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Stafford historian launches walks down memory lane

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: April 05, 2014

  • BEST FOOT FORWARD... historian Margaret George plans a series of guided walks

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A LOCAL historian is putting her best foot forward with a new series of guided walks exploring the hidden corners of Staffordshire - and further afield.

This is the 24th year that Margaret George, the founder of the Staffordshire History Group, has organised trips down memory lane for local history enthusiasts.

And Mrs George, of Great Haywood, says there is still plenty to be discovered.

"I got the idea of history walks when I was a history student myself, and our lecturer would take us to churches and other historic buildings, but we didn't get the chance to explore the communities around them," she explained.

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"The walks are designed to give a more rounded picture of the past, and the wealth of history to be discovered on our doorsteps is amazing."

Mrs George's expertise and contacts mean that groups can often look round private homes not usually open to the public.

And such behind-the-scenes glimpses are particularly fascinating, she added.

"It is inspiring to see the time and devotion that householders put in to preserving historic properties, and they all have an interesting story to tell," Mrs George said.

This year's first visit, on April 13, is to the village of Colton, near Rugeley, and its church, and will include a talk on recent excavations near the church, which have revealed historic artefacts.

Izaak Walton's Cottage, Shallowford is the destination on April 27, with a picnic in the herb garden. The visit will explore the history of the timber-framed cottage with its 17th century furniture, kitchen and fishing exhibition.

The day will also include a visit to nearby Shallowford House, a 19th century house now used as a retreat centre by the Diocese of Lichfield.

A visit scheduled for May 11 is to Bobbington, near Wolverhampton and Blakelands, a Queen Anne mansion which is now a hotel.

And on May 25, the destination is Market Drayton, with the aim of exploring its Saxon origins and its links with Clive of India.

Further details of all the walks are available from Margaret George on 01889 882472, or emailing ma.george@btconect.com

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