News from the Forum, Issue 4, August 2009

This is the fourth issue of the Forums newsletter. Here is an opportunity for members to post their news and promote future events. So please keep your news coming! The newsletters are now available on the Forum website, http://www.durhamweb.org.uk/historyforum

In order for us to share news and promote events to your members we would ask that you circulate the newsletters and event booking forms to your membership as soon as possible after receiving it. Members of your society may wish to attend training courses or events and any skills and knowledge picked up could then be used for the wider benefit of the society.

News from the Steering Group

In recent the weeks members of the Forum steering group have been actively involved in promoting the Forum; firstly by having a display at Beamish Museum's Heritage Cubes weekend event; secondly, by sponsoring a lecture at County Hall.

Dr Fred E. Woods, a visiting professor from Brigham Young University gave a fascinating talk on Latter Day Saints (Mormon) migrations to America. The lecture was based on his research into the Latter Day Saints in County Durham during the 19th century. A question and answer session ended a very interesting talk. Thanks go to Liz Bregazzi and the County Record Office staff for making the arrangements.

We are also very pleased to announce that John Grundy, architectural historian and broadcaster, has accepted our invitation to become president of the Forum. We hope to include news from him in future newsletters.

Over recent months members of the Steering Group have been putting the final touches to the Forum's constitution under the guidance of Julie Taylor, Principal Officer, Durham City & District CVS. The constitution will be presented at the business meeting in October.

In order for the Forum to continue to develop we need to move forward with the business side of things. Over recent months we have received donations from a number of societies which will provide us with the means to, for example, take out membership of the British Association for Local History. This membership will provide the Forum with public liability insurance.

As mentioned earlier a constitution has been written and this will need to be ratified. To do this we need to formalise under an elected committee and we would appreciate your support with this. Nomination forms and relevant information will be circulated in early September.

Membership forms for the year 2009/2010 are now available. It has been necessary to introduce a small subscription fee to cover, for example, admin and future events costs: £15.00 for groups; £5.00 for individuals; under 18's free.

Benefits of membership:

• Opportunity to promote events and activities around the county
• Regular e-newsletter
• Training opportunities
• Annual Conference
• Networking & skills sharing
• Listing on Forum website

Don't forget the two oral history training sessions planned. Details can be found in the Events section. We already have some bookings for these events so please let us know if you would like a place to avoid disappointment.

Spreading the Word

The aim of the Forum is to encourage member groups to share with others the history and heritage of their local community. One way to do this is to host an event for Forum members V it doesn't have to be a big event (but it can be if you wish!). It could be a talk on a local theme, a guided walk, history day or outing. It is up to you. The most important thing is that it would be local and allow members to share in your local history and heritage.

As we are now into the time when thoughts turn (or have already turned) to planning a programme for the forthcoming 'season' it seems appropriate to seek suggestions for the 2009/10 Forum programme.

Please get in touch if you are interested in hosting an event next year or would like more information on this. The Forum committee would support the host society in making the arrangements and with publicity for the events.

If you are unable to act as a host but are interested in attending events around the county we would appreciate suggestions on the sorts of events or activities you would be interested in. An example might be training sessions on a local history topic or visiting local historic sites with local guides.

The type of event being organised will often dictate the duration and day on which it is held. However it would help the planning process to know if weekends or weekdays were more generally favoured. We would also need to know of suitable venues in local areas.

If you are aware of new history and heritage groups in your area please let them know about the Forum. Don't forget membership is open to societies, groups and individuals in communities of the historic County.

In Search of Film Footage...

Can you help? An American filmmaker, Bill Morrison is searching the North East looking for local film footage. Suitable subject matters include Miners' Galas and other brass band parades, picnics, sports matches, dances and everyday activities like preparing and eating meals, going to school, work or church.

The footage will form part of a film that Morrison is making for BRASS: Durham International Festival 2010, accompanied by a specially created sound score by Jóhann Jóhannsson, a leading Icelandic composer who will work with regional brass players. The project is a commission by Durham County Council with international producers Forma, who specialise in curating interdisciplinary contemporary art.

Bill Morrison is an award-winning filmmaker whose films have been screened at festivals, museums and concert halls including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Sundance Film Festival, Tate Modern and the Royal Festival Hall, London. His work includes documentary, fiction and found footage collages often accompanied by live music composed by some of today's most acclaimed contemporary classical composers such as John Adams, Gavin Bryars and Steve Reich.

Footage should be submitted to the Northern Region Film and Television Archive (NRFTA), with initial inquiries to Steve McIntyre, Manager on 01642 384022 or S.McIntyre@tees.ac.uk . Depositors will be sent a DVD copy of their material. The deadline for selecting material for the film is 15 October 2009, though the NRFTA always accepts footage for its archives at any time. Contributors whose footage has been used will be acknowledged in the credits.

The 2010 Forma commission for BRASS: Durham International Festival and Durham County Council, developed in partnership with culture10, will form part of North East England's world-class programme of festivals and events during 2010.

