History – Archive

The Georgians

From 1714, when George I came over from Germany and ascended the British throne,  to 1820 when the infamous George IV died, Britain had endured over 100 years of Hanoverian rule.  Life in Britain had changed dramatically.

Bolsover District u3a have chosen to concentrate on this period when we (soon, hopefully) get back together again to share our knowledge of this subject.  Will we be enthralled by the Scottish Rebellion, awed by the American War of Independence, revolted by the French Revolution, amazed by the Agricultural Revolution, grateful for the abolition of the Slave Trade (though sadly not yet the actual slavery)?  How much do we know about when Britain took control of India?

While all these things were going on, people were living their everyday lives and maybe it’s this aspect of history which appeals to you most?  If so, find out what you can about local history, fashion, culture, architecture, medicines and disease, art and literature.  What about the leading figures in politics and the sciences?

I will also be looking at ideas for ‘field trips’.  Sadly we missed out on these last year.  If you have any preferences, let me know.

So much to do.  So much to do.  And all the time in the world to do it 😊.


Tuesday 25th February 2020
Again, full capacity for the group this month, with a growing waiting list to join. Shows what a great bunch we are! I will be looking at ways of trying to accommodate everyone who shares our interest in this subject – Watch this space!
In the meantime I’d like to thank all who contributed to this month’s topic – The Great Fire of London. We also included other, equally disastrous, fires across the country, looking at contemporary paintings of the London Fire and, of course, special thanks to Mr Pepys for his invaluable contemporary view.
Going forward, as it’s the 400th anniversary of when the Mayflower set sail to America, we are researching all we can before our next meeting on Tuesday 24th March. We are planning a visit to Retford, which played an important part in this epic voyage, for sometime in June, and will advise members as soon as we have the details.

Tuesday 28th January 2020

Full house today, the first group meeting of 2020. The topic was the Plague of London 1666 and, as usual, group members had done their homework. Our friend Samuel Pepys was a contemporary witness; current members had also researched the plague(s) in Europe and general plagues throughout history. Of course, given our proximity to Eyam we also discussed this “plague village” and its saviour, clergyman William Mompesson. Sadly, the current coronavirus crisis was also brought into the conversation.
Next month we will be discussing the Great Fire of London. I will be bringing along Mr Pepys again and talking about his cheese and wine! 😉
Unfortunately this successful group is now closed to new members but please contact me if you would like me to add your name to the waiting list.

November 28th 2019

The History Group had its last meeting of the year on 26th November as the December meeting would have fallen on Boxing Day!
We closed the year with the Restoration of the Monarchy having spent the last few months talking about the English Civil War. Moving forward, we will be researching, in January and February, the Great Plague, followed by the Great Fire of London.
Before we continue forwards in time with the House of Stuart (1660 – 1714) from May 2020, we have decided to mark the 400th anniversary of the voyage of the Mayflower at our March meeting. This will be followed by a trip in April to Retford where we will visit the Mayflower Pilgrims Centre and the new heritage trail and Pilgrims Gallery at Bassetlaw Museum.
The next meeting will therefore take place at Bainbridge Hall on Tuesday 28th January.

October 22nd 2019

Another lively discussion where we further explored the Civil War after the execution of Charles 1st, leading up to the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660. Next month on 26th November we will look at the following years, including the Great Plague, the Great Fire of London (including some excerpts from Pepys’ diary), right up to the turn of the century.
The December meeting falls on Christmas Eve which for some reason the group weren’t keen on coming to so, again, next month we will end with a discussion on the programme for 2020.
I am proud to say that over the years we have built up a very close knit and enthusiastic group of amateur historians. However, our number has grown significantly and in order for us to maintain cohesion, I have found it necessary to close the group to new members for now. If you are interested in joining us in the future please let me know and I will keep your name on record.

September 26th 2019

26th September 2019
Wet! Wet! Wet! And I’m not talking Marti Pellow here (although I could be persuaded at another time – but I digress!).
No, the great British summer seemed to have disappeared as we set off, wellies and brollies aloft, on our long-awaited trip to Arkwright’s Mill in Cromford. Sadly a small number of our group felt unable to venture out in what was torrential rain, but those of us who braved it were more than amply rewarded.
Arriving at 11.30am, we were warmly welcomed by Jill our Tour Guide whose enthusiasm for the subject was infectious and the modern interpretation of the mills was amazing. Stopping only for a 45 minutes lunch break in the on-site cafe (which incidentally was excellent and very good value for money) we carried on for a tour of Cromford Village – truly a hidden gem for any historian.
Highly recommended.

August 31st 2015

Following on from the recent very successful visit to Quarrybank Mill with BDU3A’s National Trust group, our history buffs will once again be going to t’mill, this time to Cromford on Tuesday 24th September.
In the meantime, we have been looking at the events leading up to the execution of King Charles I and on our return to “the office” in October, we will see how the country fared during the Civil War and what led to the restoration of the monarchy.
Come along, if you are interested, on 22nd October.

