The Blakeney Area Historical Society (BAHS) in North Norfolk

The Blakeney Area Historical Society

Covering The Blakeney Haven (Blakeney, Cley, Morston,Salthouse, Wiveton) & Adjacent Hinterland   Contact Us

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Each year the BAHS organises a number of events/lectures which are open to members of the BAHS and visitors.

General Arrangements

Our meetings are open to all and typically attended by 50 to 80 members and visitors. There is an entrance charge of £3 for members and £5 for visitors. Refreshments are included although a donation is appreciated.

All monthly meetings are held on the last Tuesday in the month at 7.30 pm in the British Legion Harbour Room unless stated otherwise.

Click here for the address and a map for the Harbour Room.

Car parking is free at the Hall and there is ample parking available.

We look forward to seeing you there. Please spread the word and bring your friends.

If you are a member and we have your email address then you should receive an email about each event a few days before the event. If you don't receive them and would like to please contact the membership secretary.

If you are not a member but would like to receive an email reminder a few days before meetings (and a few other emails about our activities and items of general interest) then please use the sign-up form on the home page.

Our Lecture Programme Organiser may be emailed on

For details of events and lectures held in previous years please click here.

Programme for 2016/17

Tuesday 27 September 2016

The True Poetry of World War 1: The Poets Time Forgot


Never Such Innocence

Dr Martin Stephen

The famous poets of the Great War represent only a minority of the poetry written by serving men and women in the war. This talk reveals some of the outstanding poetry written by largely unknown poets of the First World War, the breadth, depth and variety of which is not only extraordinary in itself, but gives a completely different outlook on the war from that which has become conventional. This is the war as experienced by those who fought in it, as distinct from those who wrote what we now think they ought to have written.

Martin Stephen was formerly High Master of St Paul’s School and Headmaster of the Perse and Manchester Grammar Schools. He has written many books, including the Henry Gresham series and Diary of a Stroke and is an authority on the poetry of the First World War.


Tuesday 25 October 2016

Money, Love & Status: a Paston Marriage




Money Love & Status: A Paston Marriage

Susan Curran

When Margery Paston (of the famous letter-writing family) announced her intention to marry her family’s land agent Richard Calle, her mother and brothers were appalled. They did everything they could to prevent the marriage, even at the cost of gossip and scandal. They failed, and in 1469 Margery and Richard were married. But why were her family so determined? Richard was solvent, well educated and well liked; many must have shared his own opinion that he was a good match for Margery. The Pastons, by contrast, were flat broke at the time and awash in enemies. Was it just snobbery that prompted their opposition, or were there more hidden factors in play?

Susan Curran is an author and publisher. Her illustrated history book The Marriage of Margery Paston was published in 2013. Read More...

The talk will be preceded by a short AGM.


Tuesday 29 November 2016

Why the Norfolk Dialect?


Why The Norfolk Dialect?

Professor Peter Trudgill

Peter is a well known local author with a long-standing Norfolk pedigree. He is President of the Friends of Norfolk Dialect society and has a regular column in the EDP. His latest book Dialect Matters: Respecting Vernacular Language (Cambridge University Press), is a collection of these columns. He will highlight the history of the Norfolk dialect and explain why it has such a distinctive structure.


Tuesday 13 December 2016

Christmas Mardle Night


Rethinking Ancient Woodland

Prof. Tom Williamson

Rethinking Ancient Woodland: recent research on Norfolk’s woods

Tom Williamson is Professor of Landscape History at the University of East Anglia and author of many books and articles about the landscape of East Anglia, and Norfolk in particular. His most recent books are on Norfolk Gardens and Designed Landscapes (with Patsy Dallas), An Environmental History of Wildlife in England 1650 – 1950 and Rethinking Ancient Woodland (with Gerry Barnes).

Mardle night will also have various exhibits around the room plus the chance to partake in seasonal refreshments.

Tuesday 31 January 2017

An Evening of Three Short Talks



John Darby, 16thC Local Land Surveyor
Diana Cooke & Nichola Harrison

The two Speakers discovered John Darby, a 16thC Land Surveyor, through different routes. Between them, they will explore the context in which he worked and the large area which he covered.

Another Oliver legacy
John Peake

Blakeney owes an enormous debt to Professor Frank Oliver's foresight and love of the area over a century ago. Examples from his photogaphic legacy will be shown.

Johnson Jex
Richard Jefferson

Johnson Jex of Letheringsett, ‘an inventive genius.......He lived and died a scientific anchorite’.


Tuesday 28 February 2017

A fisherman’s prized possession


Fishermen in their Ganseys

Rita Taylor

Ganseys were popular all around the North Sea and the British and Irish coasts, from the early 19th century to the middle of the 20th century; the tradition followed the routes of the fishing fleets and made its way to the small ports. The tradition lives on in Great Britain with a few Norfolk fishermen, and seems to be becoming popular as a fashion item too, judging by the number of requests to knit them.


Tuesday 28 March 2017

The parish churches of Norwich before 1400


St Mary Coslany and St Etheldreda.

Prof. Sandy Heslop

The impression conveyed by nearly all the surviving parish churches in Norwich is that they late medieval (1400-1550), however the earlier configuration of more than half of them can be demonstrated. This lecture brings the evidence together and assesses it.

The two churches shown are St Mary Coslany and St Etheldreda.


Tuesday 25 April 2017

The work of the Norfolk Identification & Recording service

A 7th-cent. gold pendant with inlaid Roman mosaic glass, from Gayton near King’s Lynn.

Andrew Rogerson

Norfolk County Council’s finds Identification and Recording Service at Gressenhall records some 15,000 objects a year found by metal detector users and others. Norfolk produces more finds than any other part of the country and these are recorded in the national Portable Antiquities Scheme database.

The talk will give an insight into some of the fascinating discoveries that have come from Norfolk over recent years.

The pictures show a 7th-century. gold pendant with inlaid Roman mosaic glass, from Gayton near King’s Lynn.