Author Archives: saffronwaldenhistoricalsociety

OBITUARY

Neville Price: 1909-2002

Published Saffron Walden Historical Journal No 3 (2002)

For the last 30 years, Neville Price and his wife Jean have played a prominent part in the affairs of the Historical Society. For many years Neville edited and produced its Journal, served as the Society treasurer and subsequently a vice-president, attending committee meetings until about two years ago. He died peacefully at home early on Christmas Eve at the age of 92.

Neville grew up in Jamaica where his father was President of the Baptist Theological College at Kingston. Coming to Cambridge, he first read archaeology and anthropology at St. John’s but later switched to Spanish and French. He went back to the West Indies to teach at his old school and for the rest of his career specialised in mathematics and religious knowledge. He came back to Britain just before the last war to take a teaching diploma and then was at Chatham House, Ramsgate, until 1952 apart from the war years. Neville volunteered for the RAF and became a Codes and Ciphers officer, learning to type (to the eventual benefit of the Historical Society). He met Jean at his father’s church in Birmingham and they married during the war. The last part of Neville’s teaching career was spent at Wanstead County High School. He retired at 60 in 1969 and Jean designed a bungalow at Saffron Walden for their new home.

Joining the then Saffron Walden Antiquarian Society, Neville and Jean helped with the project to record the gravestones in St Mary’s churchyard, and then undertook to read all the remaining gravestones in the town at the United Reformed Church, the Friends’ Meeting House, the Baptist Church, the former Strict Baptist Church in London Road and the Hill Street Unitarian Church (now Goddards Interiors). They made a record of all the memorials and gravestones inside St Mary’s and listed dates and other inscriptions on buildings in the town. This last project had been started by Ken Lovatt and the final list was published in the last edition of the Journal. After hearing a talk on industrial archaeology, Neville made records of station furniture at Audley End, the tunnel towards Cambridge, the Mill by Audley End Station (where he was working as secretary) and large metal grave-markers noticed at Arkesden. He and Jean also recorded other survivals like the First World War arrows in West Road and George Street, intended to direct people from the coast who might need to be evacuated in the event of an enemy invasion.

Neville and Jean were keen on visiting foreign countries and on several occasions, following their travels, Neville gave the Society illustrated talks on the archaeology of Greece, Crete, Turkey and Tunisia.

In the spring of 1972, the Society started publishing Saffron Walden History with John O’Leary as editor and production by Miss Musto of the Teachers’ Training College, who was then the Society’s secretary and treasurer. When the College closed and Miss Musto left the town, Neville was elected in 1974 (until 1985) as treasurer and took over typing the articles and producing copies of the Journal on the Baptist Church duplicator. In 1981 he added the editorship to his list of responsibilities, and also commissioned the front covers and continued compiling the index. In later years Neville was helped by Richard Jemmett with the production of the Journal. Cliff Stacey was the main source of articles until his health began to decline and it was this that decided Neville to make the autumn issue of 1991 his last, having produced 20 issues.

Ten years on and the Saffron Walden Historical Journal has been revived to Neville’s great joy and a tribute to his many years of publication which had been much missed. Michael Swindlehurst

Audley End: Landscape Histories

Volume 5 in the SWHS Publications series was published by the Saffron Walden Historical Society in December 2019 with well over 100 guests enjoying the hospitality of The Gibson Library Society and author Lizzie Sanders signing copies of her book. Entitled ‘Audley End: Landscape Histories’ it is lavishly illustrated with old maps and artworks in full colour, and offers a fascinating insight into the countryside around Audley End, the iconic mansion in NW Essex. The book is available at Harts Bookshop and Tourist Information price £12.00. Enquiries for postal copies to saffronwaldenhistory@gmail.com

Saffron Walden Historical Journal No 42 (Autumn 2021) CONTENTS

Saffron Walden Historical Journal front cover issue 42 Autumn 2021

Issue No 42 (Autumn 2021) on sale at Tourist Information, Harts Bookshop, Waitrose and Saffron Walden Museum, price £4, or by post – see contact on website.

