she had contacted. In addition to these MS had suggested that Colin Gascoyne (CG) be put onto the programme for the January meeting to speak on the subject of Thomas Sully (understand MS will firm up details with CG). Chrissie Chapman had also suggested Greg Roberts as a potential speaker and it was agreed that JB would approach him as well as following up the other two still to respond advising there were now just July and November dates to fill, agreeing that we would go with the first two to respond.

Royal British Legion: MS advised she still needed to get back in touch with Julian Millington who had approached her suggesting we jointly arrange some kind of celebration for the 75th anniversary of VE day on 8th May 2020. IM had attended a meeting of 'Horncastle Together' and a street party option had been discussed by the Town Council, but the question would be where this could take place as it would be much easier if a road did not need to be closed to traffic. MS to contact Julian to discuss options.

Thomas Sully Plaque: MS advised that Colin Gascoyne had managed to unearth an amazing amount of information on Thomas Sully which left no doubt that he was a worthy candidate for a Blue Plaque, and one problem seemed to be narrowing down what information to put onto the plaque as there was so much. GC had identified the location of the theatre in Horncastle as being close to where the Co-op is now off Conging Street and all agreed that this would be the right location for the plaque. IM suggested the currently blank brick wall facing south when walking up Achurch Walk from the High Street. CG will do a presentation but we will need a pamphlet similar to that produced for Annie Dixon and Steve Grey (Hon. Member from the Archive group) had volunteered to work on this. MS will liaise with the Co-op to hopefully agree a possible site for the plaque.

QEGS Blue Plaque Unveiling: IM had not been able to attend this event at short notice so unfortunately we were not represented. We do however have a pamphlet on Connie's life from the day for our Archive, and it is understood that the unveiling went well, with several members in attendance.

Christmas Event: MS confirmed that we can use Watson's Yard for this event.

Item 3. Correspondence

New Planter: AB had volunteered to look after the new planter and the Town Council had written to ask where we want this to be sited. AB had suggested near The Pagoda on Mill Lane and this has now gone in and AB will be looking after it going forward. MH raised the subject of watering existing planters which seemed to be a bit random with some lasting longer than others – those on lamp posts on the High Street were smaller than others and seemed to be drying out much quicker.

Older People’s Fair: JB had received correspondence on behalf of Victoria Atkins MP who was hosting an event in Horncastle on 20th September to provide information and opportunities for older people across the constituency. The aim was to gather a range of different local organisations under one roof to help people to try out new activities, start a new hobby or skill, learn about volunteering opportunities etc. We were asked if we would like to take part in this event and all agreed this would be a worthwhile event to participate in and it was agreed that AB our Membership Secretary would lead on this project. JB would confirm our intention to take part with the Constituency Manager and pass on AB’s contact details for future reference.

Knutsford Heritage Centre: IM had received a request for information about Foundry Street, asking lots of questions about whether or not there had been a foundry there and also about Jane Dauber from Foundry Street who had left during the late Victorian period and settling in Knutsford where she married into a family that produced garden features. It was agreed to pass this to SJ to research and respond.

Item 4. Financial Report (MS)

MS was still waiting for IM and AB to complete and return the forms she had given them before she is able to submit the mandate forms needed to increase the number of available signatories to the Society's accounts. She had still not been able to meet with RA who still had all the paperwork and was still working on the gift aid. MS advised the last statement she had dated 27th June we had a balance of £8,537 and little had changed since this date.

Item 5. Planning Report (MH)

MH gave a brief report to the meeting and an update on current planning applications. A copy of his report will be circulated once available.

Planning was fairly quiet at the moment with a few on-going items paused at present. There had been a request by the Wildlife Trust to change two windows at Banovallum House from sliding sash to fixed pane along with some internal alterations. They were looking to box in a fire place and ceiling rose on a ‘temporary’ basis. It was unknown how temporary this was but it was felt if covering up these architectural features for any great period of time in order to preserve them and make better use of the space then there should be pictures showing visitors what is behind the boxing so that these do not become lost to future generations.


MH had again written to
those responsible for Sustainable Urban Drainage (SUD) at Lincolnshire County Council to ask if the flood storage scheme had worked as it was designed to work or performed even better than expected and awaited a response.

Discussion took place on the possible future of the Youth Centre (former Cagthorpe School) as it was understood the County Council wished to close it and a number of suggestions had been made to its future. The building was identified as important in the 2008 Conservation Area Appraisal and was also identified as an important 'non-designated' heritage asset in the Neighbourhood Plan which does give it an element of protection, but it could be registered it as an Asset of Community Value with ELDC. The Society had been contacted by Dominic Hinkins to ask if we would wish to house a museum there or similar as part of a scheme to keep it open as a youth centre. IM would advise Dominic Hinkins that the Society would be happy to participate in a committee looking to save it for the town as a youth centre or similar, but not in setting up a museum or similar at this moment in time.

Item 6. Future of Watson’s Yard

Not much has happened since the last meeting unfortunately as IM had not been able to devote as much time to this as he had hoped to due to a family crisis. He had finished the draft bid but had not yet circulated this to the Group and would do so following the meeting. IM asked that all look at the draft bid and get comments back to him asap and It was agreed that we need to submit the Grant application as soon as possible. IM will need some support carrying out the tasks set out as well as some help chasing people up ensuring that things get done when they should be done etc. MS asked that IM make it a priority to respond to confidential correspondence from the Photographic Society. She added that she had seen Gary this morning who confirmed the Photographic Society would vacate in October after which we would be responsible for cleaning the building and paying bills though it was insured for a year.

