On Monday 29th April 2013, Dr David Peacock gave us a most interesting talk on’ A history of Sandleford Priory,’ which was founded about 12 hundred and was an Augustinian priory for around 150 years. The Augustinian order had a slightly more relaxed attitude to mixing with the larger community and had its share of scandal when one of the canons was sacked for not only living with a female but also pawning priory valuables.
On Monday 25th March 2013, Phil Wood gave a talk packed with fascinating details on ‘The History of Pubs in Newbury.’
His history began with the Bullock Inn of 1423, which was situated on the west side of Northbrook Street and The Tiger (1438) in Bartholomew Street which had permission to accommodate up to 38 people in its 6 rooms! We learnt that licences were introduced in 1552 and by 1577 there were over 30 pubs in Newbury. By 1692 there were 6 pubs one side of the Market Place alone.
On Monday 11th February 2013, Peter Lavarack, who lived in South Africa as a boy, gave an excellent talk on the Zulu Wars of 1879, providing us with a good insight into the causes and effects of the conflict. He included some fascinating information about the Zulu’s way of life with few roads, no towns, telephones or horsepower, everything needed being carried by manpower. The British, however, were well served with more than 2,500 mules and 27,000 oxen.