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New edition of journal explores Uttlesford's history

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Pageants, politics and paths to salvation can be found in the pages of the latest issue of the Saffron Walden Historical Journal.

In 1910, the great-and-good of the locality gathered to watch a parade of costumed characters telling stories from the town's past – the first-ever and only Pageant of Walden staged in the town hall. An evocative description of how it was put together and the scenes depicted, is the leading article by Walden historian, Dr Gillian Williamson.

Also featured is a fascinating journey around the countryside of medieval Walden by landscape archaeologist Simon Coxall, who has traced the locations of the wayside crosses once found on roads to the town and other aspects of its spiritual landscape.

Saffron Walden Historical Journal (53329298)
Saffron Walden Historical Journal (53329298)

Someone familiar with this world was Thomas Netter, more commonly known as Thomas Waldensis after his birthplace. The Carmelite friar, royal confessor, diplomat and religious superior became one of the great theologians of his age and is the subject of an article by noted historian Dr Francis Young.

Martyn Everett from the Gibson Library Society has contributed three articles to this issue - a look back at the General Election 70 years ago, with its unusual trio of candidates; a piece about a local farm specially set up for conscientious objectors to grow food during the Second World War; and a warm tribute to the late Dick Jemmett, who contributed to the Saffron Walden Historical Society.

The journal, edited by Jacqueline Cooper, also includes a piece by her about an exciting archaeology project in her home village of Clavering.

The contents in full are:

  • A Changing Walden Photos by the late Richard Jemmett
  • Scenes from Old Walden: the 1910 Saffron Walden Pageant by Gillian Williamson
  • Flashback: the 1951 General Election by Martyn Everett
  • Paths to Salvation: Walden’s medieval wayside crosses, lost saints and the battle of Assandun by Simon Coxall
  • Community Archaeology in the Time of Covid: the Clavering Castle Environs Project 2020-21 by Jacqueline Cooper
  • The Right not to Kill: the story of Lansbury Gate Farm, Clavering by Martyn Everett
  • Thomas Netter of Walden and the Conversion of Lithuania by Francis Young
  • Obituary Richard Dick Jemmett 1922–2021
  • History News: Museum & Library events; Littlebury Green History Exhibition

This issue, number 42, is on sale for £4 at the Tourist Information office, Harts bookshop and other outlets in the town or through the society's website www.saffronwaldenhistory.org.uk

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