Wednesday, 7 December 2011

The Mulberry Harbours

We have an interesting one coming up for the January 2012 meeting, at which Ryan Cooper will talk to us about  the Mulberry Harbours, and specifically the involvement of Southampton, Gosport, Portsmouth, and I think the Isle of Wight.

Inspired by this coming talk I have looked up a few things about those chunks of masonry which were towed across the channel and have been fascinated by the little I have learned of how they were built at several locations in UK, including from the rubble of the London blitz, and the part played by  Southampton.

Like everybody else, I had heard of  the Mulberry Harbours  and what they did, but I never really thought about the story behind them.

Ryan Cooper  (Known as 'Charlie 585' in some circles) is regarded by his contemporaries  as something of an authority on his chosen subjects of military history, which includes the Rifle Brigade and regiments associated with Hampshire.This is one not to be missed.

Merry Christmas to all.


Saturday, 3 December 2011

Saint Nicholas

Saint Nicholas,  Father Christmas, Santa Claus, call the old chap what you will, but do come and listen to the Rev. Robert talking about him at our next meeting on Monday, 12 December at the usual place:  Manston Court, Lordshill, from 10.30 a.m. to 12 noon.

The December meeting will be followed by a 'Bring and Share Lunch', and I do believe one of our members has undertaken to bake a cake for the occasion; perhaps it will be iced with the words 'Happy First Christmas LHS'


Monday, 14 November 2011

November Meeting

A great talk today by Robert Sanday on 'The Roman Roads of Hampshire', accompanied by some amusing acetate slides hand drawn by the Rev. Robert himself, which beautifully illustrated his theme, with none of the high tech stuff employed by us less talented mortals who have to rely on colour slides and home-made DVD's.

It is good to see the interest in Hollybrook Cemetery among our members: Nothing macabre about it, and some really interesting stories are unfolding about people buried therein.  We are also getting known for our acts of remembrance which we approached in a very low key to see how it went,  and now faced with its success we will be more venturesome in our planning.

Next official visit to Hollybrook will be in February to mark the sinking of the ss Mendi in February 1917 with the loss of 649 men of the South African army, whose names are inscribed on the memorial.

 Then in April there is ANZAC* Day and I have yet to break it to our members that traditionally ANZAC Day is recognised with a service at DAWN on 25 April.  Somehow I think we will have to reschedule that until the more acceptable time  of  11 a.m., but who knows.

*Australia and New Zealand Army Corps:  Gallipoli 1915


Sunday, 13 November 2011

Remembrance Day

On Friday 11 November we met at Hollybrook Cemetery, Southampton, to remember the British and Commonwealth war dead, and - quite  fortuitously - we met up with approximately sixty young children and their teachers from a local junior school.  This meeting made the day for us, and clearly added to their day also, so much so we hope to join forces with the school again next year and plan in advance for another Remembrance Day meeting.

Hollybrook Military Cemetery is part of the chain instigated by Royal Charter in 1917 for the burial of 1.7 million soldiers worldwide.

Here in Southampton there are 365 war graves at Hollybrook and a further 800 graves at Netley.

All military cemeteries are maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and it is a real delight to see how well they are tended.

There are 113 graves at  Hollybrook for WW1 and 1 900 names on the memorial for those with no known grave, were lost or buried at sea.  Hindu cremations are also listed.

All the headstones are uniform with no rank distinctions.

The youngest serviceman  to be buried there is Boy Soldier William Hesterman, aged 14 from Blighmont Avenue, Millbrook, Southampton, who died in Ireland in 1921.

The oldest is Watchman Silvester, aged 65, a Merchant Seaman who served aboard the ss 'Atlantis'

Another local man is Captain John Hughes, from Lordswood, 13th Bn. The Hampshire Regiment, Itchen Home Guard.

Many of the old British Commonwealth nations are represented by the graves and  by the names engraved on the memorial.

At 11 a.m. a two minutes silence was observed, preceded by the Last Post being played, and ending with the Reveillie, which co-incided with the sounding of ships sirens from the nearby docks

The event was arranged by Mike Humme, who provided the wreath and several hundred small wooden crosses which were distributed among the children and it was good to see the eagerness with which they went about placing them on the graves and finding things of interest written on the headstones, both at the British and Commonwealth section of the cemetery for WW1,  and at the site of the WW2 graves to which we moved following the wreath laying.

Many interesting things were recounted, both by Mike, from his research and knowledge of the cemetery, and by the children from their examination of the headstones,  including:   There are 186 graves at the WW2 plot, including three unidentified seamen, and Dutch, Polish and German war graves.

There are two young ladies buried there, being 19 year old Moira Livesey, a member of the Womens Royal Naval Service, whose parents were from New Zealand, and 18 year old Gladis Lea of the Transport Auxillery Service, who died on 14 February 1945.

 Lt. Hawks of the Royal Army Medical Corps, killed on Salisbury Plain during a fire-power demonstration on 13 April 1942, along with Lt. Wilson Gordons.

Padre Derrick Williams, on 5 June 1944 whilst serving with a  Royal Marines Commando on D-Day preparations.