Item 7. Update on Membership (AB)

AB advised that there were now 95 fully paid up members and she had written reminder letters to those outstanding, adding that if they all renew their membership this will give us 107 members. JB asked AB to go through her database list in order that she could make necessary amendments to ensure that everyone receives the minutes etc.

Item 8. Planning the 50 Year of Horncastle Presentation (MS)

BW had given MS a huge list of ideas and it was agreed they should get together and agree which subjects they were going to cover and to what depth. MS did suggest she would contact a member she thought might be interested in helping with this but anyone interested in getting involved would be welcome. Volunteers at the archives had been helping to ascertain the material we have available for this presentation.

Item 9. Roman Wall - Update (IM)


There was not much to update. Fundraising is ongoing but the crowd funding has now come to an end and IM has transferred £580 raised through this to the Community Centre plus £50 from the Society. Historic England seem to be dragging their feet a little handing over the large amount of money promised for the two main parts of the wall. David Watt wanted to submit an invoice for work he has done beyond the emergency work agreed and IM pointed out that if this invoice was paid then they wouldn’t then be able to get this money back from the grant. IM had missed a deadline for another potential grant but understands there were no other applicants so he may still be able to apply for this.

IM had not been able to make any progress with on the Lincolnshire Life article but still had the contact details and would try to do something. MS reminded him that she has some photographs which she hoped would be an acceptable format for the magazine.

Item 12. Horncastle Matters Articles

We did hope to have an article in every issue but owing to the many commitments we were not able to prepare anything for this issue which closed officially last Friday. Potential future topics include, our plans for Watsons Infant School, the archives and why they matter, the history of the Civic Society, and how to get involved etc. We could also explain what we do on planning which would be topical with the 50th Anniversary of the Conservation Area in 2020 and we could have a page of snapshots.

Item 13. Any Other Matters

QEGS Archive: IM, MS, SJ along with members Mary Reid and Pearl Wheatley went into QEGS for three mornings and worked with Year 9 and Lower 6th on their ideas for the Heritage Open Days. All found it very useful being able to sift through the school archive material. There were some very good items including some school magazine with hand drawn covers (by a young David Robinson). All were very impressed with the pupils and their ideas and the information they had put together on famous pupils such as suffragette Connie Lewcock, revolutionary Arthur Thisetlewood and comedian Robert Webb – there is a danger we will be put to shame on the Heritage Open Day! On this subject it was noted there will be a Heritage Open Day Sub-committee meeting on Wednesday 14th August at 12.00 which will be held at Watson's Yard – Ruth had also agreed to help on the open day. It was hoped that members might be able to help by lending any old fashioned school games, or objects to help decorate the building in the style of an old fashioned school.

Mareham le Fen Book: MS advised that she has gathered enough material on the memoirs of Alfred Bontoft to be able to produce an A5 book of 40 pages and discussed printing options. The Group agreed we should go with the Woodhall Printers at a cost of £200. IM felt we should also arrange for a launch of the book once printed to help promote it and perhaps encourage new members from the Mareham area.

Local Memories: We have some surveys of various subjects which we could perhaps promote at the Older People’s Fair.

Exhibition at Bateman’s Brewery: Mike Fowler had been in touch about a forthcoming exhibition in August 2020 commemorating 50 years since the closure of the East Lincolnshire Railway, and asking if we could help to promote this. It was agreed that we could put up an information board in the area of the TIC, and we could also send information round to our members when available.

Item 14. Date of next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 12th September 2019 at 3.00pm at Colkirk House, Manor House Lane, Horncastle.

Julie Bates

Executive Committee Minutes Secretary


Executive meeting 19th June 2019
Minutes of Executive Committee

Horncastle History & Heritage Society – Minutes of a Meeting of the Executive Committee held
Wednesday 19th June 2019 at Colkirk House, Manor House Street, Horncastle

Present: Ian Marshman (IM) Chairman, Bob Wayne (BW), Michael Hieatt (MH), Sheila Jonkers (SJ), Mary Silverton (MS) and Julie Bates (JB) Minutes Secretary.

Apologies: Nick Fox (NF), Ian French (IF), Annie Clark (AC) and Ashleigh Bird (AB).

Item 1. Apologies for Absence

IM accepted apologies from those members detailed above.

Item 2. Approval of Executive Minutes 16/05/19 and Matters Arising (MA):

Minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as an accurate reflection of what took place.

JB advised that she had received a response from the member in relation to Item 6 of the previous minutes and was advised to pass this on to the Treasurer to decide if any further action was needed.

Item 3. Correspondence

Whilst NF was unable to attend the meeting he had advised that QEGS were starting to hold lunchtime lectures for pupils and staff and asked if this was something we should consider supporting. There was unanimous support for this and agreed JB would ask NF for further details.

IM had received a formal invitation from QEGS for the unveiling of the Blue Plaque on 1stJuly in honour of Constance (Connie) Mary Lewcock (née Ellis) a pioneer suffragette who had been born and educated in Horncastle. IM understood that the invitation was for himself but was also told that any ‘old girl’ on the Executive Committee would be welcome to attend.

IM had received a letter from a lady researching her family history asking if anything was known of a William Wall who was deported to Australia in 1834 for theft from The Vine Beer House. One of her queries was if Mary Whall of Millstone Lane was his mother as, despite the different spelling of the name, Mary Whall apparently tried to halt the deportation process. MH suggested she be directed to the archives in Lincoln though she would need to pay for any information from there. It was understood there was a Horncastle Family History Group and we would attempt to find out contact details for this to pass on to her – does anyone know any genealogists?