ARTICLES

A Changing Walden – photographs by Richard Jemmett

Scenes from Old Walden: the 1910 Saffron Walden Pageant by Gillian Williamson

Flashback: the 1951 General Election by Martyn Everett

Paths to Salvation: Walden’s medieval wayside crosses, lost saints and the battle of Assandun by Simon Coxall

Community Archaeology in Time of Covid: the Clavering Castle Environs Project 2020-21 by  Jacqueline Cooper

The Right not to Kill: the story of Lansbury Gate Farm, Clavering by Martyn Everett

Thomas Netter of Walden and the Conversion of Lithuania by Francis Young

Obituary Richard Dick Jemmett 1922–2021 by Martyn Everett

History News

SWHS Lectures 2021-22

Society  lectures at Friends’ Meeting House or online via ZOOM, 7.45 pm:

2021
Wednesday, 22nd September: ‘The Young Charles Darwin in Cambridge’
Murray Jacobs (Meeting House)

Wednesday, 20th October: MARY WHITEMAN MEMORIAL LECTURE
The Battle of Britain (Meeting House) Neil Wiffen

Wednesday, 24th November: ‘Aspects of Walden’s Medieval Ritual Landscape’
Simon Coxall (Meeting House)

Wednesday, 15th December: ‘Misdemeanours and Misdoings: the Victorian Servant
Problem’ Dr Judith Hill (On ZOOM)

2022
Wednesday, 26th January: ‘In Search of Boudicca’
Natasha Harlow (On ZOOM)

Wednesday, 23rd February: ‘Chimneys, Hearths and Fireplaces’: Aspects of
domestic architecture in timber-framed buildings.
Anne Padfield (On ZOOM)

Wednesday, 23rd March: The History of Textiles in East Anglia
John Miners (Meeting House)

Wednesday, 27th April: The New River Company and London’s Water Supply
Nick Higham (Meeting House)

Wednesday, 25th May AGM a short talk to be arranged
(Meeting House)

SWHS Programme 2021-22

2021
Wednesday, 22nd September: ‘The Young Charles Darwin in Cambridge’
Murray Jacobs (Meeting House)
Wednesday, 20th October: MARY WHITEMAN MEMORIAL LECTURE
The Battle of Britain (Meeting House)
Neil Wiffen
Wednesday, 24th November: ‘Aspects of Walden’s Medieval Ritual Landscape’
Simon Coxall (Meeting House)
Wednesday, 15th December: ‘Misdemeanours and Misdoings: the Victorian Servant Problem’ Dr Judith Hill (On ZOOM)

2022
Wednesday, 26th January: ‘In Search of Boudicca’
Natasha Harlow (On ZOOM)
Wednesday, 23rd February: ‘Chimneys, Hearths and Fireplaces’: Aspects of
domestic architecture in timber-framed buildings.
Anne Padfield (On ZOOM)
Wednesday, 23rd March: The History of Textiles in East Anglia
John Miners (Meeting House)
Wednesday, 27th April: The New River Company and London’s Water Supply
Nick Higham (Meeting House)
Wednesday, 25th May AGM a short talk to be arranged
(Meeting House) 018

Meetings are held at 7.45 pm. in the Quaker Meeting House, High Street, Saffron Walden or online via ZOOM

Annual Subscriptions: £7.00 per member; Visitors £2.00 per visit – ALL WELCOME!

More articles added to website

There are now over 100 articles freely available on the Saffron Walden History website, taken selectively from out-of-print issues of the Saffron Walden Historical Journal, and the number will be added to as time goes on. Among the new additions are articles on the Rose & Crown Fire, the Moat Farm Murder, the WW2 Demolition Line of Defences,  the Medieval Park at Little Walden, the history of 1 Myddelton Place (the former youth hostel), the life of the former Saffron Walden MP, Rab Butler, the Turf Maze on the Common and many other subjects that have proved popular articles with readers. To find the new material, simply click on Articles in the top of the welcome page and the list is displayed alphabetically. All articles are in PDF and can be downloaded and printed off without charge, however they remain the copyright of the authors and publishers and permission must be sought to reproduce them in other media.