Tuesday 30th July 2019

They are a busy group, this lot! In the last month, they’ve been to Lumsdale Quarry, ahead of our visit to nearby Cromford Mills in September, and joined our BDU3A National Trust group on a visit to Quarrybank Mill. Reckon we’ll all be pretty clued up on local history, where the Industrial Revolution is concerned, by now.
However, attention has shifted to the Civil War with the roundheads and cavaliers. Already, our enthusiastic group members are putting together some very interesting little-known facts. For instance, did you know that cross-dressing was declared illegal at this time?
If you want to hear more of this fascinating part of our history (and its scary similarities to today’s political climate) come and join us at Bainbridge Hall on Tuesday 27th August from 2pm, when we will begin by looking at the timeline for this era.
Tuesday 25th June 2019
After quickly settling in to our new home at Bainbridge Hall we turned our attention to deciding on a new topic for discussion and research. It was unanimously agreed to focus on the British Civil War with its Roundheads and Cavaliers.
To get us into the mood it has been recommended that we watch the forthcoming BBC4 programmes called “Downfall of a King” (Charles I). These are being shown on three consecutive nights: – Tuesday 9th, Wednesday 10th and Thursday 11th July.
A reminder that Greg will be leading a visit to Lumsdale on Sunday 7th July. All those interested should meet him at the Oasis car park at 1pmprompt where car sharing can be allocated. It should be noted that this can be slightly difficult under foot.

10th June 2019

Following an open discussion with group members it was agreed by the majority to move future meetings to Bainbridge Hall, the first one being Tuesday 25th June at 2pm.
This seems an opportune time to bring our research into the Industrial Revolution to a close. Many thanks to all our group members for their hard work and for sharing their findings on this enthralling subject. At the beginning of the year we discussed other areas which were of interest to us all, one of which was the Civil War, and at our next meeting, in our new “home”, we will agree the way forward, whether it is with this subject or another. Either way we look forward to welcoming our happy band on 25th June.
Sadly the trip to the Back-to-Backs in Birmingham was cancelled because of lack of interest. However, I’m informed that the trip to Quarrybank Mill is still going ahead on 20th July so if you are interested please see Pat Dodds at the next general meeting on 19th June.

Tuesday 23rd April 2019

The group discussed the forthcoming visits to Lumsdale valley and
Cromford Mills.

The date for visiting Lumsdale Valley was confirmed as 7th July for
guided tour at 2.00pm for the cost of a voluntary donation to Cromford
Mills of £3 per head. Anyone wishing to take part in a car share to
contact Rose Bailey, although Lumsdale is easily accessible by the X17
service to Matlock, handy for anyone who wants to walk all the way
down the valley and catch the bus back to Chesterfield from Matlock.

The visit to Cromford Mills will take place on 24th September. It is
proposed to opt for a package consisting of a visit to “The Arkwright
Experience”, an audio visual presentation that lasts approximately half
an hour, followed by a Mill tour lasting an hour, After a break for
refreshment we would then go on a tour of Cromford village lasting
another hour. The whole package costing £12 per head. Again, anyone
wishing to take part in a car sharing arrangement contact Rose Bailey.
Times yet to be decided. We will need a minimum of 10 people for the
tours to go ahead.

Members of the History group also expressed interest in the
forthcoming tours of the Birmingham back to backs on the 8th June and
Quarry Bank Mill on the 20th July. Rose has been in touch with the NT
group who are organising these visits and will be reporting back to the History
group in due course.

Continuing our researches into the Industrial Revolution we had a
stimulating presentation on the Luddites. Increasing automation and
factory based production (of which Cromford was the first example) led
to large scale unemployment of skilled workers and their families.
This in turn led to an increase in the supply and a fall in the price of
labour, leading to lower wages as workers were rehired as deskilled
labourers in factories, if they were lucky. The alternative was
outright destitution. This led to considerable social unrest and the
appearance of machine wreckers as workers attempted to destroy the
factories and the machines that had caused the loss of their
livelihoods. (It also led to an increase in security at Cromford, as
the Mill was increasingly rebuilt to resemble a fortress). The
Luddites, the most notorious and celebrated of this breed of machine
wreckers were based in Nottingham, where Ludd was presented as being a
latter day Robin Hood, “Ludd” rhyming with “Hood”. The Luddites
flourished between 1811 and 1813. The Pentrich Revolution of 1817 was
orgnised by and ex-Luddite. The government response to the unrest was brutal,
with harsh sentences being handed out including execution and

Another aspect of the response to the Industrial Revolution came from
the Arts, with artists like Joseph Wright of Derby celebrating
industrialism with paintings like “The forge” where significantly the
scene is lit by a white hot ingot of iron. This was followed by the
work of Turner, and his celebrated painting of “The Fighting
Temeraire” a veteran British warship of the Napoleonic wars being
towed up the Thames by a steam tug. Turner’s style had a profound
influence on the French Impressionists, most notably Claude Monet, who
also celebrated technology, most notably in his paintings of steam
locomotives and railway stations. A reaction to the Industrial
Revolution could be found in the rise of the Pre-Raphaelite
Brotherhood and the Arts and Crafts movements, in the mid 19th
century, both looking back
towards an idyllic pre-industrial age. We could have gone on and on
with this!

The next meeting of the History Group will take place on Tuesday 28th May

Tuesday  26th March 2019

Our research into the Industrial Revolution continued with
contributions on the development of the railways and the key role
played by George and Robert Stevenson. These were followed by a
contribution on the canals, most especially on the practice of
“legging” the boats through the tunnels. There was also a contribution
on living conditions in the cities, which included the delicate
subjects of personal hygiene, sanitation and disease which led to some
lively reminiscences on the sometimes primitive toilet facilities
existing within living memory.

