Meetings

The Biggleswade History Society meets monthly at the Trinity Methodist Church, Shortmead Street Biggleswade, usually at 7:30pm for 8:00pm, on the first Monday of each month (except for Public Holidays when we move to the second Monday).  Speakers provide a variety of talks and presentations. During the summer months there are visits to places of interest, – guests are most welcome – which can incur a small charge.

Meetings are free of charge for members with visitors welcome to attend for a charge of £4.00 per meeting.

Historical programmes have been shown so that prospective members can see the breadth of material that we cover.

2024 Programme

8 January"The Great Fire of Biggleswade - how researching a ghost story led to new discoveries" a talk by Natalie Doig
5 February"Trench Humour in the First World War" - a talk by Stephen Barker of the Buckinghamshire Military Museum Trust
4 March"Cook's Way - from Kumfy Cabs to Cooks European " - a talk by John Hammond of the United Counties Preservation Trust, based on his book of the same name
8 AprilA short AGM followed by "The Pioneering Women in Motoring" - a talk by Debbie Land
13 May"A Certain Degree of Magnificence: People in the Bedfordshire Landscape" - a talk by Brian Kerr
1 June (Sat)Visit to Stockwood Discovery Centre, Luton - pre-booking essential if you require transport or meet us there at approximately 10.45 am
3 Jul (Tues)1.30 pm - Social Visit to Jordan's Mill. A tour is available - please let Rachel know if you would like to join it.
5 August (Mon)7pm - Visit to All Saints Church, Southill
2 September"The History of St. John Ambulance" - a talk by Gill Price
7 October"Battlefield Pilgrimages of the 20's" - a talk by Stuart Macfarlan
4 November"Biggleswade Ramblings - Memories & Musings" - a talk by Alan Porter about people, businesses and buildings from the late 1950's onwards
2 December'One of Our Own' - a talk by David Duker. The remarkable story of Battle of Britain pilot, Victor Ekins who spent the last years of his life in Biggleswade, based on his wartime diaries that lay unread for over 80 years and were published in 2023.

2023 Programme

9 January"92nd Squadron: Life and Times" - a talk by Steve Lacey. This is not a military talk, so come and find out what it's about.
6 February"Can you identify these relics" - an evening with the Archive Team.
6 March"Biggleswade's Devilish Duel" - a talk by David Davies. What were two Scotsmen doing in town in the 17th century to necessitate a duel?
3 AprilAGM followed by "London Underground Stations: 120 years of Architecture" - a talk by Mark Andrew Pardoe
May No meeting due to Bank Holidays
5 JuneVisit to The Old Police Station (Sea Cadets building), 4 Station Road, Biggleswade SG18 8AL
7:45 for 8:00 pm tour.
3 JulyBiggleswade Mosaic Trail - Meet at the war memorial at 7:30 pm.
This magnificent mosaic heritage trail illustrates some of the historic events which took place in Biggleswade.

It covers a small area within the town centre between The Crown (Wetherspoons) and Stratton House so does not involve a great deal of walking for those who are less mobile.
7 AugustMembers' Memories - at the Methodist Church.
For this special meeting we are asking members to share their memories of Biggleswade past. The archives team will also have a selection of artefacts and photos to talk about.
Whether it's memories of an event such as the annual carnival, your favourite local pub to drink a pint in, summers spent at the outdoor pool or a local business or resident that meant a lot to you, we would love to hear about it. It can be a short anecdote or a longer story and can include sharing photos or anything else you think other members will enjoy hearing about. If you would prefer not to speak but would like to share something, please write it down for us to read out.
4 September A talk by Jean Duivenvoorden on "Notes and Lines: 100 years of the Bedfordshire Festival of Music, Speech and Drama, 1921-2021".
2 OctoberA talk by Nigel Denny - "Larkinsons and the great airships".
6 NovemberA talk by Bill Jordan - "A Miller's Tale - The Jordan family story of farming, milling and survival on the banks of the River Ivel".
4 DecemberA talk by Stuart Macfarlan on "The Christmas Truce – Its Place in the Public Imagination"

