Highlights of their work include restoration of a number of locks and bridges using original materials where possible, the construction of a new aqueduct and, most recently, the lowering of the canal bed at Loxwood by 6 feet to allow boats eventually to pass under the existing road. They were taught how to use guns and explosives, sabotage, even the technique of silent killing. As well as learning about the wildlife and biodiversity of his property, and meeting his family on film, we were also introduced to some snippets of 'trivial pursuit' information such as: In Professor Julian Evans decided to buy it, or more accurately to buy the remaining years of its lease from the Forestry Commission. And even if you think they're mundane and boring, they won't seem like that to people in the future. Whereas in other places in the world extraction is very labour intensive employing very low paid workers and sometimes children. Delta Goodrem looks chic as she poses for a sultry selfie in sunglasses and a plaid blazer ahead of The Voice return Maya Jama 'looks for a new home amid relationship woes with boyfriend Stormzy'
When the young Cdr Nicholls and his fellow sailors were stationed in the Mediterranean, they formed the "2nd battalion of the Hampshire Boozeliers" and he designed and made a flag showing the many battle honours acquired as members of this battalion! Colin has been teaching about gemstones and buying around the world for the past 30 years. After the war, Vera Atkins interrogated German officials and guards to discover what had happened to all the agents that had not returned to England. Speaking after the hearing, PC Foster said he could not believe anyone would drive at such high speeds. Today an average good night's sleep would be 8 hours but in Georgian times the average was 10 hours. His wife chose picture postcards, embroidered by French and German widows to help supplement their income. Jeanne played, as example, a series of variations on Greensleeves, accompanied by a ground bass played by Marguerite on the bass viol.
We also have a website. And our chickens are coming home to roost. We're probably taking on average two or three message a week, and it's growing. And it is two-way traffic. Some of this you'll see around you today, and I think you'll agree that we have an interesting and varied coverage. However, there are gaps in what we have, and your committee has decided to use some of the Society's funds from time to time to purchase information to fill them.
We also have a rent roll for the parish from In the future we would like to buy the census for the parish, and also fill some gaps in the range of old maps which you'll see there in the other room, which will then be available in our local archives for local researchers. I hope you approve of our aspirations in this direction. Or indeed it may be unique, and not available from anywhere else.
But enough of history. Back to the present. Carole is stepping down as Secretary, as you know, but the rest of us have offered ourselves up to you for reselection for another year. And of course it's not just committee members who look after you.
For example, where would we be without Lee and Fran? And we are always eternally grateful to the lady whose inspired notion started it all back in , our President Joyce Stevens, and also to Betty White who is now our vice-President and together with Joyce nursed the Society through from its formative years. I feel we must be doing something right! The post of Secretary was unfilled. Michael Pierce, the prominent silhouette miniaturist gave a very illuminating and informative talk to The Headley Society on Thursday April 3rd.
He is one of a small number of artists dedicated to the preservation of this two hundred year old craft and is now one of the few artists practising this skill. He explained that in about , artists specialising in silhouettes or shades as they were then called offered their services. A person could have his or her features reproduced in profile as either a black paper cut-out or as an ink painting.
This was often undertaken at a person's home by first obtaining a profile of his or her face and upper body from the shadow cast by candlelight, the subject having to remain immobile for a minute or so. Later the profiler could reduce the profile to a miniature by means of a pantograph. He described how, in the 18th century, before photography was invented, silhouettes had become the cheapest, quickest and most accurate method of preserving one's likeness and was a popular form of keepsake for the population in general.
Sometimes soldiers and dignitaries were profiled in uniform. Many silhouettes were simple; others showed finer details that were painted on to enhance the profile such as streaks of hair, military medals. He emphasised that, in its simplest form it provided an inexpensive memento of husbands, wives, children and parents.
Any alternative would have involved a series of expensive sittings at the studio of a portrait artist. From Royalty downwards people sat for silhouettes much as we do for photographs today. Throughout the talk, members were shown slides of delightful work ranging from simple black profiles, painted or pasted on paper to beautiful and intricate black, or bronzed masterpieces, painted on to fine ivory, plaster, card or glass and sometimes framed in precious metals.
These were included in pendants, brooches, rings and cravat pins. Some of the finest examples of the art could be traced to profilists of high calibre such as John Miers who produced detailed work. The speaker pointed out that in Bath in about there were at least 23 full-time practising profile artists but that with the development of cameras around , the silhouette artist finally gave way to the photographer.
However he explained that nowadays many people, including our own Royal family request silhouettes to be made for special gifts and for important occasions. He gave examples of silhouettes on letter headings, promotional materials, gift cards, and in one instance described how he was asked produce a silhouette of an eagle on an aircraft tailplane.
Members were also intrigued by his anecdotes about projects including one in when he was invited to produce silhouette profiles of The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh for the Silver Jubilee. He also described his contribution to a literary project when, in , together with a select group of authors and photographers, he produced the Limited Edition Fine Art Folio entitled So Few , This book was dedicated to all who fought with the RAF in the Battle of Britain.
In this he included numerous silhouettes including profiles of pilots in aircraft. The book was hand crafted to high standards and the sale of the copies generated over one third of a million pounds for the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund. There are also several copies at museums in the UK. Michael Pierce and his team also helped to produce a companion volume to the So Few volume entitled So Many - similarly with many silhouettes included. The speaker concluded by giving a practical demonstration of profiling using shadow cast on paper, with a volunteer member as a subject.
