Friends Meetings & Programme

The Friends hold ten meetings a year when the guest speaker normally covers a local history subject. The meetings are on the third Thursday evening of most months in the Archaeology Gallery at the Museum in Market Place, Basingstoke. The doors are opened between 7.10 and 7.30 with the meeting commencing at 7.35.

There is a short break after the talk when tea and coffee are available for a nominal amount and there is the opportunity to take part in our raffle for attractive prizes.

Nearby car parking costs just £1.00 for the evening.

Admission is FREE for Members. A limited number of Non-members are always welcome, except for the members only meeting in December, providing they have pre-booked by phoning the Museum on 01256 465902 (daytime) at least twenty four hours in advance. A small admission charge of £2.00 per person is payable at the door. This £2.00 can be used towards a full membership fee of just £10.00 for the year if you join the Friends on the night. This ensures that you will have a seat at all future meetings without the need to pre-book.

Our Next Meeting is:

April18 poster

FRIENDS OF THE WILLIS MUSEUM TALKS PROGRAMME 2017

January 18th - No meeting

February 15th - Alan Turton

The Social History of the Civil War Soldier

Military historian and Friend, Alan Turton, who specialises in the English Civil War and the period up to the mid-18th century, tells the story of the life of ordinary soldier during the English Civil War. He will bring and array of objects to illustrate the lifestyle, uniform, diet and training of the time of ‘This War without an Enemy’.

March 15th - Barbara Large

The Basingstoke Workhouse

Local author Barbara Large will talk about the Basingstoke Workhouse revealling a side of Basingstoke that has long since been forgotten. The talk will cover aspects of life in that feared institution, from the staff who lived and worked there to the poor souls kept in the medical wing, including the problems of administration and oversight, the stresses and strains suffered by the new, untrained and inexperienced officers who had to make it work, and the sometimes excruciating difficulty of getting every detail sanctioned by London.

April 19th - Brian Spicer

The Rise and Fall of the Hackwood Estate

Brian Spicer, who was Agent to Lord Camrose when he owned and lived at Hackwood House, will present the fascinating story of one thousand years of the Hackwood Estate.  From Norman hunting parties to twentieth century house parties the estate has been a witness to the changing fortunes of the British aristocracy.

May 17th - Chris Perkins

WWII History of RAF Odiham

Retired RAF Squadron Leader Chris Perkins MVO from Kempshott  is a member of Probus Basingstoke for retired professionals and carries out research on several RAF wartime battles in Europe using his many years of experience to give presentations on the history he has uncovered during his personal travels. His talk will cover Odiham’s pre-war development and expansion during the wartime years and the impact that the airfield establishment had on the local community and the various raids made by the Luftwaffe in the surrounding locale.

June 21st - Lindsay and John Mullaney

Christian Pilgrimage to Reading and Caversham

Lindsay and John will show how pilgrimage was at the very core of the life of Reading Abbey. Its greatest relic was the 'Hand of St James'. Lindsay will tell the story of how the Empress Matilda, Henry I's daughter, brought this relic back from Germany when her husband, the Holy Roman Emperor Henry V, died. She will also talk about the other great local shrine, in Caversham, and how both met a similar end under Henry VIII. John will look at the role of Reading Abbey as a place of pilgrimage, how its architecture was designed for this purpose and how it fitted into the very purpose of the life the Benedictine monks.

July 19th - Bill Fergie

The First 40 years of the Hampshire Buildings Preservation Trust

Hampshire Buildings Preservation Trust chairman and Friend, Bill Fergie, will give an insight into the activities of the Trust from when it was set up in 1975 and how this developed over the intervening years. The Trust was endowed with a significant sum of money, and mandated to buy up threatened historic buildings, restore them and put them back on the market. The Trust couldn’t sell some of the properties it acquired and restored because they had relatively little, if any, commercial value. Much of the Trust’s time today is therefore taken up with managing three such properties, Whitchurch Silk Mill, Bursledon Brickworks and Bursledon Windmill.

August - no meeting

 

September 20th - Alex Godden

Donnington Castle

Donnington Castle is a ruined medieval castle, situated in the small village of Donnington, just north of Newbury. It is now managed by English Heritage. Only the striking twin-towered gatehouse survives within impressive earthworks. Alex Godden, Archaeological Officer, West Berkshire, will talk about its history and its ending.

October 18th - Professor Mike Fulford

Silchester - Excavating inside and outside the Roman Town

Mike Fulford is the Professor of Archeaology at the University of Reading who will describe these excavations at Roman Silchester as well as those on the Roman tilery at Little London in 2017, and the temple and public baths within the town walls in 2017 and 2018. As well as undertaking small-scale excavations within the walls of the Roman town, over the last three years we have been exploring the prehistoric context for its emergence as a major centre in the late pre-Roman Iron Age.  This has involved survey and excavation of enclosures and linear earthworks in the hinterland of the town.  The talk will describe these excavations as well as those on the Roman tilery at Little London in 2017, and the temple and public baths within the town walls in 2017 and 2018.

November 15th - Holly Ryan

Life at The Vyne after the roof project

In the Summer of 2018, 41 miles of scaffolding will be removed and the new roof to The Vyne revealed.  The contents of the house will be returned from safe-keeping and the house opened to visitors once more.  Hollie Ryan will explain what all this means for future visitors to The Vyne.

December 20th

AGM & Friends’ Plate Party - open only to members of the Friends of the Willis Museum

 

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