Meeting Report February 2014

Notes from FONC meeting February 2014
Planning is in full swing for our Spring Talks and Tours and also our Summer Museum exhibition on Becket at the Castle. Just two of the ways FONC is highlighting the 850th Anniversary of the Trial of Thomas Becket.


Regrettably, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) had turned down the joint NCC/FONC bid for funding events and activities linked to commemorating the 850th Anniversary of the Trial of Thomas Becket at the Castle. However, the HLF considered it to be an important and worthwhile project.

Although a set- back, FONC is determined to press on and make as much of the original project a reality as possible. Other funding sources are being explored to help achieve our aims.

Spring Talk and Tours/Events

Following the high demand for FONC to give talks to various local groups, plans are under way for two dates of talks and tours (Saturday 5th April and Saturday 10th May). It is hoped to very soon publicise these events on our web-site.

We have readily accepted an invitation by Friends of Delapre Abbey to take part again in their annual Local and Community History event on the late May Bank Holiday weekend (Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th May – 12 noon to 4pm each day). It was a fun and very successful weekend last year with many local groups taking part.

Museum Exhibition

A group of our members have visited the Central Museum to view the Heritage Gallery assigned for FONC to hold a Becket/Castle themed exhibition running from the 21st June to 31st August.

Ideas on putting together the exhibition are currently being explored: – such as focusing on the trial at the castle; the legacy of Becket in the town; and hands-on child friendly activities. It is hoped to involve local schools in contributing to the exhibition. Also as the exhibition will be running during the summer school holidays, we plan to organise a number of activity days specifically for primary school aged children at the Museum.

Upgrade of 3D model of the Castle

Sources of funding are being actively sought to up-grade the 3D model of the castle; to make it even more informative for use as an educational tool. We are very proud of our 3D model which can be found on our web-site and You Tube.

Heritage Gateway

One of the main aims of our Heritage Gateway proposal is to open up the Castle site area for the benefit of the local community which has the highest density of housing in the town.
We are therefore keenly watching and lobbying the planning stage for the Gateway project to ensure that this vital need is addressed.

Northampton Heritage Survey

The initial survey will be in March when groups of one to three people will walk around the Victorian areas of the town and photograph interesting features. Anyone interested in being part of one of these groups can e-mail for further information.

Northampton’s Viking Royalty

With a major exhibition on the Vikings at the British Museum soon to be opened it is a good opportunity to stress Aelgifu of Northampton’s prominent Viking link as wife of Cnut and mother of Harold I (Harold Harefoot) as well as the town’s growing importance during the Viking era. For more information on the Viking exhibition visit

Dates of future FONC Meetings in 2014

Our monthly meetings which are open to all are usually held, on the first Friday of the month where practicable, in the upper room of the Old Black Lion, Marefair, Northampton.

The meetings start at 6pm and usually over by 7.30pm at the very latest. If you are travelling by car, there is ample parking in the nearby Doddridge and Chalk Lane car parks (access to both car parks is behind Sol Central); please note that there is an evening parking’ pay and display’ fee of £1 – after 5pm.

March           7th
April             4th
May               9th
June               6th
July               4th
August           1st
September     5th
October         3rd
November     7th
December     5th   AGM

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