A selection of FAMILY and
LOCAL HISTORY lectures are available, on
topics that have been the subject of research and/or
A listing of lectures given and
can be found by clicking the link.
[i] The history
Lime and Cement
Industry of North Warwickshire - the story
of the Walker family of Newbold and the lime and cement
industry they founded in 1776. Covers the Rugby
and/or Southam areas. Also in preparation,
a History of Cement and
From Lubenham to Sandy, Leicestershire.
The story of four generation - great grandfather Ashton
raised cattle for the London market. He had 14
children - and three brothers married three sisters.
This is the story of the misfortunes of one branch of
the family in the judgemental late 19th and early 20th
centuries. Family history based on a discovery of
a house full of archival material - and extensive
further research. What have you left for others in
Ennis to Emmie
- the story of a post card exchange. [Derbyshire /
Leicestershire material - based on material in the
How the finding of a series of postcards allowed the
sender and her family to be tracked down - family
history and postcard history, as well as examples of
cards and photographs of the period.]
William Horspool RAMC.
A soldier lost and found. The romance and tragedy of
Sergeant William Horspool.
[Cambridgeshire / Leicestershire material - based on
material in the
also material from The National Archives. Family
and military history.]
Speight family of
Photographers of Rugby,
Warwickshire. The history and family
history of this fascinating family. The lectures
can be provided with greater family history or
photographic history emphasis, and can be produced with
greater emphasis on E H Speight or four of his six sons
depending on what area is to be covered. Versions
available for : Rugby; Nuneaton; Kettering; Market
Harborough and Sutton Coldfield.
Speights' Warwickshire. Looking at
Warwickshire seen through the eye and cameras of E H
Speight and his son, Clare Speight - the latter, a
prolific postcard producer. There is extensive
photographic coverage of: Rugby; Stratford; Nuneaton;
Leamington; and Warwick in the late 1800s and early
Plaque - finding and researching a memorial
to actors who died in WWI. Twelve actors are named
on this First World War memorial. Family history,
military archives and contemporary newspapers and other
sources have allowed their stories to be told, and some
of their relatives to be traced.
Frearsons of Ockbrook, Derbyshire. The
Frearson family were small farmers and yeomen in
Derbyshire from the late 1600s. They fell out with
the vicar over tithes and were taken to court in the
1740s. This was perhaps why they were dissenters,
and invited a Moravian preacher to Ockbrook. This
led to the foundation of the Ockbrook Moravian community.
[History and family history, based on research into the
The John Frearsons of Leicestershire, Manchester and Birmingham -
and how they became one!! The story of
three namesakes - and how they were found to be one - a
fascinating history of an unrecognised individual who
was witness to the great socialist changes from the
Chartist and Owenite movements in the 1830s to the
Co-operative and New Socialism movements of the 1880s.
A book-seller, cutler, reformer, socialist, writer,
traveller, manufacturer and inventor - of hooks and eyes
and the cross-head Frearson [now Phillips] screw - and
sometime manager of a French Giant! [Family
history, patent history, newspaper sources and archive
material from UK and Nederland]
Take Six Namesakes.
Found during the speaker's
GOONS [Guild Of
One Name Studies] researching of the Frearson name -
the stories of six
John Frearsons: The 18thC Ockbrook farmer in the Moravian village of
Ockbrook [see viii above]; The 18thC artist and Royal
Academician; The late 18thC Nottingham butcher, whose
illegitimate son founded the successful Australian line;
The 19thC socialist inventor of the Frearson [now
Phillips] screw [see ix above]; The late 19thC railway
guard; and a 20thC WWII airman.
Morris Dancing and The Morris Dancing Year.
The questions you have never asked - answered! Why
is it called Morris? When and where did it start?
Why do they do it? The speaker has danced the
Morris for nearly 30 years - and was the Bagman
[national secretary] of The Morris Ring for seven years.
A fully illustrated talk on the history and many forms
of Morris dancing through the year. Also given as
A History of the Morris -
Was your Ancestor a Morris Dancer?
History of the Rugby Morris Men.
Re-researched for the
Exhibitions at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum, this
talk provides an outline of a post war revival Morris
Side in Rugby. Although the Side was short-lived,
the rescue of a Log Book and Scrap Book provided a
valuable commentary. Introduced with a brief
history of Morris dancing to provide a historical
History of the Bedford Morris Men.
This talk provides an outline of a 1930s revival Morris
Side, and is introduced with a brief history of Morris
dancing to provide a historical context. The
speaker is the Archivist for the Bedford Morris Men and
holds their large collection of documents and albums.
Merchants of Rugby. A history of
the coal businesses and the coal merchants in Rugby,
from the coming of the canals, through to the 1950s as
home coal usage declined. With particular emphasis
on four families who used the same business premises in
North Street from before the 1850s to the early 1930s.
Research has found that three of these families were
related. Based on archive material, newspaper
reports and personal information, this is more that a
local history story, but shows the interrelationships of
a small town business in Victorian and Edwardian
Dumbleton Pinfold and the Brickmakers of Rugby. A history of
the brick makers in Rugby and of J D Pinfold, who set up
an iron and brass foundry, making agricultural
implements and then expanded into brick making machinery
and steam engines. He then became a brick maker
himself and later became involved with property.
Later he became bankrupt! Based on archive material, newspaper
reports and considerable local research to show the
changes in an industry in an expanding Victorian town.
xvi] Opening the Dore.
Establishing the truth of a WWI friendship between two
Wiltshire farmers' sons, and why one's marriage to the
sister of the other, led to the unexpected discovery of
an 18thC Grant of Arms, several 18thC family trees,
crested china and a signet ring. Also an 18thC
print of the College of Arms where a family namesake was
Richmond Herald. The story of the fortunes of this
family of farmers descended from Merchant Mariner
adventurers provides a fascinating insight into the
18thC and their descendant families are searched for the
linkage that would show why that cache of 18thC material
descended to its present owners.
To date these have been presented, variously, to:
the Rugby Family
History Group [several talks]; the
Long Itchington History Group; the
Warwickshire Industrial Archaeology Society; the
Stretton on Dunsmore History Society; the
Guild of One Name
Studies [GOONS] [Midands Seminar]; the Nuneaton
[former] Lions Group; the
Kettering Art Gallery and Museum; the
Nuneaton Local History Group; the
Market Harborough History Society
; the Ockbrook
and Borrowash Heritage G
Gallery and Museum;
Kenilworth Family History Society
Kimbolton Probus Club, Keysoe; the
Birmingham and Midland Society for Genealogy and
Heraldry; the Riseley History Group; The Willans
Retirement Group [twice], Rugby; Barby Local History Group;
Bedworth and Nuneaton Parkinsons' Support Group;
Family History Society [twice];
Bedfordshire Family History Society;
Friends of Warwickshire County Record Office;
Hillmorton Townswomen's Guild, Rugby
Leicestershire & Rutland Family History Society,
both in Leicester and in Netherlands during the
Society's Arnhem tour; Society of Genealogists at
'Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2014', at Olympia.
Further details can be obtained from:- John Frearson -