Minutes of History Group


Minutes of meeting held on June 20th 2017:

Present: Phil Hunt, June Graham, David & Margaret Taylor, Sue & Andrew Watson, Margaret Stead. Apologies: Jon Smith, Sheila Wappat, Jane Hackworth-Young, Linda Sherwood. Ann Orton.

Finance: Income £96.50, expenditure £49.50. Bank deposit c. £670.

Brignall Dig: Looking at John Hay’s report, we speculated why the recent excavation trenches were at the west end of the site; also, why the historic population of the village was so much larger than now, and what had sustained it at that size. Sue Watson offered a site visit to Brignall, (possibly with a farmhouse tea). It was agreed to look at having an October weekend date.

Binchester Visit: July 10th was agreed as a date.

Phil Hunt, Chair

Minutes of the history group meeting held in Barningham village hall on Tuesday March 21st 2017:

Present: Jon Smith, Margaret Stead, Andrew & Sue Watson, Phil Hunt, John Hay, Neil Turner, Mr & Mrs Taylor. Apologies: Anne Orton, Jane Hackworth-Young, Doug Anderson, June Graham, Linda Sherwood.

Correspondence: Jon Smith had received two calls from people who remembered the machinegun that disappeared from the Rectory at Hutton Magna (see Archive 54). One claim was that the vicar gave it to the Home Guard at the beginning of WW2 and the second was that the Headmaster of Barnard Castle School passed it to the Home Guard in Middleton.

Finances: Income from subscriptions had boosted the bank balance to £636. Almost all subscribers from outside the area had paid but we were missing at least 15 of our regular local contributors this year. Almost all the funds go to the production of the Archive and the meeting agreed it would be a pity to see this jeopardised.

Transcriptions: Linda Sherwood had finished the translation of the 1841 tithe map information relating to Newsham and Jon had produced Short Butts and Sandy Bottom, a sister publication to Jam Letch and Jingle Potts, the history of Barningham fields. Jon took us through tthe tithe map, which is now digitised and in the book. See page 5.

Visits: Phil Hunt discussed Auckland Castle and Binchester Roman Fort as potential visits. June and July were pencilled in. It was proposed to have an informal catch-up meeting at the Milbank Arms on May 2nd at 7 pm to see what was being finalised.

Next meeting: Tuesday June 20th at 6 pm.

Any other business: Historic England had invited people who have researched their listed property or other historic places in their area to share what has been learned and ‘Enrich the List’ by adding comments, listing modifications, history, photographs etc.

John Hay presented the Barningham telephone box and the Milbank Arms and both were reviewed. It was agreed that additions of photographs of the phone bioxand modification of the listing and a range of photographs of the pub would enrich the entries. Online recommend sites to visit are Historic England.org.uk/etl and to see the existing listings HistoricEngland.org.uk/list.

John said that with the wealth of data the group had accumulated over the past nine years, especially the house studies, the group should be able to enrich the listings and he suggested beginning with any grade 1 or grade 2 properties in our area. To make the modifications you have to register and this can be done online. This initiative started in 2016 and is relevant to all of the UK.

Finds: Andrew and Sue Watson tabled a large mug of plough finds for members to examine. They included a range of clay pipe bowls, Tudor through Georgian, musket balls, an engraved spinning weight, shells, ammonites and coins.

A flat heavy disc about the size of an old halfpenny was discussed. John Hay believed it to be a medieval token given to farm labourers instead of coins. His daughter Abigail had found a similar item with a picture of a broken anchor at her last dig .

John Hay, Acting Secretary



Minutes of the Meeting held on Tuesday November 29th 2016 at 6pm.

Present: Phil Hunt, John Hay, June Graham, John Prytherick, Neil Turner, Margaret Stead, Doug Anderson, Ann Orton, Andrew and Sue Watson.

Apologies: Jane Hackworth-Young, Sheila Wappett.

Minutes of the meeting on April 19th 2016 were agreed.

