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HAT Grant to East Meon Historical Society – August 2019 Update

Thanks to a generous grant by the Hampshire Archive Trust, we have been able to publish a lavishly illustrated book which makes available to readers the result of our research into the history of the Hundred of East Meon. Another grant, from the Heritage Lottery Fund, enabled us to commission 50 maps which track developments from sheep grazing on the downs through the introduction of arable and dairy farming in the valley. Since agriculture has been the only ‘industry’ in East Meon and in most English villages for most of recorded history, this is the story of life in rural England in Roman, Saxon and Medieval periods, through to the arrival of machinery, enclosures, two world wars and the present day. It includes poverty and pestilence, feudal rule by the bishops of Winchester, occupation by the Parliamentary Army, and the formation of the glorious landscape which is now part of the South Downs National Park. It is local history, pure and simple.

‘Farming the Valley’ will be available at £25 from One Tree Books of Petersfield, and other outlets, from November 2019. More information about this grant see Grant to East Meon Historical Society.


HAT Grants for Local History Projects

In the August 2019 of its six- monthly round of grants HAT has decided to grant more than £19,000 for six projects covering a wide range of interests.

A major grant of £8,000 has gone to the new Victoria County History to finance the publication of its latest ‘short’ on Herriard and Southrope. This is the outcome of a dedicated group of researchers, under the guidance of Dr John Hare and Dr Jean Morrin, and part of a long-term objective to rewrite the history of the entire county.

The King John’s House and Tudor Trust, Romsey, has received £2,800, to enable it conserve and study an important bargain and sale deed of 1571 featuring the house. It will also go to the design and production of cabinet to ensure its preservation in the setting of the house itself.

Fleet and Crookham Local History Group has received  £1,500 to buy a major collection of postcards of the area collected over many years by Percy Vickery, author and former member. These were acquired at auction by a dealer, who agreed to hold off selling them if the necessary funds could be raised. Read More

A major achievement made possible by a grant of £4,200 to the Hampshire Record Office will be the cataloguing of the records of 120 different Women’s Institutes from all quarters of the county – from Blackwater and Fleet in the North East, Highclere in the North West, Southwick and Leigh Park in the South East, Beaulieu and New Milton in the South West as well as Winchester and many others in central Hampshire. At present scattered within the HRO collections, these records will now be brought together to tell the story of the WI in Hampshire between 1917 and 2016.

A permanent digitised photographic record of the 1995-99 community digs which located the east end of Hyde Abbey church – the final burial place of Alfred the Great – has been funded with a grant of nearly £1,200 to Hyde900. The money will also help to preserve the photograph record of the construction of Hyde Abbey Gardens.

Rare films never before publicly screened will be shown between September and December [2019] by the Wessex Film and Sound Archive, courtesy of a grant of £1,500. They show the role of women in building components for Spitfires in one of the many Shadow Factories of the1940s.  There is an outside chance that some of the participants in the films, which were commissioned by Elliott’s of Newbury, may come forward.

Commenting on the grants, HAT chairman David Livermore, said: “HAT continues to make a real difference to local organisations’ projects. The Board met on 30 July and considered the latest applications for grants. As always a rigorous examination of all documentation submitted was made with an assessment of how far they met HAT’s aims and objectives. 

“A number of new main grants applications have been received, and unfortunately while all were of merit and deserving of support some hard decisions had to be made because HAT could not afford to support them all. The deadline for the next award round is 31 December 2019.”


Romsey Local History Society – Local history workshops

Local history workshops are being offered by the Romsey Local History Society. Open to all-comers, they are held in the basement of Romsey Town Hall on every Monday morning, 10:00-noon, and every Tuesday evening, 19:30-21:30. Formerly called LTVAS (Lower Test Valley Archaeological Study Group), the society has a membership of some 340 amateur historians and archaeologists, who research, record and preserve the history of Romsey and district. For more information, visit: Romsey Local History Society


Hampshire Genealogical Society Annual Conference and AGM

On 15 June 2019 the Hampshire Genealogical Society held its annual conference and AGM with a sell-out crowd of over 150 delegates. With people travelling from far and wide (including one from Louisiana, USA) it was a fantastic opportunity for members to meet up and for non-members to experience the benefits of joining the society.

As well as the usual opportunities for networking, three speakers gave talks on different aspects of family history research. Roz McCutcheon, showed the differences between tracing records associated with the poor in Ireland compared with the rest of the UK, whilst Simon Fowler gave an introduction to using the National Archives.