Poppy crosses were placed on all the graves, both from WW1 and WW2 and for all nations.

We reflected not only  on the dead from the many conflicts which have plagued the world since WW2, with a special thought for those who are today fighting in distant parts of the world, but also on those who were left behind, especially the young children of those who died, and the significance of the words........
                                                  "WHEN YOU GO HOME
                                                   TELL THEM OF US AND SAY
                                                    FOR YOUR TOMORROW
                                                    WE GAVE OUR TODAY"


Sunday, 6 November 2011

November 11th

A reminder that on Friday 11 November we will meet at the main gate of Hollybrook Cemetery at 10.30 a.m. for an 11 a.m. act of remembrance at the British and Commonwealth War Graves section of the cemetery.  That will be at 11.11.11, a time and date which will  not be repeated for a while.

On Monday 14th. there will be the usual monthly  meeting at Manston Court, when Robert Sanday will talk about 'The Roman Roads of Hampshire'


Thursday, 3 November 2011

German War Graves

A while ago our Chairman, the Rev. Robert Sanday attended a memorial service at the War Graves section of Hollybrook Cemetery, and observing there was no act of remembrance for the German war dead he contemplated that buried there were sons, brothers, and perhaps fathers, who whether or not they believed in the war they were brave men who had fought for their country.

They were young men, not so very different from British and Commonwealth servicemen who lost their lives and are now buried in Germany, and are remembered.

Robert felt there was something missing and contacted Mike Humme of the Royal British Legion, who I am happy to say has joined our Society and is a valued member of the committee.

Mike took over, and in consultation with Horst Gritsch of the Southampton Anglo German Society arranged for us to carry out an act of remembrance on Tuesday 1 November - All Saints Day - a day of significance in the German calendar.

Thus a small group of us met at Hollybrook Cemetery for the purpose of placing a poppy cross and a small bunch of white chrysamthemums  on each of the graves for the 36 German service personnel who are buried there.

Robert held a short service. during which was offered up a prayer, the opening lines of which went:
        God of peace, it is your will
        to reconcile everything in heaven and on earth........

         Gott des Friedens, es ist dein Wille
          alles in Himmel und auf Erden zu verschohnen.......

Horst read what I believe to be the German equivalent of our 'They shall not grow old, as we who are left grow old.....'






          HE LIES AT MY FEET


John Gurney



Friday, 28 October 2011

Visit to Hollybrook Cemetery

A reminder that we will be meeting at 10.30 a.m. for a short ceremony at 11 a.m,  on Tuesday 1 November at Section 'M' of Hollybrook Cemetery, Southampton, for the purpose of laying flowers on the graves of German dead from WW2.
Members and visitors are asked to make their own way to the cemetery.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Sue Ryder at Millbrook Local History Society

I have just received some information by email  which I am pleased to pass on.  The email reads:

"After seeing the impressive Sue Ryder presentation at Lords Hill  Historical Society, Millbrook Local History Society have arranged for it to be presented at their meeting on Thursday 3 November.  They meet at Holy Trinity Church Hall, Millbrook Road, Southampton, at 7.30 on the first Thursday of each month and would be pleased to see anyone interested"

I am told  Millbrook Local History Society enjoy a very good reputation, and  I am particularly pleased to have been told about the above meeting as we in Lordshill cater for people who find a morning meeting more convenient, and here perhaps is the answer to those who find an evening meeting suits them better.    I gladly pass on the recommendation.


Sue Ryder talk at Weston Court

I know some of our members were planning to to go Weston Court this morning for the talk by Sue Ryder's so sorry for the late notice - I am sending emails out and telephoning around, advising it has been necessary to postpone the talk until the second half of November.

When rescheduled the talk will be after lunch, not during the morning, as that is what we now learn the people at Weston Court would prefer

As a rule either the Rev. Robert, myself, or both of us together will visit a proposed location for a talk so as to check out the details, including availability of visual aids, arrangements for refreshments, and all the nitty-gtitty of the small print.     On this occasion, as the venue is way over the other side of Southampton and for me to get there would have meant a time consuming and expensive journey of taking a bus into the city centre, then taxi to Weston Court, which is over the other side of the River Itchen,  I was pleased to leave arrangements in the hands of a third party. Sadly it did not work out.    I think  the popular expression  is:  "Lessons have been learned"


Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Future events

This is how the programme now looks:

 Regular meetings at Manston Court, Lordshill, on the second Monday of every month between 10.30 a.m. and 12 noon.   Those dates are as follows:

Nov.14.           Roman Roads of Hampshire

Dec. 12.           The origin of Santa Claus and 'Christmas Round the World', followed by a bring and share

Jan.   9             The parts played by Southampton,  Portsmouth, Gosport and Hayling Island in the Mulberry            
Hanbour of WW2

Feb.  13           SSAFA - Forces Help (Soldiers Sailors, Airmen, and Families Association)

Mar.  12          Still to be finalised.

Apr.   16         The Ordnance Survey  (The second Monday, the 9th. of this month is Easter Monday)

May   14         Annual General Meeting.

