Regular Meetings

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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.

Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, since September 2020 we have introduced online  Zoom talks. More are already being planned for 2021. These will be on the customary third Thursday of the month at the usual time of 7.30. But you will now be able to attend from the comfort of your own home!


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.

Members are free to invite guests to our Zoom meetings and we particularly welcome anyone who is interested in joining the Society. The subscription is just £7.00 a year for single members and £12.00 for joint membership. If you would like to join the Society please contact either our Treasurer Keith Fry at or our Secretary Eileen Rainey at - we will be delighted to welcome you!


The new style Zoom meetings are detailed below. These will be added to in the near future as we move into 2021... Each meeting is recorded and remains available for Members to watch until the next talk - we email out the details each month to Members whose emails we have. If you are not receiving emails please contact us.

18th January The Marriage of Mary Tudor and Philip of Spain 
In 1554, Queen Mary I (eldest daughter of Henry VIII) waited at Bishop’s Waltham Palace for her bridegroom, Prince Philip of Spain (who later sent the Armada to conquer Elizabethan England) to arrive. This is your invitation to join us for the last Tudor Royal Wedding, and it was held in Winchester! 

Speaker: Don Bryan, joint author of Bloody British History: Winchester. This is a joint meeting with the Bishop's Waltham Museum Trust.

18th February Stories from the Archives by Barry Shurlock

No county can rival Hampshire for a wealth of stories from all times and on all subjects. This talk will show how tales from the past can be teased from the record. 
With a large number of pictures - and a little text - it will demonstrate the work of local historians and others, and show how this is supported by the Hampshire Archives Trust.

18th March  “The Saxons: were they really nasty?”

Society member Dr Lyndon Palmer will give a talk that might make us re-appraise our views of the Saxons’ supposed barbarism and brutality. Waltham was, after all, founded by the Saxons and burnt down by the Vikings!

15th April  “Prisoners, Pirates and Volcanoes”

Paul Chamberlain, writer and lecturer on the Napoleonic period, will talk about the aftermath of Waterloo in 1815, when all seemed settled… but was it? Men and nature don’t normally go quietly after seismic events.

20th May “Medieval Timber Framed Buildings for Beginners” 

Another joint meeting with the Bishop’s Waltham Museum Trust. Penny Copeland, the Museum’s Registrar, will talk about medieval timber-framed buildings, with references to some examples found in Bishop’s Waltham, including the Museum Farmhouse itself.

17th June     “Harlots, Dung and Glory: Part 4” (may be subject to change)

‘Harlots, Dung & Glory – Part IV’. Andrew Negus will complete his well-known History of Portsmouth (1930 to the present day). Many members enjoyed Parts II and III, and we may have to go back to Part I in 2021 to complete the full set, since we missed the first episode!

15th October “Hampshire Garden Trust”

Sally Miller, Chair of the Research Group of Hampshire Gardens Trust, talked about their work and some local historic gardens they have researched. The Hampshire Gardens Trust is the only voluntary organisation in the county to identify the needs and opportunities to conserve, protect and enhance the county’s rich heritage of parks, gardens and designed green spaces. They offer expert, free advice and appropriate project grants to raise awareness of the value of these special places.

16th September     “The Revolting People of Bishop’s Waltham”  

Tony Kippenberger will give a talk about the occasions when the people of Bishop’s Waltham have been aroused to resist or rebel against the authorities (both local and national). From taking up arms to burning a curate’s effigy, residents haven’t always been compliant!

21th October     “Deer Parks and Medieval Forests”

Dr Mandy Richardson of Chichester University will talk about landscape history, particularly deer parks and medieval forests like the Bishop’s Deer Park and the Chase at Waltham, both within the original Royal Forest of Bere.

18th November     "It Should Have Happened to a Vet"

Gillian Taylor talks about her career as a vet, her connections with PDSA, Canine Partners and others, and discusses changes in the veterinary world. Before her retirement, Gillian worked at Shield Veterinary Services on Victoria Road in Bishop’s Waltham.

16th December     The Society's Christmas Party

Our own Christmas Party - members and guests only. More details to follow depending on the state of the COVID pandemic in December 2021