He emphasised that nowadays very accurate silhouettes can be made not only from shadow-induced, freehand profiles but also from appropriate photos of a subject. It would be difficult to imagine a more delightful gift. For more information on Michael Pierce and his work see his website. His photographic slides taken from a light aircraft showed the value of aerial photography in identifying archaeological sites which are not visible from ground level; crop marks seen from above indicate barrows, ditches, dew ponds, marl chalk pits, etc.
He spoke of the cultural periods in Britain with particular reference to our area, and showed Paleolithic axes Stone Age, 50, BC from when early man was a hunter-gatherer. In 20, BC, arctic tundra covered this land and evidence of the permafrost is still visible from the air showing as a formation of cracks. In one picture there was also the outline of a Roman villa superimposed on it, near Basingstoke. An archaeological excavation of a barrow on Thursley Common revealed in the turf core that the area had been covered in oak and lime trees.
Large linear field systems of the Bronze Age can be seen from the air, particularly near Winchester. These would have covered much of the country at the time. However, the most fascinating part of the talk related to a man with a metal detector who had found 50 Roman coins on Frensham Common some years ago.
Recently, David carried out an excavation there and found further coins. He also found 60 tiny Roman earthenware pots, five of which had contained cannabis! These pots are a unique find in Britain. It is thought that it is a religious site, and that the coins and pots were votive offerings to the gods.
At the end of his talk, David answered members' questions, and was thanked for a most interesting and informative talk. In this particular TV series, he also carried out the duties of the valet including a scene where he shaved his master, having been sent to "Trumpers" to learn the skill with a cut-throat razor. Discipline is the key to a butler's success. Teaching a 21st century non-professional staff, the expectancy one took for granted in the Edwardian era was indeed a task in itself.
He gave us instances of a French temperamental chef, and a hall boy who was expected to sleep on a mat in the hall of the house with no privileges whatsoever and who took orders from the second footman and not the butler himself. With free time at the butler's discretion, when all work was completed, were it ever finished! We were told that the series was such a success that further episodes are being filmed at present, entitled "The Regency House ".
Something to look forward to. After refreshments, Dick Smith the Chairman of STOAT Save the Old A3 , plus two committee members, enlightened us with regard to the difficulties which could arise if the present A3 is closed when the two tunnels are built at Hindhead.
However, local residents on either side of the A3 will face "rat-runs" plus terrific congestion at the complex of Hazel Grove Junction, and with motorists losing patience, accidents will occur. The Emergency Services are worried too. Both tunnels will need regular maintenance which means only one tunnel in use when the work is being carried out.
If we want to protest we are asked to write personally in the hope that our plea will override the Contractors, National Trust, etc. The weather was kind to us for once as we disported ourselves in the evening sunshine on the lawns at Moor House Farm for our annual 'summer visit' to a local property. Our thanks to Nicky and Bob Wilson for permission to go round and through their premises, and for their historical introduction to the house; to Adran Bird of the River Wey Trust for taking our more hardy members on a foraging trip beyond the water meadows and along the rather overgrown!
A good time was had by all. He was describing the use of small, low-cost, vehicles that have been designed and built in Guildford and launched into space to orbit around the Earth. This novel approach to space communication technology, pioneered at Surrey University over the past 15 years, allows small countries to participate in space programmes previously only available to the major powers in the world, such as the USA and Russia.
The University spin-off company now employs staff and has subsidiary offices in Toulouse and Beijing with a Washington office to open soon. The Company overseas business represents 98 per cent of its income. All this has been achieved with virtually no financial help from the British Government, who in Mrs Thatcher's term of office decided to withdraw all direct support for space research and instead contribute to the European Space Programme.
The small satellites are classed as mini, micro and nano range in size from about the size of a refrigerator down to credit-card size. They vary in weight from kg down to less than one kilogram and are launched by being fitted around major satellites being launched on large rockets by the USA, Russia or Eurosat. These small satellites will do most of the tasks of their large, expensive brothers, such as radio communication, weather observation, and photography, but use electronic and mechanical components made for home computers, digital cameras and video recorders.
They perform very reliably despite not being especially for space use, at a fraction of the cost! The talk was illustrated by very striking space pictures taken of Earth over rain-forests, cities, deserts and snow-covered areas. Surrey Satellite Technology are working on the next challenge; a low-cost space vehicle to orbit the Moon.
The Headley Society were fortunate when Major Jeremy Whitaker gave us an illustrated talk on the art of good photography. A professional himself, he learned his art the hard way by observing and learning as he mastered the pitfalls of this subject. He began the talk with illustrations of his home, the Land of Nod , and of National Trust gardens, architecture at its best both in England and various parts of the world, children taken when least expected, either a back view or with the camera focussed from the hip: To obtain good results it often requires taking several pictures of the subject.
If one had a Digital camera it was suggested one try macro photography whereby an insect of the minutest dimensions is enlarged on a leaf or an orchid, portraying its beauty which the human eye cannot appreciate in normal viewing. When photographing a border of flowers, he suggested one took the picture standing amongst the blooms, not from afar, and using a tripod was highly recommended.
