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Local History 2 Photos 2015

Festive Tea and Quiz - 17 December 2015

We got into the Christmas mood with our Festive Tea and Local History Quiz. Compiler and Quiz Master Peter Trott hit just the right note with the questions and his added humour. Congratulations to 'Darcey's Darlings' for winning the quiz.

Our thanks to all who came, for the delicious food brought to share and for helping make our afternoon go with a swing. We wish everyone a very Happy 2016 and look forward to seeing many of you at our future talks and outings (with tea, of course!).

Uppark House: Characters, Conservation and Restoration

A Talk by David Bridges - 19th November 2015

Having visited Uppark House last April this talk gave us even more information on the history of this 17th century house situated on the South Downs. The house was sold to Sir Matthew Fetherstonhaugh in 1747 and has remained in the family ever since. Over the years there have been many changes and additions, scandals and romances, notably the marriage of Sir Harry to dairy maid 50 years his junior! In 1989 the building was devastated by fire but was up and running once again by 1995 having been completely restored and with many lost crafts re-learned during the restoration process.


Portsmouth International Ferry Port - 15th October 2015

Mark Willcox, Business Manager for Portsmouth International Port and Director of MMD Shipping Services Ltd gave us a very informative talk and a good insight into the history and the day-to-day working of the Port.
The Port has developed and expanded considerably over the years With ferries to and from France and Spain, cruise ships calling in regularly and the importation of fruit and vegetables going into cold storage before being transported to their final destination - we learnt that 70% of all bananas imported into this country come through the Port!. The new ferry passenger terminal was completed in May 2011 and is the first public building in the country to be heated and cooled using thermal energy from sea water. To end the afternoon we had a great bird's eye view of the whole complex from the viewing platform in the terminal building.

Jane Austen's House Museum, Chawton - 17th September 2015

In the delightful village of Chawton, Hampshire is Chawton Cottage which was the home of Jane Austen from 1809 to 1817. It was in this house that Jane's genius flourished and where she was free to write. She left the cottage for the last time in May 1817 to take lodgings near her physician in Winchester but died a few months later on the 18th July and was buried in Winchester Cathedral.

We were able to wander around the house and look at all the wonderful artefacts including Jane Austen's writing desk and chair. Afterwards across the road in Cassandra's Tea Room (named after Jane's sister) we enjoyed tea and scones.

Royal Clarence Yard, Gosport - 20th August 2015

Although we weren't able to go into any of the buildings, apart from the old bakery, we got a very real sense of the day to day workings of the victualling yard from our excellent guide, Lesley Burton, who gave us a very good account of the history of the Yard while we all sheltered from the atrocious weather conditions beneath the Granary building. We learnt that by 1827 all brewing and victualling activities that had taken place in and around Portsmouth were transferred to Royal Clarence Yard, "in one purpose built establishment", which continued to supply the Royal Navy through to 1992.
Queen Victoria had close links with the area. She travelled regularly by Royal train to Gosport station, then on to her private railway station which was across the road. Once off the train she would be sailed across the Solent to Osborne House. We ended our tour in the old Pump House and enjoyed a refreshing 'cuppa' and a slice of cake.

Royal Marines Museum - 16th July 2015

In July we visited the Royal Marines Museum. The Royal Marines were formed in 1664 and the museum charts their history and is housed in the Victorian (grade II listed building) formerly Eastney Barracks on the seafront at Southsea. The officers’ quarters are lavish in decoration and provide the grandeur for a regiment with such an illustrious history. We dutifully lined up to recruit, tried out the various official kit ( although failed to actually lift the kit bag!) saw a video show on the D-Day landings and a display of the story of Hannah Snell a woman who ran off to sea in 1745 disguised as a male Marine. The Quartermaster Café provided cake and tea with military precision to complete our trip.

Waterlooville 200 Celebrations - 18th June 2015

June was a very important month for Waterlooville as the town celebrated its first 200 years and its naming after the Battle of Waterloo. The three week festival included music, a town trail and quiz, talks and a play on the history of Waterloo and the unveiling of a commemorative plaque. Many of the local community joined in, especially on Saturday 20 June when a procession of soldiers in period costume, banners carried by the Brownies and even a giant puppet of the Duke of Wellington paraded around the town. A new booklet on the Early Years of Waterlooville 1810-1910 by Steve Jones has been published to mark the event and is available from Waterlooville Library.

Little Woodham Living History Village - 21st May 2015

In May we had a magical experience at the Little Woodham Living History Village in Gosport. Set in 1642 we met "villagers", interpreters dressed in period costume who chatted about their lives as the herbalist, scrivener, knitter or spinner. We wandered around their houses, even meeting the local fox who definitely regarded the village as home. Tea under the trees in warm sunshine finished the afternoon perfectly.

Visit to Uppark House and Gardens - 16th April 2015

We were blessed with a lovely sunny afternoon for our visit to Uppark House. We enjoyed an informative guided tour around the gardens and marvelled at the surrounding countryside of the South Downs. As we walked around the 18th century house we glimpsed life, above and below stairs, and were able to appreciate the hard work which goes into preserving the artefacts on show. Tea on the lawn was most welcome.

Walking Tour of Fareham and Westbury Manor Museum - 19th March 2015

Another cold day for our self-guided tour of Medieval and Georgian buildings along Fareham's High Street. We soon warmed up though with the enthusiasm from Mary Reed who had researched the area and led the tour. We ended up at Westbury Manor Museum and saw many local artefacts, some made by Porchester's Napoleonic prisoners; toys, dating way-back-when, and the tableau depicting life in Fareham's Poor House gave us an insight into history of the town.

Portchester Castle and St. Mary's Church - 19th February 2015

The winter elements were braved when we visited this medieval castle set inside the walls of a Roman fort. The guided tour was led by our very own Mary Reed who brought the history of the castle to life. Although some of the buildings were closed for renovation there was still plenty to see and history to absorb. Some braved climbing to the top of the Keep to take in the views of the Solent and the surrounding countryside. After exploring the castle we visited the Norman Church, St, Mary's, which was built within the walls of the fort. The church was built of Isle of Wight stone in the 1120's for a community of Augustinian monks from France. Thankfully we were able to thaw out a little in the Annexe of the church with the help of hot tea (and cakes).


A talk by Mike Wyles on the 'Mary Rose' - 15th January 2015

Last year when we visited the Mary Rose Museum, Mike Wyles was our guide and so we were delighted when he agreed to come along to give us a follow-up talk. With his considerable knowledge and enthusiasm for this remarkably well preserved ship and her artefacts, he brought to life the daily routine of being on board a Tudor war ship. To complete the picture he even wore authentic period clothes!