The NT Group’s forthcoming visit to Quarry Bank Mill was discussed,
with a proposal for History group members to join in on this visit,
scheduled for Saturday 20th July.

The proposal to organise a visit to Cromford was further discussed.
A critical factor in siting industry is often the availability of
power, and in the days before steam this often meant ready access to
fast running water. This was available in abundance in the steep gorge
that was Lumsdale, where there were mills tapping into this power
source as far back as the 16th century, predating Cromford by about
200 years.
There are guided tours available at 2.00pm on four Sundays in the
year: 15th May, 7th July, 15th September and 27th October. No
prebooking required, just turn up.
We decided on 7th July* for a group tour. The valley is accessible by
public transport with the X17 stopping nearby. The tour takes about 90
minutes, and a voluntary donation of £3 is requested.
The steepness of the gorge makes it unsuitable for persons of limited
mobility. However, although a circular walk, it may be an option for
visitors to continue down the valley into Matlock and catch an X17 bus
back from there.
If anyone is interested in coming on this tour a car share could be
organised, in which case please contact either myself or Rose Bailey.

The date of Tuesday 24th September has been selected for our visit to
Cromford Mills. The Mills were established by Richard Arkwright for
spinning cotton in 1771 and Cromford was the first example in the
world of a modern factory based system of mass production, and for
this reason Cromford is now a World Heritage Site.
There are a number of options for guided tours, each lasting
approximately one hour each and individually priced at £4. They
Mill tour
Village tour
Canals and Cotton Mills tour
Growing up at the Mills tour
Water, Wheels and Wealth tour

There is also a combined Mill and Village tour available lasting
approximately two hours priced at £8 per head. It may be possible to
negotiate other tour combinations if there is sufficient demand. A
minimum of ten persons per tour.
In addition there is also “The Arkwright Experience” an audio visual
presentation offered at the Visitor Centre lasting 30 minutes, which
would bring a full package tour of 2.5 hours at a total cost of £12
per head.
Some of the tours might prove demanding to members with limited
mobility: I will enquire as to whether there are any facilities (eg
wheelchairs or mobility scooters) available for use.
A range of catering options may also be laid on, ranging from a 30
minute break for hot drinks and biscuits at £2 per head to a one hour
break for a buffet lunch for £6.50 or £8 per head. Alternatively we
could just make our own arrangements: there are two very good cafes on
the site, and several others in Cromford village itself.

Some members of our group also asked about the possibility of
combining a visit to Cromford with a trip on the canal boat. This is
operated quite seperately from the Mills by the Friends of the
Cromford Canal and would need to be negotiated seperately with them.
Chartering the boat for up to 20 passengers would cost £160 for a two
hour round trip. However, it may be possible to plan the visit to the
Mills to allow free time for any members to book a trip on one of the
two daily scheduled sailings at 11am and 2pm at an additional reduced
rate cost of £8 per head.

Please contact.     interestgroups@bdu3a.com       For more details

Tuesday 26th February 2019

Our group had a lively discussion focusing on our current topic, the

Industrial Revolution, with contributions on working conditions in the

mills, health and safety being a low priority and virtually non

existent in the early days, with many horrific accidents. Working

hours were long and the workforce largely composed of women and

children. There were also contributions on transport, starting with

packhorses, carts, through to the development of canals and later the

railways. with a focus on the Chesterfield canal which linked

Chesterfield to the River Trent. Trips to Cromford Mill and the canal

basin there were discussed, with a possible additional trip to the

Lumsdale valley and the mills there, many of which predated the mills

at Cromford.

November 27th 2018

Well, that’s it then.  In 2019 we will be concentrating on:  –
*Civil War  –  with a “field trip” to the museum at Newark and, hopefully, an introductory talk.
*Glorious Revolution
*Bletchley Park – and a visit to this amazing place near Milton Keynes
However we will be kicking off 2019 with
 *The Industrial Revolution, and an introduction to Cromford Mill where, later in the year,  we will also spend a day soaking up the atmosphere and, again, with an introductory talk.
There will be no meeting in December (the fourth Tuesday falling on Christmas Day) so History group members are asked to think about mills and how, if at all, they impacted on their family history.
We will then meet on Tuesday 22nd January, 2pm in the Blue Bell Inn, Bolsover.  If any of the above has sparked an interest, come and join us.  We’d love to see you.

October 25th 2018

On the 23rd October 2018, twelve of us met to share our findings and family histories from 1918. What a remarkable year that was. Notwithstanding the Armistice, 1918 also saw the introduction of votes for more men and women, the Spanish ‘flu pandemic, the school leaving age raised to 14, and an explosion in a munitions factory at nearby Chilwell, with 130 people killed and 250 injured.
Some members of the group brought in cherished photos of loved ones who had taken part in the conflict that was WWI and Pam brought a lump to more than one throat when she recounted her personal family history research which included visiting the war graves in France where her great uncle is laid to rest.
Cathy told us about Moina Michael, an American Professor and humanitarian who conceived the idea of using poppies as a symbol of remembrance for those who served in WWI, after reading McCrae’s poem “In Flanders Fields”.
Please don’t forget to buy your poppy. And wear it with pride!
Looking forward, our next meeting will be on Tuesday 27th November, 2.00pm at the Blue Bell Inn. As its our last meeting of the year (unless anyone wants to meet up on Christmas Day), we had a brief discussion on what we should do next year so we will be talking in more depth about this if you would like to join us. Suggestions so far include International history; Civil War; Knights Templar; Black Death; Industrial Revolution; Between the Wars; Queen Victoria (200th anniversary of her birth). Have a think about it!