Proposed 'Outside Events'

November 1st:       10.30 a.m. for 11 a.m.   To place flowers on the graves of German war dead    Holloybrook Cemetery, Southampton.

November 11th.         Remembrance Day.   10.30 a.m. for 11 a.m. at the British and Commonwealth War Graves Section, Hollybrook Cemetery.

February 21st.            10.30 a.m. for 11 a.m. at Hollybrook to remember the 649 men of the South African  army who lost their lives when the ssMendi sank of the Isle of Wight in 1917.

April 20th    10.00 a.m. to 4 p.m. Coach trip round west side of the New Forest.

June 22nd   10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. Coach trip to East Southampton area, possibly finishing at  Manor Farm.

September 14th     10.00 a.m. to 4 p.m. Coach trip to Portsmouth Historic Dock Yards.

At various times over the next twelve months we will be talking  at sundry sheltered housing establishments in the Lords Hill area, and giving support to SSAFA and Sue Ryder at talks throughout Southampton.  These will be noted in the blog as we go along.


Monday, 10 October 2011

The Old Days......

                                                   ( Photo copyright Penny Legg.)

A really great talk by Penny Legg at our 10 October meeting, with great audience participation as they told their anecdotes, of which they were reminded by old pictures screened by Penny, one of which was a railways steam engine.

That steam engine picture got me thinking how we romaticise the 'Days of Steam', forgetting the smoke and grime the engines belched out, making buildings black with their filth, and polluting the countryside.

Then listening to the nostalgic tales of 'The Good Old Days', I could not help but think what those days were really like for so many people - a cold water tap over a sink in the kitchen, no bathroom (Tin bath kept on a hook out the back), outside loo, lighting the paraffin lamps as it got dark, icy cold sheets on going to bed, frost forming on the INSIDE of the windows at night, cold lino to step onto in the morning, the kitchen range, copper in the scullery for the weekly wash, perhaps even the coal kept in a wooden cupboard under the stairs.  

So much for the 'Good Old Days', with no double glazing, no central heating, no fitted carpets, no........hang on, it is the end of the meeting and the Rev. Robert is telling us about a trip he has planned for us next year.  We will be going by train.....whoopeee....I really DO  hope it will be a steam train.


Saturday, 8 October 2011

We now get pictures

I mentioned in an email to Penny Legg I had not worked out how to post pictures to this blog.  Penny came to the rescue and told me how it worked, so here we are - we now get pictures, and what better one to start with than the leaflet for our meeting on Monday 10 October:

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Forthcoming events

Just a reminder that on Monday 10 October Penny Legg will be talking to us about her latest book 'Voices of Southampton'.  This will be at Manston Court, Lordshill, Southampton - our usual meeting place on the second Monday of every month.

On Friday 14 October we will be at Weston Court, Weston, Southampton, SO19 9LB with the Sue Ryder History and Legacy Team, when Julie Patterson will talk about the life of Sue Ryder and the work of the charity named after her.

Then on Tuesday 1 November is an event arranged by Mike Humme, one of our committee members:  A visit to the German War Graves (36 of them) at M Section, Hollybrook Cemetery, Southampton.  It is hoped members of the Southampton Anglo German Society will be present, when Poppy Crosses supplied by the Royal British Legion will be planted, and white chrysanthemums laid on the graves.    Meet at the cemetery in time for the ceremony at 11 a.m.

To quote from an email from Mike:  "This will mark the event which usually takes place in Germany on 'Volkstraurtag' (National Day of Mourning) which is the second Sunday before the First Advent.  This year this event coincides with Remembrance Sunday, when most of our members will be otherwise engaged. Hence the choice of All Saints Day, which too is a commemoration day in the German calendar"

On 11 November we will be back at Hollybrook Cemetery in an act of remembrance at the British and Commonwealth graves.


Wednesday, 28 September 2011

History and the present day community

A great article  'History has role in helping present day community' by Keith Hamilton in the Daily Echo for Monday 26 September, which hopefully will soon be available in the papers archives, but for those of you not lucky enough to receive our  local newspaper for the south of England, our Society received a very good review, ending with the words:
John, who lives at Kinloss Court said "We would like to give talks on subjects of local history at sheltered housing complexes in the area.
"So, whilst there is a regular meeting of our members on the second Monday of every month, there is also much going on in support of charitable organisations and in assisting Southampton City Council in their programme of relieving the social isolation of the elderly"

We are of course, first and foremost, a Society dedicated to an interest in history in all its forms but with an accent on local history, but are also very happy to give  our support to the worthy causes of SSAFA, Sue Ryder, and as a prospect for the future trying to tie it all in together with helping people who come in off the street and appeal for help at our local church - it happens about once a week.      Right now little more can be done than to give such people a meal and a chance to rest awhile;  it would be great if a shower could be installed at the church hall,  and who knows, perhaps Sue Ryder may find the odd garment or two surplus to requirements.....and perhaps  we can make a plan along the way to find temporary shelter where it is needed.........

