28 April 2018.  Resting in Peace – launch of the book and website.

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Next History Live meeting April 4th

Stories in Stone, a History of Mining in the Peak District with Byron Machin

The next History Live meeting will be held on Wednesday April 4th at 7.30 in Hollinsclough Chapel Hall.  We are really pleased to have local author and video maker Byron Machin as the speaker.

Over the last decade Byron has explored and photographed over 100 of the still accessible mines in the Peak District. In his talk he will trace back the history of mining in the Peaks for over 4000 years – from coal to copper and lead to Blue John – and show us some of the area’s great underground wonders.

Byron was born in the Staffordshire Moorlands and from a young age has had a passion for all aspects of its history. He went on to study environmental geography at university and for a decade was a high school geography teacher in Cheshire. Now freelance, Byron is spending a lot of time writing, filming and lecturing along with conducting botanical research and surveying for conservation organisations. He has written over a dozen books and created four documentary series.

Don’t forget to come along early – doors open at 6.45 – and enjoy some refreshments, including our lovely home made cakes.  We are always on the lookout for new bakers to join the rota, and will reimburse for ingredients at £4 a cake.  Contact Elspeth at or me if you would like to join in.

Two forthcoming History Live meetings!!

As well as our normal monthly meeting on March 7th we have a special daytime event on Wednesday 14th March at 1.30 in Hollinsclough Chapel Hall so we hope you will be able to come along to one or the other – or both!

Staffordshire and the coming of the Tudors in 1485

The next History Live meeting will be on Wednesday March 7th at 7.30 in Hollinsclough Chapel Hall – doors open at 6.45 so come along early to get a good seat and enjoy a hot drink and home made cakes!

Steve Booth’s fully illustrated talk looks at events leading up to the 1485 Tudor rebellion against King Richard III and the epic march of Henry Tudor from Wales, through Shropshire and Staffordshire and on to Bosworth Field where, of course, Henry proved to be victorious. It concentrates very much on events in Staffordshire and attempts to show the pivotal role that these played in Henry Tudor’s eventual success.


We are looking for more volunteers to join the baking rota for our meetings – are you able to help?  If so, please contact Elspeth  at (or me, contact details below).  We pay an  allowance of £4 per cake which we hope will reimburse the cake maker for the ingredients.

Let me know if you would like any further information.


01298 84624 /


History, Heritage and the South West Peak

The special meeting due to be held on  Wednesday Feb 28  will now take place on Wednesday March 14th when we will welcome representatives from the South West Peak Landscape Partnership.

The South West Peak Landscape Partnership Scheme is all about shaping a better future for our communities, landscape, wildlife and heritage. To do this we need to care about what has gone before. Come and hear about four of our projects: Engaging Communities, Glorious Grasslands, Barns and Buildings and Small Heritage Adoption and see how you can become involved.

This daytime meeting will start at 2pm but doors open at 1.30 for refreshments, including our famous home made cakes! This is a completely free event.

Hollinsclough Chapel Hall, (SK17 0RH for satnavs) Wednesday, 14th March 1.30 for 2.

For more information contact Janet on 01298 84624 or Catherine on 01629 816 279


Next History Live meeting Feb 7th : Scribbles, Scorch Marks and Scribed Symbols

The next History Live meeting will be on Wednesday 7th February  at 7.30pm in Hollinsclough Chapel Hall, (SK17 0RH for satnavs). Doors will be open from 6.45 so do come along early to get a good seat and enjoy a hot drink and our home made cakes.

We start the New Year with an unusual and interesting talk from Andy Bentham which he has called: Scribbles, Scorch Marks and Scribed Symbols.  Andy says that having read about marks in older buildings that are supposed to avert evil and promote good fortune, he was intrigued enough to see if he could find anything similar locally. His talk aims to show some of the interesting graffiti, marks and symbols he found when getting close to the fabric of buildings in and around the Peak District.

Everyone is very welcome to come along to enjoy the evening, admission is £3 for non-members and £2 for members, and includes refreshments.  I will fly you all an email if the weather forces us to cancel the meeting on the day.

We are looking for another volunteer to bake a cake for the meeting – are you able to help?  If so please contact Elspeth  at We pay an  allowance of £4 per cake which we hope will reimburse the cake maker for the ingredients.

Christmas at Chatsworth

Hollinsclough Chapel Hall, Wednesday 6h December 2017 at 7.30pm (doors open 6.45)

Chatsworth’s retired head housekeeper, Christine Robinson, will give a talk about how Chatsworth celebrated Christmas in Edwardian times, the long-standing tradition of the Estate children’s Christmas Tree Party, and details of how the House has been dressed for Christmas since 2001 when the more recent Christmas opening began. Christine was a key member of the Christmas team, and her talk is illustrated with colour sides and other items of interest to enhance her story.
Christine began working full-time at Chatsworth in 1977 following her graduation from Newcastle-upon-Tyne University and retired as Head Housekeeper in 2015 after 38 years’ service.