September 25th 2018

With slightly fewer attendees than normal, the History Group nevertheless came up trumps again this month with their research on “Strong women during the Wars of the Roses”.  The following protagonists were brought to life: –
Philippa of Hainault  –  Thank you David
Catherine de Valois – a collaboration from new members Gary and Kevin
Margaret of Anjou  –  Carrying on the story from the above
Anne Neville – Excellent piece of work on a woman whom supposedly not much is known, but Cathy managed it.
Elizabeth of York –  Val told the story of this woman, mother of Henry VIII.
Margaret Beaufort  –  Sue and Sarah regaled the story of this amazing woman, mother and supporter of Henry VII, the first Tudor King.
Thank you to all the above for helping me understand more of this period in time.
At the next meeting on Tuesday 23rd October, 2pm as usual at the Blue Bell Inn, we have decided to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice of the First World War, the granting of votes for the ordinary man, and the little-known Pals Brigades.  If you have any family stories or memorabilia from this part of our history, please come along and share it with us.
Finally, the Travel Group is taking a trip to the Imperial War Museum in October.  If anyone is interested in going, come along to their next meeting at the Beehive, 10.00am, on Thursday 4th October.

August 28th 2018

Following on from last month’s successful visit to the Richard III Exhibition in Leicester, the group talked about what we had learned July 24th 2018

Today the History Group visited the Richard lll Exhibition in Leicester.  I went with an open mind not having given him much thought or significance, just thought of him as a rather wicked man with a hunched back.  How wrong I was.  Although he only reigned for two years he certainly left his mark on history.  The photos below shows Richard lll tomb , and his statue in the grounds of the Cathedral.

Many thanks to Rose, Group Convener, for a great day out, an extremely interesting visit and superb organisation.  Can’t wait for the next one!

July 17th 2018

The History Group are having a trip out this month (July) to the Richard III Exhibition in Leicester. I went to see it myself when it first opened and I’m really looking forward to sharing the experience with this wonderful group of people. We have learned so much from each other since the group started.
If you have a love of history and would like to join us, our next meeting will be held at the Blue Bell in Bolsover from 2pm on Tuesday 28th August.

April 26th 2018

Another successful meeting of the history group this month when we discussed the Vikings. Really impressed by all the hard work
and research carried out by this enthusiastic bunch.
The name Viking comes from the Norse language meaning pirate raid or overseas expedition, depending on whose version you prefer (although both seem pretty accurate descriptions to me). Sarah’s study of other Norse words which have infiltrated our language was quite extensive and I loved Enid’s anecdote from her visit to Scandinavia when she came across a closed shop which had the following sign in the window – Flitted – meaning moved/gone away. How’s that for a good old Derbyshire word!
Interestingly also was the use of “by” at the end of Viking place names, such as Whitby, Derby, Stainsby. We like to put a local slant on all our research 😊
The task for next month is to find out what we can about the Normans, especially in relation to our local area. You can be sure someone will come up trumps! As usual, everyone is welcome. You don’t necessarily have to do any “homework” – just come and listen and maybe put in your own twopenn’orth. Tuesday 22nd May 2018, 2.00pm at the Blue Bell.
On a separate note, Creswell Craggs are putting on a free exhibition of their archaeological collection, including a video (starring our own Enid & Barry Hibbert) from 29th May to 1st June. Further details can be found either on their website or on fb or, indeed, direct from the visitor centre.

April 11th 2018

I am so proud to be leader of the BDU3A History Group.  At the last meeting we talked in depth about the centenary of the RAF, from the early flights of the Wright Brothers to the start up of the WRAF (women’s RAF) – who knew that?!  Amongst other things we talked also about the Zeppelins and our pilots’ difficulties in searching for them in the night skies.

Moving on to the second world war, how many of you knew that Bolsover Colliery bought two Spitfires to help the war effort in WW2?
These are just some of the things our clever and enthusiastic group members bring to our meeting.   For something completely different, at our next get-together on 24th April, we are researching the Vikings.  Can’t wait to see what each individual member will bring to the table as we all look at different aspects of every topic.
For a future meeting, one of our members (Greg Monks) has offered to take us on a tour of Hardwick Old Hall and enthral us with his new talk.
Interested?  We’d love to see you on the 24th at the Blue Bell Inn from 2.00pm and hear what you know about the Vikings.

February 26th 2018

Well, if you’re going to talk about local history then you might as well do it in your local, eh?
Here are 12 of the History Group members who braved the threatening snow storm to come and talk about their findings on the Suffragette/Suffragist movement in the local area. Some surprising findings and a lively discussion on the subject ensued.

We are told that on BBC iPlayer (radio) you can find interviews from the 1970’s with surviving suffragettes. That’s definitely on my list of things to do.

The theme for the next meeting is the 100th anniversary of the RAF. And, keeping strong women in mind, a trip is also being planned to see a play about Amy Johnson, a pioneering English aviator, at Whitwell on Saturday 14th April.

A visit to the Richard III exhibition in Leicester is being organised for 24th July. Cost, including coach, entrance and a talk with Q&A’s, is expected to be no more than £30. Further details to follow.

If I’ve managed to whet your appetite, come along to the next meeting on Tuesday 27th March at 2.00pm in the Blue Bell Inn. Everyone welcome!