Keith indeed has it right, Societies such as ours can and do play a part in the community.   Our Society still has a long way to go along that path, but we are on our way, and to get back to Sue Ryder, there will be a talk at Weston Court, Kingscleare Avenue, Southampton, SO19 9LB on Friday 14 October starting at 10.30 a.m.
The speaker will be Julie Patterson of the Sue Ryder History and Legacy Team, and as the founder of the charity was  'Baroness Ryder of Warsaw' in recognition of her outstanding work in war torn Warsaw during and after WW2, then if Julie allows it I will, during the morning,  give a ten minute spiel on Warsaw's 'Sue Ryder Park', a really lovely garden dedicated to her memory.        I have not advertised  my possible participation on the fliers which have gone out, as I don't want to put the customers off.


Tuesday, 27 September 2011

10 October Meeting - Voices of Southampton

A reminder that on Monday 10 October the prize winning author Penny Legg will be talking to us about her latest book 'Voices of Southampton', a collection of anecdotes from a wide range of Southampton people whose stories are sure to strike a chord in many a  memory, and be of interest to all us Hampshire Hogs.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

November programme

There has been a change in the November programme, with the talk on SSAFA now scheduled for February 2012 which will mark the start it going  on tour (with a bit of help from us)  round other locations in Southampton, and in its place in November will be  a talk by the Rev. Robert Sanday on 'The Roman Roads of Hampshire', or perhaps better described as  'Life in Roman Hampshire' - let's call that the sub-title.

Before Robert's talk I will give a short one on 'Was Hillary the first to climb Everest in 1953'  when we will look at the possibility that Mallory was the first in 1924, and examine  the possibility he perished on the way down from the summit and not on his way up.

Stay tuned in  for further updates.


Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Sue Ryder Cares - She Really Does

OK, so I know I am out of date and it is no longer 'Sue Ryder Care', just 'Sue Ryder', but I don't care, because it was very evident during Julie Patterson's talk to us that the spirit of that magnificent woman Sue Ryder lives on, and she really DOES care.  So call me old fashioned if you like, I simply don't care.

Our thanks to Julie for a really great presentation, during which I think we all learned things about the Sue Ryder organisation we simply did not even begin to guess at,  or understand what a wide field they cover in bringing help and care where it is most needed.

Thanks Julie,  we will catch up again soon.


Saturday, 10 September 2011

Field Day. Friday 9 September

In a hired bus fourteen members of the Society had a day out on Friday 9 September, when we visited Calshot Castle,  Ashlett Creek, where we admired the Tide Mill and had an excellent lunch at the nearby 'Jolly Sailor' pub, before rounding  the day off with a visit to Beaulieu Church and Abbey where we were met by the resident Vicar who gave us a short talk before handing over to our Chairman, the Rev. Robert Sanday.

It was a great day out in great company, and so very well arranged by Robert, who had looked after every small detail, and gave a running commentary throughout on the history of the New Forest and places we visited.

Thank you, Mister Chairman, for a truly memorable day, and you even arranged for the sun to shine all day.  Brilliant.

John G.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Sue Ryder - The Heart of the Community

I was so impressed with the Sue Ryder History and Legacy people, I have volunteered to join them and will be arranging venues for a series of talks around Southampton, and provide logistical support as necessary.

On 12 September the Sue Ryder team will talk to our history society at Manston Court, when I will be wearing my LHS hat,   then a swift change of hats for a talk at Weston Court on 14 October, and then to Bassett Green at the end of November/early December (Date still to be finalised)., and lots of other places in 2012.  It is going to be a busy year.

Having been the Lordshill Representative of SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Families Association) for over five years,  I will also be wearing a SSAFA hat  and following a similar route with talks throughout 2012, starting with the one to be delivered to LHS at Manston court on 14 November when we will receive a visit from Mr. Bruce Hartnell, Secretary of   SSAFA. Southampton Division

This blog is of course about the Lords Hill and Lords Wood Historical Society so I will try to keep to the point, but the other people just might creep in now and again, and again, and again.....

To recap on our future programme:  
12. Sep.      The life of Lady Sue Ryder, OBE, and the work of Sue Ryder  Care.
10. Oct.      Penny Legg will talk to us about her latest book "Voices of Southampton"
14. Nov      The Story of SSAFA
 12. Dec     The origins of Santa Claus, and Christmas round the world
  9 .Jan        Mulberry Harbour: Parts played by Southampton, Portsmouth,  Gosport, and Hayling Island.

Some interesting things in the pipe-line for 2012, but more about them nearer the time.

Bye for now,

John Gurney.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

request for visit to Weston Court

A few weeks ago our good friends in Southampton City Council told us of a request by the residents of Weston Court for us to visit them and give a talk.  We were delighted to receive this request but Weston Court is way over the other side of Southampton and falls  within the area so well covered by the Bitterne Historical Society, so we sent Bitterne a letter (copied to the City Council) asking them to follow this up and if possible make a visit to Weston Court.

So far we have heard no more on this matter, but still have it in mind, and will follow up as necessary.

