The 300-year-old ghosts of Spalding’s early coffee-house society are celebrating.
At least, if they existed, they would be applauding the fact that the principle of meeting to share knowledge and information is still honoured today.
Those worthy gentlemen, and Maurice Johnson in particular, founded Spalding Gentlemen’s Society.
Far from being an elitist club of no relevance to south Lincolnshire people today, the society is furthering the aims of the founders in many ways.
One of them is through the museum in Broad Street where thousands of exhibits and collections are preserved and can be seen during organised visits or on open days.
Another aspect of the society’s contribution to local life is the series of public lectures arranged each year.
The current lecture secretary does not fit the stereotypical image of a member. Harrison Fuller is 26 years old and works as a lecturer in performing arts at Stamford College.
After university, Spalding-born Harrison returned to his roots and says: “I wanted to get involved, and I have definitely done that.”
He’s had an interest in heritage and history from being young, as the collection of World War 2 artefacts put together from the age of ten demonstrates.
He feels there is a strong appetite locally for the public lectures the society organises, usually at Spalding Grammar School, and always well attended.
His predecessor David Mossman arranged the Andrew Graham-Dixon lecture on Caravaggio that is coming up on March 20.
However, Harrison has lined up some speakers he believes will capture the interest of people locally.
One of them is on June 16 at the parish church when historian and heraldic artist Alex Summers will talk about his commission by the British Museum to create a page from the Westminster Psalter using 13th century methods.
Other talks coming up include one on Magna Carta and another on the collection that formed the nucleus of the British Museum.
Harrison says: “There is a social element as well as sharing of information, lots of dialogue and discussion.”