The Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology (SLHA) has been announced as the 2022 winner of the prestigious Lincoln Civic Award as the city’s top honour makes a comeback after a two-year break due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Award Trustees have also highly-commended another nominee, the Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue Concert Band, so there will be double celebrations on the cards at the ceremony in the city’s Guildhall.
SLHA will follow in the footsteps of previous winners, including New Theatre Royal custodians Natalie and Mike Hayes-Cowley (2020), former University of Lincoln Vice-Chancellor Professor Mary Stuart (2019) and ex-Lincoln City managers Danny and Nicky Cowley (2018).
The striking silver Civic Award was made by the late Lincoln silversmith Derek Birch. It aims to recognise a company, organisation or individual which has brought honour to Lincoln.
It will be presented to SLHA by the Mayor of Lincoln, Councillor Jackie Kirk, at a celebration ceremony in the city’s Guildhall at 7pm on May 3.
SLHA’s roots stretch back 178 years to 1844 and the formation of the Lincolnshire Agricultural and Archaeological Society, which published reports and papers relating to the wider county, as well as Lincoln’s rich heritage.
It continued to develop between the two world wars, forging links with other counties, starting a collection of artefacts and producing publications of local histories and magazines.
The year 1930 was a milestone year as the society was instrumental in saving the city’s Jews Court from demolition and placing it into a Trust, along with another nationally important site, Bardney Abbey.
That Trust still exists today and SLHA continues to rent the Jews Court and further amalgamation in 1974 has led to the society people see and love today, which now boasts more than 700 members worldwide.
A society spokesperson said: “The study of heritage is ever more popular and the key aim of the society is to foster this and do all in its power to be of service to the people of Lincolnshire.”
The highly commended Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue Concert Band was born in 2009. It was created by the integration of the well-established Lincolnshire Concert Band (which ceased to exist) with Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue – creating an exciting new entity.
Today’s band’s roots can be traced back to the 1970s and a journey which has seen it grow in popularity through many appearances at home, beyond the county’s borders and even overseas.
The Lincolnshire Concert Band made its first visit to Lincoln’s twin town of Neustadt an der Weinstrasse in Germany in September 1975, making a return visit in October 1977. Today, those highly valued links continue and the band is proud to have been twinned with the Diedesfeld Musikverein in Neustadt for more than 40 years.
Lincoln Civic Award Trustees’ chairman Henry Ruddock said: “Traditionally, the much-coveted Civic Award is presented every year, but the coronavirus pandemic disrupted that process.
“It is really satisfying to be able to present it once again – this year to the SLHA, which is such a well-established organisation, which has a worldwide following, a long tradition of doing great research and which throws the spotlight on the city’s fascinating history and heritage, bringing it to life for locals and tourists alike.
“This year we are also delighted to highly commend the Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue Concert Band, whose repertoire features more than 600 pieces, for the way it flies the flag for Lincoln at home and further afield, by entertaining people of all ages and raising money for a wide range of great causes.”