Wickham History Society holds meetings 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, please contact the Secretary.


26th September 2023 Geoff Phillpotts
The early history of the manor of Wickham
The first of two talks by Geoff charting the development of Wickham manor, this talk covers the earliest days of the manor from its Saxon origins to the partition and sale of the manor at the end of the seventeenth and beginning of the eighteenth century. With much new material, the talk shows how much the Wickham we live in today was shaped by key events and decisions made hundreds of years ago. The talk reflects on what life was like for the people of Wickham and how four families played a key role in shaping our landscape and community.

24th October 20232 Andrew Negus
Harlots, Dung and Glory: History of Portsmouth Part 4
Portsmouth’s 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 talk, we will cover the period 1930 to the present day.

28th November 2023 – Brenda Margetts
Lost Souls – a WW1 Family Story
Originally created for Remembrance Day, Brenda’s fascinating story of her family is both tragic and inspirational. We will hear tales of war and sacrifices, courage, fear, sadness, determination and love.

12th December 2023 – Anthony Strafford
The Ladies of the Tower
Who was the farmer’s wife and where will you find a monument dedicated to love? How did Virginia get its name and who was extremely romantic? Hear these and many other little known stories of The Ladies of the Tower. Hear these and many other little known stories of The Ladies of the Tower. Tony is a former Yeoman Warder at the Tower of London and will be delivering his talk resplendent in the full Royal Livery.

Please note this meeting is the SECOND Tuesday of the month.


23rd January 2024 Imogen Corrigan – via Zoom
Powers behind the Throne: The Women of the First Millennium
Many think that it was only in the 20th century that women came into their own, however the truth is that our Anglo-Saxon sisters had a surprising freedom in law; they could own land, sue and be sued. Join us to discover the influential woman of the first millennium AD. Whilst we will meet saintly and worthy women, perhaps the more interesting ones are those who go down in history for their cruelty and monstrous behaviour. What is plain is that these women had a voice: down-trodden and marriage chattels they were not!

27th February 2024 Dr Rosemary Baird Andreae – via Zoom
The Garniers of Rookesbury; from Charitable Apothecary to Country Squire
The story of how the descendants of a Huguenot refugee gained an estate at Wickham, built the fine Greek Revival house and filled it with a remarkable art collection.

26th March 2024 – Nigel Gossop
Valerie Bacon’s War
Valerie Bacon was born in London in 1921 and moved with her mother to Emsworth at the end of August,1939 where she lived until her death in 2002. Using her wartime letters and diaries, Nigel will take you on a whistle-stop tour of Valerie’s war from 1939 when she and her mother first moved to Emsworth; telling the story of losing her first love in 1940, her attempts at being a land girl then joining the WRNS and getting into hot water over a comment about a possible D-Day invasion date. Finally, in 1945, whilst Victory in Europe (VE Day) and Victory in Japan (VJ Day) were being celebrated Valerie was feeling more than a little melancholy about the war ending. She had not wanted to be conscripted, but in many ways, it had helped to grow up and get out from Mummie’s grip and experience life.

23rd April 2024 – Andy Skinner
A Titanic Conspiracy
Was the sinking of Titanic an elaborate insurance scam, did poor-quality rivets sink her and was a raging fire responsible for her sinking? This talk looks at the conspiracy theories associated with Titanic.

28th May 2024 – Annual General Meeting
Followed by Andrew Negus
Southampton – Water, Slaughter and Trade
The first of two talks on the history and development of Southampton from Roman times until today. Apart from the stories of visiting kings, a giant, Jane Austen, and the Luftwaffe, who all left their mark, we shall explore the remarkable mediaeval remains of this historic walled town. This first talk covers the period until 1850.

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

Do you have something to contribute to the society?