King Coal: A Century of Coal Mining on Film

On Tuesday 8 September, the Gala Cinema will be screening a special compilation from the British Film Institute titled King Coal: A Century of Coal Mining on Film. The screening is part of a nation-wide project to be launched by the BFI in September 2009 exploring on screen the turbulent story of coal and the immense effect it has had on British life.

The King Coal programme combines some remarkable material drawn from the BFI National Archive's documentary and fiction collections V including rare films clips from the Mitchell and Kenyon collection, the GPO and National Coal Board Film Units, the BBC and campaigning videotapes made on behalf of striking miners V to create a riveting look at a century of coal. Introduced by a speaker from the BFI National Archive, the screening should be a very special event. I attach a document with full programme details: I'm pleased to say that Durham will feature in a 1962 film of the Miners' Gala.

By: Tamara Anderson, Gala Theatre

The Diversity of Durham Portrayed in Wall-Hanging

The Durham Clayport Matters Group has recently completed an Awards For All lottery funded project. This successful project produced a colourful wall-hanging depicting aspects of Durham's heritage.

Members of the public and Clayport Matters were asked what they admire or what they remember about Durham. Inspired by these suggestions, Heather Ritchie based her design on the Rose Window in Durham Cathedral and views of Durham: University students on a bridge over the River Wear; choristers from the Cathedral; miners underground; ship building; agricultural workers and sheep; St Nicholas Church Bells.

Re-cycled nylon was used for background to Fenwick Lawson's sculpture 'The Journey of St Cuthbert', and surrounding bluebells. Flowers, from magnesian limestone areas, are depicted at each corner: rock rose, scabious and orchid.

Traditional mat-making techniques of proggy and hooky and Waldobora V raised hooking and locker hooking were used. Work began on this project in September 2008 and was completed in May 2009.
Members have attended many events promoting mat-making; enquiries for further events continue to come in. Exciting and instructive workshops have been held where new talents have unfolded and new ideas incorporated into the mat making. Visits have been made to other groups and members have become aware of mat-making events around the country.

Membership of the group continues to grow and the group has been able to generate some income to help in future years. Some members travelling abroad to Australia and USA have been able to get contact details for rug groups with a view to visiting whilst on holiday. Invaluable equipment has been purchased which will benefit all members for some considerable time to come, ensuring that they have means of recording activities, disseminating information and advertising as well as aiding practical of the group.

It has been a year of hard work and considerable achievement. As well as gathering ideas, designing and executing the celebration project we have amassed a considerable dossier of records and photographs of events. These will remain as a permanent record of this memorable year.

For further information on the Clayport Matters group visit http://www.durhamguild.com or e-mail durhammatgroup@yahoo.co.uk

Events Around The County

Aycliffe Village

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

'Frosts and Fairs', a talk by Mr Lawrence Jones

To be held at the Village Hall, Aycliffe at 7.00 pm. Non-memebers £2.00 at the door.

Further information http://www.aycliffehistory.org.uk/

Brancepeth Archives & History Group

Sunday, 14 November 2009

Talk and exhibition

To be held at Brancepeth Castle. 2.30 pm.

Valerie Purton of the Tennyson Society will be giving a talk to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Tennyson's links with Brancepeth come through his aunt's marriage into the Russell family, one time owners of the castle


CDHH Forum Events

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Oral History Training session
10.00 am - 12.30 pm
To be held at The Resource Centre, Beamish Museum.

This half-day oral history training session will be led by Jo Bath. Jo is a trained oral historian and one of the Oral History Society's (OHS) North East Region net-workers. Many of you will have met her in her post at Beamish Museum

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Oral History Training session
10.00 am - 12.30 pm
To be held at The Head of Steam, Darlington Railway Museum

This session will be delivered by Sheila Forster, also an oral historian and OHS regional net worker. Sheila has been involved in the Durham Miner and Coalmining Oral History Projects over recent years. She is currently working on Durham County Council's 'Durham in Time' project.

Both sessions will give you the opportunity to gain an understanding of interviewing techniques and the confidence to have a go yourself. Part of the session will involve getting to know the equipment with a practical session of interviewing.

This event is informal and tea/coffee and biscuits will be available

Saturday, 17 October 2009

CDHH Forum Conference and Business Meeting.

10.00 am - 3.00 am
County Hall, Durham City

Programme and booking forms will be sent out in early September.

Booking is required for all three events.
E-mail: julie.hawthorn@durham.gov.uk
Tel: 0191 370 8845

Council for British Archaeology (North)

17/18 October & 7/8 November 2009

Lammerside Castle
Surveying and building recording at Lammerside Castle, Cumbria near Kirkby Stephen. This is a joint event with Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland, led by Erik Matthews. Lammerside Castle is a high status manorial site set in stunning countryside. The ruin, the medieval gatehouse, is protected as a Scheduled Ancient Monument. There are earthworks surrounding the tower and on the adjacent slopes are a series of medieval pillow mounds (flat topped rectangular mound surrounded by a shallow ditch, used to farm rabbits).

No previous experience needed as full training will be provided. Attendees do not have to attend both days.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Nautical Archaeology Day at Hartlepool Maritime Experience

The CBA North event costs £3 per adult (children free) and will be held from 1 pm till 3 pm in the Tattershall Room on the 1934 paddle steam ship The Wingfield Castle.

