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Magical history lectures of Bury St Edmunds have some added bite

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A Bury St Edmunds historian is taking her audience through aspects of the town’s past in a series of fundraising lectures.

Dr Pat Murrell’s ‘Step Back in Time’ lectures will see profits donated to St Nicholas Hospice Care.

Dr Murrell said: “A friend of mine who raises money for the hospice asked if I would like to do lectures for them and, after speaking to the hospice’s fundraising committee, they were very keen to add these to their calendar.”

Bury St Edmunds historian Dr Pat Murrell (14177185)
Bury St Edmunds historian Dr Pat Murrell (14177185)

Having already completed her first on The Abbey Gardens c1660-1830 and raising £435 in June, the next is called ‘Keeping Up Appearances’ and focuses on the remodelling and Georgianisation of town properties c1660-1830, at the United Reformed Church, in Whiting Street, on Thursday, August 1, at 8pm.

Not only will there be talk of the past but also tastes of the past, as Dr Murrell will be baking historical recipes and allowing the audience to taste her culinary delights during the lectures.

She said: “One of my interests is food history and at other lectures I have liked to bring ‘edible documents’ from actual recipes of the time and they have gone down very well.”

A section of View of Angel Hill, in Bury St Edmunds, by print maker Jacob Kendall from 1777.
A section of View of Angel Hill, in Bury St Edmunds, by print maker Jacob Kendall from 1777.

Having researched late Stuart and Georgian history for more than 40 years, the other lectures will be on the Bury Fair in its Georgian heyday, players, playhouses and audiences in late Stuart and Georgian Bury and wartime Christmas in World War Two.

Dr Murrell said: “Some grumble about the Bury Christmas Fayre these days, taking over the town but the Bury Fair back then went on for four or five weeks,

“Also I thought if I was doing a lecture in December it is best to talk about the way the town managed the festive period during wartime.”

Tickets for each lecture cost £10 (advanced bookings only), available from the St Nicholas Hospice Care shop, in St John’s Street. Alternatively, go to stnicholashospice.org.uk/news-community/events-listing/step-back-in-time/