January 8th 2018

Happy New Year to all our members and those thinking of becoming a member of our History Group.

2017 culminated with a visit to Renishaw Hall. It was a beautiful but bitterly cold winters day and we had a most enjoyable visit, being escorted around the Hall by a very knowledgeable guide. We look forward to more similar visits in 2018.

The programme for 2018 was discussed at the end of November, prior to the above visit, and it was agreed that we would address the following topics this year: –

– Pre-history (starting with Creswell Crags and the caves at Upper Langwith)
– Evolution of England (Vikings, Normans, William the Conqueror etc)
– Middle Ages (Roger Mortimer, Isabella of France and Edward III)
– Civil War and the Glorious Revolution
– Industrial Revolution
– Early 20th Century

Quite a programme eh? I suspect we won’t cover everything this year, bearing in mind that we want to include some “field trips”, and as usual we will try to focus on the impact these subjects had on our local history.

We have a very enthusiastic group with a diverse range of knowledge and interest in history. If you would like to join this happy band, come along to the Blue Bell on Tuesday 23rd January at 2.00pm where you will be made very welcome. No experience or qualifications necessary!

July 17th 2018

The History Group are having a trip out this month (July) to the Richard III Exhibition in Leicester. I went to see it myself when it first opened and I’m really looking forward to sharing the experience with this wonderful group of people. We have learned so much from each other since the group started.
If you have a love of history and would like to join us, our next meeting will be held at the Blue Bell in Bolsover from 2pm on Tuesday 28th August.

December 20th 2017

The History Group chose Friday 8th December (which saw the first snows of the winter) to visit Renishaw House. However, the majority of the group were able to get there – and what a treat!

We enjoyed a most interesting talk from one of their guides. My impression was that the house was like the TARDIS – I honestly hadn’t realised there was so much of it – and we only saw the downstairs!

The Sitwell family are a quirky bunch and I for one will be delving deeper into their story. Why not come along to our next group meeting on Tuesday 23rd January and we’ll tell you all about it.

Rose Bailey

November 22nd 2017

The History Group are meeting, Tuesday 28th November, 2pm, Blue Bell, Bolsover. The group is meeting to plan for 2018, celebrate 100 years of the RAF, 1st April 2018 is the centenary date, celebrate 100 years of the end of WW1, centenary 11th November 2018. How did it effect Bolsover District? Interested? Come and join us. Group Coordinator contact details on the BDU3A website, or just come and join us. Not to be missed!

October 21st 2017

The History Group are meeting on Tuesday 24th October, 2pm, The Blue Bell, Bolsover. This month we are looking at, and researching the Sitwell Family of Renishaw Hall. Contact Rose Bailey for more information, contact details can be found on the BDU3A website.

August 24th 2017

Twelve of the History Group had a tour of Welbeck on 22nd August. As the Abbey is only open to visitors for a few weeks in August, we had booked our places almost a year ago but boy, was it worth waiting for.

There were only a couple of other people on the tour so we felt like a private party, escorted by our guide Tilly and her new recruit, Olly (who we later saw doing an impressive “salute to the sun” in the Abbey gardens).

Our hour and a half visit flew by and we were driven back to the “Portland Collection” where I managed to get the photograph below before we split up into smaller groups, going to see the above mentioned collection, the garden centre, farm shop and, of course, much needed refreshments in one of the two excellent eateries available.

Why not join us at our next meeting on Tuesday 26th September at the Blue Bell Inn when we’ll tell you all about it.


August 6th 2017

Some members of the History Group visited Wingfield Manor, Saturday 5th August. Here are just a few photos. The tower and doorway shown here lead to the accommodation where Mary Queen of Scots was held captive by the Earl of Shrewsbury, fourth husband of Bess of Hardwick. Bess visited Mary at Wingfield on several occasions. The gentleman in the photograph is Greg, our guide, who is also a member of BDU3A. We had a great afternoon, Greg’s knowledge is awesome and very entertaining, thanks Greg. Would recommend a visit. Bev

July 26th, 2017

This group goes from strength.  Last month, after talking at length about Bolsover Castle, we were tasked with finding out all we could about Welbeck Abbey, prior to our visit/tour in August.

This month, members were equally zealous.  Barrie, of course, gave us the benefit of his knowledge, not to say his experience, of working at Welbeck in the past.  He talked about the gardens and Joseph Paxton’s involvement, including the glass receptacle used for growing straight cucumbers (!) as well as other amusing stories.

David had discovered the title of Baron Bolsover, used by the family but now defunct since 1977.

Enid brought in the book “Right Royal Scandal” by Joanne Major and Sarah Murden.  This related to a family scandal from the third Duke of Portland through to the 6th Duke and included stories of poisoning by cosmetics as well as liasons with “ladies of the night” and ladies of gypsy origin.   Memo to self : must get this book out of the library!

Pam showed us photos of sketches from Emmas Sketchbook, edited by E. Gaunt.   These sketches were from the 1840’s by Emma Elizabeth Dartwin, being drawings of Wellbeck and surrounding areas, including the Greendale Oak.

Next month (August) twelve of us are booked on a tour of the Abbey and we are all raring to go!  So, the next meeting of the group will then be Tuesday 26th September, back at the Blue Bell Inn at 2.00pm.  We will be doing our own research this time on Renishaw Hall and the Sitwells.