We had previously been invited and agreed to take out membership of the Lincolnshire Heritage Forum at a cost of £25 which would link us to other local attractions and organisations such as the Cottage Museum in Woodhall Spa as this would be a good organisation to join in terms of networking. IM confessed that he had overlooked completing the membership form but advised that if we were still in agreement to take out membership then one of the Executive Group would be eligible to take part in their summer social event taking place on 4th July which would incorporate a tour of Belton House among other venues. All agreed we should take out membership and SJ would like to attend the social event.

Item 4. Financial Report (MS)

MS advised it had not been possible to do an update as she hadn’t yet received all the paperwork from RA though she had received a list of members who had renewed by Direct Debit and would pass this list on to SJ so that she could update the membership list. There had been very little change to finances since the previous meeting and MS had only recently written three cheques but there wasn’t anyone else at the meeting able to sign these so in effect no movement of monies. MS had now got the mandate forms for signing in order to increase the number of available signatories to the Society's accounts and she will arrange to meet with RA and get the remaining finance paperwork.

Item 5. Planning Report (MH)

MH gave a brief report to the meeting and an update on current planning applications. A copy of his report will be circulated once available.


It was understood that the pond on Langton Hill hadn’t filled up during the recent storms but it was better than having water running off the fields. MH had written to those responsible for Sustainable Urban Drainage (SUD) at Lincoln County Council prior to our October 2018 meeting asking for clarification on their calculations for the Langton Hill drainage ponds. This information had never been received and in view of the recent events MH will follow this up.

The Flood Elevation Scheme on the River Bain seems to have worked but it was unknown if this has made the situation worse on other waterways.

Item 6. Future of Watson’s Yard

IM and MS both attended the Photographic Society EGM and spoke about what we hope to do and got the impression that they accepted we would need some time to get money together. The Photographic Society intend to continue their meetings up until October but would not be meeting after this. There had been some negative comments made at our suggestion that they would need to have three valuations of the property and we would agree an average of these valuations but this is needed by Lottery Funding. We must be shown to be transparent and cannot simply accept one valuation and certainly could not pay anything above the market value. Lottery Funding would also need a Letter of Comfort from the Photographic Society confirming they are prepared to give us first refusal on the property as well as time to raise funds.

There had previously been a suggestion that the Society become a Company Limited by Guarantee as this would allows us to own property and protect our Trustees who were currently personally liable but since then there has been a further recommendation that we become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (C.I.O) which gives the same protections of Trustees but is designed purposely for Charitable organisations such as ours.

IM circulated draft paperwork and costings he had prepared to date which he circulated for comments pointing out items we need to evidence such as the need for a heritage centre as well as being inclusive to all and not just members.

The need for a heritage centre has been defined within the Town Plan and MS will write to the Town Council to ask that a Precept for at least £5 – 10K be set on this basis. As all except our AGM are open to non-members to attend we feel we comply with the Lottery Funding requirements.

IM will circulate a draft letter and updated paperwork prior to submitting this to Lottery Funding. All were very happy with the general tone of the paperwork completed and are confident of our ability to raise money for this.

Item 7. Speakers for Next Year’s Programme

MS advised that the meetings usually take place on the third Wednesday of the month with meetings taking place in January, April, May being the AGM, July, September and November. It was agreed that MS would confirm the dates and JB would then circulate these dates to those members that had suggested speakers at the AGM asking them to contact their suggested speakers and confirm which date they were able to commit to. In addition to this IM felt MS might give a talk on Mareham le Fen and Chrissie Chapman had suggested Greg Roberts.  Another suggestion for a talk was Lydia Hendry from Archaeological Project Services who is involved with the excavation at Woodhall Spa Quarry.


Item 8. Upcoming Events

IM will get in touch to confirm the details for the July Archaeology of the Lincoln Eastern Bypass talk. Ruben is not charging for his time and IM asked if we would normally provide a gift. MS confirmed she would usually give something like a bottle of wine or chocolates so IM will ask around to find out what Ruben likes. June and Ann will be on the door and it was agreed that as we need to offer something which benefits lottery players that we could offer a discounted entry to non-members on production of a current lottery ticket though entry would still cost more than that of members.

Discussion took place on what we could do for our Christmas event this year. Whilst there were various suggestions of venues and menu, reflecting on comments received in the past it was obvious that the venue and meal were not the only concern but cost was an issue and people didn’t necessarily like to travel away from the Horncastle area. Added to this, many people are members of a number of organisations and these things can become quite repetitive.  IM had been looking back at the first set of notes which had mentioned a Cheese and Wine party and all agreed that something like this would be really different and would allay earlier concerns as, for a minimum cost, we could provide cheese and nibbles and ask members to bring their own drinks which would suite drinkers and non-drinkers alike and all have a nice sociable evening at Watson's Yard with a quiz based on the history of Horncastle which BW offered to organise.

Item 9. Proposal for a joint event with the Royal British Legion (MS)

MS advised that Julian Millington from the Royal British Legion had approached her and suggested that as next year will be the 75th anniversary of VE day we might consider getting together to plan a celebration. MS will confirm what date Julian had in mind for the event, noting that the actual anniversary 8th May 2020 will fall on a Friday though we understand that the May Bank Holiday was being moved so this would be a Bank Holiday weekend.

