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.

As with many societies, WHS has had to think about how we might continue to hold meetings as, under the current guidelines, it is not feasible to hold in-person meetings.

All meetings will be ‘virtual’ using Zoom for the foreseeable future.


22 September 2020 – Neil Bond
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.

27 October 2020 – Helen Talbot 
Growing up in Hundred Acres in the 1940s and 50s 
Helen’s father, A.P. (Percy) Durant moved his family to Hundred Acres in the middle of the Second World War.  Helen will talk about her experiences growing up in Hundred Acres (where they built their own house), the war years, going to school in Wickham and her father’s horticultural and agricultural enterprises – including the pantomime horse and plough!

24 November 2020 – Dr Cheryl Butler
Hampshire & the New World: The Mayflower & Beyond
The story of Hampshire’s early links with the New World include tales of exploration, pilgrims, witchcraft, four Indian Kings, the birth of an empire and of course fish!

8 December 2020 – Ian Currie
Frost, Freezes & Fairs
1000 years of famous winters when rivers including the mighty Thames froze and remarkable events took place on the ice.
Note: This is a joint meeting with the Wickham Society and is the second Tuesday of the month.


26 January 2021 – Paul Stickler
War Hero or Murderer?

In 1917, Percy Toplis is alleged to have been involved in a mutiny among allied troops just ahead of the Battle of Passchendaele. Two years later, he is suspected of a series of robberies and the murder of a taxi driver on a quiet country road near Andover, Hampshire. The hunt for the fugitive ends when he is shot dead by police near Penrith, Cumbria and which then raised questions about the justification of his death.

23 February 2021 – Dr Imogen Corrigan 
The Vikings 
The Vikings almost need no introduction. An image is instantly conjured up of ferocious fighting men, rampaging through our green and pleasant land, plundering, wrecking and desecrating. This is not untrue by any means, but the lecture seeks to find out if there were any other aspects to the “long-haired tourists from Scandinavia”. A problem with studying Vikings is that contemporary writing about them is often hysterical, although they were also seen literally as the wrath of God. In the end, there was a Scandinavian conquest of England before the Norman one, so who were these people, why did they come here and what did they hope to achieve. We can find out more about them through their invasion tactics, their trading and extraordinary sea-faring skills and through many artefacts that survive to this day.

23 March 2021 – Stephen Hoadley 
RMS Queen Mary: From Launch to Maiden Voyage
Between the mid-1930s and the late-1960s, the Queen Mary was arguably the world’s most famous ocean liner. With a perfect mix of modernity and tradition, the ship completed 1001 transatlantic voyages, offering a unique blend of speed and luxury. This is the story of her early years and how she made her home in Southampton.

27 April 2021 – Janet Few 
Coffers, Clysters, Comfrey and Coifs: the lives of our seventeenth century ancestors. 
Why do you need a bum roll? What colour were carrots in the C17th? What did the Cavaliers use for deodorant? Can you think of 47 uses for urine? Supplying the answers to the above (well, maybe not all 47 uses), this presentation is a light-hearted but informative insight into the domestic life of our C17th ancestors.

25 May 2021
Annual General Meeting followed by Simon Wills
A History of Birds 
The historical ‘back story’ behind many of our most familiar birds. How did they acquire their names? What did Charles II keep in his bedroom, and Florence Nightingale in her pocket?

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

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