Wickham History Society  holds meetings at the Wickham Community Centre, at 7.30 pm on the fourth Tuesday of the month. Our programme includes a variety of guest speakers who cover both local history and wider history topics. We also organise visits to places of interest in the Summer.

The annual charge for Membership is £8pp. Guests are welcome to attend meetings for £2.50pp.

To join the Wickham History Society, simply come to a meeting or contact the Secretary.

2019/2020 PROGRAMME

We are pleased to announce the following talks for our next programme year:

24 September 2019 – Jeremy Clutterbuck of Cotswold Archaeology
Archaeological Excavations in Wickham
Between 2018 and 2019, Cotswold Archaeology excavated a Roman Roadside settlement finding a number of substantial post-built structures amidst a network of road-aligned enclosures and few industrial features.
Of particular interest was the organic remains of a wood-lined well preserved beneath the water table. This feature contained an inscribed wooden tablet and shoe sole. Further evidence on site revealed Mesolithic flint working alongside the remains of a Bronze Age funerary landscape.
We are pleased to welcome back Project Officer Jeremy Clutterbuck who will provide an overview of the archaeological investigations and an update from the ongoing post-excavation analysis.

22 October 2019 – Paul Stickler, Hampshire Constabulary History Society
Body Overboard – The Murder of an English Actress
In 1947, the actress Gay Gibson disappeared on a ship bound for Southampton from Cape Town. Hear about the last known movements of the victim, explore the account provided by the accused and his extraordinary behaviour in throwing her body overboard. The trial had a fascinating aftermath and the talk includes information believed not previously revealed in the public domain.

26 November 2019 – Mike Hollis
Admiral Thomas Cochrane
Horatio Hornblower and Jack Aubrey were fictional heroes of the days of sail. Now meet Lord Tom Cochrane, three times an Admiral, who, in real life, actually did the daring deeds of those fictional characters – and more!

10 December 2019 – Dr Cheryl Baker
Marmalade, Spuds & A Bag of Gold: Gift Giving in Tudor Southampton
There were 12 days of festivities for a Tudor Christmas but no presents till 12th night – and some not till April. Gift giving was designed to gain favours, so local nobles could find wine, oranges and potatoes among their presents.

Note: This is a joint meeting with the Wickham Society and is the second Tuesday of the month.

28 January 2020 – Andrew Negus
Portsmouth – Harlots, Dung and Glory
The origin and development of Portsmouth from 1100 until today is covered in a series of talks by Andrew.
Naturally its history is closely related to the growth of the Royal Navy and the Navy’s part in making the UK the most powerful country in the world by 1900. We will be introduced to some of the many characters who have been involved in Portsmouth’s history including murderers, harlots, and the inventor of the umbrella. Kings, queens, admirals, authors, and actors will entertain us with their appearances.
In this the first part, we will cover the period 1100-1790.

25 February 2020 – Dr Bob France
Uppark – Fire & Restoration
2019 was the 30th anniversary of the devastating fire at Uppark. Relive the events of Wednesday 30 August 1989 and the enormous challenges of fighting the conflagration. Revisit the devastation caused by the fire but above all celebrate the inspirational story of Uppark’s truly amazing restoration.

24 March 2020 – *** MEETING CANCELLED ***
The talk by Abigail Coppins will be rescheduled.

Portchester Castle and the surrounding towns and villages, 1793-1814
During the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars thousands of prisoners of war were held in Portchester Castle as well as towns and villages across Hampshire. We will hear the stories behind the research and its potential for local history studies in Hampshire.

28 April 2020 – *** MEETING CANCELLED ***
The talk by Neil Bond will be rescheduled.

Right to Roam
Prior to the Great War, the great outdoors was the preserve of the rich landowning classes. Huge swathes of Britain were strictly off limits to the general public. However during the 1920’s and 30’s there was a great increase in outdoor exercise from both the working and middle classes, in part fuelled by the growth of ownership of the motor car and the introduction of cheap day excursions by the railways. This movement contributed to the creation of our National Parks and pathways. This talk explores how the rambling movement came about, the Mass Trespass on Kinder Scout in 1932 and the lasting legacy of the movement.

26 May 2020 – *** MEETING CANCELLED ***
Annual General Meeting


Please note: Programme subject to change depending on availability of speakers.

For directions to the Wickham Community Centre see

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