Society's Programme

Society’s Programme

  • 15th May 2019 - The Story of North Country Quilts and Quilters
    Rosy Allan
    Ms Allan was formerly Keeper of Social History, Beamish Museum.
    Weardale Quilters

  • Wednesday 19 June 2019 - An illustrated talk by Glendale farmer, Margaret Brown

    Margaret is a driving force behind the preservation of records of the Cheviot way of life. Her talk, Sheep Tales and Spinning Yarns and accompanying DVD will bring to life the rich rural heritage of Northumberland collected and preserved by Margaret and colleagues and her mother Sylvia Armstrong, founder and curator of the Armstrong Household and Farming Museum at North Charlton.

  • Thursday 4 July 2019 meet at 10.30am - College Valley Crash Sites of WW2

    Rothbury Local History Society has invited ABLHS and Glendale History Society to take part in a visit to the College Valley Cheviot Memorial to airmen of WW2 on Thursday 4 July 2019.

    We will meet at 10.30am sharp and be taken by mini-bus from the car park at Hethpool to Cuddystone Hall. Following coffee on arrival, Group Captain Tim Willbond DL, will give a talk on the history of the Cheviot Memorial to those who perished in a total of 19 crashes in the area during WW II and to the shepherds who saved many others. Squadron Leader Chrys Murphy MBE will then describe the educational legacy of recent work to refurbish the Memorial. This will be followed by a visit to view the Memorial itself and by a short act of Remembrance.

    After a lunch break (please bring a picnic), there will be a second talk about the College Valley itself. Alternatively you may take a guided walk to one of the crash sites at lunchtime.

    We will then be ferried back to our cars at Hethpool at around 4pm.

    The cost is expected to be in the the range of £6.00 per person.

    Anyone who wishes to go and can make a firm commitment, please contact our Secretary, Helen Dinsdale as soon as possible at


  • Wednesday 18 September 2019 - Border Ballads of Ettrick and Yarrow, Speaker/performer Poppy Holden

    The Northumbrian historian George M Trevelyan said this of the border reivers: “Like the Homeric Greeks, they were cruel, coarse savages, slaying each other as the beasts of the forest; and yet they were also poets who could express in the grand style the inexorable fate of the individual man and woman, the infinite pity for all the cruel things which they none the less inflicted upon one another. It was not one ballad-maker alone but the whole cut throat population who felt this magnanimous sorrow, and the consoling charms of the highest poetry.

    Today the border lands are dotted with the ruined stumps of fortified houses and farms, which symbolise hundreds of years of violent struggle for ownership of the land, from the Wars of Independence begun in 1286 until the Union of the Crowns in 1603: struggles so ill-managed by government that they often resembled nothing more than murderous family feuds.

    Poppy, formerly a professional singer says:
    “The Border Ballads chosen for this talk are set in the landscape of the Yarrow and Ettrick Valleys and to my mind they are among the cream of the crop in terms of story and melody. Willie Drooned in Yarrow, Dowie Dens of Yarrow, the Lament of the Border Widow, the Douglas Tragedy, Tam Lin. Landscape, historical fact and mythology are woven together with my own photographs of the beautiful settings in which the stories took place, and with fine recordings and live performances of the ballads. The research was done as background for a PhD, Border Ballads: a Living Tradition?

  • Wednesday 16 October 2019 - Hugh Dixon, Chairman, Thomas Bewick Society, Thomas Bewick in North Northumberland

    Hugh Dixon, MBE, FSA,  a former Senior Inspector of Historic Buildings in Northern Ireland, National Trust Curator for the North East, and Chairman of the Bewick Society; a member of Durham Cathedral Fabric Advisory Committee,  he chairs a similar group for Hexham Abbey and is Secretary of the Northern Architectural History Society.

    The renowned 18th century wood engraver, Thomas Bewick (1753 - 1828), lived all his life in Northumberland and Newcastle. His contribution to British art and awareness of the natural environment was immense.  It is not well known that he visited Eslington Hall, Whittingham, on his travels and was friendly with one of the Liddell family, an image of whose Newfoundland dog appears below.  In 1789 he walked to Chillingham to make drawings of the Chillingham bull for a commission.  The image shown below of the bull is one of the most well known of his huge output of wood engravings.


  • Wednesday 20 November 2019 - History Society Christmas Party


  • Wednesday 18 March 2020 - Out of Town Museum Project

    Speaker: Sally Brewis, Bailiffgate Museum, Alnwick 

  • Wednesday 15 April 2020 - Restoring Felton Park’s Georgian Greenhouse

    Speaker: Tim Maxwell 

  • Wednesday 20 May 2020 - Brief AGM followed by : Life in a Northumbrian Manor House

    Speaker: Andrea Cameron, Archivist, Northumbrian Record Office 

  • Wednesday 17 June 2020 - TBC


Meetings start at 7.30pm, at the Whittingham Memorial Hall [NE66 4UP], and are followed by tea/coffee and biscuits which gives an opportunity to meet the speaker and discuss topics of interest.
Non-members are welcome at all meetings. There is a small entrance charge of £3, payable at the door.

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