Great care was needed not to trample flowers and foliage! Finally the audience was invited to browse through various portfolios of famous people, including the late Queen Mother, and inside cathedrals portraying natural sunlight balanced with an electric light here and there.
Ken Atherton of the British Cartographic Society gave an interesting and informative talk to The Headley Society showing a range of papers, books and maps. He described the problems facing early seafarers when trying to establish their positions at sea. Then, the science of navigation was based on knowledge of the stars, the direction of winds and currents and the use of a simple compass.
Whereas it was a relatively simple matter to obtain the latitude of a ship, using a quadrant, the mariner's astrolabe and the cross-staff, calculating the longitude was a different matter.
Sailors relied on dead reckoning and calculated estimates of the position of the ship in relation to the land. The cost of ignorance was high. Sometimes it resulted in a prolonged voyage with outbreaks of diseases that claimed the lives of seamen. All too often the voyage ended in disaster, when a ship was swept upon the rocks of an unexpected landfall.
Although Ptolemy and Galileo had proposed methods to determine longitude, it was the Lunar Distance method that became the astronomers' real candidate. Unfortunately neither the positions of the moon or stars were known accurately. In order to overcome this problem the Greenwich Observatory was built in and the first Astronomer Royal, spent the next 50 years making over 50, observations of the stars.
By the second Astronomer Royal had completed his observations of the moon. Now the set of accurate observations required for the Lunar Distance method was available. A means of accurately positioning the moon amongst the stars was solved with the invention of the quadrant in Another approach to the problem was to carry time on board ship, however no existing chronometer was suitable for use at sea or was accurate enough.
However, John Harrison, the son of a carpenter, decided to construct a chronometer that would meet the requirements of the Longitude Act. The speaker concluded his talk by giving details of the development of Harrison's chronometers. He described how, between and , Harrison constructed at least four different chronometers and told of the opposition he faced from those who supported the Lunar Distance method.
Finally, after the intervention of George III and three years before his death, Harrison received the full prize. Harrison's invention signalled the end of the pre-scientific era of navigation. Sailors now had the means of "Finding The Longitude". The mile walk started in Liss, along the Riverside Railway Walk. Initially, the members followed the old Military Line, which connected Bordon to Liss.
On Sundays returning soldiers using this station, could number 4,! Before long we came to a meeting of the waters where the peaty waters of the River Blackwater meets the clear waters of the River Rother, and took a detour to see a memorial to a WWII airman who "gave his life so that others might live".
Shortly there was a break in the thick Rhododendrons giving a wonderful glimpse of a heron on a private lake looking for his supper. Further along we passed a beautiful iron stone cottage with the ironstone coming from Weavers Down.
The next high spot was the Victorian church at Greatham with its shingle spire and a detour to see the original 13th Century church, which is now in ruins. If you are lucky you may see Natterjack Toads, crested Newts, dragon and damselflies.
The "wasp spider" which is normally a coastal habitant, has been seen here and hoards of Roman coins have been found in the area too. This brings us to Deadwater Valley, dead meaning dark as the stream is fed by the Woolmer peat bogs. At the right time of the year, walkers should be able to see the Southern Marsh Orchid, not to mention a flourishing bird life including the song thrush and bullfinch. Onward to the Bordon Enclosure and Alexandra Park, where we saw the most amazing of oak trees.
With the sun shining through, it was a spectacle from any angle. Next Broxhead Common where sand lizards have been re-introduced. Watch out for the vivid green male. And again, at the Sand Pit Pool, dragonflies and damselflies abound.
Beyond we entered Headley Park and Rabbitfield Hill, reclaimed sandpits with countless rabbits. The Sand Martin nests on one side of the old sand pits were very noticeable. Before long we have crossed the county boundary from Hampshire to Surrey and find ourselves passing the impressive Edwardian church in Dockenfield. The end is in sight and what an end. First we come to Frensham Mill and its pond, where Grey Wagtails may be seen and then, via the final stretch of footpath passing Moor Pond and its mute swans, on to Frensham Pond.
What a scene, the sun is setting on the pond and, with lowering temperatures, ice is forming, or so ended our virtual walk. Bletchley Park is world-famous for the work of Alan Turing and his team in breaking the encoded messages sent by German and other enemy forces. All military messages were coded by a special typewriter, called 'Enigma', which would be set up to type a different letter from the key pressed, according to the encoding being used on that day.
The encoded message was then sent by the radio operator using Morse Code. On receiving the message it was decoded using another Enigma machine set to the code-of-the-day. In Britain, radio operators intercepted the Morse code short-wave wireless signals, which had been sent as a series of five-letter grouped words.
Dispatch Riders then rushed the messages to Bletchley Park where the deciphering, translation and military assessment took place. By the year over 4, high-grade messages were being processed each day. This was a 24 hour a day task and first involved the very difficult process of breaking the code being used that day. This involved searching for patterns in the messages, such as the frequency of use of alphabet letters in the German language, the style of the military message, and any other military intelligence available.
The process was aided to a great extent by code-books that had been acquired from the Germans by clandestine methods. To aid the work the very first special computers were developed by Alan Turing and his team. At the end of the meeting Mrs Jarman related her experiences. It was only recently, when she visited the exhibition at Bletchley Park, that she realized that many of the messages she handled were sent from Hitler to his Field Commanders.
