NEWMARKET LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY
The Society meets every third Tuesday of the month from September to April at 7.30 pm at The Stable, High Street Newmarket (unless otherwise noted) when we have a visiting speaker. During the summer months (except August) we usually arrange trips to local places of historic interest.
N.L.H.S. SITE INDEXFrom the early nineteen eighties Newmarket's imposing Rail Station, originally opened in 1902, fell into disuse and the buildings eventually became commercial premises, as they are today. Since then Newmarket Station has existed as not much more than a halt - a boarding platform and shelter accessible from Green Road.
- Calendar of Events
- How to join NLHS
- Newmarket's Origins
- Newmarket and Horseracing
- Forthcoming events
- Recent Events
- Correspondence & Queries
- Family History research
- Local History & Other books
- Mystery Places
- Local Fire Tragedies
- The Workhouse/Institution
- Crime & punishment in the 19th century
- View our Guest Book,
or add an entry
- Links to related sites
- Committee members
- Contact Us
- Newmarket during the Great War
- The Bombing of Newmarket in February 1941
- The RAF in wartime Newmarket
- Memories of the Home Guard
- Alex Henshaw MBE
- Old Icewell Hill.
- The old Grosvenor Yard
- Musk's Newmarket sausages, history
- Woolworths history
- The Cinema in Newmarket
- Rous Road Architecture
- The History of the Telephone Service in Newmarket
- The Admiralty Shutter Telegraph
- Oaks Lodge/Park history
- The Houldsworth Valley Nissen Huts
- Past Personalities
- Russian Officers training in Newmarket
- The Railway comes to Newmarket.
Now there is a determined effort by Newmarket Racecourses/Jockey Club, Newmarket Vision and Rail Operator Abellio, together with the help from Newmarket Local History Society, to improve both its facilities and image.
This is what Clair Bryant from the Jockey Club/Racecourses says about the train station rejuvenation. "Abellio have made improvements (new ticket machine/shelters/etc) and several businesses have financially inputted to the project, we’ve organised the ‘creative dressing’ of the station, which includes a timeline and several other pieces. So it’s a really nice collaborative effort for the community."
The picture above shows the Timeline Display bordering the entrance road to the Car Park and Station.
The picture below shows the improved and much used Station as it is today (February 2016).
For the Newmarket Racecourses Timeline website select here
For our history of the town's railway go to 'The Railway comes to Newmarket' from Index above.
January 23rd 2016. Mrs Alice Day and her Austin 7. The story of how the lady and her car survived the Newmarket bombing of February 1941 first appeared on our website in March 2012 and has now been included as a permanent feature.Two remarkable survivors
The story will receive national publicity as it is due to appear in a BBC 2 programme "Cars of the People" hosted by James May. The programme runs to three editions, the final one at 9pm 7th February,
November 2015 The NLHS site is now operating under a new host 1&1, and thanks to the work of David Rippington we have been able to retain the existing web address www.newmarketlhs.org.uk The NLHS committee will decide who will be the contact(s) for the site but in the meanwhile I will be happy to pass on any messages and do any essential minor updating of the site. (Rodney) October 20th 2015. From Rodney Vincent, NLHS webmaster.
I have been running this website for something like 13 years during which time it has grown in size and content and now contains much archival material about Newmarket's past. It has also become the main communication channel between the Society and the public.
My internet host for the website has now announced that it is due to be closed down by its parent company, Plusnet. Unfortunately Plusnet do not host websites so in order to maintain the site the hosting will have to be transferred to a new server.
I now feel that this is the time to hand over to a new webmaster who hopefully will be able to maintain the best features of the site and take it forward with new ideas.
The Doric Cinema
Many over sixties whose memories of Newmarket go back to wartime and post-war days will recall with nostalgia the Doric Cinema, which finally closed in 1964, killed off by the growing popularity of television.
The Doric building with its classic rounded front and columns has survived and has passed through several rebirths as a Night Club and a bar but is currently disused.