A talk and video/slide show will be given by Nautical Archaeology Society NE on underwater archaeology and shipwrecks. This will be followed by a talk by Teesside Archaeological Society (speaker and title to be agreed).

Attendees can benefit from free entry into the adjacent award-winning Museum of Hartlepool, which tells the story of the town from prehistoric times to the present day.

There is also discounted entry into the excellent Maritime Experience for our attendees (£4 per person on production of our event ticket - adult price is normally £7.75).

Please book by Sunday 4 October 2009

For both events please contact:

Jennifer Morrison, Secretary, CBA (North)
West Chapel, Jesmond Old Cemetery, Jesmond Road, Newcastle upon tyne, NE2 1NL

Tel: 0191 281 6117 (mon-fri)
E-mail: cbanorth@britarch.ac.uk

Cheques should be made payable to 'Council for British Archaeology, North Region'.

Crowtrees Heritage Group

Friday, 11 September 2009

Quarrington Hill Community Centre, 10.00 am - 3.00 pm

'Crowtrees Colliery Revisited' Exhibition,br>
As part of the County Durham Heritage Open Days initiative, Crowtrees Heritage Group will be hosting an exhibition based on their archaeology project which will be shown on Friday 11 September. Recent research and new findings discovered during the survey of the former colliery site will be on display.

Two guided walks, led by a senior archaeologist, will start at 11 am and 2 pm. Enjoy the local history and rediscover the landscape in what is now a Local Nature Reserve. All are welcome.
Durham County Local History Society

Venue: St Giles Church, Gilesgate, Durham
Time: 2.00 pm

Saturday, 26 September 2009

'Christopher Watson of Durham (1545-1589) and his family'
Speaker: Dr Margaret Harvey

Saturday, 14 November 2009

'Festival of the Fireside': Christmas in Victorian and Edwardian County Durham.
Speaker: Ross Hamilton

Further information from http://www.durhamweb.org.uk/dclhs

Durham Historical Association

Lecture Programme - starts at 6 pm
Venue: The Parish Centre of St Giles' Church, Gilesgate.

Free entry. Everyone welcome. Refreshments available

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

'Darwin's place in history' by Dr Malcolm Smith Tuesday, 20 October 2009

'Robert Hooke, a neglected seventeenth century genius' by Sir Arnold Wolfendale, FBA, 14th Astronomer Royal.

For further information contact: Professor Batho on 0191 370 9941 or
E-mail gordon.batho@btopenworld.com

Teesdale Record Society

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Local History Seminar - 'Teesdale and Beyond, Past and Present'
To be held at the Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle.

Lecture themes:

Teesdale's Ice Age Legacy; Changing Perceptions of South Durham in the Roman Period; The North and the East - connections and sources 1650 - 1850; Harry Clasper and the 19th Century rowing heroes of the river Tyne; Reflections on the history of colonial slavery and its North East of England connections.

Tickets and further details from Mike Hemmingway (01833 650285) or Jeff Lynn, (01833 650217)

Thorpe Thewles History Group

7.30 pm, Grindon Parish Hall, Thorpe Thewles

Friday, 18 September 2009

'Saxons, Vikings & Normans - the Medieval settlements of Teesside' An introduction by Robin Daniels of Teesside Archaeology to post Roman development and settlements in the Teesside region.

Entry by ticket - available from Linda Smith on 01740 630014 at £2.00 each. @

Tudhoe & Spennymoor Local History Society

Monday, 28 September 2009

Venue: St David's Church Hall, Tudhoe, Time: 7.30 pm

'Recipes and meals through the ages' A talk by Jennifer Gill

Entry £1.5 for visitors. Further information at http://www.picturespennymoor.co.uk/

Weardale Railway Trust

Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 September 2009

'War on the Line'

A weekend of re-enactments, military vehicle displays, dioramas, skirmishes, 1940s dance plus a lot more. To be held at Bondisle playing field, Stanhope.

Further information from: Tel. 01388 526203

Trains depart from Wolsingham station: 10.30 am, 1.00 pm, 3.30 pm
Trains depart from Stanhope station: 11.45 am, 2.15 pm, 4.30 pm

Wheatley Hill History Club

Saturday, 26 September 2009

10.00 am - 2.00 pm Working Men's Club, Wheatley Hill

Local History Day and Book Launch

Further information from:

Heritage Open Days

10-13 September 2009

Various venues around the County

Since 1994 the Heritage Open Days programme has enabled thousands of people free access to properties that are normally closed to the public or charge an entry fee. This national programme now includes a wide variety of heritage events to add to the opening up of properties, exhibitions, re-enactments, guided walks and much more.

It is an once-a-year chance to discover hidden architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities which bring to life local history and culture.

Details of events being held in County Durham during the four days can be found by visiting

Gala Cinema, Durham City

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

6.30 pm, Gala Theatre & Cinema

King Coal: A Century of coal Mining on Film

See earlier article for further information. Or contact:
Box Office: 0191 332 4041 or
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Last update: November 14, 2008.