She also discovered, during the visit, that her husband had worked in intelligence in Burma, when he admitted he recognised an Enigma machine! Nestling next to the London to Southampton railway line in Micheldever Forest is a plot of land of some 22 acres known as Northdown Plantation. In Professor Julian Evans decided to buy it, or more accurately to buy the remaining years of its lease from the Forestry Commission.
As Chief Research Officer with the Forestry Commission at Alice Holt, he had some knowledge of trees and woodland, but nevertheless the prospect of managing his very own wood with only family and friends to help him was a daunting one. The plot had been planted in the s with rows of fir and beech.
At the time he bought it one in three of the fir rows had already been felled, and over the next few years he set about clearing the rest leaving a more open aspect for the beech rows to mature further.
Ironically, the fir sold for firewood fetched a far higher price than the beech did when he sold some later. As it was not large enough to be of interest to furniture-makers, it was sold to be pulped and used as an ingredient in low-grade cardboard. The main enemy of the broad-leaved tree is the grey squirrel.
A pair of these can strip a ring of bark from bottom of a tree in minutes, and if the ring is complete the tree will die. Even if the tree survives, the core wood will be ruined for decorative purposes when cut later. Another, perhaps surprising, enemy in Northdown Plantation is wild clematis 'old man's beard' which can smother trees if unchecked.
As well as learning about the wildlife and biodiversity of his property, and meeting his family on film, we were also introduced to some snippets of 'trivial pursuit' information such as: Britain is the fifth windiest country in the world; the sale of wood is not subject to income tax; there are three legal ways of killing a grey squirrel; the plastic planting tube for trees was invented at Alice Holt; and a 'Hoppus foot' is used for measuring the useful bulk of round timber.
Professor Evans's talk was well illustrated with slides, and his delivery held the audience's attention to the end.
He also mentioned that his story will complement and compliment that of our November speaker, Ben Law, who will expand on different aspects of woodland management. The President and Founder, Joyce Stevens, welcomed the 52 members present out of a total membership of and noted with pleasure the continued health of the Society since its inception in She recalled being told at the time not to attempt monthly meetings throughout the year - precisely the format which we are now pursuing so successfully.
In fact we had failed only once in all that time to put on a month's meeting, due to snow. Approval of the minutes was proposed by Betty White, seconded by Wendy Bennett and carried unanimously. A small gift was presented to each. Mr Smith then gave a brief account of some of the Society's activities over the preceding year. As promised, we had purchased the Headley section of the census from Hampshire Record Office and a team of six had taken several merry months to transcribe it.
The result was on the Headley website, and copies of the originals sheets were available for inspection at the meeting. Nicky Wilson had had prints made from Norman Wilson's engraved blocks which Sue Allden had brought to us, and these had been on sale during the year, and indeed remained on sale today.
We had secured the safety of the old post box from the High Street. It had spent many weeks flat on its face in Roddy Warry's garden, but now we had successfully removed the front and Mike Withers was busy designing a frame to display it in the foyer of the Village Hall.
We knew it was a genuine George V box because on dismantling it we found a George V penny-red stamp attached to the corner of a postcard still inside it! And last but not least, we had once again organised a speaker throughout each of the twelve months of the year and had already planned the next twelve. This was down to a sub-committee of Leslie Barnes, Yvonne Nicholson and Nicky Wilson, whom he thanked particularly for performing this unsung role with such success.
He ended by repeating the old adage - if you have any complaints, tell us; if you like it, tell others. Mr Blatch presented the accounts to the meeting, audited by David Lishman. However they were aware that speakers' charges in particular were generally increasing and would review the situation again next year. There were no questions raised on the accounts. Christine Leonard proposed they should be accepted, seconded by Caroline Lemka.
The vote was carried unanimously. A number of programme cards were available at the meeting. Caroline Lemka told us of the series of walks which she was organising along portions of the Royal Woolmer Way. The meeting duly appointed the committee. Following the official business of the evening, two members gave short illustrated talks about their interests.
Marguerite Withers showed us a history of Machine Embroidery including some of her own work, and Sue Allden talked on the links between Alice Holt Forest and Roman pottery. They introduced us to some of their collection of reproduced early musical instruments and played to us selections of early music from the XVIth to XVIIIth centuries interspersed with interesting and often amusing family anecdotes from the years since Grandfather Arnold settled in England and continued to make and play replicas of early instruments long before the contemporary enthusiasm for baroque and renaissance music had developed an enthusiasm he probably did much to initiate and foster.
Arnold had started to give concerts of early music in London in Jeanne played, as example, a series of variations on Greensleeves, accompanied by a ground bass played by Marguerite on the bass viol. Jeanne read an excerpt from a letter dated 10 May from George Bernard Shaw inviting Arnold to visit and consider giving a concert in the area.
He offered to have him collected from Haslemere Station in the dogcart or, if accompanied, in a larger conveyance. So began the family association with the Haslemere area although it was to be many years before the first festival.
The Sisters then played music associated with Shakespearean plays on the various sizes of recorder. The pieces included the sad tune "fortune my foe" and two Italian dance measures favoured by Queen Elizabeth I, the corrente and Lavolta.
They also demonstrated the bass recorder and the small high sopranino recorder. The threat of the Zeppelin raids led a friend in Thursley to invite them down to Surrey to find a safer property in the country.
