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 Open Meeting is:

Feb18 poster

FRIENDS OF THE WILLIS MUSEUM TALKS PROGRAMME 2017

February 16th - 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.

March 16th - Diana White

A Saunter through the Stuarts

Members may recall that Diana White gave an enjoyable talk on Empress Eugenie. The grandfather of the first Stuart king, Robert the Bruce, was inspired by a spider’s web.   The last Stuart claimant to the English throne, Bonnie Prince Charlie, escaped capture by using a web of hidden tracks all over Scotland. Thus, soon afterwards, our iconic, ground breaking, world class Ordinance Survey maps were created, as the authorities realised that they needed to map the terrain of Scotland. Bonnie Prince Charlie also inspired the writing of the words to our National Anthem, when, earlier, he marched towards London ! A tangled web indeed.

20th April - Dave Allen

The Archaeology of Warfare

This talk, by the Hampshire Cultural Trust’s Curator of Hampshire Archaeology, is look at how the story of conflict, from the Bronze Age to the English Civil War, is reflected in archaeological finds from Hampshire, with a chance to handle some of the materials involved.

May 18th - Tony Cross 

People on Plinths:  the fascinating stories behind 12 noteworthy statues in Hampshire ranging from the ‘The Great & the Good’ to the ordinary working man

During his long museum career Tony Cross was fortunate to have been able to investigate numerous historical, scientific and artistic topics. An interest in local history and research relating to the Great War led to an awareness of memorials, some being statues, and their importance in commemorating the lives and achievements of various people. A selection of these from across the county have been included in what promises to be a fascinating talk.

June 15th - Debbie Reavell

Jane Austen in Basingstoke

Debbie Reavell is a Friends member, well-known for her interest in local history and as a leading champion of the Basingstoke story of Jane Austen. For this celebratory year, she will take us on a journey round the town as Jane knew it.

July 20th - David Rymill

The Queen in Hampshire

David Rymill, one of the archivists at Hampshire Record Office, will explore how photographs and documents in Hampshire’s archive collections reveal the Queen’s links with Hampshire, including Her Majesty’s visits to the county throughout her life, and the ways in which Hampshire people have celebrated key events in her reign.

August - no meeting

 

September 21st - Roger Cansdale

Heroes & Villains of Basingstoke Canal

The canal has seen many ups and downs since its inception in 1776 and this talk will reveal the dodgy deals and admirable acts that have made the canal what it is today. Roger Cansdale from the Surrey & Hampshire Canal Society will bring these stories to life and answer any questions about the Canal and current projects.

October 19th - Jenny Stevens

The Archaeology of Food

We talk a lot about what people ate in the past – but how do Archaeologists actually know? This talk by Area Community Curator Jenny Stevens will discuss some of the methods used to piece together clues about our ancestors’ diet. Peas A la Vitellius anyone?

November 16th - Ian Currie

Frosts, Freezes and Fairs

Meteorologist Ian Currie of Frosted Earth has an extensive resume of previous television and radio broadcasts, and he will talk today on Chronicles of the Frozen Thames and Harsh Winters in Britain from 1000AD.

December 21st

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

No meeting in January 2018

 

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