North East Hampshire Historical
& Archaeological Society

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Events in 2017

January 2017

There were no talks during January but much useful work was carried out at project evenings reviewing the Heckfield finds. This will form part of Tony's report on the excavations which were carried out during the late 1990s and early 2000s. The report will also include historical information being compiled by Les.

February 2017

Our first talk of the year took place on Feb 10th when John Wall gave us Return to Sudan. This was covering the 25th Anniversary Tour in 2016 by John and other members of the Sudan Archaeological Research Society.

The tour started from Khartoum and progressed up the Nile to just south of Lake Nasser and then back. Many of the sites were laid out as processional temples as at Soleb. John drew attention to steles showing rock art with giraffes at Akasha West and pharaonic cartouches at Jebel Noh. Just south of Lake Nasser a huge ancient mud brick fortress had been built at Urunarti.

Jebel Dosha with its cave church and wall paintings - Amara West, once capital of Nubia but then abandoned around 1070BC – and Kerma, perhaps one of the most visited and largest archaeological sites in Nubia. As with his previous talks there were plenty of questions and discussion.

On Fri 24th our talk The Hampshire Buildings Preservation Trust was given by Bill Fergie. The Trust has been in existence for 40 years and was set up to help preserve Hampshire's buildings, many of which were in danger of demolition.

The Trust works with town and borough councils and, sometimes, with individual owners of properties, encouraging them to restore buildings in their posession by assisting with the design and planning. The Trust has also bought many old building themselves, restoring them before selling them on.

Some buildings, however, have been retained by the Trust as museums and heritage centres. Three such properties are the Whitchurch Silk Mill, the Bursledon Windmill and the Bursledon Brickworks site which is also the Trust's headquarters. Bill's talk was very well illustrated with 'before' and 'after' pictures of many buildings and was well received by the audience.

Pyramids in Sudan.

Photo: Wikipedia.

Bursledon Windmill.

Photo: James Brigden.

March 2017

On 10th March we held our AGM at which the year's events and finances were reviewed.

On 24th, Charlie Fraser-Fleming gave his talk on The Industrial Revolution. He started with two maps showing the density of population of Britain in 1701 and again in 1911. It was immediately obvious how much the towns and cities had grown in just over 200 years. This growth was mainly due to changes in farming methods and the rapid industrialisation of manufacturing. Advances in transport during this period also provided easier access to raw materials and the markets for manufactured goods. Improvements in medicine and sanitation became necessary to cope with a higher density of people living in close proximity. Charlie mentioned a number of the many great engineers, reformers and inovators who contributed to this transformation of the social and economic life of the country. Some people say the Industrial Revolution ended with the Great Exhibition of 1851 while others say it still continues today with computers, the internet, etc. A very stimulating and well received talk which will continue to foster discussion in the months to come.

Steam pipes etc.

April 2017

Jo Gosney gave her talk Local History Detective on Friday 28th to a large and appreciative audience. Using a variety of interesting old photographs and maps, Jo outlined methods for research into local families and events. She gave us many details of the exploits of Samuel Cody, the Longman family, Empress Eugenie and others. The Army in Aldershot and North Camp also featured together with the expansion of local businesses and transport.

Clockhouse, Farnborough.

May 2017

There were two project evenings during May but no talks.

June 2017

Our talk on 23rd June was The Basingstoke Canal given by Roger Cansdale. Opened in 1794 with the intention of transporting agricultural products to London (via its connection to the Thames a Weybridge) and coal and manufactured goods back to Basingstoke, the canal never made a profit! It was threatened with closure several times before finally ceasing commercial traffic in 1921. However, enough of it survived through the 2nd World War and after to become a restoration project in the 1960s. The canal had the distinction of being among the first to demonstrate the leisure value of our waterways.

Also in June we had a stall at the Cove Brook Family Day on Sunday 18th. Tony and Ginny endured relentless sunshine on one of the hottest days in order to man the stall. Well done!

Canal boat at Odiham.

July 2017

On both Saturday and Sunday 15th & 16th July we held our R.A.E. Heritage Walk, our 2017 CBA Festival event. These walks started at 10.30am from the RAE Road adjacent to the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (FAST) Museum on the A325 Farnborough Road. The walks were led by Charlie Fraser Fleming who had produced an informative colour handout for the occasion.

Frame of balloon hanger.

August 2017
No meetings.

September 2017

The first talk of the Autumn season on Sept. 22nd was Phil Stevens on Chobham's Hidden History. Phil’s talk, based on a book he is writing, began with a modern map showing Chobham with the small nucleus of the town centred on the church. Chobham began as a Saxon settlement named Cebe’s Ham. Phil is trying to confirm the site of the original moated medieval manor house. Attempts to find the moat through resistivity measurements were unsuccessful. However, with a grant for a community-based archaeology survey and help from the Young Archaeology Club, a number of test pits were dug. Though no structures were found, the number of 13th century pottery sherds were evidence to support this as the location of the manor house.

Phil's presentation slides gave a good overview of the history of Chobham and we look forward to hearing when his book becomes available.

October 2017
Our October talk had to be postponed due to repairs needed on the Community Centre roof.

November 2017

It was with great sadness that we learnt that Don Woollhead, long-time member of NEHHAS, passed away on November 5th. He contributed so much over the years in excavation, research, documentation and committee membership.

Pam Taylor's talk on Nov 11th was on her 2016 Italian holiday which started in Venice. There they explored part of the city on foot in temperatures around 34 degrees Celcius! Their first excursion was to Aquileia near Grado, by train. This city, close to the Adriatic coast, was founded in 181 BC. At one time it was the fourth largest city in Italy. Aquileia has an important archaeological site with UNESCO World Heritage status. Taking the bus along the causeway that crosses the lagoon from the mainland, they visited Grado.

Next day they took the train from Venice to Padua. Here they were drawn to the Scrovegni Chapel with its priceless frescoes by Giotto. Then on to the Basilica of St. Anthony and Padua University, where Gallileo taught mathematics and his students built him a tall platform from which to address them!

Padua Cathedral.

From Padua the next excursion was to Verona with its Roman Amphitheatre, Cathedral and San Zeno's Church. Another day it was Vicenza, home of Palladio, with its fine Basilica. Then Bologna, which is another old university city and has several towers, one of which leans (but not as much as that at Pisa!). Ravenna was next, an elegant town, famous for its early Christian and Byzantine mosaics, and including Dante's tomb.

A real find late in the holiday was the Etruscan site and museum at Marzabotto. The layout of the houses and the artefacts on view dispelled the opinion that the Etruscans were a primitive people! Finally a visit to Parma (famous for the ham) then back to Venice for the first rainy day of the holiday before the flight back to UK.

Italian Railways logo.

December 2017

Our final meeting of the year on Dec. 8th included a demanding quiz, compiled by John Paddon, followed by seasonal treats together with tea, coffee and plenty of chat!


Note: More detailed accounts of some of our talks and other events can be found in the latest NEWSLetter. Click here for details of how to get your copy.

For a review of last year's activities click here.


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This page last updated in December 2017.