They quickly found a house in Haslemere and Grandmother prophesied that once they were settled therein, the family would never move away - 87 years later this seems to have been true. It is a reminder of a past era that when the family moved, with all their furniture, instruments and tools loaded on horse-drawn carriages, because of a snowfall the horses could not get up the hill.
They stopped at the blacksmiths at the foot of the hill. He suggested re-shoeing the horses leaving the nails slightly proud, a tactic that was apparently successful. The house was frozen up and they were without water, but settled in happily.
The workshop was at first in the library but a studio was built on to create more workshop space. All the family were involved in instrument making and it was commonplace to see viols drying on the washing line.
The latter said that he had not previously been able to understand music, but this early music was a revelation to him of a lost art and he requested such music be played to him when he was on his death bed.
The promise was eventually fulfilled, but not before he had encouraged Arnold Dolmetsch to try his hand at building harpsichords. One of the instruments on display on this evening was a small harpsichord of the spinet type designed to be so compact that it could be transported in a London taxi cab.
On this delightfully-toned instrument Jeanne played Byrde's divisions variations on the once popular melody known as the carman's whistle. Life was not without setbacks. On returning from a London concert in a bag containing the tools and the rare and precious Bresson recorder was inadvertently left at Waterloo station.
Arnold despaired, trying to recall the accurate dimensions of this model instrument. On August Bank Holiday, , with a shout of "Eureka" he got the bore right. It was to be five years later before a friend saw this historic recorder in a pawnshop near Waterloo and was able to redeem it for five pounds and give it back to its owner.
During the second World War the family factory turned to the manufacture of aircraft components using fibre and pastes and produced some two and a half million parts. This experience had two sequels. One was occasional bombing raids because the Luftwaffe were evidently aware of this war work, but did not realise they were looking for a country house, with the result that several buildings in the area, including the hospital, were damaged but their target was unharmed.
This was probably the explanation for the recent discovery of an unexploded bomb nearby, which caused considerable temporary disruption for local residents. A second spin-off from this work was use of the experience to make plastic recorders, which promised a plentiful and cheap supply. Bakelite apparently has excellent tonal qualities, but the less brittle more modern plastics cannot reproduce the tone of bakelite, according to Marguerite whose main task is the voicing and tuning of the recorders.
The hurricane of , so disastrous in many ways, did provides a plentiful supply of excellent wood. Satinwood and Rosewood are valuable raw materials but boxwood is very special by virtue of its grain. Ivory for mouthpieces and ornamentation is unfortunately now banned, a fact particularly regretted by keyboard players, though not presumably by elephants. Apart from joining in the manufacture of these famous instruments, Jeanne recalled the gruelling musical training of their childhood.
Music practice and performance took the place of bedtime stories. She recalled their special delight and pride when they mastered a Telemann duo for recorders; the Sisters played this elegant work to us. She also recalled her Father's account of having hastily to learn the recorder part for Bach's fourth Brandenburg Concerto at the age of 15 to play alongside brother Rudolph for the second Haslemere Festival, duly recorded by the BBC.
These insights into the life of this pioneering musical family given by two such charming ladies and interspersed with beautiful musical illustrations enthralled and delighted us all and finished the evening on a happy note.
For the month of May, the Society were treated to a talk on the Hobby of Metal Detecting and our Speaker, John Forster, told the audience of his great love for this pastime over the last 26 years. We were handed round three articles to identify and display units were available showing the various finds from Bronze Age to the present day.
Buttons of every shape and size are by far the largest find. In medieval times old clothes were thrown on the fields to rot down with buttons left intact and in recent years army buttons of all kinds have been found around areas of the World War II camps. It is important to read up the locations which may surrender treasure beforehand, mostly on farm sites or river banks, and seek permission from landowners beforehand.
There is a code for responsible metal detecting that is observed. At the end of the talk we were shown slides of historic finds and samples of detectors from a basic instrument to the most sophisticated.
It should be noted that one can ask a detectorist to survey their own land free but a reward would be expected if successful and the money is generally given to charity. On 3rd June we had a treat with Robin Maddy a former Brigadier in the Army Catering Corps who trained in the hotel trade, joined the army, liked it so much that he stayed for 35 years, and has been a member of the Magic Circle for 50 years.
Kettles boiled everything, meat, potatoes, etc. Alex Soyer chef at the Reform Club went to the Crimea at his own expense to improve things, produced the first manual for army catering and invented the Soyer Stove which boiled or stewed and burned any fuel, in service from until it stood the test of time.
In the Great War the British troops were well fed but cooks were the lowest form of life. Cooks have become Chefs at the Defence School of Cookery, all trained as soldiers first and chefs second. Interspersed in the talk were magic and tricks and the Magic Circle formed in has obtained Lottery funding and now has premises in London, open to the public twice a week.
Laura Ponsonby kept the Headley Society entertained at their July meeting with stories about her home, Shulbrede Priory, intertwined with the history of the house. The Priory, constructed in the 11th century from local sandstone, was home to Canons of the Augustinian order founded by Augustine, Bishop of Hippo. Although the surrounding land suffers from flooding from time to time, the land on which the Priory was built is at a higher level so does not get flooded.
