Mike Stroud. MA (History), BA (Hons), Dip Soc, Cert Hums, Elected Member of the Royal Historical Society.
Welcome to Desborough-Northants.com web site. I am Mike Stroud and I am a local historian who has been published and broadcast, with an interest in the Industrial Heritage of Desborough and North Northamptonshire and South Leicestershire and the history of this part of the East Midlands in general.
I studied with the Open University and obtained a Diploma in Sociology and went on to gain a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in Social and Political History. I then completed a Master of Arts degree in History. My dissertation was on the Industrial Heritage of Desborough with particular interest in The Desborough Industrial and Provident Co-operative Society. I have recently added several other topics and areas of interest to my portfolio. I am an Elected Member of the Royal Historical Society.
My article on Kettering’s William Knibb, Social Reformer, Baptist Minister, Missionary and Friend of Slaves (See talks page for a copy of the article) has been well received and published and I have been invited to talk on the subject many times. I have visited Falmouth in Jamaica and visited William Knibb's memorial church and visited his grave and had long talk with the current Minister and guided tour of the church.
I have completed a full history of the Tresham's of Northamptonshire and Ruston Hall, which I also do a talk about. I have compiled talks on Symington's of Market Harborough both the Food Production and Corsetry Manufacture and a talk about both Companies. Another well received talk is on The Cadbury Brothers and their "Chocolate Wars" with other producers of Cocoa and Chocolate Products.
I have just added a talk on Kelmarsh Hall. It is the History of Kelmarsh Parish, the Hall and the interesting owners and occupiers, who were some of the most influential and wealthy members of high society in the 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries. One of the most famous people to live at Kelmarsh Hall on two occasions was the well known trend setting interior and garden designer Nancy Tree, later Lancaster, who purchased Dame Sybil Colefax's half ownership of Colefax and Fowler. To form a partnership with the famous decorator to Royalty and the rich and famous John Fowler.
I am a Volunteer Room Steward at Kelmarsh Hall. I also did volunteer for the National Trust at Lyveden New Bield and Desborough Heritage Centre.
I have completed several Future Learn courses including England in the time of Richard III, Irish Lives in War and Revolution: Exploring Ireland's History 1912-1923. Hosted by Trinity College, Dublin. I will also be looking into the Lunar Society of Birmingham, (more on this in the near future).
I am Treasurer and Membership Secretary of Market Harborough Historical Society. If interested in joining please contact me on my email or call me on my phone number shown at the bottom of the page.
I would like to introduce a good friend of mine Dr Leonard Holden. Len is a well known Local Historian with wide knowledge and interest in Local History. I have listed his very varied and interesting talks on the Local History page. He is Secretary of Market Harborough Historical Society.
Dr. Len Holden and I are available to give illustrated talks on local history, these come with slide shows. If you would like to book me or Len for a talk, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 07725 990148. The Fee for Talks for 2022-2023 is £50, which includes travel within 20 miles from Desborough, or Market Harborough for Dr. Len Holden.
Enjoy the site and if you have any comments, information or inquiries please email me.
I was elected as a Member of the Royal Historical Society. July 2017.
Kelmarsh Hall, on the A508 halfway between Market Harborough and Northampton. Come along and have a look around the house and gardens. There is a new interactive servants area "downstairs". Nancy Lancaster's bedroom has been renovated and up stairs in the hall is now open. Lots to do for all the family. I'm there most Wednesday mornings so come along and say hello.
18th January 2022. SLU3A Local History Group. Soups to Suspenders The story of the Symington Brothers. Methodist Church, Northampton Road, Market Harborough.
17th March 2022. Barton Seagrave Ladies Club. 2pm. Village Hall Barton Seagrave. The Treshams of Northamptonshire.
6th April 2022. Methodist Ladies Group. 7pm, Methodist Church, Northampton Road, Market Harbourough. Soups to Suspenders. The story of the Symington Brothers.
26th May 2022. Northamptonshire Heritage Forum, 2pm Desborough Heritage Centre. Soups to Suspenders. The story of the Symington Brothers.
16th July 2022. Desborough Library Saturday Talks. 7pm Desborough Library. Soups to Suspenders. The story of the Symington Brothers.
13th September 2022. Lubenham Heritage Group. 7pm Lubenham Village Hall. William Knibb. Baptist Minister, Reformer, Friend of Slaves.
21st September 2022. Kelmarsh Lectures. 2pm Kelmarsh Hall Education Centre, Talk on Kelmarsh and its Hall.
26th September 2022. Desborough Civic Society. 7pm Desborough Heritage Centre. The Treshams of Northamptonshire.
6th October 2022. Rushden and Higham U3A, 2pm Rushden Masonic Hall, Rushden. The Treshams of Northamptonshire.
