24th Jul 2017 at 7.30pm - Margaret Hedley - Nineteenth Century Pit Women of Durham.
25th Sep 2017 at 7.30pm - John Banham - Behind the Lines: A Great War Nurse and the Fight for Survival. The Society has recently decided to focus, through the creation of a documentary film, on a little known part of Spennymoor’s heritage; namely the contribution made by some of its residents to medical services during the Great War. Prominent among these was Sister Kate Maxey who served in France from November 1914 to March 1918, when she was severely wounded in a German air raid. Earlier this year Lonely Tower Film & Media expressed interest in Sister Maxey’s story as highlighted on the Durham at War website and is now working with the Society to apply for finance to the Heritage Lottery Fund.
We hope to hear whether or not the application has been successful by September, but, whatever the outcome, a talk has been arranged as part of our regular programme. As well as Sister Maxey’s story we will feature two coalminers, both of whom won the Military Medal serving in the Royal Army Medical Corps, and a Maths teacher who joined the Friends Ambulance Unit instead of being a combatant.
If we get the funding, the film will use such individual stories to explain the complex infrastructure created during the War to make medical services for soldiers work. It will also highlight the ‘then and now’ aspect by comparing how medical services and the various roles highlighted have changed in the last 100 years.
Talks are normally held at 7:30pm on the fourth Monday of each month at St. David's Church Hall, Tudhoe, DL16 6LL. Meetings are open to non-members at a charge of £2.00. See our Full Programme for 2017.
15th July 2017 - Yesterday Belongs to You at Beamish Museum - A return of this popular event organised by County Durham Forum for History and Heritage.
Heritage Open Days 7-10th September: Spennymoor Town Hall will be open from 10am to 4pm each day. For details of more properties see the Heritage Open Days website.
The Cornish exhibition, including his studio, has recently opened at the Bob Abley Gallery at Spennymoor Town Hall. Beamish Museum are currently building a copy of his house and studio in the new 1950s section of the museum. To see more details of his exhibitions and examples of his work go to the Official Norman Cornish website.
Spennymoor Probus Club has an interesting range of talks for retired professional gentlemen.
Events at Durham Cathedral.
Events at North East Labour History Society which has its 50th Jubilee this year.
Full Members - £12.00
Concessions - £10.00
(retired, students and unwaged)
See our Membership page for details of how to join or contact the Society.
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The Society was formed in 1988 and its aims are to organise an annual programme of talks and outings and attend events promoting local history.
Situated on the south side of the Wear Valley, midway between the ancient settlements of Bishop Auckland and Durham, Spennymoor only came into existence during the mid 19C. Previously, eight villages, all now satellites of this small market town, surrounded the open common known as the Spenny Moor. Most of these, including Tudhoe, already existed when the Boldon Book, the North East’s equivalent to the earlier Domesday Book, was compiled in 1183.
650 years later, exploitation of County Durham's mineral wealth, principally its huge reserves of coal, began to help satisfy the needs of Britain's industrial revolution. This resulted in the creation or expansion of many towns and villages in the eastern half of the County. Spennymoor is one such example of this change.
By 1840, coal pits were being sunk around the Moor, soon accompanied by houses to accommodate the ever growing number of miners. An iron and steel works quickly followed, established here to exploit the large quantities of coal now being produced around the expanding settlement. While never completely absorbing any of the villages, it is now physically linked to Tudhoe.
By the turn of the 20th Century coal and steel had long given way to service and manufacturing industries while the expanded town now also functioned more widely as a dormitory to the large coastal conurbations set around the mouths of the Tyne, Wear and Tees.
Research into the history and people of Tudhoe and Spennymoor.
Photo Archive - over 1,000 photographs of Tudhoe, Spennymoor and surrounding areas.
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