Monday 4th October
Dr Nick Amor
Keeping the peace in Late medieval Suffolk
A close study of the county’s 14th century archives suggests that the fear of crime was greater than the reality. This talk considers the actual levels of crime, particularly homicide, and the rise of Justices of the Peace who were appointed to keep law and order, and of the jurors who served with them on peace commissions. The role of JPs and jurors in determining the shape of Suffolk society is addressed against the traumatic background of the Great Famine, Hundred Years’ War, Black Death and Peasants’ Revolt.
Monday 1st November
Basil Brown of Rickinghall: Beyond Sutton Hoo
Basil Brown is widely known for his discovery of the Sutton Hoo ship burial. However, many of his other achievements are far less well known, as is his character beyond the usual portrayal of him as an eccentric, self-taught Suffolk yokel. This talk, will shine a light on this Rickinghall native, and those who influenced the young Basil, examining his motivations, passions, local discoveries and boundless energy for enthusing others. Drawing on Basil Brown’s own words and using recollections from local residents and fellow workers, a different, and rather more complete, image will be presented, of the man who achieved immortality in the world of archaeology.
Monday 6th December
Bury and the Great War
Barely a decade after the bruising encounters of the Boer Wars, Britain found itself embroiled in a conflict, the impact of which had not been experienced by the peoples of Europe since the great plagues of the Middle Ages. It was ‘the war to end all wars’. Its reverberations were felt in every community, street and home in Britain and, as a garrison town and important centre of agriculture, communication and munitions, Bury faced unprecedented dangers, both on the home front and in theatres of war throughout Europe. This talk will look at the impact of the Great War on Bury St Edmunds, both at home and abroad, from Arras to Zeppelins.
Monday 10th January
The Ancient Cathedral Library
The library was founded as the parish library of St James in 1595, most probably as a resource for the clergy meetings which had been held in the church since the 1570s. The books mainly date from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and not only give an insight into the theological controversies of the time but are also a valuable resource for the history of the book when printing was the new technology. We know the donors of most of the books and this gives us a unique snapshot of Bury society
Monday 7th February
The Maltster’s Tale – mastery of water, wind and fire.
One of the world’s oldest food processing skills, going back beyond 10,000 BC, using techniques that took many months to learn. There were once thousands of floor maltings across England, and now there are only three! Our speaker was the last person in Suffolk to make malt for brewing using these traditional skills. This wide-ranging talk will also feature Bury St Edmunds maltsters, J. Gough & Sons ( later taken over by R Peach and Co) & their Thingoe Hill Maltings.
Monday 7th March
Annual General Meeting followed by West Suffolk Council Heritage Team.
Into the West Suffolk Collections: new research from the teams of West Stow and Moyse’s Hall.