Ivanhoe Ashby de la Zouch U3A U3A Group Logo

The History Group

Leader:  Jane Harris - history@ashbyu3a.co.uk - phone 01530 838025

Any U3A member is welcome at our meetings.

All meetings with speakers will be held at Packington Memorial Hall.
Doors open for Packington meetings at 2pm, with a start as soon as possible after that, hopefully by 2.10pm.

Details of visits will be advised closer to the time.
The following dates have been arranged, but may be subject to changes which will be announced on a rolling monthly basis.


Future programme
DateTimeVenueDetails

Thu 28th Mar2:00 pmPackington Hall. Bill Devitt is unavailable for this month and his talk 'The Orient Express' will be given later. Instead Colin Ellis will give a talk on 'Racing the Train' - speed on Britain's steam railways
Thu 25th Apr TBANewark Civil War Museum
Thu 23rd May2:00 pmPackington Hall.John Whitehead - 'Richard III'
Thu 27th Jun8:00 amHampton Court8 am depart by coach from Royal hotel. Arrive at approx 11.30 to 12.00. Depart 4 pm return Ashby approx 7.30 - 8 pm.
£35 for coach and entrance. Guided tour of the Palace available at £4.50.
Hand cheques payable to Ashby U3A to Colin Ellis by April 25th latest
Fri 26th Jul2:00 pmPackington Hall. Brian Johnson - 'Made in Leics'
Thu 22nd Aug TBADonington-le-Heath Manor
Thu 26th Sep2:00 pmPackington Hall. Stephen Flinders - 'The Old Curiousity Box'
Thu 24th Oct2:00 pmPackington Hall. Janet - 'A History of the World from the bottom up'
Thu 28th Nov TBA'Tissington Hall at Christmas'


Thursday 28th February 2019

Sandra Moore "Loving Memories"

35 members turned out to witness a memorable performance by the long dead Elizabeth, resident of Belgrave cemetery in Leicester.

One of about 15,000 residents, Elizabeth expounded on the life and times of some of her most famous and/or interesting neighbours. The cemetery was opened for business in 1881 to relieve pressure on local churchyards resulting from the explosive growth of the cities in the Industrial Revolution.

Before taking up residence in 1922, Elizabeth had worked for 25 years as a head teacher at the Belgrave Church School, where around 300 children began their journey into life. Her neighbours numbered active members of the Temperance Society, the Chief Constable of Leicestershire, a Pharmacist renowned for his yellow powder (the formula for which he guards to this day)' a lady who was formerly the oldest resident at 103 years, a notable horse breeder and shoe-salesman, who was transported thither in full glass carriage and 4 black horse panoply. Many more still await recognition.

Notable features of the Cemetery are a splendid Celtic Cross, and statues displaying the "Morton Toe" (see note below) and, until Neville Bray (yes, OUR Nev Bray!) and his friends demolished them in favour of a brick toilet block, two splendid Chapels: one Church of England and one non-Conformist. The layout of the Cemetery clearly shows how the sheep were separated from the goats.

The Residence is a very Family Friendly place, with many plots containing whole families. The one, I think we will all remember was for one Joseph Cave, who had his grave dug before he had qualified, ensuring it was brick-lined for comfort. He supervised the construction and, on completion, jumped down into it and sang the song "Poor Old Joe" which Elizabeth managed to get all of us to perform!

"Elizabeth" was in fact Sandra Moore, ably helped by her "apprentice". She dressed in full Victorian black "Widow"s Weeds" and ensured we all behaved ourselves, favouring more than one of us with her baleful glare and admonishments to "Sit up straight and pay attention".

A splendid tour de force and a fascinating look at the lives and times of the occupants of a notable local cemetery.

Note: Morton's toe is the condition of a shortened first metatarsal in relation to the second metatarsal. It is a type of brachymetatarsia. So now you know!


Earlier history meeting