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On the evening of Friday 24th January I spoke on the subject of ‘Witches and Witchcraft in Ely’ at Ely’s Babylon Gallery, as part of a series of lectures intended to introduce people to areas of knowledge unfamiliar to them, ‘Babylon Bites’. The series is organised by Arts Development East Cambridgeshire (ADEC), the organisation that runs the Gallery. I should like to thank Brian Watson and Christine Pike for inviting me to speak and for promoting the event so effectively.
As I have found every time I have spoken on the subject of the history of witchcraft, the most interesting aspect of the event was not anything I said but rather the stories and comments that emerged afterwards. On this occasion I was very excited by the possibility that notes of an interview with a pagan herbalist practising in Essex in the 1960s might still exist – the ’60s were a crucial time in which the very last vestiges of traditional rural practices were sometimes making connections with nascent modern Wicca.