Now there is talk of it becoming 'The Doric Centre' a place for leisure, family entertainment and modern cinema
If anyone has views on the Doric, past, present or future please get in touch and your comments will be passed to the people who would like to see the Doric become part of Newmarket's cultural life.
April 7th 2015. NLHS members met a family party from Belgium who were visiting the town in memory of Evrard Janssons who served in the Belgian Air Force at Snailwell airfield, during 1945.
Picture and more details on the next page select here
Also see Correspondence 9th April 2015
February 2015. Well known Cambridgeshire Historian Mike Petty has been researching and recording the County's history for 50 years. He has now brought together a vast amount of his work which can be accessed through online links or directly downloaded.
Visit his site at www.cambridgeshirehistory.com/MikePetty
2015. NLHS member David Rippington's website dealing with the history of Newmarket shops continues to grow and provide a valuable addition to the town's history. Anyone with information on pre-war Newmarket shops is invited to contact David via the website. www.newmarketshops.info
An addition to the site covers a history of Newmarket's racecourses which can be viewed at http://www.newmarketshops.info/Newmarkets_Racecourses.html
Newmarket Remembers - A Monumental work.
On August 5th 2014 Tony Pringles's latest book 'Newmarket Remembers' was launched at a short ceremony at Newmarket Library. The amount of detail about Newmarket and District's war casualties covering two World Wars is a tribute to Tony's remarkable dedication to the subject.
Copies are now very limited but if anyone particularly wants to get hold of one please contact Tony direct.
. For more details about the book, its writer and its contents see Newmarket Remembers (Please note this is a Document file that may vary in the way it displays and take a while to load on your computer)
July 25th 2014. Over the generations Newmarket has long been host to Royal visitors, who came to the town for the racing and associated pleasures provided by this lively town.
Our latest website article, Personalities page No 10, deals with the Monarchs from James I onward who found Newmarket to their liking and who through their patronage had varying degrees of influence in shaping the town's future.
Please go to Personalities Page No 10
April 24th 2014. Sandra Easom has discovered on the internet a valuable document by Peter May, the well regarded Newmarket Historian. It is a potted history of Newmarket 500 years ago and was written prior to him publishing 'Newmarket Mediaeval & Tudor'. The document can now be read online select here
Please be aware that this is a pdf. document so you will need Adobe Reader installed on your computer and it could take a while to load, depending on your connection speed.
March 31st 2014. Our recent website article concerns a Newmarket trade name that has survived for 130 years and is still prospering. Musk's sausages have enjoyed a deserved reputation for quality and are recognised well outside the confines of Newmarket. Read about the complicated family relationships that bought the brand name from a small village butchery to Newmarket and how the business has evolved to the present day. select here March 2014. With Russia's involvement in the present unrest in Ukraine it may be a good time to look back at the Russian revolution and how the USSR came into existence. The fascinating part that Newmarket played is covered in our website. We had some lengthy correspondence with a Russian lady Evgenia Chernozatonskya, providing a very personal insight into how the momentous events of 1917 - 1920 affected her grandfather, who spent time in Newmarket. The correspondence has now been included as an addition to the article. select here. January 2014. Thanks to various enthusiastic people, a great source of pictures from Newmarket and district's past, can be found on the Facebook site. You may have to be logged in to view the pictures. From the Facebook site search just enter 'Old Newmarket' to start the series and go to the albums. For those who have not yet discovered the Francis Frith collection of photos of early to mid 20th century Newmarket take a look at Francis Frith's Newmarket Ninety one good quality photos that can be purchased if required. What a far sighted man to go around the country taking pictures of towns and villages that were fast changingCalendar of EventsAll events commence at 7.30 pm unless otherwise stated
2015 - 2016
Tuesday 17th November. More Stories from the Tower - Horry Parsons
Tuesday 15th December 2015. Christmas Meeting - Woodditton Handbellringers
Tuesday 19th January 2016. Richard Fletcher on Bill Tutte
Tuesday 16th February. Bombing of Newmarket: An Aftermath - Vin Arthy
Tuesday 15th March. Wicken Fen: Past,Present and Future - Peter Green
Tuesday 19th April. AGM and Slide Show - Peter Norman
Tuesday 17th May. Visit to Mildenhall - Alan Benton
Tuesday 21st June. Visit to Wickhambrook Church - Gillian Cooper
Tuesday 19th July. Visit to Freckenham - David Wheeler
Tuesday 20th September. Wrought by Fire - Sandra Easom
How do I join the Newmarket Local History Society?
