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Talk on 12 December.

Drink and the Georgians: New Consumer Tastes in the Eighteenth Century by John Chartres, Emeritus Professor of Social and Economic History, University of Leeds

We learnt so much from the excellent talk by John Chartres at our meeting last night which provided the facts and figures through the course of the 18th century and gave the background to the famous Hogarth prints of Gin Lane, and Beer Street. We were able to relate the information to the present day, so it was particularly pertinent considering the time of year.

Study group at the West Yorkshire History Centre

On Monday 2 July nine of our members met at the Centre to work with original documents.

The aims of these sessions are:
- To encourage original research in the Society.
- To increase familiarity with our local archive catalogues and collections
 - To provide opportunities to study with others and share ideas.
- To explore a range of primary sources based on Wakefield, with an emphasis on the history of Westgate.

We have continued to meet weekly, either at the Local Studies Library or at the West Yorkshire History Centre, and members are now busy with their own research.

Study Group at West Yorkshire History Centre

study group

The third meeting of the study group at the West Yorkshire History Centre found the 18th century West Riding Quarter Sessions engrossing; discovering thefts by apprentices, information about the upkeep of the roads, lists of magistrates and chief constables, and much more. The Sessions met four times each year, covering cases from Wakefield, Halifax, Huddersfield and Bradford. The fragile bundles are not indexed, but lists of civil cases appear in the order books, and criminal cases in the indictment books.



Members' Christmas Dinner

Xmas dinner

Members of the Society enjoyed an excellent dinner at the Town Hall on Wednesday 19th December. Lorraine Simpson, our Treasurer told us about her research into the sisters of George Gissing, and the school that they set up, and about the two Quaker Staines sisters who were involved in the 'Seige of Quebec Street' defending a conscientious objector at the end of WW1.

We were also challenged to complete a quiz about various aspects of Wakefield History. The top score was 18 out of 20, and the team were rewarded with a box of chocolates.

Our thanks are due to the members who arranged this festive event.

TaLK: Some Other and Wider Destiny: Wakefield Grammar School Foundation and the Great War. 

Some Other and Wider Destiny

The talk at our meeting on 14th November was well attended. Elaine Merckx, who is the archivist at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School introduced how the research and the book came about. Neal Rigby, former Head of History gave background to the school through the Great War, and described personal experiences of their pupils as combatants.

Our members and visitors are enjoying the more spacious venue at the Elizabethan Gallery and the opportunity to chat and enjoy refreshments.

Study Group Walk along Westgate
Tuesday 14 August

Great Bull

Members of the study group shared a walk on Westgate, learning more of its history and contributing our own knowledge. We learnt of the changes from the grand mansions and inns of the 18th century, to banks and building societies, and now to the present leisure and entertainment venues. Maps and photographs illustrated these changes.