Item 10. Heritage Open Days 2019 – update (IM)

IM had a copy of the Heritage Open Day magazine which bore no resemblance to the previous booklet. This has been produced by Lincolnshire Life magazine this year and IM understood that it had purposely been produced more like a magazine rather than the traditional booklet in order to incorporate more advertising and have a longer shelf life – not just the Heritage Open Days. Whilst the cover doesn’t exactly shout Heritage Open Days there are quite a few events listed in Horncastle for the 9th and 10th July though sadly no photograph of Horncastle.

Item 11. Roman Wall - Update (SJ & IM)


SJ advised that a resident had reported a problem with the wall. On investigation there was a problem but not that which had been reported by the resident. SJ queried how to access the money for the emergency work.

Chris Bates had asked for an update on the Lincolnshire Life article. IM apologised for the delay as he had put this to one side whilst dealing with the Lottery Funding for Watson's Yard but he would get on with this. MS advised she had some nice photographs and fingers crossed these will be an acceptable format for the magazine.


Item 12. Plans for Thomas Sully Plaque - Update (MS)

MS advised there was no update at the moment. Chris Bates had asked if it was worth sending out press releases on the background stories to relevant magazines. MS felt that yes, this was certainly worthy of publicity but we were not quite at that stage just yet.

Item 13. Any Other Matters

Lincolnshire Rising: Nick Fox has published his book ‘Lincolnshire Rising’ and MS asked if there were any objections to us publicising the book which retails for £5 on our website. There were no objections and MS would progress this.

Visit to Stourton Hall: IM wished to thank Chrissie for all her hard work organising the visit to the Stourton Estate adding that it was a wonderful day out and recommended this as an ideal place for all to visit. There were approximately 14 attendees including some from the U3A History Group who toured the estate on a tractor trailer and saw lots of deer.

Item 12. Date of next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 19th June 2019 at 3.00pm at Colkirk House, Manor House Lane, Horncastle.

Julie Bates

Executive Committee Minutes Secretary


Horncastle History & Heritage Society AGM held at Watson’s Infant School, West Street, Horncastle on Wednesday 15th May 2019 at 7.30 pm

 

Present:        Executive Members:  Ian Marshman (IM) Chairman, Mary Silverton (MS),  Annie Clark (AC), Bob Wayne (BW), Michael Hieatt (MH), Sheila Jonkers (SJ) and Julie Bates (JB) Minutes Sec.  

Members:  Chris Bates, Karel Jonkers, Graham Silverton, Roger Hammond, June Benton, Jonothan Read, Mary Read, Patricia Paige, Nick Fox, Ashleigh Bird, Rich Avison, Carol Downer and Mary Elliott

Apologies:       Executive Members:  Chrissie Chapman (CC), Jean Forgham (JF), Ruth Addison (RA), Trevor Butterworth (TB).

Members:  Francis & Gail Dymoke, Richard Downie, Pearl Wheatley, Paul Scott, Ian and Judith French, Vaughan McKay, Fiona Martin, Marilyn Hieatt.

Item 1.             Apologies for Absence

IM accepted apologies from those members detailed above.

Item 2.             Approval of Minutes from the AGM held 16th May 2018

IM asked for approval from those who had attended the meeting.  MS proposed the minutes were an accurate reflection of what took place and this was seconded by Roger Hammond and agreed unanimously. 

Item 3.             Matters Arising

There were no matters arising.

Item 4.             Chairman’s Report

IM read out his report outlining some of the Societies achievements over the last year such as reaching 100 members, Mary’s book selling out, the interesting topics and excellent speakers at meetings and the progress on fundraising to protect the Roman Wall.  He thanked all those who had been involved and helped the Society over the year for all their hard work and efforts which has seen the Society go from strength to strength.  He also paid tribute to Keith Sellars who had been a strong supporter of the Society for many years and a sad loss to all who knew him.  A copy of the Chairman’s Report will be circulated with these minutes.

Item 5.              Treasurer’s Report and Approval of Accounts 2018 - 2019

MS advised that the Treasurer (RA) was unable to attend the meeting and therefore gave a brief appraisal of the accounts which have again been audited in time for the AGM by the Independent Examiner.  Two items of note were the increase in membership income and also the purchase of a projector which has already justified its purchase and will hopefully continue to do so for years to come. 

The following questions were raised by Members:-

Do we now reclaim Gift Aid?
MS advised that the Treasurer had been working to achieve this and it had been hoped that the paperwork would be completed in advance of this AGM but unfortunately this had not been possible though she was advised that this is almost in place. She added that the delay had been caused by an unfortunate oversight as, when the Society changed to its current name, HMRC had not been advised of this change.  This has thus resulted in the need to track back to all the Trustees at that time to complete relevant paperwork and forms confirming the change to the Societies name before we could then proceed with the more straight forward paperwork relating to Gift Aid.  RA has assured MS that this is being dealt with and asked all members to complete a Gift Aid form if they had not already done so.

 

Should archives be listed as assets on the accounts?
Archives are listed on our insurance but it was generally felt these should not be shown as a value on our accounts – if anything these should be listed on an asset registry which is in effect the database we hold of items in the archive.  The archive material itself is irreplaceable – you cannot replace an original photograph once it is lost, but a photograph itself has very little if no monetary value.  We cannot use the archive as a means to securing a loan for example as you would be able to use a property (a true asset).  As one member felt otherwise then it was agreed we would refer this to the next Executive Meeting for discussion/clarification.

Sheila Jonkers proposed the accounts be accepted, this was seconded by Annie Clark and agreed by all except one of the meeting attendees.

