PROGRAMME OF VISITS 2020
Wednesday 18 March - Miss Willmott’s garden, Great Warley. Miss Willmott was an outstanding gardener, the first woman invited to serve on an RHS committee.
Saturday 25 April - Annual Morant Lecture at Chelmsford Museum. Tim Wander will deliver a lecture to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Marconi’s first radio transmission.
Friday 22 May - Warner’s Textile Archive, Braintree. A pre-booked tour of the archive with an opportunity to examine the archive store which is England’s second largest collection of flat textiles.
Saturday 27 June - Annual General Meeting at University of Essex library and a visit of the ESAH Archive.
Wednesday 15 July - Colchester Museum. Dr Paul Sealey will pick his favourite exhibits in the museum and explain their provenance and significance.
Saturday 22 August - Epping Ongar Railway. A talk on the history of the railway and a tour of the engine sheds followed by a trip on a steam locomotive between North Weald and Ongar.
Sunday 20 September - Walking tour of Colchester’s Victorian red-light district.
Sunday 11 October - Annual Morant Lunch. This event to celebrate the county’s famous archivist will be held at Colchester’s Roman Circus House.
Saturday 7 November - Annual Symposium at Chelmsford. This event involves talks by three archaeologists and three historians.
Saturday 14 November - EIAG Annual meeting at Chelmsford including a talk
We begin our 2020 programme of events on Wednesday 18th March with a visit to Miss Willmott’s garden at Warley Place near Brentwood. Miss Willmott (1858-1934) was described by Gertrude Jekyll as “the greatest living woman gardener”. She served on a number of RHS committees as the only female, winning the RHS Medal of Honour in 1907, and was the first woman elected to the Linnaean Society. Her 50-acre garden in Essex drew visitors from around Europe with its 100,000 plant and tree species and its one-acre Alpine Valley. Daffodils were her passion and she had over 600 different species, which she protected from thieves, with booby traps and a revolver.
The garden is now derelict and is a nature reserve cared for by Essex Wildlife Trust. The daffodils still bloom there in spring and we hope - global warming notwithstanding – to visit the garden at the height of its wild beauty. We will take a guided tour led by a local volunteer.
Saturday 25th April 2020.
The April meeting is the annual Morant Lecture, remembering the Society’s pride in the work of the county’s first archivist, Philip Morant (1700-1770). The lecture this year is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Marconi’s first radio broadcast. Our speaker will be Tim Wander, a historian well-known for publishing on the history and career of Marconi. The lecture will be held at Chelmsford Museum which has many Marconi-related exhibits.
Friday 22nd May 2020
The Warner Textile Archive at Braintree holds England’s second largest collection of flat textiles and includes paper designs, photographs, ledgers, hand-woven silks and printed textiles to celebrate the rich industrial history of Warner & Sons, once a local firm which grew to global significance. The building in which the collection is housed is the original Grade II listed textile mill. We will enjoy a guided tour of the archive with time allowed to browse the collection.
Saturday 27th June 2020
ESAH Annual General Meeting to be held in the Special Collections room of the Albert Sloman Library at the University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester. Once the business of the meeting has been dispatched we will hear from several researchers who have enjoyed using the ESAH library collection for their research. The Society is keen to alert its members to the contents of its library which have been painstakingly collected and cared for over 170 years by a succession of honorary librarians. There are many gems in the collection which concentrates on the archaeology and history of the county of Essex. The collection is housed in purpose-built modern and comfortable accommodation at the university library.
Wednesday 15th July 2020
This is a museum tour with a difference. Rather than a tour of the fabric and history of the building and collection we are fortunate on this occasion to have engaged Dr Paul Sealey, for many years Curator of Archaeology at Colchester Museum, to talk to us about some of his favourite exhibits, ranging from the earliest cauldron from prehistoric Britain to a hoard of silver coins buried for safekeeping by the Jewish community of medieval Colchester.
Saturday 22 August 2020
The Epping Ongar Railway is a heritage railway running from Loughton via Epping to Ongar. Not long ago it was the final section of London Underground’s Central line; now it is run by a small number of paid staff and a team of volunteers. We will enjoy a tour which includes a talk on the history of the railway and a tour of the engine sheds followed by a trip on a steam locomotive between North Weald and Ongar.
Sunday 20 September 2020
This event is a walking tour of a small area of Colchester led by Dr Jane Pearson whose book (co-researched with Maria Rayner) Prostitution in Victorian Colchester was published in 2018. She will walk the group from the riverside at Castle Park, where a number of the town’s prostitutes ended their lives, up Maidenburgh Street where there were a number of Victorian brothels and into High Street and Head Street where prostitutes went to spend their earnings, to shoplift and to pick pockets.
Sunday 11 October 2020
The Annual Morant lunch is a second opportunity to honour Philip Morant’s contribution to the county’s history. It will be held at Colchester’s Roman Circus House and entertainment will be provided by Dee Mardi who will sing, among other items, the song that Dame Nellie Melba provided for Marconi’s first radio transmission 100 years ago.
Saturday 7th November 2020
The annual Archaeological and Historical Symposium (formerly run by Essex Congress, but now by ESAH) will be held at the United Reformed Church, Chelmsford. Three archaeologists and three local historians are invited to present short papers based on their current research.
Saturday 7 November 2020
EIAG Annual meeting at Chelmsford Museum.
Further details of all events and availability are available from our Honorary Secretary, Howard Brooks. All events to be booked via the Excursion Secretary at least 10 days prior to the event. Please enclose a stamped addressed envelope for each event, for maps and other instructions if you do not want these by email. Cheques should be made payable to the Essex Society for Archaeology and History. If there are any transport issues in attending these events, please contact the Secretary.
The visits on the Society's programme are open to members and associate members only. The Society can accept no liability for loss or injury sustained by members attending any of its programmed events. Members are asked to take care when visiting old buildings or sites and to alert others to any obvious risks. Please respect the privacy of those who invite us into their homes.