Peter worked as a freelance historical consultant for a community project in Lincolnshire from its planning in 2019 until its successful completion in 2021.
St Swithun’s Church, Bicker, won a £100,000 National Lottery Heritage Fund grant backing for the project. The aim was to repair the roof after the lead was stolen during the summer of 2019. Work got underway, despite the coronavirus crisis, in the spring of 2020.
The year-long project has seen a series of attractively illustrated timeline displays placed in the church. A planned programme of historical talks and open days to be held in the church was cancelled in March due to the coronavirus crisis. It was revived the following autumn with a series of online talks via Zoom and pre-recorded audio-visual material telling tales of village life.
The new series began on September 16 when Spalding aviation historian Alastair Goodrum gave an entertaining and informative illustrated talk on Balloonists, Daredevils and Barnstormers in Lincolnshire. On September 30 Angela Riley showed us how to make corn dollies and explained the origins of this ancient art.
Tom Grimes outlined 300 years of the renowned Spalding Gentlemen’s Society (SGS). It once included the likes of Isaac Newton in its list of distinguished visitors. We also found out why philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau failed to visit the Society in 1772 despite staying at the White Hart Hotel, a stone’s throw away from the SGS’s Broad Street building.
Final talk in the series was BBC Radio Lincolnshire’s Alan Stennett. On October 28 he gave an illustrated talk showing the huge changes which have taken place in Lincolnshire farming over the past century, and how it has affected life in the area.
The project came to a successful conclusion in 2021.
Find out more at www.stswithuns-bicker.org.uk