The keynote speaker of the day was author and President of the Federation of Family History Societies, Nick Barratt, who offered a glimpse into the future of family history. Not simply about social media and online databases, but for the need for family historians to recognise the importance of their work and research skills and use them to work with other historians, especially those who focus on histories of localities.

More information on the Hampshire Genealogical Society section of this website or on the Hampshire Genealogical Society website . For assistance with research projects, help can be obtained via: enquiries@hgs-online.org.uk

 Elaine Boyes, 3 July, 2019


Hampshire Genealogical Society Winchester Group Founded

The Hampshire Genealogical Society has started a new group in the Winchester area. Meetings are being held in the evening on the 3rd Thursday of the month at Littleton, in the Millennium Memorial Hall. For more information visit: www.hgs-familyhistory.com.

Family history is, of course, highly dependent on census and BMD records. But many researchers recognise that there are many other kinds of archives that can often solve problems and provide much more detailed information.  The interests of family researchers and local historians therefore overlap to a considerable degree, and there is a huge potential for more sharing of information and research methods.

Hampshire Genealogical Society website
Hampshire Genealogical Society website

East Woodhay Local History Society

This local society has been in existence since 1997 and has had many interesting talks about the area and its surroundings over the years as well as being involved with local research. Its motto is: ‘Bringing the past to the present for our future’.

It meets in East Woodhay Village Hall at Heath End once a month between September and March (excluding December) as well as offering a visit to a local place of interest in the spring. The membership fee for the year is £7.50 and visitors are welcome to their chosen talk for an entrance fee of £4. Topics have included:

Guy Burgess, whose family lived in the parish at Oakhurst.Lord Falkland.

The Knights’ Hospitallers.

Speenhamland.

Women on the railway 1939-1960.

The Astors of Kirby House.

Aldbourne Bell Foundry


The research group’s most recent project has been a study of the background of all those named on the parish’s war memorials from the two world wars. Exhibitions were put on in the Parish in 2014 and 2018. Memorial Books have been placed in both of the local churches.

The society has also produced a very informative book, History of the Parish of East Woodhay, as a Millennium Project and copies are still available, as are copies of the book on the parish’s footpaths.

We are always grateful to receive any information about East Woodhay – memories, photographs, documents etc. Again please get in touch, as we don’t want to lose valuable resources. We can always scan or copy items if you want to keep them. We can also assist with family history research.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 5.5.xg1_EastWoodhay_400x300.jpg
An exhibition poster from the society’s research into World War memorials, showing details of the life of Phyllis Louise Guillemard (1891-1916), a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse.

Group details
Catalogue   
PublicationsHistory of the Parish of East Woodhay, 2000
Website            None
Phone number  07880  628114
Email address    chrissie.dalton@yahoo.co.uk
Contact name & position           Christine Dalton, Secretary

Archives and Records Association – Grants Available

The latest news from the Archives and Records Association includes two items of interest to HAT members. Digitisation grants are available for public and private archives and special collections. They are worth up to £6,000 for the primary grant and £3,000 for a secondary grant for.  Applications close on 28 July 2019. The grants can be used, for example, to fund the digitisation of bound books, manuscripts, oversize maps and plans, 35mm slides, microfilm/fiche, glass plate negatives, and other two-dimensional cultural heritage media. To find out more, visit: www.archives.org.uk and log in as a member.

Also, the ARC Magazine, the ARA’s monthly magazine for members, which has recently gone digital, are seeking an editor, keen to develop advocacy, editing, publishing and management competencies and skills. Training and support are provided. Contact maria.castrillo@archives.org.uk

ARC Magazine
ARC Magazine June 2019

From the President of Hampshire Archives Trust, Mr Nigel Atkinson

A new website for HAT

As President of the Hampshire Archives Trust may I welcome you to our new website. I congratulate the team on its production and hope it will encourage Hampshire residents to research and visit the amazing collection held by the Hampshire Record Office and the other archive collections throughout Hampshire.

I have much enjoyed navigating the website and found myself quickly becoming immersed in many of the interesting editorials and content. The layout is simple to follow with a wonderful collection of articles and photographs.

I recommend this new website to all Hampshire Archives Trust members and hope it will encourage more people to join this expanding organisation.

Enthusiasts Become Ambassadors for Archives

In May 2109, members of local interest groups received expert advice on an Archives Ambassadors course run by staff from the Hampshire Record Office.  Participants included village historians from both Ropley and Broughton, who all face the task of sorting and presenting large collections of photographs and other material accumulated over the years.  Also in attendance were staff from Andrews’ Endowed Primary School and Treloar School, College and Trust, both in Holybourne, near Alton, but separate institutions.