John Gurney

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

An update on what is happening

On 16 august we met with Julie Patterson and Els Tompkins of the Sue Ryder History and Legacy Team, and we look forward to 12 September when Julie will talk to us about the life of Lady Sue Ryder, OBE, and the work of Sue Ryder Care - the extent of which is sure to surprise a lot of us.

At the committee meeting held on 22 August it was announced Marie Whiteford has resigned through ill health and John Sillence has resigned due to pressure of his work as Chairman of the Lordshill Tenants Association.

Our thanks to Marie and John for their support during the early days of getting this Society off the ground, and we wish Marie a speedy recovery back to good health.

Arrangements for the 9 September outing are now well in hand by Robert Sanday, for which the programme is as follows
10 a.m. Depart from Kinloss Court.  Call at Manston Court. Then to Calshott Castle,  Ashlett Creek - visit the Mill and have lunch at the pub.  Then to Beaulieu, and if time permits we will visit Bucklers Hard.   Back at Manston Court/Kinloss Court around 4 p.m.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

12 September: The Story of Sue Ryder

Sue Ryder's shop in Lordshill is so very much part of the community that many people - myself included - never go to the shopping centre without calling in there in case a bargain is missed, but not only that, I am quite sure there are a lot of our elderly, perhaps rather lonely  residents of Lordshill who  call  there simply to hear the friendly and welcoming voices of the staff of the shop.

Most people know of the good work Sue Ryder Care does in caring for the terminally ill, but there are many who do not know the incredible story of the life of Lady Sue Ryder, OBE, her exploits as a member of Special Operations Executive during WW2, her marriage to Leonard Cheshire VC, founder of Cheshire Homes, and of course her never ending care for other people.

It is then with the greatest of pleasure I advise that on 12 September the presentation at our meeting will be by Julie Patterson of Sue Ryder's History and Legacy Team, but before then we will be meeting with members of the team to see where, and how we can work with Julie to  fit into a programme of visits to places in Southampton to help spread the story of Sue Ryder's and gain more support for their cause.

John Gurney

Monday, 1 August 2011

Back to Manston Court

Sorry to have been off the air for a while but there has been a bit of sorting out to do behind the scenes and it is only this morning it is all in place.

The meeting on 8th August will be held in Lordshill Church Hall, Lordshill District Centre, from 10.30a.m. to noon.

As from the meeting to be held on Monday 12 September we will be back to the TV Room, Second Floor, Manston Court, Lordshill, and that will be our permanent home for meetings on the  second Monday of  every month.

Committee meetings will be held in the Computer Lounge, First Floor, Kinloss Court, Lordshill.

The presentation on 8th August will be a short talk on the history of brewing, delivered by our Chairman, the Rev. Robert Sanday, which will be followed by the main talk, which is 'Minden Day', being a day celebrated on 1st august every year by six regiments of the British Army to commemorate the Battle of Minden in 1759, in which the men of Hampshire were involved. The talk will be delivered by Major Michael Humme, MBE.

On Friday, September 9th there is a trip to the New Forest, followed by a pub lunch.  Leaving Lordshill at 10.30 a.m. and back around 4 p.m.   Cost per person £6 for transport, plus the cost of lunch, for which we hope to get a 'Special' at a convenient pub.  More about this at the meeting on 8th August when we must go firm on numbers.

The talk on Monday 12 September has not yet been decided between two alternative subjects, which will be sorted at the August committee meeting, so watch this space.

In October we have our honoured member, the prize winning author, Penny Legg, talking to us about her latest book 'Voices of Southampton'

November 1st will see us at Hollybrook Cemetery where, by request of members of his family we will place flowers on the grave of a German air force man killed during WW2.

November 11th.  we will again be in Hollybrook Cemetery to put poppies on the graves of WW2 servicemen.

Incidently, this is becoming something of a objective for the Society, as on 21 February 2012 we will place a wreath on the memorial in Hollybrook Cemetery, commemorating 649 soldiers of the South African Army who died when the ssMendi sank off the Isle of Wight on 21 February 1917.  It having come to our attention they have not been specifically rememberd in the past, in spite of their names forming the majority of those on the memorial. 

Our regular meeting on Monday 14 November will see a presentation on the history and work of SSAFA - Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Families Association, a joint effort between our Chairman, Secretary, and Bruce Hartnell, Secretary of the Southampton Division of SSAFA.   From this talk it will be very apparant that SSAFA does rather more than 'Give Advice'  to people.

That takes us to December when we will hear about the origins of Santa Claus, and hopefully a Christmas party.

Bye for now,

John Gurney

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

We have moved.

Our first meeting at Manston Court in June resulted in eight new members, and with the great interest being generated in the Society it was clear to us we were soon going to outgrow the TV Room.

We discussed alternatives with the staff at Manston Court who offered us facilities in the main lounge, for which we are very grateful, but there were significant drawbacks to using the lounge as our meeting place, so the idea of it was put on the back burner.

Then came the 11 July meeting, and we were informed the TV Room would not be available to us. agaion we were offered the lounge, but our programme had been arranged around using the visual aids available in the TV Room, and so we held the meeting at Lords Hill Church Hall, where  similar equipment exists.

