Middridge History Society meets in the Village Hall on the second Thursday of the month at 7:30pm from October to March. Come and join us for a range of interesting and stimulating talks, followed by tea, coffee and biscuits!

All are welcome.

Middridge History Society
Talks: 2017/18

12th October 2017
Marian Morrison: Colliery Health care in the nineteenth century North Durham coal field
Marian’s 2 main interests are the history and development of healthcare and the mining heritage of North Durham. Her talk explores why some collieries and coal companies employed doctors, while others did not.
9th November 2017
Alastair Fraser: Ramblings of an early printed book cataloguer: how to “read” an old book
Books are not just texts, but also historical objects with histories that can tell us about social and intellectual networks, patronage and fashion. The talk looks at the invention and technology of printing and its spread throughout Western Europe. It also explores how books can be used to inform, educate, annoy and mislead people and concludes by looking at a couple of books with interesting owners.
14th December 2017
Richard Pears: The country houses of North East England
Often overshadowed by the region’s castles and better-known southern examples, the North East contains a surprising number of country houses. Some are now hotels, but many hide behind high walls and entrance gates to remain private residences. This talk will examine the evolution of North East country houses from the Tudor period to the present day, including their architectural styles, treasures, and the people (above and below stairs) whose wealth and work sustained the big house.
11th January 2018
David Butler: The “guests” of Queen Victoria, 1851
In Durham the 1851 census lists 226 inhabitants who, probably, wished themselves almost anywhere else than within the grim walls of Durham prison.   This talk explores the system of justice which led to their imprisonment, looks at the crimes they had committed, and examines one or two of their stories in detail.
8th February 2018
Alison Hodgson: Poverty through the ages in Britain
An illustrated description of the ways that the poor have been treated from the Middle Ages through to the establishment of the Welfare State. Topics mentioned include the Elizabethan Poor Law, the Irish potato famine, highland clearances, the nineteenth century philanthropists and the New Poor Law.
8th March
Lynn Lamport: A weaver went to war
A fascinating story about a young boy, born 1809, who ended up in India for almost 20 years. His diary, which Lynn discovered in Cardiff Castle, forms the basis of her talk and reveals his life in the army spent in the most exotic of locations. And there is a very surprising twist at the end of the tale!