Where you are: News - Newsletter Winter 2008- 2009
      Newsletter Winter 2008-2009



How quickly the autumn season of activities seemed to pass. We hope you enjoyed the varied talks – a particular thanks to John Hoare for standing in for the November speaker.  Thanks too to all who volunteered to help with our stand at the Local History Fair, a useful opportunity to promote our work and sell our publications. Our social event was a great success thanks to the catering at the Millstone and the entertainment arranged by Pam Mills.

The AGM of distant memory was an opportunity to thank Committee members for all their work and to welcome Graham Rolf in his new role as Treasurer. Proposed changes to the constitution were agreed unanimously. Steve Payne accepted a second stint as Chairman and continues to lead the HLF project. His update about the project is included below. 

Our local Library building celebrated its Centenary on 7 October and some members were able to attend and see the various exhibitions. Lesley Nicholson had unearthed a fascinating collection of material on how the main room of the Library was used for much of the past hundred years before it became the Library we know now. The Library continues to have changing displays selected from our Archive. Two retirements also took place in the autumn, with farewells being made to Carole Hughes, our local Librarian, and to Carol Hill, the Doncaster Local Studies Librarian. However, Doncaster’s loss is our gain now that Carol Hill is helping us with the HLF project – see Steve’s report.   

Several of us beavered away during the autumn to complete our latest publication, Occasional Paper 6, in which Ronald Hill’s engrossing memories of his Tickhill schooldays in the 1920s are accompanied by extracts from a variety of sources and a selection of illustrations. Priced at £1.50 the paper is published in January and can be bought at our meetings or KSM on Castlegate, thanks to Linda Mayes and colleagues. 

St Mary’s Church is proposing to install a memorial to Tom Beastall, not only a Churchwarden, but also an eminent local historian whose publications on Tickhill and whose leadership of a local history group have done much to help our understanding of Tickhill’s past. The Society has made a donation towards the cost of the memorial. 


Tickhill Then, Now, and for the Future – Progress Report December 2008

We have applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the second instalment of our £20,100 grant. We told them of the progress we had made so far – and it’s a story to be proud of.

We have been very active in sharing our materials and involving groups and the community in appreciating local history. We have given lots of talks, run local history days, we have a rolling exhibition in Tickhill Library and we have the website which some 600 people visit each week, with regular downloads of articles. Our photographs have been viewed an incredible 84,000 times ... so far ! Our regular research papers are selling well and our Newsletter always has interesting research pieces in it.

People are contributing their memories of times past through Living Memories interviews, and recently we were honoured with the gift of boxes of papers left by Joan Wilcox - a treasure trove.

The Society has contributed volunteer hours to the value of £16,000, our part of the arrangement with HLF – they give us money, we give our time. Lots of people have been very busy!

We are working with the local schools to produce a guide to short walks around Tickhill which we hope will bring the town’s heritage to life for them.

Carol Hill is in the process of providing captions for the photos in our collection and, where these cover a common theme, producing short papers to help us to understand what the photographs are telling us about our past – bringing the photographs to life. Two papers have recently been added to the website on Railways and the Library.

The next instalment of HLF funding, which has just been received, will help us carry on the good work.

Steve Payne

New website                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The latest, rare, historical document to become available on the Internet is one of the world’s oldest existing Bibles, known as Codex Sinaiticus. A new website contains about one quarter of the fourth century Codex, while the whole Codex will be uploaded by the end of 2009. Written in Greek (the online version comes with a translation), the Codex was found in the 19th Century in St Catherine’s Monastery in Egypt. Many of the 400 pages went to St Petersburg with 40 or so pages going to Leipzig University. Some more pages were found in the Monastery in the 1970s in a walled-up room. The pages held in Russia were sold by Stalin to the British Museum in 1934. This was the first time the British Museum raised money through public subscriptions to add to its collections. The British Library now houses this substantial section of the Codex.    

The Codex has no illuminated letters like the Lindisfarne Gospels or the Tickhill Psalter. The text is arranged in four columns on each page. Each letter is carefully and confidently formed, as can be seen in the word ONEIDIZ…, meaning ‘reproach’. Thanks are due to Mr Kenneth Emberton for providing this translation and explaining the problems involved in translating the Codex. The formation of individual letters in ancient Greek could vary from one region to another, the scribes did not put spaces between each word causing ambiguities and abbreviations could be used, which only a specialist could decipher.

You might well wonder what the Codex has to do with Tickhill’s history. The link is explained in the following extract from the April 1934 edition of The Parish Magazine: 

The Vicar obtained from the Director of the British Museum a facsimile of one or two chapters of the Mount Sinai manuscript of the Bible. The leaves of the original are composed of very fine vellum, varying in thickness but usually thin and each measuring 15 by 13½ inches, made up for the most part in gatherings of eight leaves or sixteen pages. The facsimile is on a table at the West end of the Church, and will remain there for the first fortnight of this month. Any donations given will be forwarded to the British Museum, and will help in a small way to pay for the purchase of this valuable manuscript.

So, local people had the opportunity to see part of the Codex and to help, through donations, to bring a large part of the Codex to England. By the way, this was not the first time that money donated in Tickhill found its way to Russia. In 1922 £16/16/8 was collected locally for the Russian Famine Fund.

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