It was eventually closed on the instruction of Thomas Cromwell and the Priory and its extensive estate became part of the Cowdray estate. The Ponsonby family moved to Shulbrede in the late s when Laura Ponsonby's grandfather decided he had had enough of London. He travelled to Midhurst from where he took to the countryside on his bicycle to view suitable properties. By this time, little of the Priory remained other than what is now their home. Several generations of the Ponsonby family have lived at Shulbrede Priory since then and have carried out much restoration and extensive excavations on this historic property.
From these excavations they were able to establish the layout of the Priory and the Church. Today there is nothing left of the Church, all the stone has been removed and used elsewhere in other properties. There were many slides a few of which showed the crypt, the attractive tiles, the magnificent oak beams, mullioned windows and 16th century wall paintings.
He is one of a number of campaigners dedicated to the worldwide conservation of whales, porpoises and dolphins and emphasised that whales would have a bleak future without the support of conservationists. He explained that in the International Whaling Commission IWC was set up to promote the orderly development of the whaling industry throughout the world.
It protects certain species and designates areas as whale sanctuaries. In addition, the IWC promotes studies in matters such as the humaneness of the killing operations. The speaker explained that membership of the IWC is open to any country in the world but, although many were happy to conform to a recent ban on commercial whaling, several, including Japan, are calling for a relaxation of regulations so that they would be allowed to hunt whales.
He emphasised that, for conservation to continue, the public should remain aware of the pressures on the IWC by some countries to relax the rules.
The audience were intrigued by Mr Machin's anecdotes about his numerous and sometimes unpleasant experiences as a campaigner for the protection of whales. He showed some film of the barbaric killing methods used for hunting and killing whales and dolphins.
Later he impressed the audience with a collection of Scrimshaw, the name given to a variety of objects made and decorated by people involved with the whaling industry. The speaker concluded by emphasising the need for peaceful protests to protect whales. Jane Hurst, a local historian and member of the Jane Austen Society and a former teacher, talked on Jane Austen's Alton during the Georgian period, late s and early s.
We were told that photos give a clue but were not available at that time, and while maps do exist they are often inaccurate. We took a conceptual trip from Chawton, where Jane's brother Edward lived at Chawton house, into and through Alton and back.
Much information is gleaned from Jane's letters to her family and friends many of which are preserved. When walking to Alton from Chawton we first come to the Butts, in those days with no trees, where the Alton Westbrook fair was held in April. Just beyond this was the tollgate, Alton was on the Farnham to Winchester section of the turnpike, the North gate being at Willey Mill, the first buildings were at the Duke's Head and Jane's brother lived opposite.
We travelled on to the main road and Westbrook House, then a private Asylum and later the council offices, left into Cross and Pillory Lane and into the Market Square. The Town Hall opened in and Jane would have seen it built. Into Lentern Street and on to Wyards to friends of the family. Next to the Crown lived Dr. Curtis her doctor, who was a keen early photographer. There was not a spare seat to be had at the Church Centre in Headley to hear Ben Law speak at the Headley Society's November meeting on the subject of his self-built house in the Sussex woods.
He began by explaining how his thoughts on self-sufficient lifestyles had developed during visits to the rain forests of South America and in the East Indies, and how he had determined to try out some of the same philosophies back in this country.
He owns a few acres of largely chestnut coppice woodland near Lodsworth in Sussex and manages a hundred acres in total. Here he began to develop a trade in woodland crafts, quickly learning the lesson of going for 'added-value' products such as ready-made furniture rather than for standard items such as fencing posts. Every item taken from his woods has its use - larger poles for construction purposes, 'brash' bundled into faggots for river-bank reclamation, smaller poles for making Mongolian-style yurt tents for which there is a surprisingly good market in the UK , oddly-shaped pieces for using in individual garden furniture - and anything left over goes into the charcoal kiln to make either barbecue or artists' charcoal.
He also uses his land to grow food crops among the trees in order to be as self-sufficient as possible. Certain varieties of soft fruit do well in a woodland environment, and he has created raised beds in the clearings for vegetables. He keeps bees 'one of the easiest animals to look after' for their honey and for their pollination of the various blossoms which appear throughout the season.
He has an ingenious way of farming fungi by injecting spores into lumps of wood and then throwing them into his pond to start the growth when required. He taps birch trees for their sap to make wine, and makes a range of potent brews from the various fruits and leaves found on his property. Ben has lived in his wood for many years, first in a 'bender', then in a caravan, and then a yurt.
But he had always wanted to build a 'proper' house there - one which would fit into the woodland surroundings and be constructed from the materials to be found there.
However he discovered that planning regulations in the UK were somewhat more severe than in the remote East Indies, and so began a long battle with the authorities for the right to build on his own land. In the end he won, and the resulting construction project was shown to the nation on Channel 4's Grand Designs programme.
Dennis Wraight, dressed in black as a lieutenant in the Parliamentarian Army and his wife, dressed as a wench peasant of the day , described the history, the techniques of warfare and the food of the period.
In support of their outstanding presentation they showed replicas of clothing, helmets, guns, swords, pikes, lead-shot and cannon balls, cutlery, cups and plates, and food recipes of the day. The Parliamentarians were supported mainly by merchants and were financially reasonably well-off and dressed accordingly, whereas the Royalists, who supported King Charles were from the landed gentry, dressed much more flamboyantly and enjoyed a rather better standard of food in their army.
