Linton & District History Society


Whether your interest in history is personal, academic, or just a more general desire to find out how our forefathers lived, the Linton and District History Society offers a friendly welcome and helpful advice.

We meet on the first Wednesday of every month except January, 7 for 7:30 p.m., in Linton Village Hall.  Tea and coffee are available at the start of the meeting. Annual membership is £20, and speaker meetings are free to members.   Visitors are always welcome, and pay £5 per meeting.

Our programmes aim to cover local, national and international history – there is something for all interests, and we welcome suggestions for topics.

For all enquiries, contact our Chairman, Ernst Zillekens, in the first instance.

Our next meeting is on 8th May (note changed date), when Jonquil Dodd will speak about the 1860 American Presidential Election.  Jonquil says 

“We are again in Election year, and to an outsider, the choice being offered to Americans is not very appetising.  American politics is as polarised as it has been for many years.  It is therefore a good moment to look at an election which really was a crisis point in US history, that of 1860 which brought Abraham Lincoln to the White House.  To contemporaries, Lincoln was as divisive a figure as Donald Trump is today.  How did he gain the nomination, and what was America like in 1860?”



8th MayJonquil DoddThe most divisive President? Abraham Lincoln and the Presidential Election of 1860
5th JuneFounders’   Lecture :Simon DraperPlace-Names in the Gloucestershire and Herefordshire Landscape (given in memory of Lee Hines)
3rd JulyJohn PowellQuakers in Ross
7th AugustChris LathanIsaac Newton – Scientist, Theologian, Magician and Crime Fighter?
4th SeptemberHeather HurleyGreen Lanes
2nd OctoberRay WilsonThe Industrial Heritage of the Forest of Dean
6th NovemberPhilip BowenThe Decline of the Aristocracy and the Country House
4th DecemberGillian WhiteThe Hugely Huggable History of the Teddy Bear
5th FebruaryAndy MoirDendrochronology and dating of timber-framed buildings in Herefordshire 
5th MarchChairman’s Lecture : Ernst ZillekensBess of Hardwicke
2nd AprilAGM 

Review of our March and April meetings

Our March meeting was our annual Chairman’s Lecture, and gave us the opportunity to learn much that we did not know about Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany.  From his excruciatingly difficult birth and difficult childhood, he developed into a headstrong young man.  His father’s premature death after only a few months as Kaiser brought him to the throne at the age of 29, and he proceeded to dismiss the vastly experienced Bismarck, who had guided German foreign policy for many years.  Impetuous and arrogant, Wilhelm initiated a personal style of government which was to lead to disaster.  

Our April meeting was our AGM, successfully concluded in 9 minutes!  We were to have had archaeological finds evaluated, but our speaker was unable to be with us.  Instead, members presented a wide variety of “items of interest” from a (possibly Roman) quern stone, to the skilful metal work of an old oil lamp from Orkney;  a brass dish from China, and a watercolour of the S.S. Intaba, serving the South African passenger trade just after the Boer War; a knitted tablecloth and a map of the local area with the evocative field names; and information on the iron industry in our area.  

Family history

We have transferred the main part of our Archive to the Herefordshire Archive and Record Centre, which is also the main port of call for those researching family history.  Some of our parish records can be accessed via this link

Articles of interest

Society members write a weekly column for the Ross Gazette, and we are lucky that these are regularly published.  If you would like to submit an article, please contact our Secretary.

Committee members :

Ernst Zillekens (Chairman)

Teresa Squires (Secretary) 

Roger Davies (Treasurer)

Valerie Boxley (Outings Secretary) 01452 831374

Pamela Bruce

John Foley