Edwardian West Bergholt & Gainsborough House

Edwardian West Bergholt DisplayEdwardian West Bergholt & Gainsborough House

The Local History Group gave villagers an insight into Edwardian West Bergholt at the recent Village Fete.  The History Group manned a stall which included a display discussing West Bergholt during the Edwardian period.

The display, drawn from the 1901 and 1911 censuses, showed that villagers had a range of employment.  Significant numbers of men were either employed on the land or by the Daniell and Sons Brewery.  Women were often employed in some of the bigger houses to provide domestic support; others provided a laundry service or were seamstresses.

The number of visitors to the stall encouraged members who hope that many will join them for future events.

Visit to Gainsborough House

Members of the History Group travelled to Sudbury on 17th July to visit the Gainsborough House Museum. Before touring the museum, the group were given an interesting introductory talk about Thomas Gainsborough, his family and life.  The museum is housed in various rooms of the house where he grew up; it holds many examples of his work.

Members at Gainsborough House viewing paintings Members at Gainsborough House viewing paintings Members at Gainsborough House viewing paintings

Members were lucky to see other examples of Gainsborough’s paintings and sketches and other artists including John Constable in a special exhibition of pictures loaned by a benefactor.  Further examples of Constable’s work were also on display in an upper room of the museum.

The group learnt that the museum will see major refurbishment and extension the museum closes in October.  This will introduce more exhibition spaces and an onsite café.  The courtyard garden and museum shop provided an interesting end to the visit.

Future Events

Guided Walk

The group’s last visit this summer will be to join Sir Bob Russell for a guided walk around Colchester.  This will start at the Colchester Arts Centre on Wednesday 7th August.  If you want to attend, please contact the Group’s Secretary, Gill Poole, on 01206 240512 for further details.  A donation of £5 will be expected towards Bob’s fund for a statue of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” composers Jane and Anne Taylor, who I am sure we will hear about during our walk.

Evening Talks

The regular evening talks resume in September; the first 3 events are:

  • September 11th – Jim Connor will tell the story of the crash of the Cromer Express at North Station in 1913.
  • October 9th – Liz White will explain the significance of Colchester’s Avenue of Remembrance.
  • November 13th – Charlie Haylock returns for the Bernard Colbron memorial lecture talking about the history of surnames.

Reminders and further details to follow.

Bok Cover - Colchester TramwaysNew Book on the history of “Colchester Tramways”

Long term member Peter Jones recently published a book on the history of Colchester Trams.  Residents used trams extensively in the town centre for about 30 years from 1905.  Peter has used interesting town maps which clearly show the tramways throughout Colchester.  Wherever possible he has included pictures collated from various sources to illustrate trams progressing around the town.

It is very interesting to see from both the maps and pictures how much Colchester has changed!  The book is fascinating and records an important part of the history of Colchester.  Colchester Tramways by Peter Jones is published Middleton Press as one of their Tramway Classics series.