Item 6.             Election of Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer and Secretary

IM welcomed any volunteers for any of these posts stressing that there was a real need to engage a Vice-Chair adding if nobody came forward to take on this role then he would look to fill this post via the Executive Committee. 

MS advised that RA was standing down as Treasurer and that she was prepared to take on this role.  Thanks were expressed to RA for all her hard work over the years.  There being no other volunteer for this role BW proposed that MS be accepted as Treasurer, this was seconded by JB.  There being no volunteer to take on the role of Vice-Chair this would be referred to Executive Committee to discuss further.  JB advised she was prepared to stand again as Secretary to which there were no objections.

Officers were therefore agreed by all members present as follows:-

  Chair:                                                              Ian Marshman
  Vice-Chair:                                                      Vacant
  Treasurer:                                                       Mary Silverton
  Secretary:                                                       Julie Bates
                                                                 

Item 7.             Election of Executive Committee

IM thanked everyone that has given their time to the Executive Committee and continue to give support going forward.  He especially thanked Jean Forgham and Chrissie Chapman for all their hard work and input over recent years adding that whilst they will continue to be supportive members they were no longer able to continue to commit to being Executive Committee members and were thus stepping down. He thanked Sheila & Karrel Jonkers who had assisted as interim membership secretary.

BW, MH, AC were prepared to continue as members of the Executive Committee and IM advised that Ashleigh Bird (AB), Nick Fox (NF) and Ian French (IF) had also put their names forward. He encouraged all members to consider joining the Executive Committee as new ideas were always welcomed.  

All members in attendance at the meeting were in favour and the Executive Committee was thus confirmed as:-

                                                                  Bob Wayne                                                    
                                                                  Michael Hieatt
                                                                  Annie Clark
                                                                  Nick Fox
                                                                  Ashleigh Bird
                                                                  Ian French

Item 8.             Proposals for the Future of Watson’s Infant School

IM explained that the Photographic Society would be holding an Extraordinary General Meeting on 11th June to vote on a motion to close and wind up the Society, owing to declining and ageing membership. MS had originally been approached several months ago by the Photographic Society to discuss whether we would like to take on the long lease from them on peppercorn rent, with them able to then rent the space back from us for occasional meetings and their annual exhibition, a reversal of the present relationship where we hire the room from them.

We had not been able to advise members of the situation before this meeting owing to the need of the Photographic Society to first speak to their membership before this became public knowledge. The Executive Committee had agreed to look into the feasibility of taking on the building, and co-opted Patrick Cordingley and Ian French who have the relevant legal expertise to advise us. IM had also written an expression of interest to the National Lottery Heritage Fund (formerly Heritage Lottery Fund) regarding the possibility of us applying for a small grant (c.£12,000) to pay for condition surveys, and a feasibility study of how we could better use the building, as well as legal costs and some equipment such as a laptop for the archives and installing WiFi. The lottery had been positive and asked us to prepare more detailed costs.

 

However, MS had recently been informed by the Photographic Society that their legal advisors believe they cannot grant a lease, and their members were minded to formally close the society and wind it up. She had been advised that they were looking to close at the end of their programme in October, and then look to sell the building, but that they may be able to give us time to put things in order if we did want to buy it. IM explained that if we do want to buy the building, we would still need to carry out the feasibility project first in order to demonstrate to potential funders that we had a credible plan in place for what to do with the building and what the benefits would be for Horncastle.

 

He reminded everyone that ultimately if we do nothing then the Society's Archive would then be homeless, as two years ago when we left the Sir Joseph Banks Centre there had been nowhere else to go until Watsons Yard was offered.  The building could be used not just to store the archive, but as an arts and heritage space for the whole community.  Not a museum or visitor attraction that was open 365 days a year, but a space available for local groups and open to the public on summer Saturdays and for special events like Heritage Open Days.

 

IM asked Members what they thought of the idea, and for any comments or concerns, and the following questions were raised by Members:-

Can we afford to buy the building?
Our enquiries suggest it is possible we may get National Lottery Funding but we would need to go back to them with detailed figures and establish what they would and would not fund.  IM added ongoing running costs need to be taken into consideration though discussions with the Photographic Society indicated that these were manageable, and we were already covering most of them by way of our contributions in 'rent'.  Insurance wouldn’t be much more than we already pay, added to this would be electricity and water and, whilst it isn’t a listed building, the building would still need to be maintained going forward.

Are there plans to get others to use the building in addition to the Photograph Society?
We would certainly look at others using the building and feel it could be a popular venue for small groups. IM stated that he felt the space here was unique in Horncastle, being homely and welcoming, being larger than meeting rooms at the Joseph Banks Centre for instance, but smaller than the rooms at the Community Centre or the vast space at Stanhope Hall. He felt it would lend itself to arts classes or music groups (non-amplified), yoga etc. Whatever we did with it, we intend to keep the main space flexible. He also added that, without the Archive, there was probably no need for the Society to have a club house, so we would want to make sure the building was shared with the community to make the best use of it and with income for room hire going towards running costs.

Would we be able to adapt and/or extend the building?
The building does come with land to the north which was once the playground and includes the toilets, however this is crossed by a right of way to the former teachers house. Extending the property would obviously be subject to planning permissions and also need to take into account that there is a right of way through the yard which would determine how much you would be able to extend the building. It is possible we could look to improving access to the space above the meeting room, which is currently only accessible via a small loft hatch, but that had formerly been bedrooms with the dormer windows only being removed in the 1970s or 80s.

