Kettering Civic Society


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Northamptonshire Heritage Forum chose Kettering to hold their annual History Day on 12th October

Kettering Civic Society with The Friends of Kettering Museum and Art Gallery were delighted to host this successful event which was held at the Corn Market Hall. Over a hundred history lovers, members of the Forum, Civic Society, Friends of the Museum and Art Gallery were treated to a variety of fascinating talks in the morning and walks in the afternoon.

Members of the Forum were able to exhibit their special interest venues and activities.

Steve Sharpe began the morning with his fascinating illustrated talk on Kettering Archaeology  inviting  us to explore further in the     Museum. Steve is an active member of the Ise Archaeological Research Society. In the past he has contributed to their talk programmes, with presentations on Kettering’s archaeology. He has been hands-on in local and national digs, and is a volunteer at Kettering Museum and Art Gallery.

His presentation was followed by David Brown who cleverly managed to squeeze as much information as he could on the History of Kettering  by following the events on the time line on the Market Place.  David is Chairman of the Friends of Kettering Art Gallery & Museum. He is a retired doctor, and is now free to indulge in his two great passions: art and history.

After coffee Kettering’s Artistic Heritage was touched on by Ian Luck and he invited us to explore the Alfred East Art Gallery.  Ian is Chairman of the Kettering and District Art Society. As well as painting, Ian has co-authored the ‘Catalogue of the Permanent collection of the  Kettering Art Gallery’ and more recently ‘Alfred East  – The Incidental Etcher’. He is the acknowledged authority on all Kettering artists.

The History of Wicksteed Park was another informative    presentation by Tracey Clarke who is the Community Link Manager at   Wicksteed Park. Since taking over this role she has been instrumental in many recent changes. Most importantly her outreach work has reinvigorated interest in the improved facilities and also the heritage and archives of the park.

Time passed too quickly and before we knew it, a delicious lunch was served by our favourite Classic Catering team.


At 2pm we had the difficult choice of  joining one of the following tours:

1. Three options for tours around London Road Cemetery were offered. David Brown  gave a general tour, Ian Luck, focussed on artists and Phil Steele shared his knowledge of Military graves. 

2. A tour of the Parish Church of St. Peter and St. Paul was followed by a brief tour of the Manor House Museum by Manager Karen Adhemar and the Alfred East Art Gallery Manager, Billie Stevenson.

3. The north town tour covered early religion and non-conformist sites, shoes and missionaries which also took us to the Fuller Museum  was led by Delia Thomas. A history graduate with many local roles. She runs Local History courses and sessions and is an expert in the interpretation of old documents. Her knowledge of the history of  Kettering is boundless. She also spends much time in the museum, helping the permanent staff.

4. The south town’s walk led to monumental buildings, banks and  alms-houses was led by Andrea Pettingale, Civic Society and Northamptonshire Heritage Forum & Northants History Society committee member. She has an in depth knowledge of  local history as well as having expertise and running courses on Genealogy.

Tea and tasty cakes made by volunteers was served before we said our goodbyes.  Compliments were received for this hugely successful day and grateful thanks go to all for making the day so enjoyable!