News & Events

Australian themed annual dinner

Set in the amazing venue of the Bishops Palace in Lincoln this years annual dinner had a distinctly Australian theme. Our guest speaker was Dr Gillian Dooley from Flinders University in Adelaide who gave a super account of the relationship between Sir Joseph Banks and Matthew Flinders. Gillian also gave a lecture in the afternoon at Jews Court entitled, Matthew Flinders and the limits of empathy: first contact with Aborginal peoples. This lecture is covered within the latest society magazine due to be printed shortly. 

The Australian theme was added to significantly by Gregg Chapman – The Didgeridoo Man who entertained guests with his incredible didgeridoo playing. Gregg who was born in Australia amazingly went to Flinders University and spent some time with Gillian swapping notes and contact details, the world of fans of Joseph Banks is certainly small. 


Gregg runs his own business called Didgeridoo Sound Therapy which explores the sound vibrations of the didgeridoo to help with stress and relaxation. For more info see

The society will continue to move the annual dinner around the county to ensure that we enable as many members and friends to attend as possible. Next year we are considering holding our dinner in Louth.


Final axe comes down on Joseph Banks Conservatory 

A recent meeting with Lincoln City Council planning department finally dashed our hopes of being able to build a new conservatory on the Lawn site in Lincoln. This was despite elected members approving in principle our 50 year lease agreement and also after lengthy discussions with the council regarding our proposals.


We were particularly saddened by the fact that we had supported the council to demolish the old conservatory and had also assisted in helping to sell the idea of a larger car park on the site on the understanding that the new conservatory would soften the impact of this and also provide a community/tourist asset for the city. Planners cited Historic England as the reason for rejection and stated that they would not approve further loss of green space. They also felt that the planned facility was too large despite it only being 10% larger than the old building, they had no appetite to support our plans and help us make our case to Historic England, who to our knowledge had not been consulted.

To say we are disappointed is an understatement, not simply for the fact that we have spent many thousands of pounds on this and countless hundreds of hours, but because local people have been denied a fantastic community asset with enhanced educational, recreation and children’s play areas, as well as community gardens  to enjoy. 

Unfortunately the Lawn complex is now entirely occupied by the private sector and has the benefit of a large additional car park. What remains is poorly maintained space which will still be useful for dog walkers.

We have been asked to look at an alternative site in Lincoln but this is off the tourist track, therefore the project would need to be even bigger and become an end point destination in its own right, given this we will also look at other sites in Lincolnshire.