Regular Meetings

We usually hold 10 meetings a year, including our Annual General Meeting which is always held in February.


These meetings take place on the evening of the third Thursday of the month in February, March, April, May, June, July, September, October, November and December (our Christmas Party).


Unless otherwise stated they are held at 7.30 pm at the Church Hall in Free Street, Bishop’s Waltham.


The meetings are open to all members and usually take the form of a talk that lasts around 40-45 minutes. The talks themselves cover a range of subjects that are likely both to interest and inform our members. Except for our Christmas Party, non-members interested in the subject are always welcome – free!


Tea and coffee is served before the meetings start.


The meetings for 2019 are detailed below.

You can click here to download the full programme. For more information, please contact us.

21 February The Society’s Annual General Meeting (click here for poster)

Our Annual General Meeting. This will be followed by cheese and wine and a 30-minute talk by Tony Kippenberger on the four Palace anniversaries that occur in 2019.

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21 March “Scurvy”

From the 15th century ships started to sail much further across the oceans, but with no fresh food. Dr Richard Ashton will talk about the mistakes and breakthroughs that led to an understanding of the importance of vitamin C.

18 April “Citizens Advice”

Eighty years after it was founded, some 4 in 10 people in Britain contact Citizens Advice at some point during their lives. Sarah Berry will talk about what CA does and the challenges it faces.

16 May “What the Butler saw?”

A costumed talk by Dr Bob France. Stedman, Petworth's Georgian butler, shares his experiences and some things that he probably should not have seen! The talk explores the eccentricities of drinking and dining etiquette during Georgian times.

20 June Midsummer at Titchfield Abbey

A Discovery Evening as guests of Titchfield History Society at Titchfield Abbey. Bring a picnic, chairs and rugs (but no BBQs) to visit the ruins at 6.00 pm. Meet on site. Although the evening was cool and showery, thank you to all those BWS members who came. It proved to be a very pleasant evening with a tour of the Abbey and then a very civilised picnic in the nearby 15th century Barn. And a BWS members' table won the Quiz! Good work!

18 July Please note the change: The Napoleonic Prison of Portchester Castle: Then and Now

This is a replacement talk. Paul Chamberlain, a specialist in the Napoleonic Wars, has kindly stepped in to talk about Portchester Castle during that period. Portchester is one of the oldest war prisons this country has known, dating back to the Dutch wars of the 17th century. During the Napoleonic Wars no less than 7,000 French prisoners were held at the Castle. What was life like for these men? What did they do?

15 August No meeting

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19 September “The History of Portsmouth”

Andrew Negus, who gave us an excellent talk entitled ‘Harlots, Dung and Glory in 2018, will give us the third part of his series of talks on Portsmouth’s history.

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17 October “The Defence of the Mission at Rorke’s Drift”

A talk by Geoff Heal that casts a more accurate light on what really happened at the Mission Station made famous in the film Zulu. But a fascinating story nevertheless!


21 November Please note the change: “The Spitfire” This is a replacement talk.

Colin van Geffen will tell the story of this world famous plane and its development by its maker Supermarine, set against the realities of the Blitz in Southampton and the Battle of Britain.

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19 December The Society’s Christmas Party

Our own Christmas Party – members and guests only. This year the entertainment will be music, wine and mince pies with a different sort of Quiz. Do come. It’ll be great fun.