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. Visitors are welcome to attend most meetings, unless designated ‘Members Only’, for a charge of £3.00 per meeting.

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

2022 Programme

19 JanuaryThe Archive Team
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"Airship R101: The Golden Age of British Airships" with Alastair Lawton. The history of airships focusing on the R100 and R101 and their connection to Cardington.
6 June Visit to St Mary's Church, Cardington with Revd. Stephen Smith. A follow-up to May's meeting with the R101 connection.
Meet at the Church door for 7:30 pm start. £3 per member, non-members £4.
4 JulyA visit to the Dovecote and Stables at Willington with a National Trust guide.
Meet in the carpark by the Dovecote - please park neatly to try and accommodate all members - for prompt 7 pm start. £3.50 for members, £4.50 guests.
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 of The Halfcut Theatre, 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

2018 Programme

8 January"Divorce in Two Parts" - a talk by Jennifer Topham
5 February"Hatch, Match and Dispatch" - a talk by Sandy Highsted
5 March"The Inns and Outs of Pub Names" - a talk by Mark Pardoe
9 AprilMembers only Annual General Meeting
14 May"Billy Lincoln's Films of Biggleswade presented by Edward & Hilary Street
4 JuneMembers only evening guided visit to to Foster Hill Road Cemetery, Bedford
2 JulyMembers only visit to St Leonard's Church and Ongley Mausoleum, Old Warden.
6 AugustMembers only evening visit to the site of Bedford Castle at 6:30 pm for 7:00 pm start
3 September"Warden Abbey - The Lost Plot" - a talk by Margaret Roberts
7/8 September EVENTHeritage Open Days - End of WWI Project
2-Day Exhibition, Trinity Methodist Church
16 September EVENTHeritage Open Day - Guided walks in Town Centre
1 October"Members' Miscellany" - a series of members' short talks on various subjects
5 November"Churches in Bedfordshire" - a talk by David Longman
3 DecemberMember's Christmas Party at Shortmead House Stables