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Whitwick & District U3A

Registered Charity No. 1181238

Tuesday, 26 October 2021

Tuesday, 26 Oct 2021

U3A logo

Whitwick & District U3A - History Group


The History Group meets during the afternoon of the last Monday of the month. History topics are varied and suggestions from members are always welcome. Summer meetings are usually outdoor visits and winter sessions are talks at Thringstone Methodist Church Hall.


Members have discussed the relaxation of lockdown restrictions and the need to balance life, risks and numbers. The consensus is moving from six people to a maximum of 15 for now.

Places must be booked for the walks. Participants should also complete a personal risk assessment - this does not need to be shared with the Group Leader.

Mon Mar 29th There will therefore be a short history walk around the Peggs Green area. There is plenty of interesting history packed into a small area - coal mines, brickworks, horse drawn tramways, blacksmith's forge, post mill, two public houses, church, a French language bible, the house of a surgeon, historian and retired publican and more.

Mon Apr 26th - Snibston Colliery Park and the former mineral line. Meet Snibston Colliery Park.

Mon May 24th - We will explore the coal mines, railways, public houses etc of the area of Coalville that used to be Swannington (Ashby Road Coalville to Spring Lane Swannington plus Thornborough Road and Mantle Lane). People who have booked will have received joining instructions by a separate email.

Mon Jun 28th - Grace Dieu, led by Ann Petty. Ann grew up on the Grace Dieu Manor estate where her father worked and always provides a fascinating insight into life on the estate that cannot be matched by other guides.

Mon Jul 26th - Belvoir Road Memories - Keith Pare

Tue Aug 31st - Historic Ravenstone - Lyn Jordan

Mon Sep 27th - Hough Mill and Califat Spinney, 2pm A chance to see the amazing transformation of Hough Mill from a derelict shell to a substantially restored building with framework sails, as well as learn about recent research into the history of the mill and millers. We will also amble past the replica horse gin in the Gorse Field to the Califat Spinney, site of the Coleorton No 2 (Califat) coal mine 1854-1873. Named after a town in Romania, and with a shaft named after the Confederate States Ship Alabama, the mine has a fascinating history. The engine houses and miners' cottages have been excavated so there is lots to see. Members not keen on the steep steps in the mill will still have plenty to see on the ground floor, plus the surrounding area and the Califat coal mine buildings.

Mon Oct 25th - talk Cinemas of Coalville - 1.50 for 2pm, Thringstone Methodist Hall. If you would like to join us for our first indoor History Group since the beginning of 2020 please let me know by Friday 22nd at the latest, so that I can organise the refreshments. We will apply similar covid arrangements to the general meeting - hand gel on arrival, optional masks, spaced out chairs, asking people to respect those who wish to keep further apart. Our traditional contribution of 3 for the talk will apply (correct money helps).

Mon Nov 29th - talk Local Churches and Chapels - 1.50 for 2pm, Thringstone Methodist Hall

Mon Dec 27th - there will be a digital film to watch at your leisure at home.

Digital History On a Monday

The suggestions for viewing during 2020 and early 2021 can be found on this page.


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

Please note that as an anti-spam measure e-mail addresses on this page are NOT links, but should be manually copied


More pictures are available in the Gallery


June 2021 -

A guided walk by Ann to discover the history behind Grace Dieu Manor and Grace Dieu Priory. Here are a few pictures of the visit.


What used to be the main entrance to Grace Dieu Manor

Ann talking to the group next to Grace Dieu Viaduct

At Grace Dieu Priory


April 2021 -

A guided walk around Snibston Colliery Park with Bis, including along the old railway line to Oliver's Crossing. Here are a few pictures of the visit.



October 2019 - Gas in Leicestershire.

Some slides from the talk

Composite view with end of terrece house, young boy in yard, and two young boys being flowerpot men in the ends of large pipes
Title slide, showing the house where Paul first lived with his family

Gas showroom on Belvoir Road
Coalville Gas office

Retort house with tall chimney, a few houses and open fields
View from the Whitwick gas holder to Green Lane


September 2019 - Breedon Hill Fort.

Information board showing  location  and view of site realted to quarry
Breedon Iron Age Hill Fort information board

Peter Liddle explaining the site to members
Breedon Iron Age Hill Fort

Panoramic view of surrounding countryside
Panoramic view from the Hill Fort

Field with sheep grazing and Breedon church behind
Field of sheep with archaeological discoveries

Composite picture of stained glass window and various carvings
Breedon church with Saxon wall carvings

Interior of church with views of a memorial, the organ and members
Interior of Breedon Church

Page content updated 18-10-21