Would we be able to improve access to the building – better lighting etc?
We would certainly hope to be able to improve the lighting and, with the permission of other residents, hopefully relay the flagstone pathway.  Any funder would want to ensure that we made our facilities as accessible as possible, so there would be money available to make the path accessible to those with mobility issues.

 

MS noted that we currently have between 8 and 10 people working on the archives each Wednesday and if we were to take on ownership of the building or lease then we would be able to store and display the archive better.  IM added that we could have display space for temporary and touring exhibitions, noting that one such touring exhibition on 'Wolds Women of Influence' had not come to Horncastle recently on the basis there was nowhere for it to go.  It was acknowledged that we don’t have car parking space which is a problem and whilst we currently negotiate car parking space at Friskney’s when we have meetings this isn’t always going to be available if the site was developed. He hoped that we could negotiate with QEGS to provide it for any special events.

 

IM asked the members present if they were in favour of the Executive Committee proceeding to look into the possibilities - All members in attendance at the meeting were in favour.

 

Item 9.             Comments and Questions from Members about the Society’s Activities

SJ asked if it was possible to hold more informal coffee evenings.  MS was happy to continue with these but requests ideas for themes to be covered and feedback on the format.  It was felt best that people bring their own ideas on given themes as this got everyone involved but it was agreed it would be helpful for somebody to take the role of facilitator to help get the conversation started.

Another suggestion was to have an object handling session of the Roman objects, perhaps as an informal coffee evening. IM said that this was something we could look into.

IM invited ideas for future speakers which resulted in the following suggestions:-

 

Carol Downey suggested John Marshall-East who was restoring a Hampden WWII Bomber.  She agreed she would contact and ask him to speak to the group.

Sheila Jonkers suggested Mike Arnold who could speak on the topic of Iron Age Settlements.

 

Ashleigh Bird suggested her archaeology lecturer Duncan Wright may be persuaded to give a talk.

Chris Bates understood that the Lincolnshire Vintage Vehicles group have speakers and felt they would be more than happy to speak at one of our meetings – he was asked to follow this up.

MS advised that once we have agreed the dates for meetings following on from those already in place we will advise those who have suggested speakers in order they may contact them and confirm their availability etc.  IM also asked if anyone knew any metal detectorist groups who may be willing to give a talk and bring along some of their finds – please get in touch if you know anyone!

Rich Avison confirmed that we will be awarded a £1,000 ELDC Councillors Grant towards the Roman Wall, and that the three councillors had wanted to give £500 each but that there was a £1,000 limit to any organisation. IM also clarified that the Society is doing the fundraising for the Roman Wall on behalf of the Community Centre (run by a registered charity, the Horncastle & District Community Association), so wanted to point out that none of this money will appear on our accounts as everything raised is paid directly to their bank account for the Roman wall project.

 

It was also discussed that if a development across the road at Friskney's went ahead that we might perhaps try to tie in car parking with that, adding we may even wish to lobby for a purpose built heritage centre as part of the development.  IM agreed the Society would like to be involved in any discussions about this site going forward.

There being no further relevant matters to discuss IM thanked those present for their active participation and declared the meeting closed at 8.30 pm


Julie Bates
Secretary

Attachment:    Chairman’s Report
                                               

 

Horncastle History & Heritage Society - Minutes of a Meeting of the Executive Committee                      held Thursday 4th April 2019 at 28 Tudor Park, Horncastle at 3pm

 

Present: Ian Marshman (Chairman), Bob Wayne, Micheal Hieatt, Mary Silverton, Sheila Jonkers

In the absence of the Secretary, the Chairman took notes.

 

1.      Apologies for Absence were received from: Julie Bates, Annie Clark, Jean Forgham

 

2.      Approval of minutes of Executive meeting 21/2/19

The minutes were approved as a true record.

Matters Arising

a)      Ian was sorry to report that following the last meeting Jean Forgham had informed him that she wished to stand down from the committee due to ill health. The committee wished her a speedy recovery and thanked her for her contribution to the Society. Jean had already expressed a desire to stand down as Speaker Finder after the end of this year's programme, and there is now a vacancy on the committee.

b)      Mary updated the committee on the progress researching the Horncastle born painter Thomas Sully, to whom it was hoped to put up a plaque. Much work had been carried out by Colin Gascoigne towards researching his life and influence. The committee agreed that he was a worthy candidate but that more work was needed find out exactly where he had been born in or around Dog Kennel Yard, to help decide where the plaque should go.

c)      Ian explained that the plans by Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School for a blue plaque in honour of suffragette Connie Lewcock were progressing well. The plaque had been ordered and would match the others put up by the Society. It is set to be unveiled on 1st July at the entrance to QEGS and four generations of Connie's family had agreed to travel down from Newcastle to attend. The school are also seeking to invite as many previous head girls as possible for the occasion.

d)      Ian noted that he and Bob Wayne would be attending a meeting with Walkers Are Welcome to progress the town trail and interpretation board project.