If you feel you have something to add, or you just want to come along and listen,  we’d love to see you.


July 1st, 2017

Another great turnout this month with an increasingly enthusiastic group of would-be historians sharing their knowledge of Bolsover Castle. Some of the members had obviously been looking “outside the box” to focus on, for example, the conduit houses around the Castle, the second wife of William Cavendish (a published author) and the design and build of the Castle. To name but a few (or should I say phew!?).

Well done and thank you to everyone for all your hard work.

But it doesn’t end there. Next month we are going to work just as hard to find out what we can about Welbeck Abbey. The challenge really is to find out something that Barry doesn’t know. Barry, for those who don’t know, used to work at the Abbey so has a lot of first hand knowledge. But we’re all up for a challenge aren’t we?

See you at the Blue Bell on Tuesday 25th July, 2.00pm.


May 27th 2017

Well our ‘leader’ was away yesterday, so want to say well done Pam and Sarah!  Not an easy job keeping such an enthusiastic group on point, but you did a great job.  We welcomed two new members, Ann and Dave, ( sorry didn’t catch your surnames).  Both so knowledgeable and am sure will be invaluable to the group.  Also want to welcome Greg, (sorry don’t know your surname) never the less an invaluable source of knowledge, a volunteer with both National Trust and English Heritage.  Am so looking forward to listening and learning from all three of you.  We intend to “explore” Bolsover Castle at our next meeting.  Can’t wait!

April 27th 2017

Information about Hardwick Hall: Every Thursday in May the attics will be open to the public. Visitors will have access to the attics for £1. Volunteers will interpret this space and explain the history of the attics and how they are now used as collection storage.

April 26th 2017

Another interesting talk from a group member, this time from Ken Britton who told us about the Featherstone Massacre. Personally I had never before heard of Featherstone, let alone a massacre, but there you go – that’s what its all about – learning from each other! Thanks Ken.

Three visitors to the group this month; two new members and one possible new member. A very big welcome to you all and hope to see you again. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 23rd May, from 2pm at the Blue Bell. It has been decided to postpone the visit to Pentrich as one or two members are now unable to go on that date and didn’t want to miss out. So the meeting will take place as normal at the Blue Bell when we can have a recap on what we’ve done so far and to give new group members a say in planning future projects.

The next monthly meeting at the Assembly Rooms is on Wednesday 17th May. Why not come along and have a chat with me.


March 29th 2017

A smaller than usual, but none-the-less enthusiastic, group was engrossed today in a talk on the Pentrich Uprising by Barry Hibbert whose own ancestor, William Turner, played a major part. It is the bicentenary of this event and Barry’s passion for the subject was infectious. Well done, Barry, and thank you.

A small change to the programme for this year. It has been decided to postpone the trip to Pentrich scheduled for next month (25 April) and, instead, Ken Britton will give a talk on another uprising, the Peterloo Massacre, as well as another lesser-known uprising. This will take place at the Blue Bell as usual. (The talk, not the uprising!)

The trip to Pentrich will now take place in May when, hopefully, the weather will be kinder. The programme will then go on as scheduled.
Rose Bailey

March 8th, 2017

The meeting on 28th February found members of the History Group sharing their findings on Florence Nightingale. Interestingly, although it would be almost impossible to talk about her without mentioning the Crimean War, the focus was mainly on her local connection. Well done, everyone!

Going forward, have you heard of the Pentrich Uprising of 1817? No? Then come along to the Blue Bell on 28th March to listen to Barrie Hibbert whose own ancestor was involved in what the Government feared could lead to violence as witnessed in France at the height of their revolutioTo tempt you, remember this was 200 years ago, at a time when the Prince Regent’s extravagant lifestyle was highly unpopular with the people, when a small number of half-starved labourers, stockingers and weavers met in the White Horse Inn in Pentrich, Derbyshire, and made plans for a march on London.

See you on the 28th. Rose

February 7th, 2017

The History group met on Tuesday 24th January. Members were all pleased to see each other after the Christmas break and were full of enthusiasm for the coming year’s programme which includes: –

February 28th Everyone to bring their findings on Florence Nightingale to the meeting.
March 28th Barrie Hibbert to give presentation on Pentrich revolution
April 25th Field trip to Pentrich – to be confirmed
May 23rd Topic to be confirmed
June 27th Field trip to Hull museum quarter, taking in a visit to the Wilberforce museum, following our study of slavery
July 25th Topic to be confirmed
August 22nd Group of 12 History group members to go on a tour of Welbeck Abbey
September 26th Topic to be confirmed
October 24th Topic to be confirmed
November 28th Topic to be confirmed
December As the 4th Tuesday falls on Boxing Day we will defer the next meeting to January 2018 as we did this year.

As you will see, topics are to be confirmed for five of the above dates. Discussions have taken place, however, and as usual we will try and incorporate the study of effects of national and international affairs on our local area. Topics proposed include, but are not exclusive to:

Florence Nightingale & Edith Cavell
Battle of Towton (no, I hadn’t heard of it either but Ken will enlighten us)
Industrialists (e.g. Arkwright, Markham)
Civil War
South Sea Bubble

Anything caught your fancy? If so, why not join us at the Blue Bell in Bolsover at 2.00pm on Tuesday 28th February or come and see me at the monthly meeting next Wednesday 15th February.

