Archive for the ‘News from Other Branches’ Category


New Web Address for the Victorian Branch

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis Tags:

Please note that the Victorian Branch of the Richard III Society has a new website and a new address.

We wish their webmaster Gillian lots of success with their new project.

This report of a talk by Dr Jo Appleby during her recent visit to New Zealand was sent to us by the Australasian Vice-President of the Richard III Society Rob Smith.  We thank Rob for making this available to us and we thank Shayne for her photographs.

Dr Jo Appleby – NZ Lecture Tour

Dr Jo Appleby, the Leicester University osteo-archaeologist who uncovered Richard’s remains has just concluded a brief lecture tour in NZ sponsored by The British Arts Council.

On 6th August, 14 NZ Ricardians and partners travelled to Palmerston North, 130km north of Wellington, to hear Jo talk on the Leicester dig. Held at Massey University, the lecture room, designed for 250, was crammed full with every seat, aisle and floor space taken up; well over 300 attendees were enthralled with her brilliantly presented, well-illustrated and witty talk.Luckily, most of the Ricardian contingent managed to snare front row seating.

The Ricardian contingent (Photograph:  Shayne Parkes)

Jo gave a brief introduction covering the dynastic struggle leading to Richard taking the throne. She explained how he came to be buried at Greyfriars’ Priory after Bosworth and went on to explain that Leicester University had been commissioned by the Richard III Society to undertake the search for and identification of Richard’s remains. She spoke to various photos of the process, and being her specialty, the close examination of the skeleton and the various wounds inflicted on Richard at Bosworth. The search for a DNA match was covered, with John Ashdown-Hill being credited with identifying the Ibsen descent from Anne of York.

Rob Smith thanking Dr Jo Appleby (Photograph:  Shayne Parkes)

Society Vice President and NZ Branch Secretary, Rob Smith, thanked Jo, on behalf of the Society for her talk and her contribution to the project. She in turn publicly thanked the Society for the opportunity “for without the Richard III Society I would not be in NZ!”

A thoroughly entertaining talk, well worth the trip.

We are very pleased to bring you another perspective on the Society AGM in the UK.  This is a report by Hazel Hajdu, Secretary of the Victoria branch.  For us in Australasia, who only rarely have the chance to attend the Society meetings in the UK it is alwsays a great opportunity to hear about it from one of us.  Thank you, Hazel, it must have been a wonderful experience!

Registration for the AGM was at 10.30 a.m. on Saturday, 1st October.   I was staying with relatives in Southampton, so decided that life would be easier if I went up to London the day before, and not have a mad rush at the crack of dawn on the Saturday.  As it turned out, this was a double blessing, as that Friday and Saturday saw a record heat wave for October in the U.K. – the hottest for decades.   So revelling in the unaccustomed luxury of time to spare on Saturday morning, after breakfast at the Hotel Russell, I went for a walk in the Square;  two or three people passed me as I was sitting on a bench, drinking in the lovely cool greenery of the trees, and said, “Are you coming to the AGM?  It’s just up the road…..”  Ricardians must be psychic to recognise one another instantly, I thought, and then realised that I was wearing the boar badge.   So reluctantly leaving the tranquillity of the Square, I eventually found the registration centre in the School of Oriental & African Studies a very short distance away.   It was orientation day for the University, and the quadrangle was filled with students milling around, and stalls of every description, advertising the many and varied activities of the campus, matched only by the many and varied appearances of the students.

I spent the morning meeting people, looking at the sales stalls, which displayed all kinds of handiwork, books, paintings and craft, all with links to mediaeval times, and Richard’s life.

It was very good to meet people who had hitherto been only names.   Did you realise that the actress Josephine Tewson was a Ricardian?   She was there.    I  spent some time with Sue and David Wells, the hard-working joint Secretaries.    David had earlier mailed to me a map of the area, to ensure that I didn’t get lost in Bloomsbury, and it was so enjoyable to meet such a friendly and helpful couple, absolutely dedicated to their work.   I had a interesting talk with Phil Stone, and I gathered that they were very pleased to have  representatives from overseas Branches.   There was some concern about the arrival of the guest speaker, Dr. David Starkey.   Apparently during the previous week he had made a harmless enough comment in an interview about the social direction of some of the youth of today in the U.K.;  his words were conveyed to some of the student bodies, and there was a worry that his arrival would be greeted by a hostile reception.   Fortunately, this was avoided.