 

3.      Correspondence

a)      The Society had received several emails from members following the last planning notes being sent out regarding the issue of bus shelters on Lincoln Road that had been required by a planning condition on the Langton Hill development. Members were generally disappointed with the fact that local authorities (county, district and town) had been unable to agree a solution. It was also noted that the problem was about bus shelters not being provided, and not actual bus stops as these were already in place and made more accessible to for prams or wheelchairs.

b)      Another member had been in touch to ask if the Society might consider taking forward a project to run an archaeological dig at Low Toynton where there was a deserted medieval village. The issue was discussed and although the committee were supportive of the idea it was felt that there were already a number of projects ongoing at present and there was not the capacity to do this. It was also noted that Society's constitution and charitable area of benefit was limited to the civil parish of Horncastle so it may not be able to run a project outside this.

c)      The Photographic Society invited members of HHHS to attend their annual exhibition which would be open on Saturday 13th April.

d)      Chris Bates had also contacted the society to offer his assistance and advice regarding how the Society might do more publicity and better promote itself through the media. It was agreed that Mary, Bob and Ian would meet him to take him up on his generous offer.

 

4.      Financial Report

The treasurer was absent but Mary noted that the accounts had not changed much since the last meeting. She also informed the committee that HMRC had confirmed that she was a "fit and proper person" and that the Society was fully set up to be able to reclaim Gift Aid. Ruth is hoping to work on putting in the first claim before she stands down as Treasurer. Bob also shared the invoice he had received from Horncastle Matters magazine totalling £100 for placing four £25 adverts over the year.

 

5.      Planning Report

Michael gave a report on recent planning applications. Notes of his responses on behalf of the Society will be circulated shortly. Michael also informed the committee and invited members to attend the open garden event that he and Marilyn Hieatt were holding at the Manor House, Manor House Street, Horncastle between 12:30 and 16:30 on Saturday 13th April, £4 admission (children free) as part of the charitable National Garden Scheme. https://www.ngs.org.uk/find-a-garden/garden/34189

 

6.      Preparations for the AGM on 5th May

Mary explained that Watsons Yard was booked for the AGM, and that the accounts, minutes of the last AGM and agenda would need to be circulated at least two weeks in advance. It was also decided that several vacancies on the Executive Committee should be promoted to members, namely Vice Chairman that was required by the constitution, and Speaker Liaison. More information to follow, but any interested members are invited to get in touch with the Chairman or many member of the committee.

 

7.      Planning for talk on 50 years of Horncastle

It had been previously been agreed that the Society would organise at least one talk a year from its own research. This year's talk will focus on members' memories of the town over the past 50 years, a period of Horncastle's history that saw huge changes and which is of interest to many residents. Bob, Trevor, Mary and Annie would be meeting soon to discuss what to include. Members who volunteer at the Archives are also assisting to help find records and photos.

 

8.      Heritage Open Days – update

Ian reported that the Society's events had been registered with Heritage Lincolnshire and acknowledgements received. The Coffee Club evening at the Archives had brought to light some interesting stores and memories from members that would be useful for our exhibition on education in the town that will be held at Watsons Yard. Mary shared some forms from a previous Society project to record oral histories about the town and Ian agreed to look into recording some more. It was also agreed that a meeting was needed of everyone who had volunteered to assist with preparing for Heritage Open Days. Any other members who would like to help are invited to get in touch, as there will be lots of different things to do from research for the exhibition, sharing school memories, supporting students at QEGS with their display in July, and helping on the day (14th September).

 

9.      Roman Wall – update

Sheila and Ian informed the committee that the Community Centre had received a grant of £5,562 to pay for the full cost of urgent work to part of the Roman Wall at St Mary's Square, which was needed to make it safe for residents. A meeting was scheduled for next week where contractors and volunteers would discuss the works proposed with the lead advisor Dr David Watt, with work hoped to begin soon afterwards.

There had been great progress with the Sponsor a Stone campaign since the last meeting, with £465 raised, as well as a 'crowdfunding' appeal using the Just Giving website which had raised £395. Ian also noted that the Community Centre had secured a £300 donation from the Masonic Benevolent Fund. Since the last meeting Ian had received notification from the Pilgrim Trust that our application had been successful at 'Stage 1' and he had now submitted a more detailed 'Stage 2' application seeking £5,000, but it was not yet known when their trustees would make a decision. This gives a grand total raised to date of £2,184. The Community Centre had also agreed to put in £2,000, meaning that the £10,772 total was now in sight, which should make it possible to move forward with the project this soon if the Pilgrim Trust grant is successful.

The committee agreed that this was very positive and thanked everyone including all the members who had contributed. Mary noted that some sponsors had told her that they had not yet received an acknowledgement and Ian apologised that the last three or four people had not yet received their thank you cards, but it was hoped to get them out soon. Some sponsors had however chosen to remain anonymous, and unfortunately those who donated online could not be contacted as Just Giving was not able to share donors' personal information.

Ian also thanked Bob, Michael, Sheila and the residents of St Mary's Square for all their help with BBC Radio Lincolnshire's visit to Horncastle to carry out live broadcast from the town to promote the Roman Wall project. This had helped promote the Society, the town, and the Roman wall campaign, with many people hearing about the project and extra donations coming in.

 

10.  Any other matters

a)      Ian explained that the Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival brochure had just been published, with details of the Society's two guided tours of the Roman Wall to be held on Saturday 25th May. Bob added that he was also leading a walk in the town for Walkers Are Welcome along the canal, and that the festival brochures had just been delivered to the Joseph Banks Centre, so would soon be available to collect.

b) Chrissie Chapman had given an update on bookings for the Society's summer outing to Sturton Estates near Baumber on Wednesday 5th June. So far there had been 5 bookings so it was agreed to step up publicity and extend the invitation to the U3A history group. Members are reminded that this extremely good value trip costs only £5, as it is being subsidised by Natural England and includes a deer safari as well tea and homemade cakes. Please contact Chrissie on 01507 525859 or 07590691471 or by email on lanc14@btinternet.com

c)      Mary passed on a photograph of an artefact found by a member that it was hoped his colleagues at the county council's Historic Environment Record might be able to help identify.

d)      It was also noted that the Society had received several interesting donations to the Archives recently including the offer of a collection of papers related to the War Memorial Hospital, a painting of Bridge Street, and Sheila had been given copies of a series of previously unseen photographs of the Roman wall including some of the 1960s excavations. The committee thanked the donors for their generosity.

e)      It was noted that the Society had reached an important milestone, as it now has 100 members!