It was a happy choice as the extra space of the hall proved invaluable, and given the very fine facilities, our members voted overwhelmingly to hold future meetings at the church hall, and that is what we will do.

We are committed to carrying out visits to sheltered housing units in and around Lordshill, and this we will do, with the first visit being to Erskine Court, Lordshill, on Wednesday 14 July, when the 11 July programme will be repeated, that is  'Ladies Fashions at Wimbledon Over the  Years', and 'The Old Railways of Hampshire' 

It is thought a 'Repeat Programme' will become the pattern for our visits, but we will take a rain check on that - see how it goes at Erskine Court.  A routine will evolve.

The programme for 8 August will start with a talk on 'The History of Beer Brewing' by our Chairman, with the main talk being 'Minden Day' by Major Michael Humme, MBE.

I am delighted to report that when your Secretary presented our Chairman, the Rev, Robert Sanday with a choice of three subjects relevant to the month of August:   The Edinburgh Festival, the National Eistedfodd. and mentioned 5th August as being 'International Beer Day', he unhestatingly opted for 'The History of Brewing'.   We do get our priorities right.

Minden Day is celebrated on 1st August by six regiments of thre British Army, and commemorates the Battle of Minden in 1759, during the Seven Years War, when on the march to the scene of the battle the troops plucked wild roses and put them in their hats.   What was to become the Royal Hampshire Regiment was at Minden, and in 2002 the wild rose beame the flower symbol of Hampshire, happily complimenting the heraldic rose symbol of Hampshire which has been in use since the fifteenth century.

We have booked a fifteen seat bus for a visit to the New Forest and a pub lunch on Friday 9 September.   Members are asked to please make reservations as soon as possible in case we need to arrange additional transport.  We will also need to know numbers by mid-August in order to book at a suitable tavern for lunch.   Cost will be £6 per person for transport, with lunch and drinks extra, which of course will vary accorcing to personal choice.

Bye for now,

John Gurney,
Hon. Secretary.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Change of Venue for 11 July Meeting

We will be unable to use the TV room at Manston Court on 11 July, and will meet in the Church Hall, Lordshill Shopping Centre.   It will be back to Manston court for the 8 August meeting, this being a temporary hiccup.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Programme for Monday 11 July

Next week John Sillence and myself will be at Manston Court to acqaint ourselves with the TV/DVD equipment there. We hope we  will then know what to do before the meeting on Monday 11 July (10.30 a.m. to noon at Manston Court, Lordshill, SO16 8HF), when I will waffle on for about fifteen minutes on a few things which happened in history during July, using DVD images projected onto the big TV screen on the wall.

Then it will be over to John Sillence to talk about 'The Old Railways of Hampshire', again with the aid of a DVD disc or two.

A break for refreshments, followed by a general discussion on the old Hampshire railways.

A date to make a note of is Friday 9 September, for which we have hired a fifteen seater bus to take us on a trip to a couple of interesting places in the New Forest, and a pub lunch at a suitable inn before returning to Lords Hill by  4 pm.  More details nearer the time.

John Gurney,
Hon. Sec.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Duplicated blog

In the process of setting up this blog some difficulty was encountered, which resulted in  a duplicated blog.  One being under Yahoo with the call-sign
which appeared to have failed, so another attempt was successfully made with no problems, and that is the one we are operating under   or simply type Lords Hill Historical Society into the Google search engine.
The Yahoo one is still alive but we are not using it and I will try to delete it, but am a bit wary in case I end up deleting both of them.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Southampton and the Slave Trade

A terrific talk today from Neil Anderson on 'Southampton and the Slave Trade' which drew a lot of interest - so much so we had to grab a whole heap of extra chairs for our new meeting room, and gained eight new members.  

Apart from being an excellent public speaker Neil holds a Masters degree in Archaeology from Southampton University and is an accomplished Guitarist and Guitar teacher with over thirty years experience of playing rock, punk, pop, funk, soul and indie. He sure knows how to pack them in.

We were glad to  have Penny Legg with us today and to learn she has been commissioned by her publisher to write a book about men and women who have seen service in the armed forces during the reign of the present Queen: National Service, Regular, Territorial or Reserve, Penny would like to hear from them all.

Prior to the main business a quick Extraordinary General Meeting was held to elect a   committee to serve until the first Annual General Meeting to be held on Monday 14 May 2012.  The new committee consists of:
 Rev. Robert Sanday.          Chairman
Dr. John Gurney.                Secretary
Mrs. Sylvia Norton.            Treasurer
Mr. Bryan Norton                Committee Member
Mr. John Sillence.                       "              "
Mrs Marie Whiteford                  "              "
Mr. Michael Humme                  "               "
Ms. Loretta Judd                         "              "   

Following the election of a new committee the Constitution of the Society was ratified.

