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Meetings suspended

The committee have decided, as a precaution to the outbreak of Covid-19 (Coronavirus), to keep members and the public safe that we suspend our series of speaker meetings. Our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause. We will post any news here, or feel free to give us an email. Once it is safe to do so we will resume and re-arrange talks.Read more

Interpretation panels unveiling

Thatcham Town Council are delighted to invite members of the public to the unveiling of its 2 new heritage interpretation panels exploring the rich history of the town. The Town Council’s Heritage Working Party launched their commemorative blue plaque scheme in 2018 with the inaugural plaque unveiled on the Kings Head Public House, commemorating its importance in the creation of mail coach runs. When researching potential subjects and locations it became apparent that there was a wealth of history focussed in and around Thatcham Broadway with no where suitable to erect a plaque. It was then...Read more

The Plough

The Plough Pub was the topic of a few enquiries at a recent event. The building is believed to date to 17th century with 19th century additions and a few 20th century too. It is a listed building. Some more background on it at our chairmans website . The earliest mention we have so far of the pub is to an Edward Farrow in 1795, it may be that it was a pub before this date. The Plough name in general seems to come from: the agricultural plough; or the constellation Ursa Major. Which is the origin of our Plough? Firstly the most recent pub sign shows the agricultural plough, a decade or so ago...Read more

Coaching and coach horns

The society welcomed Colin Pawson to the talk tonight. Colin presented a history of coaching and coach horns. Roads of the time, 16th century and on were essentially compacted earth. These became dust bowls in the summer and wet bogs in the winter. Coaches would have wheels 9 inches wide as a minimum so as not to cut up routes. Colin noted that roads were often as wide as one side of the M4, but they got smaller as the railway came in to use. Thomas Telford and John MacAdam improved the state of the roads with new construction methods. In 1784 John Palmer, a theatre manager from Bath,...Read more

The Mary Rose

Alan Turton opened the talk by noting that despite common belief the Mary Rose didn’t capsize and that the ship could have been recovered shortly after sinking. The ship was described as the “flower of the Kings Navy” and was amongst the first to have gun ports. It remains a mystery as to the cause of the sinking, was a gun port left open when turning or was it something else? It is alleged that bystanders on the shore could hear the men screaming as the ship sank. Many of the men would have been wearing padded jackets and armour and with most sailors thinking it was bad luck to learn to swim...Read more

Chamberhouse Castle

We have been writing articles for The Local Buzz magazine for a little while. Here is a copy of one of the articles: Many historic buildings are hidden in plain sight. For example Thatcham House, Thatcham Farm, Monks Chambers and Crown House are all historic buildings that can easily be seen within a few minutes of the town centre. However how many know that there was once a castle a short distance away? Chamberhouse was once part of the Crookham Estate. It is commonly thought the name is derived from the 13th century owner, Roger de la Chambre. The estate became the property of Sir John Pury...Read more

Newbury’s Roman Cemetery

Members joined Dr David Peacock on 26 Oct 2018 to hear about Newbury’s Roman Cemetery. The cemetery, which is roughly where Sainsbury now stands, was first discovered in the 1850s. The site was then in the parish of Greenham, although a number of boundary changes have taken place since then. The find appeared in the Newbury journal, a local newspaper of the day, on 14th February 1856 having been discovered just two days before whilst workers were digging for gravel. Initially thoughts were that the site was connected with the English Civil War with a small number of skeletons being unearthed...Read more

Tomlin Popup Exhibition

Thatcham Historical Society officially opened the Tomlin Popup exhibition tonight (8th October). A range of guests from the local community and organisations heard a short talk about the exhibition. The exhibition is a partnership between the libraries services, West Berkshire Museum and Thatcham Historical Society. The museum is aiming to have popup exhibitions in surrounding towns and villages, this being the second popup exhibition. Chairman of Thatcham Historical Society, Nick Young, said " the idea is not only to promote the museum but to showcase some of the materials and highlight the...Read more

Newbury Walking History Tours

There are a series of "Explore Newbury Walking Tours 2018" taking place over the next few weeks. Please see attached for full details.Read more