Plants, Processions and Ran Tan Tan

6th February 2019

Presented by Jeremy Lodge

This was the intriguing title of Jeremy’s talk which followed the Society’s AGM. He opened with a reminder of just how many traditions and rural events had disappeared over the last 60 years or so. Some of these could be seen in the way village people ‘sorted out their own’. In other words, dispensing justice to local miscreants. We all know about the humiliation of the stocks, but ‘Ran Tan Tan’? Alice Bealby, recording her memories in 1960, remembered a man being punished for abusing his wife with ‘ran-tanning’ or ‘rough music’. This was when a band of villagers assembled outside a house armed with sticks and old tin cans to make a lot of noise and would sing, for example:

‘Ran Tan Tan with an old tin pan,
This man’s been beating a good woman’.

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Armistice Dinner

17th November 2018


The Society organized a formal dinner to remember the Armistice on 17th November 2018 to bring a close to our commemorative events. Over 50 people enjoyed a very good evening and a wonderful meal of roast beef carved at each table. Everyone dressed up for the occasion and following the meal poems on the Great War were read out by Marion Collins, Helena Narracott and Nigel Priestley. Well known favourite songs from the period including ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’ and ‘Mademoiselle from Armentieres’ were sung as a finale, with Anne Speed leading on the piano. Several hundred pounds was raised for Help for Heroes from the raffle and dinner. The final sum will be announced shortly and at our AGM.

[Afterword: the amount sent to Help for Heroes was £535.]

The Tank Tour Lecture and Film Show

7th November 2018

The Land Ships of Lincoln

On the 7th of November the Society launched its programme marking the anniversary of the Armistice in 1918, with the story of Lincoln’s role in creating the first military tanks.

A record number of members and visitors came to the Memorial Hall to hear military historian Richard Pullen and filmmaker Andrew Blow recreate the story of the ‘Land ships of Lincoln’ and how  the development of these military tanks became a major factor in saving lives in the latter half of the war.

Richard Pullen became interested in the tanks because his grandfather worked at William Foster and Co. of Lincoln from 1916. Fosters (with the help of Major Walter Wilson) were inventors and manufacturers of the world’s first tanks. Andrew Blow’s interest came from the discovery of rare 1918 film of the tanks taken on the Lincoln testing ground.

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Irregular 2 & 3

7th November 2018

The second and  third editions of ‘The Irregular’ were released  together  in November 2018 as joint WW1 Armistice editions and to coincide with our 3 day Armistice Exhibition on 9th, 10th, 11th November. As with Irregular 1, we have not limited our authors to writing just about people and happenings within our local parish boundaries, but have linked our local people and area to experiences they would have been through – such as issues prompted by ‘The Defence of the Realm Act’ – which had a direct impact on their lives.

Bringing Irregular 2 & 3 to you together has been a great feat: 2 editions, 8 new writer/researchers, 11 Authors, 24 Articles, 400 pages, 60,000 words. Plus the Trail leaflet and the Exhibition brought to you by the same core team!

Thanks to the generosity of Nottinghamshire Local History Association, it has been possible to produce larger than normal editions of The Irregular.

As usual these editions are well illustrated, mainly by images from the Society’s Archives.

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The Great War Trail

5th November 2018

The Great War Trail was devised by the Society as part of the Armistice Commemorative programme over the summer of 2018. It follows a path starting and ending in the Cooperative Car Park and taking the walker on a circular tour of High Street, South Collingham (as far as the church), along Low Street up to the Grey Horse, then back along the High Street to the car park. Along the route shops, schools, buildings of importance such as the Memorial Hall, and houses of the soldiers who left the village to fight in the Great War are pointed out, and a back story given where appropriate.  Pictures are included to enrich the walk. 

The Trail was sponsored by the Heritage Lottery Fund via the Collingham Parish Council. It was delivered to every household in Collingham.

While the Village Trail is centred around the Great War, its value as a heritage resource enabling villagers to understand how the village appeared 100 years ago cannot be underestimated.

TRAIL LEAFLETS ARE AVAILABLE IN THE ARCHIVE. PLEASE CONTACT THE ARCHIVIST IF YOU NEED ONE – ALTERNATIVELY A PDF VERSION CAN BE DOWNLOADED HERE.

To Honour Our Heroes

3rd October 2018

The Society’s meeting of 3rd October was a double bill, telling two very different stories of travels to theatres of war where local soldiers lost their lives. Pat Pennington had a personal mission to follow in the footsteps of her late husband’s uncle, Private Michael Herbert Edmonds Colton who fell at Gallipoli, whilst Jerome Wright visited the graves and monuments commemorating the local men who were lost on the Western Front.

A Stretcher Bearer at the Doomed Campaign of Gallipoli

The name of Private Michael Herbert Edmonds Colton, stretcher bearer in July/August 1915 with the 1st Sherwood Rangers, can be seen on the Helles Memorial.  Pvt. Colton was 21 years old when he fell at Chocolate Hill.  He may have been particularly suited to caring for the injured due to his first- aid experience gained through his membership of the Scouting movement.

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Saxon and Norman Newark and Lincoln

8th November 2017

With his easy style Professor Philip Dixon took us on a relaxed tour of Anglo Saxon and Norman Lincoln and Newark which drew heavily on his personal experience as a leading archaeologist and expert in historic architecture over many decades. Professor Dixon’s use of superimposed maps was extremely useful in aiding our imagination to appreciate the earliest origins of Newark around the Saxon ‘Burgh’ site and later Norman castle and church. The early development of Lincoln cathedral, for whom he currently acts as an archaeological consultant, was also analysed in detail. Professor Dixon told us about a book he is currently writing on this topic which several of us will be queuing up to purchase.

The 17th Century High Street

18th October 2017

Trade and Tokens in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire

Mary Scrimshaw – Mercer
Thomas Ridge – Grocer Mercer

Ben Alsop is the curator of the Citibank Gallery in the British Museum, a fascinating room which tracks the story of ‘money’ around the world. The talk was extremely interesting, showing us many examples of coins from the 17th  century with a special focus on the East Midlands. The use of tokens during this period was also discussed. Tokens were used as units of small ‘currency’ produced by individual businesses and bearing their own special marks. Locally of course we have the use of the ‘siege coin’ produced in Newark in the Civil War as a good example of this practice.  The talk ended with two example of business tokens from Collingham at this time.

There were many questions following the talk and it was obvious how much everyone had enjoyed the presentation.