January 21st 2017

The History Group are meeting on Tuesday 24th January, 2pm, at the Blue Bell, Bolsover. The group will be planning their programme for 2017, which will include a visit to Penrich and to Wellbeck Abbey. We also hope to explore the life and times of Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell. We are open to other subjects, especially local history. Interested? Please come and join us, we meet every 4th Tuesday in the month.

October 26th 2016

“A good turnout today for the History Group meeting at the Blue Bell Inn. Following the visit to Welbeck in August, we looked at the Dynasty started by Bess of Hardwick whose descendants include the Dukes of Devonshire, Newcastle and Portland, culminating in what would have been the Duchess’s proudest moment – Queen Elizabeth II is a descendant of hers via her maternal grandmother, Nina Cecile Cavendish Bentinck who married Claude Bowes Lyon, Earl of Strathmore.

I can confirm that 12 places have been booked for a tour of Welbeck Abbey on 22nd August 2017 and will be in touch shortly with those people who have expressed an interest in this.

The group talked about what they wanted to do, going forward, and it was agreed that we return to the subject of slavery and its effect on local people. A wide subject with a global impact.

Thanks to everyone who attended today – a really good session.

October 24th 2016

The history group meets tomorrow, Tuesday 25 October, at the Blue Bell Inn, Bolsover, 2pm. Discussing and reflecting on our field trips and planning the next step. Everyone is welcome, for more details contact Rose Bailey by clicking the link BDU3A website, ‘What’s On’ page

September 13th 2016

Please note that the History Group now meets every fourth Tuesday at 2.00pm and not 12 noon as previously. (N.B. The September meeting has been cancelled due to holidays).

August 26th 2016

The sun shone down on the History Group this week with a really good turnout for a visit to the Harley Gallery and Portland Collection at Welbeck.

Barry gave us the benefit of his local knowledge with an excellent introductory talk on Welbeck before we took in the delights of the new Portland Collection exhibition. Taking longer than any of us had anticipated (there really is an a abundance of artefacts) we then sampled the excellent offerings in the adjacent café while we mulled over what we had seen, together with the information pack supplied by Rose.

The next meeting will take place on Tuesday 25th October 2016 from 2.00pm at the Blue Bell Inn in Bolsover. The group agreed to cancel the September meeting as the majority of them are going to be on holiday.

Going forward, we will be looking at how Welbeck and the neighbouring estates (Chatsworth, Hardwick, Bolsover Castle, etc.) are connected and came to be known as The Dukeries.

Finally, we have booked 10 places for a tour of Welbeck on 22nd August next year, 2017 with places being offered to members of the history group in the first instance. Watch this space!



Tuesday afternoon the History Group visited Welbeck to view the Portland Collection. The weather was glorious and it was great to be able to welcome four new members to the group. Before going in to look at the collection, Enid and Barry, once again gave us a talk on the history of Welbeck, their wealth of knowledge is truly amazing, you have to wonder how they know so much! Their secret in this case? Barry worked on the estate at the age of 16, so apart from the knowledge, an awesome memory!!
Rose provided each member of the group with a folder of information on the Welbeck Estate and the surrounding Dukeries. While we were there a booking was made for us to visit Welbeck Abbey next August, there will be more information to follow.
So, thanks Rose for organising the visit, and thank you Enid and Barry for sharing your knowledge and a fascinating insight in to the workings of the estate.


Looking forward to seeing you all soon. Rose Bailey

September 2015

Local History 1

July 28th 2016

The history group went to Cresswell Crags yesterday, what a fabulous afternoon and all due to two of our members, Enid and Barry Hibberd. Their knowledge, expertise and interest of the Crags is amazing. Despite a sudden shower or two we walked around the lake, stopping at various points along the way for Barry or Enid to advise and inform us of the history and archeological finds.

Back to the centre for a well deserved cuppa and cake, Barry showed some artefacts he had actually dug out of his garden in Elmton, from a Roman coin to a stone age hammer head, truly amazing stuff. Couldn’t wait to get home and start digging! So, I would like, on behalf of the rest of the group to say thank you so much for a wonderful afternoon of history, to Enid and Barry.


Bev’s pictures of Creswell Crags
Crags 2 Crags 1 Craags 3

June 29th 2016

I attended the History Group meeting this afternoon, where we discussed how we wanted to take the group forward. It was a very satisfactory meeting, we decided on various areas of history we would like to explore. We believe we can provide something for everyone who has an interest in the history of our country, our local history and a degree of world history. Rose will be posting a more in depth report on what we decided, but I just wanted to say what a thoroughly enjoyable two hours I spent with the group and am looking forward to our first field trip to Cresswell Crags next month (see below). We hope that our new and varied plan will encourage more members to come and join us, everyone is welcome.


The History Group is going on a Field Trip! Our first outing will take place on Tuesday, 26th July, meeting in the car park at 2pm, at Cresswell Crags. More information will be available in the next couple of weeks. August 23rd we intend to visit Wellbeck, so watch this space for more details. For information about the History Group, contact Rose Bailey by clicking on the link on the ‘What’s On’ page, on the BDU3A website.

March 23rd, 2016

Another lively and informative meeting today ( March 22nd) when Slavery Since the 1600’s was discussed. Neil Haddy led the talk which is such a broad subject that a time line was used to “scratch the surface” at this initial group meeting.

