The Foxearth and District Local History Society

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Meetings, announcements and notices for the Foxearth and District Local History Society, and associated organisations.

Foxearth Society AGM 2005 Tuesday 8th March

A good attendance of 25 members at the Foxearth and District Local History Society's annual general meeting on Tuesday 8th March heard Chairman Alan Fitch review an extremely successful year of lectures and outings during which particular highlights had been the setting up of the Web site and the publication of "Foxearth Brew" He looked forward to another active year which would include talks on Goldsmithing, the history of the barometer and tours of the Theatre Royal, Bury and the Cathedral; there would also be a joint meeting with the Cavendish History Society. Andrew Clarke would give a talk on his new book "The Bones of Borley" which is about to be published. In recognition of their invaluable work in developing the Web site the Committee had decided to award Andrew and Jenny Clarke life membership of the Society - a step warmly endorsed by members. One further development was announced by Alan: because the acquisition of historic vehicles in the villages appeared to be infectious, it was proposed to form, under the banner of the History Society, a Stour Valley Historic Vehicle Society. This would be a quite informal association of interested owners and merely a chance, it seems, to use an entirely unpronounceable but palindromic acronyn SVHVS!

The Treasurer, Mrs Justine Corney, presented her report showing a satisfactory financial situation. She had recommended that subscriptions remain at £10 per year per member.

The Committee was re-elected en bloc with the addition of Mrs Julia Pucci. Andrew Clarke briefly addressed the meeting explaining efforts being made to extend the appeal of the Web site which was already attracting an incredible 350 hits a day. A project presently underway was research by Richard Morris to produce a history of the BBA site, funded by the company. Andrew and Richard had started upon fund-raising in order to have an historic book "Melford Memories" reprinted but the owners, Melford History Society, had withdrawn permission. However, Andrew hoped to have a fascinating book, published in 1845 and called "Sketches of Saffron Walden and its vicinity", in his ownership, reprinted.

The final formal part of the meeting was a talk by Darren Clarke of Waldingfield on metal detecting. Drawing on 15 years experience of the science, Darren explained the way in which different signals allowed identification of what metals were being detected and how one could make an assessment of whether excavation was indicated.!

It was essential, of course, always to obtain permission of the land owner before embarking upon exploration but he had found local farmers mostly very helpful and work in association with archaeologists in Bury had enabled him to discover about 7 new Roman settlements. Darren brought along a selection of his finds some of which dated back to the Bronze Age. He fielded many questions expertly and suggested that an afternoon of detecting might perhaps be arranged for Society members. Over a glass of wine, members examined his exhibits together with examples of local memorabilia assembled by Carol and Roger Hobbs and Tom Hastie.

The Society's next engagement will be a tour of the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds on Saturday 9th April.!

Ken Nice

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