Wednesday, 19 January 2022

Henley Archaeological and Historical Group

Henley Archaeological and Historical Group

MEMBERS of the Henley Archaeological and Historical Group visited the River & Rowing Museum on November 16 at the invitation of its senior staff.

The museum, with its sporting and environmental themes and, of course, the popular Wind in the Willows Gallery, is a well-visited attraction in the town.

The group’s visit focused on the Henley Gallery, which shows the town’s history and is effectively its local museum.

It is located across a “bridge” from the main building, and very few visitors find their way to it.

Its presentation of the town’s past, in chronological order and without the thematic approach which can enliven modern museum presentations, is essentially unchanged since the museum opened in the late Nineties.

The museum is considering alternative ways of presenting Henley’s history and integrating it more closely with the museum’s river and rowing themes.

The group’s visit was an opportunity to provide suggestions and many members offered their thoughts.

The group was given a preview of a couple of objects found in Hambleden by a responsible metal detectorist.

These included a beautiful medieval metal seal matrix, engraved with the name of Margerie Pevrel.

The finds are due to go on display in the museum next year.

Currently, the museum is in the process of conserving and documenting some 30,000 objects of all kinds in its own collection, many relating to the history of Henley.

They are looking for volunteers (of any age, with even a little time to spare) to help them in this task.

If you would like to join them, please email the collections registrar at catherine.neale@rrm.co.uk

The group’s last event of the year will be a lively presentation given by Tim Healey, of the Oxford Waits, on “A 17th century Christmas” at King’s Arms Barn on Tuesday, December 7 at 7.45pm.

This will be an “entertaining romp” through Yuletide celebrations at the time of the Civil War and Restoration, including wassailing rites, frost fairs, Twelfth Night customs and the Puritan backlash against Christmas itself.

For more information, visit https://hahg.org.uk

Tony Lynch

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