Tadley and District History Society (TADS) held its inaugural meeting on 21 November 1984 in St Paul’s Church Hall, Tadley. This meeting was arranged as a result of the considerable interest shown in old photographs of local people and places and in illustrations borrowed from AWRE Aldermaston (Atomic Weapons Research Establishment) showing the history of Aldermaston Village, the Estate and the Airfield, which were displayed at the St Paul’s Church Summer Fete in June 1984.
Twenty-eight people entered their names on a sheet of paper hurriedly produced and headed ‘LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY – ARE YOU INTERESTED?’. The first name on the list was E W (Ernie) Kimber. Subsequently a notice was placed in the local newspaper and in the church magazine announcing the inaugural meeting and a potential Chairman was sought.
Roger Searing, a retired headmaster of the Burnham Copse Junior School, who had produced a number of historical articles on Tadley and Reading for a Reading newspaper and who was also co-author of the booklet Tadley Tracks, Tadley Facts published in 1982, was approached and was prepared to accept the post of Chairman of the Society.
The inaugural meeting was held and Roger and other officers were elected: Bob Brown, Joan Davis, Patrick ‘Pat’ Minter, Judith Goodchild, Marie Lelliot, Rosemary Knowles, Derek Ward and Alan Albery, whose wife Stephanie provided the society’s hand-printed posters for several years.
The meeting was much encouraged by the support and advice given by Colin and June Woodward of the Mortimer Local History Group, and John Oliver of the Basingstoke Archeological and Historical Society.
The first speaker to the Society was Arthur Attwood, the Basingstoke journalist and historian, who gave a talk on 30 January 1985 entitled ‘The History of Basingstoke’.