Everyone is very welcome to come along and help us celebrate with our mince pies and crackers. There will also be a raffle in aid of Air Ambulance with some great prizes.  We would like to thank everyone who has donated prizes including local businesses such as High Peak Bookstore, The Royal Oak, Hurdlow, Longnor Village Stores and Longnor Craft Centre.

For more information please contact Janet on 01298 84624 or or our website:

The Cheshire Gentry and Islam in the late 16th century: new discoveries at Adlington Hall

Our next History Live meeting will be on Wednesday November 1st at 7.30 in Hollinsclough Chapel Hall. (SK17 0RH for satnavs).  Doors will be open from 6.45 so do come along early to get the best seats and relax with  a coffee and cake.

This month we welcome Dr Simon Harris as speaker.  His talk is entitled ‘The Cheshire Gentry and Islam in the late 16th century: new discoveries at Adlington Hall’. Simon is Hon. Research Fellow at Keele University and has recently worked on the Peeling Back the Layers project at Whitle. He is currently working on the Legh of Adlington archive and for the Société Jersiaise.

His talk will examine the importance of recent conservation work and discoveries at Adlington Hall. The work on wall paintings shed‎s new light on the interest of the Tudor and Jacobean gentry in the Islamic world.

Simon is a great supporter of History Live and multi-talented – you might have been lucky enough to have enjoyed a sample of his baking skills at the last meeting – so please do come along and join us.

After last year’s great success, we will again be holding a raffle in aid of the Air Ambulance and tickets will be on sale at the Nov and Dec meetings.

If you would like to join the rota for making or serving refreshments, then please let Elspeth know.

Watermills on the River Dove and its tributaries

The next History Live meeting will be held on Wednesday October 4th at 7.30 in Hollinsclough Chapel Hall (SK17 0RH for satnavs). Doors open at 6.45 so come along early if you can!

This month’s presentation is entitled ‘Watermills on the River Dove and its tributaries‘ and Tony Bonson, Molinologist and Author, will be telling us about the history of watermills in our area. Local industries such as textiles and mining relied completely on waterpower as of course did corn mills, and flint was ground for use in the potteries. Surprisingly, waterpower was still used commercially until the 1960s. The location of some of these mills has become lost but Tony will describe recent research which has unearthed more about mills such as the ones at Longnor and Frith.

A reminder that admission is £3 for non-members or £2 for members and membership costs just £6 a year, (the year starts in September). Refreshments, including our delicious home made cakes, are included in the price.

We are looking for bakers who can make a cake for the Nov and Dec meetings, please contact us if you can help with this – we reimburse costs (£4 per cake), and we also need volunteers to help serve refreshments.  However even if your only skill is cake-eating you will definitely be very welcome and we look forward to seeing you all at the meeting.

Help with refreshments!

It would be helpful to know if any of you are able to help with either baking cakes or helping to serve refreshments, particularly for the next speaker on October 4th as I will be away on  holiday.  Could you let Janet know by Wednesday 27th September  please. (Click here).  The committee has agreed an  allowance of £4 per cake which we hope will reimburse the cake maker for the ingredients and we usually need  3-4 cakes or their equivalent for each session .

We are still looking for bakers for the Nov and Dec meetings so please help if you can!

“As the Bishop said to the Nun”

The History Live 2017/18 season will kick off on September 6th with a talk by Nigel Coulton, who describes himself as a Latinist and palaeographer!  Sounds intriguing!

Nigel will relate the tales of Roger Northburgh, Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield in the fourteenth century,  who paid many official visits to nunneries in his diocese and wrote reports on them – some of them not at all complimentary! What did he find and what remedies did he impose? You’ll have to come along if you’d like to find out!

The meeting starts at 7.30 but doors open at 6.45. It would help us all if you could arrive as early as possible, especially if you would like to become a member – this will give me time to distribute membership cards which include the programme for the coming season. Even better –  if you can let me know before the meeting that you would like to join I will have your cards ready and waiting for you. You can then relax and catch up with friends over a coffee and wonderful home made cake.

Everyone is very welcome. A reminder that membership is just £6 a year with £2 entry per meeting. Non members pay £3 per meeting and refreshments are included.


Brian Rich has asked me to pass on details of a company which has good offers on OS maps and which he highly recommends.  dash4it gives a 35% discount on all maps (occasionally 40%) and free postage.

Victoria Rowe

Victoria was a leading light and former Chair of History Live but died at the age of 68 in June 2017.  Several members attended her funeral and thought that the eulogy was very interesting. It was felt that other members might like to read it and to know a little more about Victoria. Please click below to read the full text.

Victoria K. Rowe

The Dash poem mentioned in the eulogy can be found here: The DASH poem

2017 History Live AGM

The 2017 History Live AGM was held on Wednesday 2nd August.  Minutes can be found by clicking below.

AGM Minutes 2nd August 2017