Meeting of the society 13th September
The District History Society resumed its programme after the summer break with a highly entertaining and detailed talk by member Andrew Clarke entitled "Bones of Borley".
Starting with the building of Borley Rectory in the 19th century by Rev Bull, Andrew took us through the history of the alleged paranormal phenomena which had been a reason for numerous investigations and theories over the years. It was now clear that the legend of a ghostly nun had been started by some of Rev Bull's daughters (he had 13 children) who were unmarried and possibly addicted to the romantic fiction of the time!
Rev Bull's son, Harry, succeeded his father in the living and - being of a superstitious nature - he believed the myths. So the stories flourished along with accounts of associated strange happenings such as the ringing of servants bells, apparently on their own, and mysterious sounds at seances.
The culmination was the discovery of buried bones in 1940 identified at the time as being pig in origin but which miraculously turned into human bones with the intervention of the psychic researcher Harry Price! Andrew showed that there was a mass of information in the form of contemporary accounts - particularly of the seances - which explained on a rational and scientific basis the so-called paranormal events. All of this information is available on the Society's web site.
The talk, which was illustrated by lots of photographs, demonstrated Andrew's painstaking research and thorough knowledge of the subject; it was presented with a dash of humour and was greatly appreciated by the 25 members present.
Chairman, Alan Fitch, informed members that the Christmas dinner would be held at the Cherry Tree, Belchamp St Pauls on 13th December. The next meeting of the Society would be at 8pm on Tuesday, 11th October when Ron Chapman would speak about Goldsmithing. Ken Nice