7th November 2022. Great Bowden Historical Society. 7.30pm Great Bowden Village Hall . The Treshams of Northamptonshire.
13th December 2022. Lubenham Heritage Group. 7pm Lubenham Village Hall. Kelmarsh Hall. The History of Kelmarsh Hall and its owners.
19th January 2023. Rothwell Ladies Thursday Club. Rothwell Methodist Church, The Square, Rothwell. The History of Kelmarsh Hall and its owners.
9th February 2023. Wollaston Heritage Society, 7.30pm Methodist Hall, Wollaston. The History of Kelmarsh Hall and its Owners.
8th March 2023. Market Harborough Historical Society. 7.30pm Methodist Church, Northampton Road, Market Harborough. The Treshams of Northamptonshire.
22nd March 2023. Great Easton Local History Society. 7.30pm Great Eastern Village Hall LE16 8ST. The Treshams of Northamptonshire.
23rd March 2023. Naseby WI. 7.30pm Naseby Methodist Chapel, Church Street, NN6 6DA. The History of Kelmarsh Hall and its owners.
17th May 2023. The Little Bowden Society, 7.30pm Church Hall, The Green, Rectory Lane, Little Bowden. From Soups to Suspenders. The Story of the Symington Brothers.
15th June 2023. Wellingborough Civic Society, 7.30pm Wellingborough Museum, 12 Castle Way, Wellingborough. The Treshams of Northamptonshire.
19th September 2023. Harborough Welland U3A Local History Group. 2pm Methodist Church, Northampton Road, Market Harborough. William Knibb, Social Reformer, Baptist Minister, Missionary and Friend to Jamaican Slaves.
8th November 2023. Crick History Society. 7.30pm Crick Village Hall. The Treshams of Northamptonshire.
15th February 2024. Brixworth History Society, 7.30pm Brixworth Village Hall. The Treshams of Northamptonshire.
21st February 2024. Earls Barton Heritage Group, 2.30pm Earls Barton Library, Broad Street, Earls Barton, NN6 9ND. Soups to Suspenders. The Story of the Symington Brothers.
3rd July 2024. Syresham and District History Society. 7.30pm Syresham Village Hall, Syresham, NN13 5HE . Subject to be decided.
Below is a list of History Talks I and Dr. Len Holden give to many different organisations.
The fee for all talks in 2022/2023 is £50 which includes travel within a 20 mile radius of Desborough, or Market Harborough (for Dr Holden).
My Talks are listed below.
1. Co-operation. The story of Desborough Industrial and Provident Co-operative Society. Article and Dissertation are on the Industrial Heritage of Desborough page.
2. Small Town Industry. A Case Study of Desborough Industry. Article and Dissertation are on the Industrial Heritage of Desborough page.
3. William Knibb. Kettering Baptist Minister, Social Reformer and Friend of Slaves. Article Available below.
4. The Treshams of Northamptonshire. A Family full of misfortune, intrigue, Religion and treacherous intention and fabulous buildings.
5. Soup to Suspenders. The story of two brothers who came from Scotland to Market Harborough and set up two very differing companies. W. Symington & Co. Ltd of Market Harborough. Grocer, Soup, Condiment, Tea and Coffee Producers, and R & WH Symington & Co. Ltd. Corset manufacturer.
6. R & W.H. Symington & Co. Ltd. Corset and Ladies and Children's Underwear and Swimwear Manufacturer. Inventors on the 'Liberty Bodice'.
7. Cadbury Brothers. The First 70 years of this famous Cocoa and Chocolate Firm. The story of near bankruptcy, "The Chocolate Wars" against much bigger companies, Religion and Philanthropy.
8. Kelmarsh Hall. The History of a Northamptonshire Country House. One time Country Retreat for Nancy Lancaster, Interior and Garden Designer. The Inventor of the Country House Style.
I will be adding more talks in the near future.
My very good friend Dr Leonard Holden of Market Harborough also does History Talks, which I list below:
1. The Rise and Decline of the Country House: A Local Perspective.
2. Witchcraft Trials in Leicestershire in the 17th Century.
3. Lord Cardigan of Deene Park & the Charge of the Light Brigade.
4. Paddy Logan of East Langton and his Suffragette Daughters.
5. The Rise and Decline of the Coaching Trade in Market Harborough.
6. The Midland Enclosure Riots of 1607.
7. The Civil War and the Harborough Area.
8. A History of the Grand Union Canal and Old Grand Union Canal (with short film).
9. The Railways and Market Harborough.
10. The Battle of Naseby 1645 (with film).
11. The History of Vauxhall Motors.
12. The Peterloo Massacre 1819.
13. Copies, Fakes & Forgeries: An Alternative Art History.
If your organisation would be interested in booking a talk with either myself or Dr. Len Holden please:
Or Call 07725 990148.