Headmistress Maria Lloyd is in the process of celebrating the 300th anniversary of her school, which was endowed (in 1719) by local benefactor Thomas Andrews, who left money in his will for the education of local children. Archives have revealed that as well as money he also the school with a London pub. Treloar’s, too, has strong links with the City, tracing its origins to 1907, when Sir William Purdie Treloar, Lord Mayor of London, started a “Cripples’ Fund” to endow a school in the country for young people with non-pulmonary tuberculosis.

The leader of a group of four local historians from the Broughton Community , Chris Lloyd, explained that  the village had been donated a large photographic archive by one of its residents, who had also funded the provision of  a specialist archive store and research room in the village memorial hall. The village is hoping to use this bequest as the opportunity to revive villagers’ interest in local history.

Another group of four, led by Carole Oldham, came from the Ropley Local History Group, which has been set up to research and archive information on the history of the village and its locality, with a view to making it accessible to all on a digital platform. The initial intention, depending on funding, is to create an online archive and catalogue to digitise and store at least some of the existing informal village archive. 

Conservator Tim Edwards explained that the standard photo album is often disastrous for its contents, as the prints stick to most plastic film. The answer is to use polyester sleeves, available from specialist suppliers, and at all cost to avoid materials that are not acid-free. He told stories of “nightmare solicitors’ offices”, where precious documents were stored in chaotic conditions, and call-outs to skips with archivists donning safety equipment to recover valuable records.  He also deplored the use of Sellotape in repairing documents, but said that with heat treatment and the careful use of solvents it is often possible to rescue the situation.

Few conservators are now employed in public service and he therefore recommended self-employed specialists that can be found from the Institute of Conservation website: www.conservationregister.com.

Some specialists have defined archives as the “unselfconscious products of daily lives”, though the record office follows a policy of collecting material on any activity that has contributed to the life of Hampshire, according to archivist Adrienne Allen. She outlined the tricky process of cataloguing a collection and emphasised that making sensible, clear decisions at the outset was important.

Acknowledging that archives had to be selective, she said that the policy of the record office ollection, of which the bishops pipe rolls are UNESCO designated, is to keep “anything that has contributed to the life of the county”.  Illustrating the reference system used, she explained that all material from, for example, the Stubbington and Hill Head History Society was prefixed with “125A06” because its material had first been collected in 2006 and was the 125th collection in that year.  Subsets had then been created, somewhat arbitrarily, for the minutes of the AGM (125A06/A1, A2 etc) and accounts (125A06/B1, B2 etc), correspondence (125A06/C1, C2 etc) etc.

Archivist David Rymill covered oral history, which involves interviewing all sorts of people to make sound recordings that capture accounts of their everyday lives. Based on his personal experience of making many such recordings, he said that the business was “full of surprises”. On one occasion he went to record a man’s work with the Scouts, only to be given a detailed and fascinating account of his 30 years working in a bank. And on another a headmaster was full of very interesting stories, but could never remember names. It was fortunate that his wife was present and could fill in the gaps.

 The course was organised by Principal Archivist Heather Needham, who advised participants how to digitise their collections. She said that it is important at the beginning to gain a good working knowledge of the scope of the material and then to digitise it in batches, perhaps by subject. Flat-bed scanners can be used for many papers, but books needs to be digitised “from above”, either with sophisticated costly machines, or with DIY kits involving a standard digital camera on a stand.

She emphasised the need to keep back-ups of digitised products, even back-ups of back-ups – and to try to avoid making “copies of copies”. Even solid-state hard drives may need replacing every 5 years. Cloud storage may be suitable, though it is worth exploring the various kinds, namely, public private, hybrid and community. A useful guide to the use of cloud storage by Charles Beagrie Ltd can be found on the website of The National Archives.

She explained the difference between TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) and JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) files in terms of resolution expressed as dpi (dots per inch) and showed how masters kept as TIFF files can be transformed into smaller files as JPEGs or Web JPEGs. In an age when so much information is in a digital format, she recommended registering websites with the UK Web Archive (www.webarchive.org.uk), which is a partnership of the six legal deposit libraries and records nominated websites twice a year. Some participants said they already “saved everything” in their community, thereby providing a resource for future local historians.


Polite Academy – a book on etiquette in the 18th century

Steff Palmer of Hampshire Record Office explains her love of a small, late 18th century book,
entitled “The Polite Academy” (HRO Ref, 83M93/65). Subtitled `School of Behaviour for Young Gentlemen and Ladies, it was intended as a foundation for Good Manners and Polite Address in Masters and Misses`. With 12 illustrations, it includes advice on how to behave in a variety of situations such as at the meal table, in company, how to stand and walk correctly and how to give the hand in the minuet.