Group Events


After the success of last year’s programme meetings will continue on a bi-monthly basis for 2019.

Helen Essex has again put together a programme of talks which we believe will appeal to all interests.


Details are given below.

For the minutes of the 2018 AGM - click here

The Trustees


Wednesday 13th February

“The History and Origins of Place Names”

A Talk by Doreen Agutter

Guess where I live!  Until the C 19th my address would have been ‘Docker’s Lane, Oldnall End, Berkswell’.  In past centuries, inhabitants though by no means static, concentrated more on the precise area where they lived naming every piece of cultivated land, wood, lane, common or stream for example. A parish might also be sub-divided into ‘ends’ or ‘greens’ distinctive names that may survive in old maps or documents in a Record Office long after the residents have forgotten them. They can tell us about past farming practice, crops, names of tenants from centuries ago, forgotten buildings or folk- lore. Some of my favourite names are corruptions of original ones, which with eventually no apparent meaning, were gradually altered to offer another if inaccurate explanation. It is a fascinating topic but also a mine field for the unwary and a sound knowledge of language and local history helps.

(Open to Members & Non-Members)

2.00 for 2.15 pm start


Station Road

Balsall Common


Programme for 2019

Meetings are held at Berkswell Reading Room at 7.45pm for 8.00 pm start and open to Non-members unless otherwise stated.

Wednesday, 10th April - “London Road Cemetery”

Ian Wooley

Many of you will have drove past it on your daily commute, some of you will have walked, jogged or walked your dog through it . But how many of you realise the rich history and stories contained within Coventry's London Road Cemetery? First opened in 1847 and designed by Joseph Paxton. Now the final resting place of many of the City's industrialists and at least 50 former Mayors, this Cemetery is now regarded as one of the finest Victorian Cemeteries in the country with many of the buildings having listed status.

Wednesday, 12th June - “Old Pubs and Lost Hostelries of Warwickshire, their history,

                                               names and stories”

Richard Churchly

Everyone loves a good pub. Ever wondered about the history of pubs and the strange names some pubs have? This talk looks at pub names and discusses a variety of pubs (mainly in the west midlands). The changing role of the pub in local society through the centuries is also examined.

Wednesday, 14th August - “The History of Transport in the West Midlands”

Roger Cragg

A History of Transport in the West Midlands - This talk covers the history and development of transport in the west Midlands region from the 1760s onwards and includes canals, railways, trams, 'buses and (briefly) the modern road system.

Wednesday, 9th October - “Arming the Knight”

Paul Thompson

There will be a demonstration of undressing and then arming the notable Lancastrian knight Sir Thomas Tresham by his squire into a full ‘harness’ of mid to late 15th Century armour, concluding with his weapons. It includes an explanation of the clothing and fashions of the day.

Wednesday, 11th December - “Christmas Traditions”

Brian Stote

We all have our own ways of celebrating the Christmas season, many of which involve traditions from the depths of history, but we often don't know how, why or when they began. In his talk, followed by a series of selected readings from the past on Christmas themes, Brian Stote explores the origins of our modern Christmas and attempts to explain why we do what we do in our festive celebrations.

Sorry, this meeting is Members only