Arson in His Majesty’s Dockyard – 8pm Wed 20th October 2021

Join us for  a talk by Alan Turton  about the life of James Aitken (28 September 1752 – 10 March 1777), also known as John the Painter, who was a mercenary who committed acts of sabotage in Royal Navy naval dockyards during the American Revolutionary War in 1776–77. […]

‘The History of Houses’ – 8 pm Wed 15th Sept 2021

Join us for an interesting talk by Trevor Ottlewski,  concerning the history of houses.   In the 19th century many town and city workers were housed in squalid and insanitary tenement buildings. These were often back to back blocks with no running water, no lighting, no main drainage, […]

The Pursuit and Sinking of Bismarck – 8pm Wed 21st July 2021

Join us for an online talk by David Bickerton Sinking of Bismarck – 8 PM Wednesday July 21, 2021 The pursuit and sinking of Bismarck is one of the enduring stories of WW2 which continues to fascinate. More than a hundred British warships were involved in the 5 […]

Perils of Bell Ringing

On Christmas morning 1903 , about five minutes to eleven, just before the divine service, a churchwarden at Silchester Church, found to his cost, that Church bells can pose an unexpected threat to life. The Hants. and Berks. Gazette described the incident as follows; A serious accident occurred […]

1752 and All That: the derivation of the modern calendar.

A Talk by Mark Bowman Why 1752? Well that was the year that Britain changed its calendar system and famously lost eleven days. The title of the talk is a play on ‘1066 and all that’ the hilarious book from the 1930s by Sellars and Yeatman which treats […]

Journey from Sandhurst to Sandhurst – 8pm 16th June 2021

The Great Sandhurst to Sandhurst Walk, via Sandhurst by Graham Harding (assisted by Helen) Graham and Helen moved to Sandhurst, Berkshire in 2004. Through misdirected post they rapidly found out there are two other Sandhursts in southern England and so was born the project to walk from the […]

Tour of Reading University Campus

Called “An Historical Tour around the University’s London Road Campus”, the link to view the video is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wG1dG67960c  During 2019, as part of its outreach programme, ‘The Friends of the University of Reading’ ran guided historical tours of the University’s London Road and Whiteknights campuses. Because of COVID, […]

The Toadster of Tadley

Tadley has its fair share of local folklore, including the “Tadley Treacle Mine” and the “Tadley God Help Us” episode. The story of the “Tadley Toad” is not primarily about a Toad but a sad tale of a particular person living in “Poor Tadley” in the late 18th […]

Timeline of Tadley and St Peter’s Church

Settlements on the Burghclere and Kingsclere downs, beside east-west trade route, the Ridgeway. Local area is the centre of wool industry. Tumuli found at Wootton, and on south side of Wasing Wood.   Bronze and Iron Age Important trade and communications centre at Silchester, with pagan temple and […]

Smelly Alley in Reading

Union Street, also known locally as Smelly Alley, is a pedestrian alley in the centre of the English town of Reading. It is lined with small shops and other retail outlets, and connects Broad Street and Friar Street. The name Smelly Alley came about in the 1940s, as […]

Humour in Genealogy

Humour in Genealogy a  talk by Chris Broom 8pm April 21st 2021 As the title suggests, his talk “Humour in Genealogy” uses a number of light-hearted examples to demonstrate the advantages of scrutinising original documents in family-history research, many of which contain additional information not included in online […]

Quakers in Tadley and Baughurst

During the Civil War Baughurst saw local skirmishes and suffered from plundering.  After this it became one of the biggest and wealthiest Quaker centres in Southern England.  Following a visit in 1657 to Basingstoke by George Fox, the Quaker founder, James Potter of Baughurst went to prison for […]

Tadley horse thrown overboard !

Blue Gown (1865) was a sweet-tempered, compact, short-legged,  bay colt that won the Derby in 1868. It was owned and  bred by Sir Joseph Hawley of  Hawley House in Tadley,  He sold the horse in  1869 to a French syndicate for 5,000 guineas.  Blue Gown  returned to England, […]

John Mulford

Contents   Overview Family members Local Benefactor Endorser of galvanic therapy for horses Obituary Origin of road name His name is perpetuated in the local street name, Mulfords Hill. Mulfords Bridge. (601 616) while no longer a commonly used name, but the metal bridge still exists where the […]

Battle of the Somme – 8 pm Wed Feb 17th 2021

The Battle of the Somme: the blackest day in the history of the British Army Online talk by Phil Wood The first day of the battle remains the worst day in the history of the British Army, when it suffered 57,470 casulties, around 20,000 of whom were killed. After a series of attacks and counter...