The population of England was about 5 million at the time King Charles came to the throne in ; Parliament and the Church were stable. However the King's arrogant attitude that he could do as he pleased soon created problems.
It culminated in the dissolution of Parliament by the King in It remained closed for 11 years and as the problems became ever more severe the Parliamentarians took action. There was no standing army in England at the time and both sides operated bands of volunteers, fighting mainly in the summertime. Eventually the Parliamentarians formed the New Model Army and gained control of the situation. This was the start of the British Army that we have today. Battles raged from Scotland, through the Midlands and into Wales.
Several well known skirmishes took place around Headley; at Farnham Castle, the battle at Cheriton and the defeat of Royalists at Alton Church, where the musket damage to the Church can be still be seen today.
Eventually the Royalists accepted defeat in after a series of battles in Wales. However the second Civil War started in and was won by the New Army. Finally in , Cromwell ended the third Civil War at Worcester.
At their February meeting, the Headley Society had a speaker who needed no introduction. Instead of sitting in the audience, the Chairman of Headley Society, Jo Smith, stood at the front and gave a fascinating insight into the writings of Flora Thompson. Originally from Oxfordshire, Flora came to live and work in Grayshott as a post office assistant in However it was not until very much later when she was in her 60s that she wrote about her childhood in a book called Lark Rise.
There were two other books about her childhood and youth called Over to Candleford and Candleford Green , before she wrote Heatherley about her time in Grayshott. She always referred to herself in the third person, as a young lady called 'Laura'.
Throughout her writing she gave people and places pseudonyms and what was so fascinating about this lecture was not just the interesting insights she gives into life at the end of the s, and great descriptions of the people with whom she came into contact, but the work that had been done by Jo Smith to identify the different people and places and corroborate the facts. Although it would have been relatively easy to learn the identify of 'Mr Hertford', the Post Master during her time at Grayshott post office, and to be able to put the name George Bernard Shaw to a writer she described as "a tall man on a crutch with a forked red beard", learning who the real "Richard Brownlow" was took a little luck and a lot of hard detective work and cooperation of others.
The President and Founder, Joyce Stevens, welcomed the 42 members present out of a total membership of and noted that it was excellent of members to make the effort to come on such a cold night. She said that she was proud of the Society and its work, particularly with regard to its ability to provide such interesting speakers on a range of topics. He reminded members that the Society was twenty years old this year and that a celebration was being organised for later in the year by the Committee.
He went on to talk about some of the projects completed during the past year: Nicky Wilson announced the new speaker programme for the period up to April The existing committee members were voted in for another year, with the exception of Pat Hargreaves who stood down due to pressure of work.
Following the official business of the evening, there were four short talks by members about their various interests: Joan Finney gave told us of the avenues she had used for delving into her family history, providing examples of the search for her great-grandfather who had served for much of his life at sea. Other excerpts played back included Joyce Stevens' memories of her childhood in Headley. Marilyn Metcalfe told us about her ironstone cottage in Hollywater which, though careful exploration of the building and local documentation, she had found to be at least years old.
She spoke about her efforts to get the building listed and of her eventual success. Finally, Mr Smith spoke about the time that can be needed to transcribe family records, providing an amusing example of his four-hour effort to transcribe a marriage of two local people in the early s from registers.
The Headley Society, now in its 20th year, maintained its reputation for varied, interesting speakers when Mrs Gillian Rawcliffe gave her presentation "What's your best on this" at the society's April meeting. Gillian grew up in Bath and became fascinated by Junk shops at an early age. She was encouraged by her Grandmother and saved her weekly pocket money to buy anything that took her fancy.
At the meeting Gillian, helped by her long-time friend Dorothy who had been with her in 'Columbine', brought along an assortment of interesting objects which she laid out on a couple of tables. The audience were asked to guess the function of a number of the objects which were passed around the room. After years of collecting, from fans to dolls, miniature cake decorations to cutlery, the painful time has now arrived when she is trying to offload her treasures, but she will never cease to spot an intriguing bargain.
Gillian has a wealth of knowledge which she willingly passed on to her audience, who showed their appreciation at the end of the meeting. On the evening of Thursday 5th May, despite the date being chosen for Election Day, a large audience of members and guests came to the Headley Society meeting to listen to Geoff Salter give a talk on embroidered postcards of the First World War entitled 'With Love from the Trenches'.
Mr Salter, a retired librarian, and his librarian wife decided some years ago to collect a theme. His wife chose picture postcards, embroidered by French and German widows to help supplement their income.
After a long day's work the embroidery would be carried out by candle-light or gas lamps. These cards were presented to us in a Japanese lacquered album with silk pages. Because of their fragility the 'book' was opened by Mr Salter personally but many of the cards were projected on screen, some in minute detail, to show the intricacies of such fine work.
They were divided into categories: Some cards, more expensive, were perfumed but over the years the scent has vanished, some had silk handkerchiefs enclosed with bobbin lace around the edge.
The cards were originally placed in transparent envelopes and not many of these survive today though we were shown a few examples. Once the cards were embroidered they were starched and sent to a local factory to be placed on linen and mounted on paper with various patterned surrounds. Soldiers would write their cards home amid the mud of the trenches or wherever they could shelter from the battle raging around them - yet the cards were received in perfect condition.
