Meetings 2023

From Hoole History and Heritage Society

Hoole History& Heritage Society Meetings - 2023

Thursday 19th January 2023

We arranged a private guided tour of the Medical and Social Care Museum of the University of Chester. This is housed in basement rooms at Riverside, Castle Drive, Chester (formerly County Hall, Riverside, and now the "Wheeler" building). Volunteer guides took us through the collection of curiosities ranging from the early 19th century, through World War 1 to the modern day and includes artefacts from local hospitals. A short video can be SEEN HERE.

Thursday 16th February 2023

Clive Tolley gave the first part of his talk on "Hoole Heath: Raking up the Past". Back in the time of Edward III there was an "inquisition" about Hoole Heath. Since then many historians have used documents from that time to interpret the landscape, but have they made mistakes? Clive has taken a fresh look at the location and development of the heath and routes across it. In this first part he discussed the bounds of the heath and a second part will follow later in the year.

Thursday 23rd March 2023

John Walker on Dr John Haygarth of the Chester Infirmary. Haygarth (1740 – 10 June 1827) played an important role in the epidemiology and eradication of smallpox and the exposure of medical quackery. Haygarth spent 30 years at Chester and became known as one of the best physicians of his time.

Thursday 20th April 2023

Peter Elliott on the April 1923 Suspension Bridge across the Dee. It is almost exactly 100 years since the new bridge was opened, and Peter looked at some features of the bridge that are not in the guidebooks. These included:

  • How this was not the first suspension bridge in Chester: there was an earlier bridge (1849) leading to Curzon Park;
  • This was not the first suspension bridge over the River Dee: that was the chain bridge just upstream Llangollen (1814);
  • The design of the first "suspension" bridge over the Dee at Chester (1852) followed the "Dredge Taper Principle" which was both innovative and controversial;
  • The current (1923) bridge was not designed by Charles Greenwood as is often said, but a "flat pack" bridge from David Rowell & Co;
  • The heraldic shields on the current bridge are slightly mixed-up.

Peter's article and the references used can be found on his own website;

Thursday 11th May 2023

Monty Mercer - the Rainhill trials were an important competition run from the 6 to 14 October 1829, to test George Stephenson's argument that locomotives would have the best motive power for the then nearly-completed Liverpool and Manchester Railway (L&MR). Stephenson's Rocket was the only locomotive to complete the trials, and was declared the winner, and some family of Monty were involved.

Thursday 8th June 2023

Linda Webb on William Williams, Hoole builder amd local benefactor.

Thursday 13th July 2023

Clive Tolley gave the second part of his talk on his highly detailed study of Hoole Heath. In the first part we learned about the bounds of the heath, this second part looked at routes across the heath.

Tuesday 1st August 2023

Philip Cook: 175th Anniversary of the Opening of Chester General Station - walking tour.

Thursday 28th September 2023

Linda Webb: "Hoole in the 1920s"

Thursday 19th October 2023

Su Lowy: ""Victorian Millinery & Prostitution". The story of the milliner in the Victorian period reflects the many contradictions of that era. Su's talk determined what a milliner’s work was and how that trade led to a close relationship with prostitution. It also links fact and fiction and the moral mores of the time.

Thursday 23rd November 2023

Phil Cook explored some of the history of the Mails to Ireland. The first postal service began in 1516 with the Royal Mail service becoming first available to the public from 1635. Operating initially by horse, stagecoach, then train and packet boat, Chester was an important stopping-off point en route to Holyhead and embarkation for Dublin. The first Irish Mail train left Euston Station in London at 8.45pm on 1 August 1848, due to arrive at Holyhead at 6.45am the following morning. It was to connect with one of four new mail packets (boats) provided by the Admiralty, all paddle steamers. It operated until 2002.

Thursday 7th December 2023