Members Mini-Talks

20 November 2018

The November meeting of the Thurcaston and Cropston Local History Society included a brief Annual General Meeting and three short talks by members.

Friendship: the Herricks of Beaumanor and the historian Nichols.

Anne Horton told us a little of the friendship between the Nichols family and the Herricks of Beaumanor Hall focussing on two members of the Nichols family.  John Nichols from London who wrote ‘The History and Antiquities of the County of Leicester’ spent much time in the area and was friends with William Herrick and his younger brother John, and he writes of taking “strenuous outings” with them.  His grandson, John Gough Nichols, spent 20 years cataloguing the Herrick estate and was involved in the commissioning of the stained glass armorial window in Beaumanor Hall during its rebuilding in the 1840’s.

The planned Bradgate Railway through Cropston.

Peter Smith showed us plans for the Leicester, Groby and Bradgate Park Railway, proposed in 1898. It would have been a privately owned branch line from Newtown Linford joining the Great Central Railway at Rothley. Its route ran through Cropston, crossing the junction between Leicester Road, Station Road and Bradgate Road (but no station at Cropston was planned). A Private Members Bill was needed for its construction and the petition stated that it was mainly intended for passengers. It was in fact hoped to get stone from quarries in Sheet Hedges Wood to the railway network, and also open up the possibility to quarry in Bradgate Park.  The Commons Committee held on 20th March 1899 felt there was a ‘flimsy case” for the railway and it was rejected.

A light-hearted look at the Peninsular War.

Finally, Brenda Hooper took a seasonal look at the Peninsular War by giving a rendition of ‘Sam Small’s Christmas Pudding’ in the style of Stanley Holloway.  The monologue was written by Marriott Edgar (he wrote sixteen for Holloway).  In this, Sam is fighting Napoleon’s troops at the Siege of Badajoz in Spain and …“By an unprecedented mis'ap, The puddin' 'is mother 'ad sent 'im,  'Ad blown Badajoz off the map!”