History Group- Monthly

Group Leader; David Wilkinson

Meetings are held at Walton village hall at 10am on the first Wednesday of each month
except August. The usual fee of £2 will apply and all members of Phoenix are welcome.
Refreshments will be served after the talk for 30p. There is plenty of time to enjoy
refreshments and a chat.
Wednesday 3 April. Alan Taylor will talk about Staffordshire Parks and Gardens.
Alan has worked as a conservation officer for both English Heritage and Staffordshire local
government. He is currently chairman of the Staffordshire Gardens and Parks Trust. An
important aspect of the Trust’s work is commenting to local authorities on planning proposals
affecting historic parks and gardens and Alan will discuss some of the challenging casework.
Wednesday 1 May. Steve Edwards will talk about Military and service medals and badges.
Steve is a leading member of the Phoneix Military History group and will tell us something
about the group as well as his own particular interest in badges and medals. If you have some
WWI or WWII badges or medals you would like identified or advice on caring for them,
please bring them along.
Wednesday 5 June Dave Barrett will talk about From Tunnel to Viaduct. The story of the
construction of the Trent Valley Railway and its route through the Shugborough estate.
Wednesday 3 July Carlotte Ball will be talking about Beasts of the Battlefield. It is 15 yearrs
since the Staffordshire Hoard was found. Pieces of helmets and swords have animal
ornament; sometimes recognisable, sometimes intertwinned and sometimes stylised. Are the
beasts recognisable and what do they mean?
There is no meeting in August. There will be a coach trip on 7 August to Penrhyn Castle and
Plas Newyn Parkland and Gardens organised by David Barker and regular attendees at the
history talks will heave priority in April to book. Booking forms will be available at the April

Wednesday 4 September. Ray Sturdy will be talking about The Real Dad’s Army. The true
story of the Home Guard. Was it like the TV comedy?
Wednesday 2 October. Jane Dew will be talking about The Just Sew Stories. The stories are
concerning the love of the textile town of Leek and the surrounding countryside. The talk is
about inte-conecctions between various artists, designers, industrialists and authors involved
in the textile industry. Objects will be handed around.
Wednesday 6 November. Nick Seager will talk about Daniel Defoe and the Politics of Queen
Anne’s England. An account of Defoe’s political writings and espionage work in the reign of
Queen Anne. It deals with religious toleration, the Anglo-Scottish Union, Jacobitism and the
War of the Spanish Succesion. Was Defoe unprincipled and mercenery?
Wednesday 4 December. Brian Morris will give a presentation on County Life in Victoria’s
reign. A Magic Lantern Show. County Life as it really was with farming and other
occupations. Also village life and the church and its influence.

Many of our members enjoyed an outing to the charming town of Uppingham and Rockingham Castle, on Wednesday August 1st 2018.


Many thanks to Jim Bergin for the photographs in the following slideshow.






Broughton Castle and Banbury, August 2015

The History Group outings are always popular and the visit to Broughton Castle, Banbury, Oxon.  was no exception.

Following a lunch stop at Banbury, the group enjoyed a tour of Broughton Castle, a moated and fortified manor house which was built in 1306.

Many thanks to Janet and David Palmer for organising the outing and to Jim Bergin for the following  photographs.

Please click on each photograph to enlarge

History outing to Arley Hall & Gardens Wednesday 6th August 2014


Many thanks to Janet Palmer for organising an outing to Arley Hall & Gardens.
We enjoyed the delightful gardens in the sunshine, an informative tour of Arley Hall, a visit to the chapel and a delicious lunch in the Tudor Barn Restaurant.


For folks who were unable to join us on the trip, check out the website:


Disney Channel to make first UK production and its chosen Arley as its location.


Evermoor, about an American teen who is uprooted from her city home in the US for a new start in England, will be filmed at Arley Hall. It will be produced by Liverpool-based Lime Pictures, the company behind Hollyoaks and The Only Way is Essex. Due to air this autumn, it will be the first UK production to be shown on the Disney Channel.


Click on photos to enlarge.

 DSCF7340DSCF7341DSCF7347Ruth and Betty relaxing in the sunshine


Rose Gwilt

DSCF7348DSCF7353DSCF7336DSCF7337 Jenny Barrett and friends enjoyed lunch in the Tudor Barn RestaurantDSCF7355DSCF7350DSCF7349DSCF7356

St. Mary’s chapelDSCF7357 Continue reading History outing to Arley Hall & Gardens Wednesday 6th August 2014