Dr. Starkey’s address was both informative and entertaining.   One interesting point which he made was that the concept of the red rose did not exist before Bosworth!    His address is summarised in the December 2011 issue of the Ricardian Bulletin;   incidentally, the address was the inaugural Isolde Wigram Memorial Lecture.

Following the address, the AGM agenda followed the pattern of most AGM’s,and the matters dealt with are reported in the December Bulletin.  It was interesting to hear the Canadian speaker, John Duncanson, describe the activities of the Canadian Branch.   He, incidentally, asked me at the end of the meeting when the New South Wales Branch Convention was to be held, and expressed some interest in attending it.   I assured him that all would be revealed in the U.K. Bulletin in due course, when plans were finalised.

I was asked to speak about our recent Australasian Convention, which I did, and quite a lot of interest was shown in our customary biennial get-togethers and our activities generally.   Several people wanted to know exactly when in 2013 the next Convention would be held, and I gathered they were really contemplating coming to it.    Babs Creamer (Dorset Branch, who has attended some of our past Conventions), came over to say hello, and that she hoped to be able to come out again to the next Convention.

I must say that Phil Stone ran a very efficient and harmonious meeting.   It ended about 4.00 p.m.  A very nice example of how well I was looked after by Sue and David Wells, was that Sue actually found someone to escort me to my taxi, and share it to Waterloo Station, where I hopped on to the 4.50 p.m. train,  and was home by 6 p.m.   The time seemed to have gone by so quickly.


The 2011 Convention

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis Tags:

The next Australasian Convention will be hosted by the Victoria Branch and will take place from 5 to 7 August 2011 at the Victoria Hotel, 215 Little Collins Street, Melbourne.  You can find all the  information and the registration form on their branch website.  It promises to be an interesting and entertaining weekend and as always it will be a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and to make many new friends.

The Australasian Conventions (for more info on past conventions click here) are held every second year.  Since the first one in 1997 our they have become the favourite feature in the calendar of Australasian Ricardians and their friends.  All that you need to bring along is interest in the period, no specialised knowledge is required.  Do come along for a fascinating weekend!


Annual Requiem Mass in Ipswich

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis Tags: ,

Should your find yourself in England this summer there is a number of events organised by the Lincolshire Branch which should be of interest.  The first one is the

Annual Requiem Mass Saturday, 26 June 2010

Shrine of Our Lady of Ipswich

The Annual Requiem Mass for King Richard III and Queen Anne Neville will be held on Saturday 26 June at the Church of St Mary at the Elms, Ipswich, and will be celebrated according to the Anglican rite. This church houses the restored shrine of Our Lady of Ipswich (Our Lady of Grace) – a shrine patronised by the Plantagenet royal family, and specifically by members of the house of York and its adherents.

The church can be found just behind the New Wolsey Theatre, at 68 Black Horse Lane Ipswich.  All Society members and friends are welcome to attend.  The Requiem will begin at 12 noon.  Afterwards there will be free time for lunch, and during the afternoon there will opportunities to visit places of interest (either individually or as part of a guided walk).

Members should make their own way to Ipswich (which is easily accessible by train from London Liverpool Street Station in about an hour, and which has excellent park-and-ride schemes to the town centre, serving a bus stop close to the church).

If you are planning to attend, there is no booking form to complete, but please email, telephone, or write to John Ashdown-Hill ( indicating how many people will be coming with you, as this is helpful for the production of service booklets, and determining numbers of members interested in a guided walk in the afternoon.

John can also be contacted for any further information that you may require.

There is no charge for this event.

Information on two further fascinating events by the Lincolnshire Branch can be found on their website (here).  The first of these  is a lecture “Henry VIII – Builder or Destroyer?”  by Dr Jonathan Foyle on 3 July 2010.  The other one is on “The Lady & the Unicorn – the Story of a Tapestry”  by Jean Townsend on 7 August 2010.

(ImageSuffolk Churches)