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.


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.

The Old Hall, North Collingham

20th September 2017

Nigel Priestley, Deputy Chair of CDLHS, gave members and visitors an entertaining and enlightening talk on one of Collingham’s oldest buildings and some of the people who have lived there over the centuries. Although there are few records of its origins it is possible that it was the Manor House for North Collingham. Nigel hoped we may be able to determine the age of the existing building by dating of timbers with the assistance of current owner Mark Woods. Mark also told the audience of his research on the building and showed some small items that he had found buried in the garden of The Old Hall.

Nigel then told us some interesting anecdotes of previous owners from the 17th Century to more recent times. The most recent of these awakened memories for many listening members and a lively discussion followed during question time.


‘Fantastic’ Talk Given on Crimean War

22nd September 2016

Pat Smedley, Chair of CDLHS, delivered an outstanding lecture on ‘Balaclava, Two Collingham  Kinsmen Killed’ to a rapt audience in the Memorial Hall on September 21st. Starting with the ornate and much-visited headstone in All Saints’ Church, Pat traced the backgrounds of the three men to whom the headstone is dedicated and led us deftly through the history of the Crimean War and the ill-judged 1854 Charge of the Light Brigade.


The headstone dedicated to William Bacon of the 17th Lancers (killed) George Broome (killed) and John Bacon who survived. The epitaph is completed by a verse from Tennyson’s famous poem, ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’

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Books in the Castle

July 10th 2016

King John debate : Professor Stephen Church and Dr Marc Morris

As part of the Newark Literary Festival Pat went along to the debate on King John between Professor Stephen Church and Dr Marc Morris.

Both these historians have published recent, highly acclaimed lives of King John so it promised to be an interesting debate. Unfortunately Professor Church was held up, but when he did arrive, the two academics shared their thoughts on the character of this King. It was an interesting session and the two shared many points of agreement. There is no question that both considered King John was a bad monarch, a King whose reign was a decided failure and for whom revisionist history theories cannot rehabilitate.


Professor Stephen Church

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CDLHS Visit to Holocaust Memorial Centre, Laxton

7th July 2016

A group of CDLHS members visited the Holocaust Memorial Centre in 7th July this year and enjoyed a memorable and worthwhile afternoon.

Memorial Garden, Holocaust Centre

Memorial Garden, Holocaust Centre

Our visit started with a talk from Simon Winston who shared with us his escape, with his family, from the Holocaust all those years ago.  It was very moving to hear this account and to talk to Simon afterwards.

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