‘The Irregular’

The aim of the journal is to showcase the writings of local historians about our locality, our people and places.

The first issue was published in November 2017. It is called ‘The Irregular’ as we are not committing ourselves to a firm publication programme. The other reason is that it evokes the concept of ‘irregular troops’ which is how most of the men in our district would have been involved in combat, either as part of the Danish and Anglo-Saxon fryd (freemen mobilised to defend their shire) or as later volunteers.

That being said we aim to produce at least one issue per year. There is a nominal deadline of 31st May each year but please let us have your ‘articles’ whenever they are ready. If you have not written anything before let us know and we can help you!


  • You do not have to be a member to submit an article.
  • We are looking for articles or comments of any length up to 7,000 words. We will also consider pictures, poems, letters or commentary – no matter how short.
  • Please see our notes for contributors.

We have been given a small grant by the County Council to contribute towards the cost of producing a ‘Special Edition’ on World War One during 2018. There are various projects and articles under way but if you would like to join in or contribute an article please contact the editors, Jeremy Lodge or Anne Speed, via our Contact Us page, or by post via the Jubilee Room.

The Irregular will initially be available through the Trustees, the Village Archive (Jubilee Room, Swinderby Road) and at our meetings and talks. It can also be purchased in Collingham from Gascoignes Post Office (103 High Street).

Irregular 1

The first edition of the Society’s Journal, ‘The Irregular’, was launched at our meeting on November 8th 2017.

This edition opens with an article written by Keith Morgan about the Royal Oak and its various owners. Keith highlights the long and illustrious history of this building as a Public House, at a time when it appears to be slowly falling into dereliction after it was purchased by the Co-Op almost a year ago.

Anne Speed then explores the 130 year history and some of the teachers at the Old School in South Collingham. The former School building is hidden away almost totally out of sight and is now a private residence. The last pupils left the School in 1962 when the present John Blow Primary School was opened.

The Society’s Archaeology lead, Phil Docherty recounts the process and what was found when a ‘Test Pit’ was recently dug in a garden off High Street in South Collingham. Artefacts found reveal that the site had been occupied continuously for at least the last 1200 years. Evidence was also found of pre-medieval post holes, which suggest that the site was occupied much earlier.

Pat Smedley explores the story behind the Crimean War gravestone in All Saints churchyard, North Collingham. She relates the likely experiences of two Collingham men and their brother-in-law in the Crimea. They were all members of the 17th Lancers and were in the vanguard of the Charge of the Light Brigade; only one of the three survived.

Jeremy Lodge recounts a conversation with a Collingham resident about her experiences of fighting in the bush against Robert Mugabe and other insurgents during the Rhodesian War, or as it is now known, the Zimbabwe War of Independence.

Christine Hasman then relates the tale of John Tom Carter, who was born and died in Collingham. In between he had a ‘shockingly turbulent’ time as a Policeman in Otley when he murdered three members of his family.

David Barker tempts us with a taster of the mystery of Elton Hall in North Collingham. You haven’t heard of it? Neither had we! So watch this space and future issues.

Jeremy returns with the story of Richard Domenichetti, whose father incidentally was one of the key people in the establishment of the Old School that Anne wrote about earlier. Richard was an Army Surgeon who witnessed some of the horrors of the Indian Mutiny.

The Journal ends with a poem on the history of South Scarle, by local actress and poet, Tina Paris of that village.

The Journal is on general sale priced at £6. It can be purchased in Collingham from Gascoignes Post Office (103 High Street). It will also be on sale at the Society’s meetings and in the Jubilee Room. When bought directly from the Society at the Jubilee Room or at our meetings, at these times only, members can claim a £1 discount on production of a current membership card. At 140 pages in A5 format we hope that you will agree that it is good value and worthy of a place on your bookshelf.

Jeremy Lodge & Anne Speed (Editors)