Meeting reports 2001 -2002
At the September meeting, Mike Ostler gave a talk on "Historic Cinemas in Essex" during which he gave an update on the State Cinema in Grays. He has recently located (in the archives of the Royal Institute of British Architects) an obituary of FGM Chancellor who designed the State Cinema. Chancellor died in 1940 and with war time paper restrictions, the published obituary was very short. A letter from his employers in the archives gives much more detail of his career. This was read out at the meeting.
Mike Ostler also reported that in 2000, the State Cinema had its listing upgraded from II to II*. In 2001, the State was acquired by Morissons who are building a supermarket on the adjacent land. An inspection of the premises in June has shown some damage from water. Morrisons have now sealed the leak to prevent further damage.
It is hoped that sometime in the future
the State will again be used as a public building.
Dr Jennifer Ward gave the talk for the January meeting. Dr Ward is a member of the Brentwood Historical Society and an eminent historian. She talked about the development of Medieval Towns and villages of the Eastern counties. Dr Ward spoke mainly about the towns in Essex and Suffolk. Most of these towns grew to prominence due to the presence of markets, which sold locally produced goods. Many of the guilds were founded to regulate the various crafts in the towns. She also described how many Essex merchants became wealthy and prominent members of the community. The talk was illustrated with many photographs of Guildhalls and old maps of the towns in the area.
Peter Lawrence gave the lecture for February, on his
very welcome return to the Society he gave us the second
part of his series on The Hidden Treasures of Whitehall.
His first lecture was very well received and we had
looked forward to his visit, we were not disappointed.
Peter spent many years in the Royal and Diplomatic
Protection Service and so had an in-depth knowledge of
Whitehall and the surrounding areas. He told of the
development of the Whitehall, from a Royal Palace into
the administration buildings of various periods to
present times. He also told us of the development and
building of Trafalgar Square and surroundings. The
lecture was illustrated with sketches and photographs
from the periods including some of the very earliest of
the area. We hope he will return to the Society for a
further talk in the very near future.
The speaker for this month was Terry Carney who is the
Deputy Curator at the Thurrock Museum. He gave a very
interesting talk based on his forthcoming book "Thurrock
in the 30's. " The talk was illustrated with a large
number of fascinating photographs, many taken from the
Thurrock Gazette archives. Some of the older members
remembered the scenes and events depicted well. Terry 's
talks are always full of interesting subjects and this
was no exception, the members eagerly await the
publication of his book.
Friday 26th April, 2002 brought the members of the Society together for the Annual General Meeting. The Chairman and other members of the committee were re-elected for a further year. It was agreed to increase the annual subscription to £6 which includes free entrance to the meetings and refreshments.
When the usual business of the AGM was completed, Jonathan Catton, Museum and Heritage Officer, explained the commemorative plaque scheme soon to be introduced in Thurrock.
Return to top of page