DUNSTABLE AND DISTRICT
LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY
EVENTS


Jack Train, star of Itma, at Houghton Regis Gymkhana
2022
Sept 13

The Great Train Robbery

Local headmaster Andrew Cook returns to the history society with further revelations about the notorious crime near Leighton Buzzard, including details about four suspects who were never convicted. Dr Cook is the author of ‘No Case To Answer’, a new book about the robbery.

Oct 11

The Real King Arthur a Sixth-Century British hero

Professor Andrew Breeze shows evidence that Arthur truly existed and was killed near Carlisle in AD 537. He also discusses Dunstable’s original Celtic name.

Nov 8

The Lady Mountaineer

In a time when ladies were supposed to sit docilely at home and take tea, Elizabeth Hawkins-Whitshed bucked the trend. Married three times, she climbed mountains, wrote books and was a pioneering photographer and filmmaker. The life of this adventurous Victorian Miss who shocked society Is described by Julie Chandler. Julie’s previous talk to the society, about the extraordinary exploits of Col Fred Burnaby of Bedford (Elizabeth’s first husband) was particularly popular.

Dec 13

Stumpy Sanderson's 1970s Stories

Master storyteller Andrew Brammer returns to Dunstable to tell more tales about the adventures of a group of mischievous lads in 1970s Dunstable – in the days of flared trousers, MacFisheries and the Corona man. Seasonal food and drink will be served at this event which will be for members only with tickets to be purchased in advance.

2023
Jan 10

The Family on the Green

Roger Turner, a former Mayor of Houghton Regis, talks about the influential Brandreth family of Houghton Hall, whose land once included large parts of present-day Dunstable and whose gardens are now a public park. The Brandreth story is featured in a recently published book.

Feb 14

The Story of Whipsnade Village

There’s more to Whipsnade than the zoo! Ken and Chris France, of Hill Farm, give an illustrated talk about the village and its history, including details about its famous tree cathedral, its conservation areas and why there are gates across its main road. Chris was born and bred in the village and Ken is chairman of its parish council.

March 14

Freeman of Dunstable

Actor Roger Parrott (The King’s Speech) tells the stories of his father and grandfather who were both distinguished Mayors of Dunstable. Harold Parrott was the town’s first citizen for three years during the Second World War and presided over Dunstable’s VE and VJ day celebrations. He was one of the very few people to have been made a Freeman of the town. Haydn Parrott was chairman of the town’s Operatic Society for many years. The talk will be followed by the society’s annual meeting.

April 11

Humps, Bumps and Names

Clues to archaeology and historic landscapes in the Dunstable vicinity, including Tilsworth, Eggington, Stanbridge, Hockliffe, Totternhoe, Dunstable Downs and Caddington, are provided in an illustrated talk by Stephen Coleman, former Historic Environment Information Officer at Central Beds Council.

May 9

To be announced