Contents of Journal Spring 2017 (No 33)

Journal No 33 centred on various aspects of religious history locally, prompted by the 500th anniversary since the Reformation began in 1517, and its aftermath. Subjects included: Ritual in the Pre-Reformation Church at Walden by Elizabeth Allan;  a new archaeological investigation at Tilty Abbey, one of many monastic institutions abolished at the Reformation – this was by Rachel Clarke & Maggie Stevens; the role of Sir Thomas Smith (born in Walden) in the Reformation, by Jeremy Collingwood; an extract from William Harrison’s Description of England, describing in contemporary terms how the Protestant Reformation had changed the ritual of the Church; a pioneering and important new study by Kevin Davey of the activities of Quaker radicals around the Saffron Walden area during the Protectorate; a transcript by Martyn Everett of a remarkable journal kept by a man employed in 1851 to sell Bibles to the poor in Saffron Walden district; building projects at Abbey Lane Congregational Chapel by Stephen Rapkin; memories by Michael Yarrow of his childhood experiences of attending the Plymouth Brethren meetings in Saffron Walden in the 1940s-50s; the biography of an unusual country vicar, Revd John Handson Sperling at Wicken Bonhunt, by Deborah Lowe; and a summary of how the Catholics returned to worship in Saffron Walden in the early 20th century. This very full and fascinating issue is no longer available in retail outlets, but can still be purchased from the Society at the usual price of £3 plus postage.

Programme 2021-22

Saffron Walden Historical Society

2021
Wednesday, 22nd September: ‘The Young Charles Darwin in Cambridge’
Murray Jacobs (Meeting House)
Wednesday, 20th October: MARY WHITEMAN MEMORIAL LECTURE
The Battle of Britain (Meeting House)
Neil Wiffen
Wednesday, 24th November: ‘Aspects of Walden’s Medieval Ritual Landscape’
Simon Coxall (Meeting House)
Wednesday, 15th December: ‘Misdemeanours and Misdoings: the Victorian Servant
Problem’
Dr Judith Hill (On ZOOM)

2022
Wednesday, 26th January: ‘In Search of Boudicca’
Natasha Harlow (On ZOOM)
Wednesday, 23rd February: ‘Chimneys, Hearths and Fireplaces’: Aspects of
domestic architecture in timber-framed buildings.
Anne Padfield (On ZOOM)
Wednesday, 23rd March: The History of Textiles in East Anglia
John Miners (Meeting House)
Wednesday, 27th April: The New River Company and London’s Water Supply
Nick Higham (Meeting House)
Wednesday, 25th May AGM a short talk to be arranged
(Meeting House)

Contents of Journal Autumn 2016 (No 32)

The Autumn 2016 issue of the Society’s journal (no 32) featured swhj-no-32-cover-finalarticles on the 1920-30s Hunger Marchers who came through the town; the Gold Street fire of 1941; the history of Cleales; the story of Saffron Walden Town Hall; a summary of Stansted Mountfitchet history; new documents relating to the 1862 murder case in Clavering;  and an update on history news in the locality and new publications. There are also obituaries on two fine local historians: Ken Neale and Jean Gumbrell.

Contents of Journal Spring 2016 (No 31)

The Spring 2016 issue of the Journal included articles on the subjects of: a stroll round 1950s Walden with Bruce Munro remembering scenes and characters of the time; a look at the varying styles of fanlights on front doors in some of the town streets and how they relate to historical fashions; memories of when the programme ‘Lovejoy’ was filmed in Walden, Clavering, Hatfield Broad Oak, Berden and other parts of NW Essex in the 1990s; new archaeological and historical discoveries in the area; the centenary of the Battle of the Somme; and much else. The front cover is an original drawing by noted professional artist and designer, Brian Sanders. SWH Journal No 31 - front cover