Whitwick U3A logo

Whitwick & District U3A

Registered Charity No. 1181238

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Wednesday, 8 Apr 2020

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.

Please note that following Government advice re Covid 19, physical group meetings are currently suspended.


Digital History at 3pm Every Monday

So sit down in front of your laptops, with your glass of blackcurrant and slice of cake at 3 pm on Monday 6th April (it's the start of the new tax year, see why here) to join me for another digital history session.

Starter 1932 Film of Coalville 10 minutes (Silent film so don't adjust the volume!)
We are very fortunate to have Keith Pare, the Century Theatre's film guru, as a member of the group. He has suggested this film and provided the following introduction: My good friend, ex-Rex Cinema projectionist John Knight of Swannington, saved this original film from the skip after the Rex had played its final performance. John decided to send the film to Wigston Records office but he first had a couple of jerky copies made on DVD. I've shown it at Century Cinema and at my own presentations. It is an amazing slice of social history and this would have been a tremendous loss but for John's quick thinking. The film has probably been pinpointed as being shot in 1932 by the sight of a Wallace Beery film poster that's clearly seen in the film. Those of you who are familiar with our area will easily pick out Forest Road bridge (as steam train goes by) and I think the sports field was 'behind' Highfield Street and Ashburton Road. In those days, the local cinema manager (in this case Charles K Deeming) would hire a travelling film company to film the locals who would then be enticed to come to the cinema the following week to see themselves (and the town event) onscreen.

Main Event - Royal Family

Buckingham Palace 9 minutes

Balmoral Castle 12 minutes and 6 minutes


At 3pm Monday 30/3/20, please join me from the luxurious comfort of your homes to watch three short Coalville related videos on YouTube:

An important part of the monthly meeting is having a chat with fellow members at both the start and end. This can also be replicated - who do you usually sit next to (husband or wife excluded)? After watching the videos and consuming your cake get in touch with one or more of your fellow members to discuss it or catch up generally. There are so many options these days - house phone, mobile phone, email, text, etc.


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



Mon Jan 27th - Food of my youth
Our annual bring and share lunch - Members are invited to share their food memories of their youth, from school dinners and weekly family fare to special events. Speaking is optional, just come for the friendship if you prefer. Members are asked to bring something for the bring and share lunch. 11.45am for 12 noon, Thringstone Methodist Hall.

Mon Feb 24th - Thringstone Names
- Nita Pearson from Friends of Thringstone will be talking to us about the origin of Thringstone road and place names. Thringstone Methodist Church Hall, 1.45 for 2pm. £3

Mon Mar 30th - Heritage Films
Keith Pare will be showing some of his heritage films. As visitors to the Century Theatre's film nights know, Keith has access to a fabulous range of heritage films. Thringstone Methodist Church Hall, 1.45 for 2pm. £3

Mon Apr 27th - Charnwood Forest Railway
We will visit Whitwick Historical Group for a talk about the former Charnwood Forest Railway which linked Coalville and Loughborough and was used for 80 years. Meet at Whitwick Station, North Street (LE67 5HA), the only remaining building on the line, 1.45 for 2pm. £3


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

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


Page content updated 3-4-20
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