The first meeting of the new  committee will be held at The Vicarage, 1, Tangmere Drive,Lordshill, SO16 8GY at 10.30a.m. on 27 June, and the next meeting of the Society will be at Manston Court at 10.30 a.m. on Monday  11 July, when Mr. John Sillence will give a talk, illustrated by a short DVD on 'The Old Railways of Hampshire'

Oh and by the way, the TV room at Manston court IS on the second floor, some confusion having arisen in earlier correspondence by one who counted the ground floor as the first happens......and that could soon be academic as we look like fast outgrowing the capacity of the TV room, but no problem, Manston court is a big place and we will make a plan.

A thoroughly enjoyable morning in great company.

John Gurney,
Hon. Secretary. 

Thursday, 9 June 2011


In recent correspopndence I have referred to our new meeting place as being the TV Room on the second floor of Manston Court.  Sorry;  it is on the THIRD floor.


Thursday, 26 May 2011

Southampton and the Slave Trade

I am delighted to confirm that a talk on 'Southampton and the Slave Trade' will be given to the Society on Mondy 13 June by Mr. Neil Anderson, MA.  Archaeologist.  Holder of a Masters degree from Southampton University.

A lot of interest has been shown in this talk and it seems that, like me, people tend to associate Liverpool with the slave trade, with no thought to Southampton having played a part in the wretched business.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

13 June Meeting

We may still have the talk on 'Southampton and the Slave Trade' on 13 June but await confirmation of that from the speaker, and may substitute 'Old Railways of Hampshire' delivered by a man who knew them.

As a youngster I too knew some of them and well recall when a trip to London was a real big deal:  Bus from Waltham  Chase to Wickham,  then the train chugging slowly along - next stop along the line was Farringdon Halt, and so to Alton, and change for the London train.   Then the haul across London from Waterloo - the London terminus where one could tell what day of the week it was from the type servicemen and women  either arriving at,  or departing from whatever platform.

Just to get to one's destination in London  took a large part of the day.. 

Now of course one can nip up to London on the motorway, do whatever one has to do and be home in time for tea, and if we are honest it is a lot more convenient, but of course the days of steam still hold their appeal for many - me included - who can happily forget the cold and dreary waiting rooms on the stations, the dirt and grime deposited on buildings by the smoke,  standing in the corridor on a long journey, and even the WW2 single blue light in a compartment at night,   and the cold hours spent waiting after being shunted off into a siding to awit an express troop train, or military supplies passing on the main line, not to mention the everlasting stops for no apparent reason..........which in retropspect was good training for those who get stuck for hours in modern trains because there are leaves on the line, or it is the wrong sort of snow.......come to think of it, perhaps the old steam train service was not so bad after all.

Friday, 20 May 2011

It's 'Lords Hill' and not 'Lordshill'

Thank you Mike for bringing to my attention the correct spelling of our local parish, and producing supporting evidence.    Although commonly referred to as 'Lordshill'   it is officially 'Lords Hill' (two words, not one), and as a historical society it seems appropriate we go with the right one.

'Lords Hill and Lords Wood' is the name of the parish covered by our Chairman, the Rev. Robert Sanday, so we fall in line with that with the designation of our Society. 

Given enough time I hope I may yet be able to work out how to change the name of this blog to the double barrelled 'Lords Hill' and 'Lords Wood', but I fear we are probably stuck with it as it is.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Comments on blog

Sorry if you have had problems getting comments posted.   I think I have the problem sorted now, and amazed myself by being able to post a comment, monitor it and publish it, but will wait awhile before I put my brass plate up in case I cannot get it to work next time round.

John Gurney

Monday, 16 May 2011

Extraordinary General Meeting

Members are asked to accept notice of an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Society which will precede the first meeting to be held at Manston Court at 1030 hrs on Monday 13 June 2011, the purpose of which will be the election of a committee to hold office until the first Annual General Meeting in May 2012.

To date the affairs of the Society have been managed by a Steering Committee comprised of the persons who founded the Society.  Of this steering committee the undernoted offer themselves for election on 13th June.

Chairman:                   The Rev. Robert Sanday
Secretary:                     Dr. John Gurney.
Committe Member:      Mr. John Sillence
Committee Member:     Mrs Marie Whiteford

The office of Treasurer will require filling, together with at least one, and preferrably two additional  committee members.

Members will also be asked to ratify the constitution of the Society, which has been approved by Southampton City Council, and  copies of which will be available in advance on request, and on 13th June.

The Extraordinary General Meeting will not take long, and will be followed by a normal meeting at which the public are welcome, but only registered members will be eligible to vote.

John Gurney,
Hon. Secretary

Friday, 13 May 2011

We are moving

When I moved home last year a mate of mine sent me a card of an old Morris Minor car laden down with all sorts of household goods, and the family dog perched on a pile of bundles on the roof of the car.   I am sorry I cannot reproduce it here as I still have fond memories of the Morris Minor -  a great car, but we will have to do without it when we move our meetings from Kinloss Court to Manston Court, SO16 8HF as from the meeting to be held on 13 June.

