Chairman’s Report 2019

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I first of all I must apologise for not presenting this in person and would like to thank Peter Mills for chairing this meeting in my place.

2018/19 Season has been very busy and productive for the Society.  Attendances at meetings have been consistently above those of previous years and bearing in mind our total membership is just under 80 at the present time, attendances of 60 + at the meetings is remarkable.  This must reflect the hard work put in by Ros Seaward in researching and arranging our speakers.  I will mention at this stage that Ros is standing down after a number of years and her place is being taken by Amanda Laws.

I would personally like to thank Ros for her support she has given to me as chairman………(present flowers)……….

During the summer we had several social events, the most memorable probably being our visit to Bucklers Hard, where on a very fine summer’s day we were well received and entertained on a conducted tour by Lady Mary (Lord Montague’s sister) who is a member of their History Society.  This has resulted in the Beaulieu History Society paying a return visit to us in September.

Our picnic in the Abbey, was in fact held in the Great Barn this year as a change, and again a fine summer’s evening with a good attendance including representatives from Beaulieu’s research team and guides.  Towards the end of last year, the Committee were invited to hold a meeting on HMS Victory, this being organised by Sean Searight.  A very entertaining conducted tour by the Master in charge was followed by sampling of Navy Rum in the wardroom.

Whilst mentioning Sean Searight we must thank him and Ken Groves for their work in researching and producing ‘The Titchfield Emblem’ which as you know has been adopted by the history society and looks as if it will be used more widely within the village going forward, including on new entry signs being erected on the roads  into the village.  We promoted the flags and bunting at the Church fete and it was very well received with a number of orders taken.

The Committee has been working hard on ideas and other projects, Bryan Dunleavey has designed a new website which you are all welcome to interact with, research data will be added to this website in time.  The Historic Houses project has investigated several properties including the Old Vicarage and St Margaret’s, this project is ongoing.

I would at this stage to remind members of the Summer events this year.  Our trip to Winchester on Thursday 25th July is now full unless you wish to make your own way there, so I would just need to know for venue entry numbers.  With regard to lunch before we make our way to the College, the Hospital do not do that sort of food, however John Ekins has visited ‘The Bell’ pub which is very close and they have said they would supply a buffet for us at £5 per head.  This would be a nice idea for us all to stay together, however they do other pub style lunches, or you can bring your own picnic to have in the Hospital grounds etc.  I will be in touch shortly to find out who of you would like to be included in the buffet, or you can email me.

The picnic in the abbey on the evening of 20th June will be attended by Bishops Waltham Society, so it would be nice to have a good attendance and support from ourselves.  Members with guests are welcome.  It’s a fun and entertaining evening.  If the weather is inclement, we will be meeting again at the Barn.

Bishop’s Waltham have given us a return invite to join them in August on the evening of Wednesday 7th, to picnic in the grounds of the Bishop’s Palace with a tour of the palace and exclusive access to the Museum.  Again, it would be nice for us to support this event with a good attendance.  If you feel you would like to attend this event, with no obligation, can you please put your names down so that we have an idea of numbers to give to Bishop’s Waltham.

As mentioned previously the Beaulieu History Society are visiting us in September with a tour of the Abbey, Barn and Church.

Finally, I would like to thank the officers and members of the Committee for their continuing support and input which makes my life as chairman considerably easier.  And thank you all for making the History Society a successful group.


Due to the difficulties of fulfilling the coffee rota and responsibility of organising this every month, it has been decided by the committee to trial a new format for our meetings.

Firstly, the meetings will commence at 7.00p.m. allowing members time to socialise with refreshments prior to the meeting which will start at 7.45p.m.  The speaker will then make the presentation followed by questions with no intermittent break.

This format has been adopted by other organisations and seems to work.

In order to facilitate this, we are hoping to engage a couple of people to organise and serve the refreshments, this will impose a small cost upon the Society and in order to help cover this the visitors charge will be increased from £2 to £3.

The above is being put forward as a proposal by the committee, however for it to be implemented it needs to be put to a vote at this meeting.  It is proposed to review this again at the end of the year.

This report will be forwarded shortly to you all by email, however if you do not have an email address and would like a copy, please let us know.

Thankyou…Have a lovely enjoyable evening.    Marilyn Wilton-Smith

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