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Whitwick & District U3A

Registered Charity no EW64245

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Thursday, 18 Jan 2018

U3A logo

Whitwick & District U3A - History Group


During the winter months the group usually meet in Thringstone Methodist Church Hall for a speaker. The summer programme comprises visits to historical sites and history based walks. During the year there is a combination of local history plus subjects from further afield.


Generally the last Monday of the month but may be changed to accommodate opening times of the places we visit.



Mon Jan 30th - Meeting cancelled due to illness.

Mon Feb 27th - Suffragettes and Suffragists - Melanie Wilson
Venue - Thringstone Methodist Church Hall Time 1.45 for 2pm
Votes for women was a huge social, economic and humanitarian issue during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. We've all heard the headlines and this is an opportunity to learn more on the subject. Please confirm by Monday 20th if you will be attending.

Mon Mar 27th - Castle Donington - Delia Richards
Venue - Thringstone Methodist Church Hall Time 1.45 for 2pm
Delia Richards curator of Castle Donington Museum will be providing a power point presentation of a walk around Castle Donington Please confirm by Monday 20th if you will be attending.

Mon Apr 24th - Setting Up The Magic Attic - Graham Nutt
Venue - Thringstone Methodist Church Hall Time 1.45 for 2pm
Talk by Graham Nutt on the setting up of The Magic Attic and the interesting things found about Swadlincote. The Magic Attic is a large local history archive located in South Derbyshire at the Sharpe's Heritage Centre, West Street, Swadlincote. The archive contains newspapers, photographs, maps, artefacts and family history information for South Derbyshire and surrounding areas. Please confirm by Monday 17th if you will be attending.

Mon May 22nd - St George's Churchyard Survey Part 2
Venue - St George's Churchyard, Church Hill, Swannington Time 1.45 for 2pm
An opportunity to photograph a second batch of headstones and record their inscriptions. Participants found the 2016 session fascinating as you never knew whom we would come across. Apart from being interesting it also aids the community at large, many of whom try to trace their family trees and being able to provide a list and approximate locations of the graves is very helpful.

Mon Jun 26th - Bradgate Park Excavation - Peter Liddle
Venue - Bradgate Park Time 1.45 for 2pm
Currently we do not know where in Bradgate Park the excavators will be working. But our experience of our visits with Peter Liddle to the Priory Church at Breedon on the Hill, Kirby Muxloe Castle and Burrough Hill is that whatever is being excavated, Peter will bring it to enthralling life.

Mon Jul 31st - Glenfield Tunnel - Leicestershire Industrial History Society
Venue - Meet at the Railway Inn, Glenfield Time 1.45 for 2pm
Robert Stephenson's 1832 Leicester and Swannington Railway was the first public railway in the English Midlands. When constructed the mile and 15yards Glenfield Tunnel was the longest railway tunnel in the world, it continued in use until the 1960's. Four years ago Leicester City Council, the current owners of the tunnel, gave LIHS permission to open the tunnel for tours of the first 100 yards. In 2015 the tours were extended to 400 yards. The tours have been one of the greatest visitor heritage successes in Leicestershire. A great benefit of early railways is that the locomotives could only manage 1:600 gradients, so there are not any hills! The plan is to meet for lunch at 12.15 in the Railway Inn prior to the tour.

Mon Sep 25th - Newbold Heritage Trail
Meet at 1.45 at the car park at Lount Nature Reserve. Newbold Heritage Group will provide a guided tour of the former New Lount Colliery which closed in 1968. The group have an extensive archive and their heritage trail opened earlier this year. £3 We could have lunch beforehand at the Cross Keys.

Mon Oct 30th - Mary Booth
- A talk about the social reformer who was also married to Charles Booth, the catalyst for the old age pension, by Ann Petty and Nita Pearson of Friends of Thringstone, 2pm at Thringstone Methodist Church Hall. Friends of Thringstone, in association with other local groups, are hosting their "Prominent Women in North West Leicestershire" exhibition which features Mary Booth.

Mon Nov 27th - Ashby's Napoleonic Prisioners of War - Ken Hillier
Venue - Thringstone Methodist Church Hall Time 1.45 for 2pm
If you cast you mind back some years to the visit to Ashby Castle you might recollect some tales about the French prisoners of war just over two hundred years ago. Following his enthralling talk on the Ashby to Burton Light Railway, Ken will be returning to talk to us about the French prisoners of the Napoleonic Wars


Mon Jan 29th - My First Job
Thringstone Methodist Church Hall 11.45am for noon. Members are encouraged (not forced) to speak for a couple of minutes about their first job - this could be a part time job while still in school or your first full time role. Please bring something for our bring and share lunch.

Mon Feb 26th - The Co op - Whitwick Historical Group
Thringstone Methodist Church Hall Time 1.45 for 2pm £3
A brief overview of the origins of the Cooperative Movement; information about the early days of the Coalville Cooperative Society; details about the Whitwick Branch and information about the new Co op Store in Whitwick Market Place, in particular, the cruck frames in the foyer. The format is a Power Point presentation which includes an extract from a film made during WWII.


Roger (Bis) Bisgrove at history at whitwicku3a dot org dot uk

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More pictures are available in the Gallery

September 2017 - The group went on a guided tour of the New Lount Colliery site at the New Lount Nature Reserve near Newbold. The colliery closed in 1968. We were guided by John who, together with 3 former colliery workers, explained the workings of the old colliery. The site has been developed as a heritage trail by the joint efforts of the Newbold Heritage Group and the Coleorton and New Lount Volunteer Group. Several information boards were installed in May this year, which are full of interesting information.

The group attentively listening to our guide at one of the information boards.

Showing some of the surface rail tracks.


At another of the informaton boards in an area that used to be busy with rail transportation of the coal.

The concreted-over Shaft No. 1.

Three former New Lount Colliery workers at the weighbridge.


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