The soldiers were instructed to write just a few words which were censored before reaching our shores.
No mention could be made of their whereabouts, weather conditions or health. In , when America joined the war their troops would buy cards which were a little more elaborate as their wages were higher than their British fellows. The American flag, for example, was often portrayed in different patterns which boosted sales. Embroidered cards were first made in Austria in but didn't take off in popularity until During the Second World War the idea was revived but never really caught on.
We were shown one with an aeroplane among forget-me-nots, a much rarer variety and worth substantially more in today's market. Food from Elizabeth to Victoria.
Illustrating her talk with slides, she spoke of the importance of hunting and wheat to the Elizabethan diet and of the huge quantities of meat that were consumed. Food was washed down with beer produced by the monasteries, rather than water which most likely was contaminated. This was the diet of the rich. The poor had to survive on bread and water. Tudor knives and spoons were circulated around the audience for a closer look. The knives are amazingly sharp and when you went to dinner you would take your own knife with you.
Meat was often rotten and salt, sugar and spices were used to hide the smell. It was considered extremely rude to sniff meat on your fork before you ate it. From the Stuart to Georgian times, drunkenness was a major problem. Chocolate was also drunk. When cocoa beans were first introduced, some sailors finding them, thinking they were sheep's droppings, threw them overboard! The Quakers took on the manufacture of chocolate when they were unable to attend universities as they would not swear an oath of allegiance to the Crown.
Although icehouses were around in Stuart times, the 18th C saw them flourish. The audience saw a slide of one, which took 13 people 8 days to fill with ice from a nearby lake. During Victorian times, ice cream was available to ordinary people.
In Victorian times these were returned to the seller when finished, wiped clean and re-used! William Lee, Surgeon-Apothecary, conjures an image of a knowledgeable and professional medical expert. Daphne Reggler gave an intriguing talk on medical matters, William Lee and his patients, who lived in an area up to 15 miles from Odiham where he practised for over 30 years. The Lee family were yeoman farmers and William was well educated, with an excellent ability in Latin.
He established his practice some time between after obtaining a license from the Bishop of Winchester. He would have had a number of sponsors, including the surgeon he trained under, as well as prominent patients he had treated. He also performed dentistry and veterinary work. At the time there were physicians, university trained, who only provided consultancy but did not physically examine patients; Surgeon-Apothecaries who performed surgery and dispensed medicines; and Apothecaries who only dispensed medicines.
Blood letting was a popular treatment and was often provided by the barber-surgeons who undertook haircutting and minor surgery. William Lee's records show that he regularly made house visits and one patient he visited 13 times in one week. Another he made 85 daily visits, some 10 miles distant by horseback, following major surgery to her upper arm after being run over by a farm cart.
Often employers paid the medical expenses of their employees. The poor were treated and the local authorities paid the bills the charges being related to the distance travelled. Although smallpox was a problem at the time there is no record of William Lee performing any inoculations; neither did he attend any childbirths. She decided to start an organisation "for the public benefit and interest in the area comprising the civil Parish of Headley and the neighbourhood". And so the Headley Society was born.
Now 20 years on, she can be reassured that her baby is healthy and doing well. Joyce Stevens, the life President, replied by saying how people had tried to dissuade the first committee from holding monthly meetings as this would be impossible to sustain.
Now twenty years on we had proved them wrong, and the Society was going from strength to strength. A magnificent celebratory cake had been made by Christine Leonard showing the Society logo on top and scenes from the village traced in icing around the sides. This was cut by the president and served to all present at the end of the evening. The mild weather allowed tables to be placed on the grass outside the Centre as well as within the building, which added to a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere.
There was also a question quiz on the History of Headley devised by the Chairman. Sound recordings and films from the past are always fascinating. Being part of Hampshire Record Office, David explained that sound and film are an important addition to the written word from a sociological history viewpoint.
To see and hear the experiences of people actually involved at events, often as they were occurring, was an important aspect of history. The Wessex Sound and Film Archives are a public service with over 26, items of interest; copies of many of them can be borrowed through our local libraries and 27 specially made videos compilations are available.
Some of the earliest records include an wax-cylinder sound recording of Florence Nightingale giving her experience of Balaclava; an Royal Navy film of a torpedo trial; and a film of the centenary re-enactment of the death of Nelson aboard the ship "Victory". Details of all these items are available on the Archives' Web Site. There are many other sources of archived film and sound recordings, including the National Film Library and the National War Museum, who have an extensive collection of World-War II material.
David Lee said that Headley did not have any entries in the Archive but there was a sound record from Radio Victory in which David Shepherd was being interviewed about his foot high picture of Christ after its dedication in the Army Garrison Church of St. George at Bordon Camp.
Hornby and his family live in a picture postcard cottage in the New Forest village of Burley. Speaking from his home last night, Hornby said the driving ban would not affect his work as a craftsman.
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Next Broxhead Common where sand lizards have been re-introduced. It was explained that 'carrying' letters started with Charles the First, who had riders solely to carry Royal correspondence, but it was Henry the Eighth who saw the potential to make money by charging postage. Throughout her writing she gave people and places pseudonyms and what was so fascinating about this lecture was not just the interesting insights she gives into life at the end of the s, and great descriptions of the people with whom she came into contact, but the work that had been done by Jo Smith to identify the different people and places and corroborate the facts.
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