Ravenstonedale Parish History Group

Talks Programme 2021-2022

15th September 2021 at 7.30pm in Ravenstonedale Community and Heritage Centre (High Chapel) : The History of the Coldbeck Area of Newbiggin Angle by Les Neal.

20th October 2021 at 7.30pm in Newbiggin-on-Lune Public Hall: Musings of a Taphophile (a tombstone tourist) by Bev Brummitt

17th November 2021 at 7.30pm – in Ravenstonedale Community and Heritage Centre: More Famous Fothergills by Diana Fothergill

15th December 2021 at 7.30pm in Ravenstonedale Community and Heritage Centre: our annual Christmas get-together for members and friends, which this time features a dramatised reading of a short play by Steve Fermer based on a newspaper report about the dangers of crinolines…

19th January 2022 – venue tba – Curiosities of Castle Design – a lighthearted delve into garderobes, staircases, turrets…by Pete Brummitt

16th February 2022 – venue tba – History of the Common Land by Maurice Hall

16th March 2022 – venue tba – Parish Millennium Projects part 2 – to include the four Parish Millennium Embroideries (which it is hoped to reunite for the evening) by Jackie Wedd

20th April 2022 – venue tba – Further History of Quaker Families in Ravenstonedale by Les Neal

These talks will all be by members of the History Group in order to keep costs to a minimum. We also hope to repeat one or two talks on Zoom for more remote members and friends – details in due course.

Two Ravenstonedale village history walks in June which we co-led with Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership were fully booked, as was the walk on 24th July to coincide with the Millennium Field test pit demonstration by YDNPA. We hope to organise another walk next spring (date tba).

Last season we enjoyed:

Wednesday 21st October 2020: Who Used to Live in Your House?  – Val Fermer. In the Public Hall, Newbiggin-on-Lune, under Covid Social Distancing rules and with the support of the Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership.

18th November 2020: History of the Black Swan from 1773 to the Present Day – Val Fermer. We decided to go online and use Zoom as we were still in lockdown here in England.

2nd December 2020: History of  The King’s Head – Val Fermer (on Zoom).

16th December 2020 – Christmas Quiz – The Parish From Every Angle presented by Dave and Jackie Wedd  (on Zoom)

20th January 2021 – History of The Fat Lamb – Val Fermer  (on Zoom).

17th February 2021 – The Parish Millennium Map – an Offcomer’s Appreciation – Jackie Wedd (on Zoom).

17th March 2021 –  Famous Fothergills Part 1 – Dr John Fothergill, born 1712 – Diana Fothergill (on Zoom).

31st March 2021 – An introduction to his research on the history of Quakers in Westmorland – Les Neal.  (on Zoom)

21st April 2021 – The history of drystone walls – Maurice Hall. (on Zoom)

and in 2019-2020:

18th September 2019: Tower House (Newbiggin-on-Lune) – History, Mysteries and Stories – Diana Fothergill. In the Public Hall, Newbiggin-on-Lune.

16th October 2019: Lady Anne Clifford’s Life – from Skipton to Brougham – June Hill. In the Public Hall, Newbiggin-on-Lune.

20th November 2019: Monks, Shepherds and Wool – Harry Hawkins. In the Public Hall, Newbiggin-on-Lune.

11th December 2019: Christmas get-together for members and friends. In the Public Hall, Newbiggin-on-Lune.

15th January 2020: If These Walls Could Talk…..- Steve Fermer. In the Public Hall, Newbiggin-on-Lune.

19th February 2020: Mary’s Memories – of life in Newbiggin-on-Lune during the early 20th Century – Jackie Wedd. In the Public Hall, Newbiggin-on-Lune.

18th March 2020: Who Used to Live in Your House? Val Fermer’s stories of the former inhabitants of several houses in the Parish.  POSTPONED to October 2020 – see above.

and in previous seasons:

19th September 2018: Cattle Droving Through Cumbria – Peter Roebuck.

17th October 2018: No Labour, No Food, No War – Richard Preston. In the Hall at Newbiggin-on-Lune.

21st November 2018: From the Western Front to Westmorland – soldiers from the Parish in the Great War – Val Fermer.

12th December 2018: Members and Friends – Christmas get-together

16th January 2019: Wartime Farming in the Howgills – Hilary Wilson.

20th February 2019: Newbiggin-on-Lune from Torphin (1160) to the Forrests (1910) – Les Neal. In the Hall in Newbiggin-on-Lune.

20th March 2019: Shorthorn Cattle in Ravenstonedale from the 1800s to the present day – Steve Fermer.


20th September 2017 – Aspects of Life in Ravenstonedale c.1905-1920, seen through the picture postcard album of Lizzie Fothergill of Wray Green – Ian Carradice.

18th October 2017 – The Story of the Westmorland Motorway Services – John Dunning. This talk took place in the Hall at Newbiggin-on-Lune – the first time that we have held a talk in this part of the Parish.

15th November 2017 – Inside a Lakeland Farmhouse – Andy Lowe.

13th December 2017 – Members and friends –  Christmas get-together.

17th January 2018 – Parish Hostelries, past and present. Our second talk in Newbiggin-on-Lune Village Hall.

21st February 2018 – Edward Jeffrey 1898-1978 – An Artist in Ravenstonedale – Jackie Wedd

21st March 2018 – Statesmen, Messuages and Tenements in Ravenstonedale Town – the changes over the last three to four hundred years – Les Neal.


21st September 2016 – A Ravenstonedale Entrepreneur – Val Fermer

19th October 2016 – Ambleside Child Survivors of the Holocaust – Trevor Avery

16th November 2016 – Westmorland Maps – Dave Williams

7th December 2016 – Christmas Get-together

18th January 2017 – The Fortune Hunters – From Ravenstonedale to Manchester and beyond – Val Fermer

15th February 2017 – Over Shap by Track, Road and Rail – Jean Scott-Smith

5th April 2017 – Packhorse Days and Packhorse Ways – Janet Niepokojczycka.


16th September 2015 – Facts and Phantoms in Upper Eden – Susan Garnett

21st October 2015 – Vikings in Cumbria – Sheena Grant

18th November 2015 – Markets to Supermarkets: 200 years of shopping – Dr M Winstanley. Unfortunately the speaker was unable to come due to the bad weather but Caroline Morris kindly volunteered at very short notice to show some old photos of the Parish and gave a fascinating talk. Thank you Caroline!

9th December 2015 – Christmas get-together

20th January 2016 – ‘The Scarborough Inheritance’ – Where there’s a Will There’s a History – Val Fermer

17th February 2016 – Recent Treasures from Cumbria – Ian Carradice

16th March 2016 – Mardale, a Lost Lakeland Community – Jean Scott-Smith

13th April 2016 – Markets to Supermarkets: 200 Years of Shopping – Dr M Winstanley (rescheduled from November 2015)


17th September 2014 – A Woman’s Place in 17th Century Upper Eden by Margaret Gowling

15th October 2014 – Black Settlers in Cumberland by Susan Dench

19th November 2014 – The History of Kirkby Stephen Silver Band by Richard Arrowsmith

10th December 2014 – Members and Friends Christmas Get-together

21st January 2015 – Ravenstonedale Retailers: From Fells to Fine Furniture by Val Fermer

18th February 2015 – The Origin of Place-Names in Cumbria by Jean Scott-Smith

18th March 2015 – Lakeland Architecture by Andy Lowe