 

Date of next meeting

Thursday 16th May at 3pm at 10 Linden Road, Horncastle

The history of Myers Bakers
Brief report on the talk by Michael Myers 19th Set2018
Members of Horncastle  History and Heritage Society and their guests  were thrilled by a real local success story when Michael Myers  of Myers Bakery spoke of the history of their business over four generations.

The story started in 1901 when Michael's Great Grandfather Charles purchased a mill and bakery in Alford was soon to bake the first of their now famous plum loafs. The business prospered but 31 years later his son Lewis appeared to take a side step and bought a store in Southrey. Soon the family returned to their true calling when they purchased the bakery and store in Mareham Le Fen. The business in time was passed to the well remembered Derek Myers  and in 1969 the current bakery in the Bull Ring  was purchased.

Without giving away all the secrets Michael described how their plum loafs are made illustrated by a BBC "Countryfile" film made in Horncastle. The listeners were amazed to hear that today  the apparently small shop employs 36 staff and that  their ubiquitous plum loaves are sold in vast numbers all over the UK with about 50% of orders being placed on- line.The family  business has expanded into other areas to include a deli , a tea shop and interior decoration store all to the great benefit of the Town.

The evening concluded with a free tasting of the Myers' wares including their tea loaf. 
President appointed
The Society has elected to have a president for the first time.In recognition of his many years of hard work for the Society, Trevor Butterworth MBE was asked and we are pleased to say accepted this position

Town conservation society elects first President.

The recently held Annual General Meeting of Horncastle History and Heritage Society was made significant by the members electing their very first president. Trevor Butterworth has been an active member and officer of the group for as long as most people can remember, a past chairman he has only just relinquished the post of secretary. 

 Trevor Butterworth, President

 Earlier in the year the Society was honoured when Francis Dymoke agreed to become their patron. In her report the Chairman Mary Silverton thanked Trevor and the committee for their support and noted that the past year had been particularly successful with the membership rising from 78 to 95. During the year the Society had found a new home for its archive at Watson’s Yard, West Street thanks to the generosity of the Photographic Society.

The Town archive which is now tended by 8 volunteer members has received major boost project with the receipt of a large quantity of material from the collection of the noted local historian David Robinson. Sadly David a "Town Boy” and a long time supporter of the society died last year. Mary also noted the loss of the long serving treasurer David Platt earlier this year.

As well as the well attended bi-monthly meetings held at the Admiral Rodney the Society had organised a number of activities most notably a trip to Ayscoughee Hall and the Spalding Gentlemen’s Society. The Society will be actively engaged with the Town’s Roman wall project and the Armistice Celebrations in November.

The election of officers resulted in Mary being re-elected as Chairman, Julie Bates, Secretary, Ruth Addison Treasurer and Chrissie Chapman Membership Secretary.

Submitted by Bob Wayne 

Talk by Francis Dymoke 20th September 2017
A talk about the hereditary Champions of England and the Dymoke Family history

A Champion Tale.

One of the principle aims of the Horncastle History and Heritage Society is to connect members with the history that happened quite literally on their doorstep in this part of Lincolnshire.

The speaker at last Wednesday’s meeting held at the Society’s new Home at Watson’s Yard was Francis Dymoke whose family have lived at  Scrivelsby from the days of the Norman conquest and have been the sovereign’s champion for 34 generations. Francis started by stressing that although the title of Sovereign’s Champion is attached to the holding of the Scrivelsby Estate the actual appointment is only made at a coronation. Francis’s father Col John Dymoke became Queen’s Champion when he took part in  the coronation of Queen  Elisabeth ll. At a future coronation Francis will have to offer his services and if accepted would almost certainly become  King’s Champion.

Should Francis become his family’s 35th Champion his contribution to the ceremony is unlikely to equal that of his illustrious forbear Henry Dymoke who entered the banquet at Westminster Hall that followed George lV’s coronation wearing a gleaming  suit of armour riding on a white charger to throw down his gauntlet 4 times as a  challenge to anyone who disputed the King’s position.

In the lively question and answer session that followed almost inevitably the first question was could Francis ride a horse? Hopes were expressed by members that we may see this tradition revived at a future coronation.

We are proud to report that Francis Dymoke agreed at the meeting to become a patron of the society thus emphasising again the strong links between the Dymoke family and the town of Horncastle. 

 

Francis DymokeThe gauntlet used by Henry Dymoke and one of the gold cups presented to Champions by the Monarch are shown in this photo of Francis Dymoke and the chairman, Mary Silverton.

Meeting Dates

Proposed Dates of meetings for 2020/2021. All meetings except the AGM will be held at, The Admiral Rodney Hotel, North Street unless otherwise stated.

 2021 

15th Sept

Thomas Sully (1783-1872)

His Art

Colin Gascoyne

20th October

Lawless & Immoral Horncastle

Brian Davey 

17th November

Treading the Boards

Neil Wright 

Subject to availability