Friends Meetings & Programme

With the restrictions imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the programe of regular meetings held at the Willis Museum were cancelled. Starting on 17th September 2020 online talks to Members using Zoom commenced. Invitations to these meetings will be sent out by email to the Friends shortly before the meeting date. The programme of online talks, currently up to April 2021 is listed below.

Under normal circumstances, 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 £2.00 for the evening after 7pm.

Admission is FREE for Members. A limited number of Non-members are always welcome, except for the members only meeting in October, 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 £3.00 per person is payable at the door. This £3.00 can be used towards a full membership fee of just £12.00 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:

Feb21 poster

FRIENDS OF THE WILLIS MUSEUM TALKS PROGRAMME 2021

January 21st - Alan Turton

Arson in His Majesty’s Dockyards – the story of ‘John the Painter'

Alan will tell the story of ‘John the Painter’. This man went under many aliases and was a renowned criminal with personal grudges, specialising in setting fire to docklands, including Portsmouth. One of the first home-grown terrorists, he ended up apprehended by the Bow Street Runners in Odiham.

February 18th - Alan Jones

Keep Your Hair On

Alan Jones will talk about the history of Wigs, extensions, beards and eye brows. Discover the secretive and lucrative international world of Hair that is straight, wavy, long, natural or dyed! Smuggling, politics, religion, and fashion collide in a billion dollar trade.

March 18th - Neil Sadler

A Policeman’s Lot can be quite an interesting one

Neil spent 30 years as a police officer. Starting “on the beat” in the exotic holiday resort of Bognor Regis in the 1970s, he retired from a post in national and international police training. You may be amazed to hear who he met on his first solo night shift at 3am. Changes in police uniform and equipment and why not to be squirted with pepper spray. Also, where not to try and escape the traffic cops in one European country and a novel use.

April 15th - Jenny Mallin

A Grandmother’s Legacy: the early days

How Benjamin Hardy in 1798, a seventh generation weaver ancestor of Jenny Mallin from Mirfield in Yorkshire, sails to Madras with his British Army unit, fights for the next 22 years in India and decides to settle his family there for the next five generations.

 

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