News in brief

The Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead has transferred its collection of artefacts from its 146 year history to East Grinstead Museum. The collection comprises several thousand objects including equipment, surgical instruments and prostheses, photographs, paintings and other memorabilia relating to the hospital since it was founded as a cottage hospital in 1863. It has strong links to the work of plastic surgeon Sir Archibald McIndoe during World War II and the famous ‘Guinea Pig Club’ of his patients. For more information, contact East Grinstead Museum, Old Market Yard, Cantelupe Road, East Grinstead, Sussex RH19 3BJ, tel: 01342 302233,

Sixteen war memorials were listed by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) at the beginning of November 2009. At the same time, English Heritage published guidance on how to protect war memorials from theft and is recruiting, for the first time, a 'Heritage Crime Officer' to advise on counteracting architectural theft generally. The listed war memorials include: Freshford, Bradford-on-Avon; St Cuthbert’s Lychgate War Memorial, Allendale, near Hexham; the Boer War Memorial, Hastings; the unusual stone block memorial in Hartington, Derbyshire; Stanwell, Middlesex; The Binstead and Havenstreet War Shrine, Ryde, Isle of Wight and the Sheerness War Memorial, Bridge Road, Sheerness. In addition, the Cenotaph in Watts Park, Southampton ― which was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and was adopted across the nation for its war memorials, including the Whitehall Cenotaph in London — has been upgraded to II*. The new guide on war memorial care is now available on English Heritage's website. Hard copies can be obtained from English Heritage, tel: 0870 333 1181, or the War Memorials Trust, tel: 0300 123 0764.

'A Speak up for Learning Campaign Pack' has been created by the Workers' Educational Association (WEA) for use by those who want to ensure that adult education is on the national political agenda during the forthcoming general election campaign. As far as the WEA and its partner organisations in the Campaigning Alliance for Lifelong Learning (CALL) are concerned (see for more info about CALL) (see LHM No.121, Nov/Dec 2008), all would-be MPs must be made to address the important issue of funding for adult education and lifelong learning and the issue needs to be pushed high up the political agenda. WEA and CALL would like local groups, volunteers, tutors, and staff to get involved, using the publication of the Report of the Commission on Lifelong Learning (see article in this CALL Bulletin) as an opportunity to begin a dialogue around adult education with local prospective parliamentary candidates (PPCs). The WEA will be organising constituency meetings to quiz parliamentary candidates on the attitudes of their parties to adult learning and to find out what they will do if they have a seat in Parliament after the general election. To help anyone interested in supporting its pre-election campaign, it has produced ‘A Speak Up for Lifelong Learning Campaign Pack’ to help with organising local campaigns, including information about how to find out about prospective parliamentary candidates, writing letters, questions to ask and other material. To obtain a campaign pack contact Maria Chica at the WEA, tel: 020 7426 3486, email:, telephone 020 7426 3486.

A view of the Bishop's Palace and Garden from the roof of Wells Cathedral.

A view of the Bishop's Palace and Garden from the roof of Wells Cathedral.

The Bishop's Palace next to Wells Cathedral is at the centre of a £4.8 million development project to improve and update the Palace. Plans include a new ‘green’ café, a community Garden and outdoor theatre, plus an activity, creativity and education centre in The Old Stable Yard. The medieval undercroft will become a focus for exploring the Palace’s history and there are also plans to provide disabled access to the Rampart Walk offering dramatic views of St. Andrew’s Cathedral, and to create a new viewing point for visitors to see Wells’ famous swans. The Palace is a Grade I listed building, recognised as one of the most important bishop’s palaces in England. As the home to Bishops of Bath & Wells for more than 800 years, it is steeped in history, whilst its beautiful grounds, containing the prehistoric wells which give the city its name, are ranked amongst the most important heritage sites in the region. The good news is that £3m has already been raised towards the cost of this ambitious project, leaving a shortfall of £1.8m, which the Palace Trust is now looking to raise through the appeal. For more information about the appeal, and opening times during 2010, contact Bishop's Palace & Garden, Wells, tel: 01749 988111,

Heritage skills training over the next five years is being funded by a new £5m Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) programme, which should provide up to 1,000 paid training opportunities for people across the United Kingdom. As well as supporting traditional conservation and crafts training, there will be help for those who need to learn digital and media skills. Other training will be available for those who want to work in heritage education and with members of the public. Organisations will be able to apply for funding with the 'emphasis on high-quality work-based training'. The closing date for applications is 19 March 2010, with awards being made in May 2010, to cover a five year period. For more details visit

The English Heritage Cathedrals Fabric Condition Survey 2009 shows that cathedrals have spent more than £250m on repairs since 1991, with £90m being spent since 2001. Over £50m came in the form of English Heritage grants. Over the next 10 years cathedrals will need to spend an estimated £100m on further repairs and maintenance work. Among the big spenders, who still need to carry out major repair programmes, are: Canterbury (£16m); York (£8m); Lincoln (£13m plus); Salisbury (£15m); Chichester (£10m) and Winchester (£4m). For more information on the Cathedrals Fabric Survey, and other related topics, visit

Wolverhampton University's Centre for the History of Retailing and Distribution is seeking participants for a workshop on 17 March 2010 which will be devoted to a discussion of the retailing and distribution of books and all other printed material from the inception of the printing press to the present day. Proposals for papers and presentations can cover any form of retail and distribution, from bookshops to market stalls and itinerants, and any geographical location or historical period. Please send proposals (including a title and a c200 word abstract) to Dr Laura Ugolini, Reader in History, School of Law, Social Sciences and Communications, Building, University of Wolverhampton WV1 1LY, email: Closing date for papers is 22 January 2010.

16 December 2009

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