Thursday, 11 August 2022

Henley Archaeological And Historical Group

THE 2018 lecture season starts on January 2 when Colin Berks will give a talk called “Saxon Cookham”.

Following the Viking invasions that commenced in 870AD, Alfred the Great built a number of “emergency” fortifications, or “burghs”, to defend Wessex and it is believed that one of these was at Cookham.

Marlow Archaeological Society has for many years been investigating possible locations around the Thames islands of Sashes and Odney.

On February 6 Michael Redley will be talking about “The Boer War: A forgotten conflict”.

His doctoral work at Cambridge University was in the colonial history of Africa and he currently teaches history and politics in the department for continuing education at Oxford University.

His recent research into Sir Charles Rose, of Hardwick House, near Whitchurch, whose four sons all fought in the Boer War, was published last year under the title The Real Mr Toad: Merchant Venturer and Radical in the Age of Gold.

On March 6 Graham Twemlow will talk about “Art & design in the Chilterns”.

The retired university academic writes and lectures on design history and decorative arts subjects.

His talk will focus on some of the 20th century artists who either made the Chilterns their home or found inspiration here, and sometimes both, including Paul and John Nash, John Piper, Eric Gill, Clare Leighton, E McKnight Kauffer and the textile designer Marion Dorn.

All lectures are held at King’s Arms Barn on the first Tuesday of the month at 7.45pm. (This may have to change during the construction work at Market Place Mews). All are welcome, members free, non-members £5. Single annual membership costs £15 and family membership £25.

Our outings planned for next spring and summer are: May 17 — Kelmscott and Buscott Park; June 16 (to be confirmed) — Blewbury and Blewburton Hill; September 15 — Portchester village, Roman fort and Norman castle.

The common theme of both the Blewbury and Portchester visits will be the signs of continuity of human occupation. Standing buildings, historic documents as well as archaeological finds provide evidence of human presence over centuries on both sites, although they are very different with regard to location and time spans.

In both cases a fascinating story, which our local experts and guides will tell us about and hopefully help us to enjoy and understand a little better.

The group’s annual meeting will take place on December 5.

We are urgently looking for new members to join the committee, ideally with financial and/or internet skills and willingness to be involved and ability to organise and get stuck in.

Viv Greenwood and Graham Jones are standing down having both been very active members.

Viv has reported on archaeology and has been responsible for the research and design of the important new plaques to be seen around the town.

Graham has been our webmaster but has now moved away from Henley, so we need somebody to look after the website.

This person need not join the committee if they would rather not. We are a friendly group and usually people go out of their way to help — plus being on the committee can be fun and it is good to make new friends.

For more information, visit

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