Focussing firstly on Transatlantic Slave Trade when Liverpool was bound up in global trading – known as triangular trade, and ships were loaded with cottons and woollens, guns, iron, alcohol and tobacco, etc. They then went to Africa where they traded these goods for slaves, ivory and gold and in turn went to America or the West Indies where slaves were sold for money, colonial produce or bills of exchange. Neil took us through to 1790 when William Wilberforce presented the first abolition bill to the House of Commons (although it did not pass), and to the Abolition of Slavery Act 1833 which was passed just three days after Wilberforce’s death.

The discussion touched briefly on the human aspect of this trade; the appalling conditions in which the slaves were transported and then housed and treated, the Women’s Anti-Slavery Associations which arose during the 1820’s and early 1830’s, and the poignant books written by former slaves, detailing their experiences.

The group will be delving further into this part of our history at the meeting being held Tuesday 24th May 2016 at the Blue Bell Inn, Bolsover from 12.00 noon.

March 10th 2016

Thanks to Enid and Barry Hibbert for bringing along Ellen Taylor from the Derbyshire Law Centre on 23rd February. Ellen gave a very interesting presentation on the history of social housing in North Eastern Derbyshire from the late 1700’s. More can be found on the website http://www.socialhousinghistory.org.uk where it delves even further back in history.

The next History meeting will take place at the Blue Bell in Bolsover from 12 noon on Tuesday 22nd March when we will start to look at the emancipation of slaves – a very broad subject so we ask that you bring your views and knowledge to the table for what promises to be a very lively discussion.

Bletchley Park
Unfortunately the coach trip which was planned to go to Bletchley Park in April has had to be cancelled as there was not enough interest to make it feasible. Hopefully we can look at this again later in the year if we can increase the numbers. Apologies to those who had been looking forward to this.
Rose Bailey

January 21st 2016
On the back of a very successful meeting of the History Group, in which we were entertained by Boggy Marsh in a talk about Espionage in Derbyshire, it has been suggested that we make a visit to Bletchley Park.

A provisional date has been set for Tuesday 26th April 2016. Details still to be confirmed and we need to have some idea of numbers before booking the coach, etc., so if you are interested in coming with us (all members welcome!) please email Rose Bailey in the first instance at rosebailey51@outlook.com or ring 01623 743573 where you can leave a message.


January 11th 2016

The idea of espionage drew in more than the usual number of attendees at this month’s meeting. Trevor (Boggy) Marsh, local author, entertained us with tales of derring-do, dropping names like “Philby” and “Ian Fleming” into the conversation. More than that I cannot say as we were sworn to secrecy (nudge, nudge, wink, wink). Suffice to say we were all enthralled.

On the back of this successful meeting it has been agreed that we should visit Bletchley Park in lieu of a future meeting. Details to be confirmed. Watch this space, as they say.

We cannot promise as much excitement for our next meeting (from 12 noon on Tuesday 23rd February at the Blue) but it might be just up your street! If you can remember when outside lavatories were the norm, when ice on the inside of your windows was the norm in winter, when “pre-fabs” were the height of sophistication, come along and share your experiences of “Social Housing”.

Please note that future meetings of the History Group will take place on the 4th Tuesday of each month, so make a date in your diaries.

October 24 2015

The October meeting was held at the Blue Bell Inn where we had
access to WiFi and a smart television – ideal for presentations.
Caroline Marshall gave us an eye-opening presentation on Barlborough
Hall which she had recently visited on a rare open day. Its amazing
the things you find out about places on your doorstep.

So, why don’t you come along to our next meeting at the Blue Bell on Wednesday 4th
November at 2.00pm when we’ll be talking about local pits (and maybe if
we can get enough information together we will put together a booklet)?
Bring any memorabilia, photos, etc. with you to stimulate the
discussion. All welcome.

Our sister group, the History Group, has
recently looked into espionage during WWII and local author Trevor
(Boggy) Marsh has agreed to come to our Wednesday 2nd December meeting,
again in the Blue Bell at 2.00pm, to give a talk/discussion on
espionage in Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire. If you can contribute to this
(official secrets act permitting of course :-)) please join us for what
promises to be another eye-opening session.

Looking forward to seeing you all soon. Rose Bailey

December 16 2015

“After discussion with the members involved it has been agreed to merge the Local History group and History group and the first combined meeting is planned for Tuesday 12th January from 12 noon at the Blue Bell Inn in Bolsover.
Local author, Trevor Marsh, has agreed to talk to us about espionage in the local community. This talk was originally scheduled for December but sadly had to be postponed, however this promises to be a lively discussion, something to look forward to in the new year.

If you were a spy in a previous existence why not come along and share your experiences with us? We promise not to tell 😊 .”

Rose Bailey

December 2015

Slightly smaller turnout this month (7 members) but just as enthusiastic. Since the last meeting it was discovered that 2 members were actually members of another local history group and had in fact published several booklets and have agreed to give a presentation to the group at a future date. Their purpose in coming to our group was to “push back the boundaries”. Now there’s a challenge!

The Local History Group Inaugural Meeting took place at Wetherspoons in Bolsover today (Thursday 30th July). Eleven members formed a lively group, chaired by Rose Bailey who agreed to chair future meetings with Joan Gee as treasurer.

The main interest was in:

Local industry, e.g. factory workers and miners, local churches and Bolsover Castle (naturally) and everyone agreed to look at possible venues and potential speakers (and their fees) for future meetings which will take place on the first Wednesday of each month, starting on Wed 2nd September at 2.00pm (again at Wetherspoons).