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Chairman’s Address

Firstly, I would like to wish everyone a very happy New Year. I will take a brief review of events and activities we, Thatcham Historical Society, have undertaken over the past year and what we have to look forward to this year.

We had out usual nine speaker meetings including the AGM. These included local topics such as Thatcham Schools by John Trigg, Archaeological Projects such as the Burgh to Borough Project by Judy Dewey and the History of Space Exploration by Richard Fleet.  There are two talks that were a little different though. Our June talk, unfortunatly the speaker was taken inll at the last minute and so I stepped in to give a talk on the history of Thatcham, an unexpected change but one I hope people enjoyed.  The original speaker will return this year to give the talk.

The other exception was our April meeting. We were unable to have our usual Monday evening meeting due to the organisation of school holidays, however we did have a special Saturday event where we had a talk on the First Battle of Newbury by Christopher Scott  and then emebers of the Earl Rivers Regiment talked about various aspects of the civil war.  They came in costume with equipment that you were allowed to touch and handle.  The event was very successful with half of those present being non-society members and a lot of younger people were also in attendance.

Besides the normal speaker meetings we have taken part in various other events.  Some are social such as the two Mayors Charity Quizes, others are about educating the public.  For the latter we take part in the Thatcham Festival of Arts & Leisure, and last year we took part in five events.  We continue to organise, will significant help and support from two local historians, Bill Butler and Graeme Stewart, the Peter Allen Memorial Lectures.  These are a series of local history talks which aim to promote the society, local history and raise money for the British Heart Foundation in memory of the late Peter Allen.

Many of the committee help support these events and activities.  There are members who also promote the history of Thatcham and area, either as part of the society or as an individual. Whichever is the case they all deserve to be thanked for their efforts to promote the rich history we have.  I will note one person, that is Malcolm, who is supported by Bob.  Malcolm shows his collection of artefacts at various places, gives talks, and works wonders getting this over to the children.

We took part in three trips last year, a full day trip to Blenheim Palace and two half day trips, one to Wallingford Museum and the other to the Berkshire Record Office. 

This year we will continue to run the various events and other activities, and half day trips which are yet to be finalised, but due to falling numbers the full day trips, i.e. those by coach, we will stop.  We will be working with the Church, St. Mary's, on a Diamond Jubalie display and we will be celebrating our 45th anniversary with a social and quiz in June.

By any means 2011 was a success, lets hope 2012 is.
Thank you.