It is quite simple really, you may do so by attending one of the programmed meetings, the doors open at 7 pm, and you can then join whilst there, the cost is just £8 per head, or you may wish to visit for one evening without commitment, this will cost £2 and you can go away and decide.
NEWMARKET'S ORIGINS (notes provided by N.L.H.S Committee Member Sandra Easom)
Mention Newmarket and most people think of the pounding hooves of horses and rolling expanses of green turf. The town is justly famous for both of these but its very long and varied history goes far beyond what most people expect.
Unlike most mediaeval towns, Newmarket is not centred on either of its parish churches, St. Mary's or All Saints'. Rather, it is centred on the initial reason for its existence - the ancient Icknield Way - the oldest road in Britain. Its original route followed Palace Street, past All Saints' Church and across the present day cemetery. The Icnield Way also took other courses, notably through Stetchworth and Woodditton. People have journeyed along the Icknield Way since the Stone Age when flint was mined in Grimes Graves in Norfolk and then supplied an extensive trade network.
The area where Newmarket now stands has springs of water and a small river which is essential for any settlement. Bronze Age barrows, showing evidence of early occupation, were scattered across Newmarket Heath until the 19th century when they were cleared to make better conditions for horse racing.
Later, nearby Exning was a main settlement of the Iceni tribe (best remembered for their famous Queen Boudicca or Boadicea who led a major rebellion against the Romans). The Iceni were renowned breeders of horses and dogs, so the Heath has probably seen many more races than we are aware of!
The area where the town now stands was given as dowry to Sir Richard de Argentein in 1200 A.D. when he married Cassandra, daughter of Robert de Insula, Lord of the manor of Exning. Sir Richard encouraged development of the town and was granted a charter for a market almost immediately by the King. In 1223 Newmarket received its first charter for an annual fair. It is important to note that the Plague arrived at Exning in 1227. Therefore, the Victorian theory that people left Exning to start a new town at Newmarket at this time cannot be true (although it is very persistent!).
Newmarket thrived because of its market and a lucrative trade in accommodating travellers and so it continued for centuries, until King James I "discovered" its Heath in February 1604 as a great leisure venue for his court and Newmarket's sporting associations began.....
NEWMARKET AND HORSERACING
The local history of Newmarket is inextricably tied up with the history of horseracing. The town is home to the National Horseracing Museum, at present situated in part of the Jockey Club building. An enlightening article on Newmarket's racing history and the work of the museum written by the former Museum Director, Hilary Bracegirdle appears on this site select article here
The museum also has a very good website of its own www.nhrm.co.uk where much information on Newmarket's racing past is available.
Newmarket Local History Society and the National Horseracing Museum have much in common in that we both receive many queries from people on topics related to horseracing. Often people wish to enquire about their forebears who were jockeys, or in some way connected to racing. As Hilary says in her article, it is difficult to trace individuals unless they were high profile personalities. The best approach for persuing ordinary family history queries is through the Bury St Edmunds County Records office (for Suffolk related queries) or The Cambridgeshire Family History Society (for the Cambridgeshire part of Newmarket). Both the Museum and our Society wish to be as helpful as possible and welcome any queries of general interest. Queries to the Museum should be addressed in writing to Graham Snelling, Deputy Director/Curator, National Horseracing Museum, 99 High Street, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 8JS. Our Society's postal and e-mail addresses are given on page 3.
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