Matters arising: The annual social event would be held at the Milbank Arms on Sunday January 8, starting at 12.30pm. At the AGM Ann had been asked to look into the grants given by the Lottery Heritage Fund as there had been a query about the availability of the group’s archive. It was agreed that June would liaise with Jon to get some idea of the size of the records he has and what form they take: paper, digital, etc. Grants were available from £3,000 to £10,000.

Finance: Income £127, expenditure £153 (£118 Archive printing and postage, £20 Archive Trophy prize, £15 Durham History and Heritage Forum).

Publications: Archive 53 had been distributed.

Transcriptions: Ann had completed the Reading Room Minute Book and was just going to do a final check before sending it to Jon.

WW1 & 2: John would shortly be sending his information to the Bowes Museum.

Next meeting: Tuesday March 21th 2017 at 6pm

Any other business: We had been approached by Auckland Castle re the possibility of someone coming to talk to us. It was agreed that we would prefer to visit the Castle and have a talk there. Phil will follow this up.

Display: Following the meeting Sue and Andrew Watson kindly shared with us memorabilia of Andrew’s grandfather’s war-time service. His great-grandfather had worked as an ostler for the Tiffany family in New York but when he died his mother returned to England with him. He joined the Suffolk Yeomanry and served in the trenches in Palestine. In 1917 he was a member of a firing squad who shot a Turkish spy. They drew lots for his clothes and he got one of his shoes. This was one of the items that we passed around, it seemed a bit ghoulish! There were also lots of badges, buttons, coins and photos as well as papers showing his pay (11d a day) and his will.

Knights: John Hay then spoke to us about the knights from our area and the rules about what clothes people were allowed to wear, all related to income. He also gave us an insight into the money that a knight was expected to spend on his armour and weapons, a very costly business. Even the lowest serfs were expected to have a rudimentary weapon available if called upon to fight.

Phil thanked Sue, Andrew and John for a most enjoyable evening.

ANN ORTON, Secretary

Minutes of the AGM held on Tuesday September 20th 2016 at 7.30 at the Milbank Arms

Present:   Margaret Stead (Treasurer), Ann Orton (Secretary),  Phi l Hunt(Chairman),  Jane Hackworth-Young,  John Hay (Vice-chairman),  Jon Smith, Linda Sherwood, Cate Collingwood, June Graham.
Apologies: Sheila Wappett, Doug Anderson,  Sheila Catton.
Minutes of the meeting on October 13th 2015 were approved.
Chairman’s report:  Phil said that last year was our quietist with our last speaker being Jan Deadman who told us about various farm buildings in and around Barningham.  Several members had provided material for the Archive covering subjects such as mediaeval deeds, Observer Corps posts, the WI,  DI Snowden’s last case and Inspector Robson’s death by horse.
We had a very stimulating tour of Reeth and the Swaledale museum guided by Dr Helen Cilfford.  She kindly agreed to judge the Archive award which was won by Linda Sherwood for her  exploration of links between Gayles and Sydney.  We sadly lost a keen member with the death of Sir Anthony Milbank and also that of Percival Turnbull who spoke  in the village hall last winter.  They will both be missed.  He thanked John Hay for his usual high standard of exhibition in the Green Room Gallery.    In conclusion he said that we need to consider what mix of activities etc. is best going to continue our interest in local history.
Treasurer’s report: Income for the year was £752.50 and expenditure £883.28.  The current balance is £331.75.  Jon had published “A Shadow of Doubt” for Gainford history group who had donated £100.
Election of officers: Chairman: Phil Hunt, Vice-Chairman: John Hay, Treasurer: Margaret Stead, Secretary: Ann Orton.
Any other business:  Trevor Brooks, editor of the Teesdale Mercury, wanted to know how available our information is.  It was agreed to put this on the Agenda for the next meeting.  Ann will meanwhile investigate the possibility of a lottery grant to help set up a local archive.
There was a discussion about speakers for future meetings with several suggestions being made.  A visit to Kiplin Hall was also suggested.
A New Year celebration was set for January 8th at the Milbank Arms.

Next meeting Tuesday November 29th at 6pm in the village hall.

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