For those members who braved the torrential rain to attend it was a busy night. Lynne our President took us through all the opportunities available in the coming months. These range from our usual monthly walking and supper groups, coffee mornings as well as a guided walk around Hilliers Arboretum on June 22nd, a guided historical walk around Andover on July 11th and a coach trip to Windsor on 3rd August. This is open to non-members as we need to fill the coach. There is the option of free time in Windsor or a group tour of the Castle if sufficient numbers. For further information please contact Lynne Lucas on 01264 710037 or Lynda Goldstone 01264 712098.
The resolution chosen to be taken forward to the National AGM in May was Clean Rivers for People and Wildlife. Following a brief discussion our members voted to support this motion. Our decision will be taken forward to the meeting in Cardiff when a full debate will take place.
Our speaker for the evening Andrew Negus was familiar to us as he has been to us previously giving us insights into the history of Salisbury and Portsmouth. This time around his topic was Winchester from 500 BC through to 1100 AD. We started with the Celts, followed by the Romans, Saxons and then the French. Andrew is so knowledgeable, but he puts his subject across with such humour and easily understood language, which together with the aid of slides is fascinating. To think we are just one more generation walking the streets of the City.
We heard about the various Kings who made their mark as well as the fabulously wealthy Bishops of Winchester and their vast Estates. At one time this included six old Palaces and 25 Manor Houses including Southwark Palace. We heard about Queen Emma who married two Kings, Aethelred (the Unready) and Cnut. She gave birth to a son by each of them, who in turn became Kings. However, the older son by her first husband did not succeed to the throne until after the death of her younger son by Cnut. This obviously upset him as he placed her under house arrest!
There was so much to absorb, and our members will be looking at Winchester with new eyes when they visit next. They may well be looking for Kingsgate where apparently there is a Church above called St. Swithun-upon-Kingsgate and which is a particular favourite of Andrew. Rumour has it that a nun was inadvertently locked in overnight and as a result there is a notice advising anyone who is locked in to “ring the Bell” – this is in fact a rope which will actually ring the Bell!
This was part one, so we have another instalment to come at a future date which explains how London competed to become the capital of England instead of Winchester.
Andrew literally brings history to life. He talks with such knowledge and passion for his subject.
Our next meeting is May 27th and is our Annual Meeting when we take the opportunity to look back on the past twelve months and look forward to the coming year. We also indulge in some fish and chips, so please ensure that you have placed your order and made payment to our Treasurer. As usual our meeting will be in the Village Hall and will start at 7.30 p.m.
11 May – Coffee Morning – Sports Pavilion at 10.30 a.m. (£2 to include refreshments) Non-members welcome
N.B. Keith Saunders is attending to explain the changes to telephone landlines etc.
13 May – Walking Group
17 May – Supper Club
20 May – Village Plant Sale – WI Refreshments
25 May – Monthly Meeting – Abbotts Ann Village Hall : 7.30 p.m.