 Southampton City Council have been very kind to us in offering us the change of location to a really superb meeting place whgich gives us a number of rooms to choose from according to the event, but in the main our meetings will be held in what is virtually a mini-theatre, but not with seats in a row - there are tables tastefully distributed round the room with elegant seating at them.  Real posh stuff,  and Manston Court is a credit  to a great City Council.

More about the programme for 13 June very soon, and more details of the move, meanwhile stay tuned in as lots of interesting things are brewing.

John Gurney,
Hon Sec. 

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Shakespeare's Sonnets

I believe some of Shakespeare's first sonnets were written or addressed to the then Earl (or whatever he was) of Southampton, and it would be great  to get somebody along to one of the meetings where we could have a good old sort out of some of Shakespeare's stuff.    Fling all the members into a forelorn hope in 'Once More Unto the Breech Dear Friends',  or take the micky out of  'The Staff Officer',  gentle their condition wirh the 'Crispin Day Spech',  or just compare them to a summers day.   The possibilities are endless,

We could even argue that Shakespeare was a spin doctor in having the guys yell 'God for Harry, England and Saint  George'   when he had them make like 'greyhounds in the slips' - after all, what did he know about dog racing:  Neither Harringey or the White City held dog races in his day.  

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Future Programme

A programme  has now been pencilled in.  It may have to be amended here and there if speakers find they are not available nearer the time, or for whatever other reason, but we will do our best to keep to it as near as possible.  Members will be notified of amendements,  which will also be posted to this blog site, and the usual flyers announcing meetings will be  displayed in Sainsbury's, the Church Hall, and other locations..

Monday 9 May.
The main theme will be a talk on 'The History of Lordshill',  and at the end of the meeting the Chairman will tell members of some new developments which will  benefit  the Society, and the calling of an Extraordinary General Meeting to ratify the Constitution of the Society and the election of committee members.

Monday 13 June
'Southampton and the slave Trade'.   Your scribe had always thought of Liverpool as being the centre of the slave trade, and is intrigued to learn Southampton played no small part in it.  

Friday 17 June
We will visit Hollybrook Cemetery and hear a lot of its history from a family who were responsible for looking after it for many years.    We will be photographing WW2 graves as part of a project we are getting involved in, of which more later.   The morning will end with a pub lunch.

Monday 11 July
There may be a short follow-up talk on the cemetery visit, but the main theme will be 'The Old Railways of Hampshire.

Monday 8 August :Talk on 'Minden Day'
The 1st August is  celebrated as 'Minden Day'  in a number of regiments of the British Army, including the Princecess of Wales's Royal Regiment, (into which the Royal Hampshire Regiment was absorbed) in remebrance of the Battle of Minden in 1759, when during their advance to the battle the soldiers picked wild roses from the hedgerows and puit them in their hats.

At a date in September, with the trees starting to turn into their autumn colours, we  plan to make a short guided tour of the New Forest and round it off with a pub lunch.   More details nearer the time

Monday 12 September,
'Where were you at 11 a.m. on the morning of 3 September 1939'  ????
We hope to hear some interesting stories and get them down on tape.

Monday 10 October
We are delighted to tell you Penny Legg, the prize winning author, will be back with us and will talk about her newest book "Voices of Southampton"

Friday 11 November.  
We will visit Hollybrook Cemetery to leave flowers on WW2 graves, and are currently exploring the possibility of joining forces with other organisations in this, which hopefully will include representatives from the Royal British Legion.   More details later in the year.

Monday 14 November
A talk on the ss Mendi which sanbk off the Isle of Wight in the early hours of 21 February 1917 with the loss of 649 men of the South African army on their way to the war in France.

Monday 12 December
Time to get into the christmas spiirit, and hear about the origins of Santa Claus.

For the New Year:
A talk on Southampton Football club
A talk on Roman Roads of Hampshire

 We plan to place a wreath at the memorial to the men of the South African army who died as a
  result of the sinking of the ss Mendi in February 1917, it having come to our notice
  that although other nationalities are remembered, these men have not been.

Some ambitious projects are in the pipe-line, aimed to get us out and about and circulating more.  It is early days yet, but we are getting there, with interesting times ahead.  We  will tell you about it as we go along.
Hon. Secretary,
 Lordshill and Lords Wood Historical society.


Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Message to our members

A very constructive committee meeting was held this morning, 3 May, to discuss some great developments taking place within the Society, which we will tell you about at the meeting on Monday 9 May.  It is looking really good.


Greetings Penny

Hi Penny,

Great to have you on this blog as a 'Follower.'.  The talk you gave the Society in April was terific and we look forward to your return in October to talk to us about your new book 'Voices of Southampton'

Best wishes,


Thursday, 28 April 2011

Next Meeting - Monday 9 May 2011

The next meeting will be on Monday 9 May 2011 at Kinloss Court, Northolt Gardens, Lordshill, SO16 8HB at 10.30 a.m.

The programme:
St. George and How He Came to be the Patron Saint of England.

The First of a Series of Talks on the History of Lordshill.

Break for refreshments.

The History of Lordshill (continued)

Everyone welcome!


Welcome to Lordshill and Lordswood Historical Society's new blog site!