My first visit to the Society was in 1960 when my mother, sister and I were spending the summer with my grandparents, Cecil F. and Patience Turner. We were staying at Terra Nova, Pinchbeck — the house my grandparents built after they moved from their Northgate Mill house. People in Pinchbeck may not be aware that it was named Terra Nova because my grandmother was originally from Newfoundland. Since I was 10 at the time, I don’t have a crystal-clear recollection of that first visit to the Society with the exception that I was fascinated by a collection of Dutch clay pipes.
Other than his family, I think my grandfather’s greatest love was the Society and antique collecting. At one time, I did some research and it appeared that my grandfather was the longest serving President in the Society’s long history (I’m not quite sure whether that is or is still true). In my subsequent trips to the Society, I have always marvelled at the Museum and usually took a visit to the Vault to see some of the items my grandfather donated. One of the items I believe is still in the President’s office – that’s a companion to the chair I’m sitting in now (I’ll send a picture). This chair, I know has a story (somewhere I have an article about this type of chair) – it was my grandfather’s at his desk on the second floor of Terra Nova where he kept the majority of his antiques (those that weren’t part of the household items). It’s now my office chair – carrying on the tradition.
I’ve been to the Society several times this century. One memorable visit was actually to the Lecture Series in 2011. The lecture was on the archaeological dig in Pinchbeck centered on “Healey’s Field”. When I came back home and told my mother about the lecture and where the dig site was, she indicated that it was her memory that at one time that field had been owned by my great-grandmother Turner.
Also, at one of this century’s visits, I was able to spend some time with Tom Grimes and to have him digitize some family photos that I brought for the Society’s archives. All in all, I’m very proud to be a member of the Spalding Gentleman’s Society and I know that my grandfather would be thrilled that I’m carrying on the family tradition, even if it’s from “across the pond”