Jack Train, star of Itma, at Houghton Regis Gymkhana
Oct 9

The Annals of Dunstable Priory

The first complete translation into English of the annals, written here between 1210 and 1300, is to be launched as a hard-back volume in November. Until now only scholars with a good working knowledge of medieval Latin could read this unique year-by-year account of local, national and international affairs, as recorded by the canons of Dunstable Priory. Publication of this translation by David Preest has been prompted by the local team behind the recent “Medieval Dunstable” project. Stephen Williams, who has watched work on the translation unfold, tells the story behind this publishing coup.

Nov 13

The Making of Bedfordshire’s Countryside

Soil scientist Brian Kerr, a Visiting Fellow at Cranfield University, describes how the landscape of the county has been affected over the years by farming, market gardening, mining for chalk and clay and the creation of parks and nature reserves.

Nov 24

10.00 – 3.00 Priory Church

. Series of short talks to launch the publication of the first full translation of the Dunstable Annals, the diary of events kept in medieval times at the Priory. Talks by Stephen Williams, Hugh Garrod, John Buckledee, Tony Woodhouse and Jean Yates.

Dec 11

A Tudor Christmas

Martin Sirot-Smith, former director of Sulgrave Manor, will be in Tudor costume to enact the story of Lawrence Washington (President George Washington’s five times great grandfather) who lived at Sulgrave with his wife and eleven children. This will give an appropriately seasonal flavour to our December meeting, with festive snacks and our famous (non-alcoholic) hot punch. This meeting is for MEMBERS ONLY, tickets to be purchased in advance.

Jan 8

Bedfordshire’s Garden History

A lavishly illustrated miscellany of the county’s garden heritage ranging through the centuries from the Waldon Pear mentioned by Shakespeare to the 1990s gardens at Stockwood Park. Felicity Brimblecombe uses paintings, postcards, diaries and maps in a talk ranging from walled gardens to sun dials

Feb 12

Man On The Spot

Reflections on 50 years as a radio and tv broadcaster by former BBC journalist Bill Hamilton, whose front-line reports included revelations about Stalinist Albania and who was once the voice of BBC Television’s Saturday football match results.

Mar 12

On The Ball

Dunstable Town Football Club, established in 1883, was based for many years at Kingsway before moving to its present ground at Creasey Park. The club’s chairman, Alex Alexandrou, a professional historian, talks about the club, its most famous players and its role in the life of the town, Illustrated by numerous photos. The talk follows the society’s annual meeting.

April 9

King Henry’s Cathedrals

After the closure of the monasteries, Henry VIII had planned to create a number of new cathedrals, including one at Dunstable. Local historian Tony Woodhouse describes what happened.

May 14

Invasion 1940 – What If?

Popular speaker Tony Eaton, who has already intrigued Dunstable history society audiences with clandestine stories about Glenn Miller, Rudolf Hess and Leslie Howard, talks about the RAF’s secret partner in 1940 and the real reasons why Hitler’s planned invasion of Britain never took place.