2022 Programme

7 February"Back to Grass Roots" by Mary Dominey
7 March "Picture Postcards: an eyewitness to History" by Andrew Pardoe
4 AprilAGM for period 2019-2022 plus "Interesting Artefacts" with Roger Quince. Roger, a licensed detectorist, will show us some of his personal collection, the majority of which we will be able to handle - so much better than seeing items in a museum.
9 May"Kill or Cure: Dr TJ Walker, Victorian Surgeon" with Liz Davies. The diaries of a Peterborough doctor in the 1860s.
6 June Visit to St Mary's Church, Cardington with Revd. Stephen Smith.
Meet at the Church door for 7:30 pm start. £3 per member, non-members £4.
4 JulySTOP PRESS
“Back to the 1950’s” - a film presented by Judith Reed. Some of you may have seen some of this film, it was especially compiled for the Jubilee Celebrations from material held in the society archives.
1 August"Granny's Handbag and Granddad's Briefcase"
An evening of member participation. What did your grandparents or other relatives keep from the past? Come and tell us the story behind the christening spoon, the favoured trowel, farm deeds or perhaps an old mahogany box. If you have such an item but don't want to speak, then write down the story and we will read it for you. Have you inherited an unidentified object - bring it along and we'll ask for suggestions.
5 September"Bedfordshire & the Sailing Navy 1660-1815" by Dr David Davies.
Despite being an inland county, Bedfordshire has a significant number of connections with the history of the Royal Navy. Dr Davies will examine the lives of those who served, the ways in which the county contibuted to the navy and the impact of naval warfare on local communities.
3 October"Churches of Bedfordshire, Part 111" when we will welcome back David Longman, his wonderful photographs and fascinating snippets of information on our county's Anglican heritage.
7 NovemberMember Jean Collins will tell us about brass rubbings, and show us some examples. We may even be invited to "have-a-go" ourselves.
5 DecemberChristmas meeting with nibbles and our famous "Santa Sack" plus "Up the Cut" with Derek Harris, who will tell us about the history of the British Canal System, the life of the canal people and, possibly, sing us a few "canal shanties".

2021 Programme

6 September"My Life in Uniform" by Bernard Newman
4 October"Chicksands Priory" by Damien O'Dell
1 November"Biggleswade Workhouse" by Rosemary Williams
6 December "The BBC & Glen Miller" by David Fowler

2020 Programme

6 January"The Old Printing Trade" - a talk by Ted Martin
3 FebruaryMember's Evening
2 March"Bedfordshire Churches - Part 11" - an illustrated talk by David Longman
April 2020 to August 2021Closed due to Covid pandemic

2019 Programme

7 January "Coming Home - The Bedfordshire Regiment returns from the Great War" - a talk by Steve Fuller, an authority on the Bedfordshire Regiment in WWI
4 February"Wind and Watermills" - a talk by Robin Webb
4 March"The Life and Times of Lady Sandra Highsted" - a talk by Sandy Highsted
1 AprilMembers only Annual General Meeting and two short talks by members: “A Snapshot of Canon John Dominey by his daughter Mary and “Biggleswade’s Jubilee and Coronation Celebrations” by Judith Reed.
13 May"All Along the Prom" - Kiss Me Quick hats, saucy postcards and more from popular speaker, Mark Andrew Pardoe
3 June Members only evening visit to St Andrew's Church, Biggleswade
1 JulyMembers only visit to Ashwell Village at 6:30 pm. £3.50 per person.
5 AugustMembers only visit to the British Schools Museum, Hitchin. Meeting at 6:00 pm for 6:30 pm start. £8.50 per person including refreshments.
2 September"A Ticket to Ride" - a talk by Judith and Chris Rouse of the Wyvern Railway Society
7 October"The Nursery Rhyme Detective" - Vic Botterill talks about the origins and secrets of nursery rhymes
4 November"My Life in Uniform" - a talk by Bernard Newman
2 December ?Christmas Party - date and venue to be arranged