If you are interested in the history of our surroundings, this group
may be for you.
The aim of the Group is to delve into the history of local areas by
visiting local historical places and arranging guided tours or having a
speaker on a topic of local historical interest. Meetings
held on the last Thursday in the month.
A Risk Assessment for this Group (especially related to the Coronavirus situation) is here.
|As with everyone else, we
have not been able to run our normal programme of activities for the
past year but we have managed some meetings by Zoom.
A significant activity for some of our members was taking part in the
National u3a High Street project in September 2020. The purpose of this
project was to survey our local shopping areas to record the shops that
were in business at that time. We will then repeat the survey, probably
during September 2021, to identify what changes have taken place during
this difficult time for the retail industry.
This project has taken place in 234 u3as around the country and the
national High Street project team will produce an interactive website
to show the results of all the surveys. Our Local History group
surveyed Crowthorne High Street, Bracknell High Street and The Avenue
in the Lexicon.
In August 2020 we held a socially distanced meeting at Birch Hill
Community Centre to discuss the memoirs and life of Cissie Simmons, a
lady who was born in 1907 and lived all her life in Warfield. Later
this year we hope to visit the area and lanes that she talks about in
her memoirs. Also, during the year, we held two Zoom meetings in which
members read extracts from the book by David Neal Ford called East
Berkshire Town and Village Histories, and in another Zoom meeting we
had a fascinating talk by John Painter from the Friends of Reading
Abbey on 900 years of Reading Abbey, which emphasised how important
Reading was in the middle ages.
As life gets back to normal we hope to get out and about more, and have
plenty of ideas from our plans that we were unable to achieve during
more information please email:-
Visit To Fawley Railway October 2019
our October meeting we visited the Sir William McAlpine Railway Museum
at Fawley Hill, near Henley. As it was outside their normal opening
season, we were given a special tour of the museum, and it is a
fantastic place. They seem to have something of everything there, and
museum is not limited to railways! Anything remotely
connected with life on the railways is there, even including old patty
tins and jelly moulds, although it is not clear how they fit in.
are old railway seats, model railways and engines, old cars and a big
collection of the metal advertisements we used to see on railway
stations when we were young.
It is well worth a visit, and
during the summer months it is possible to have a ride on a working
steam railway round the estate. There is even a complete Victorian
railway station preserved here after being threatened with demolition.
The Fawley Railway Museum is run by volunteers, and was the venue for The Great British Model Challenge series on television.
Visit to Mapledurham Mill August 2018
members visited Mapledurham Mill on the north bank of the Thames
During the last few years an extensive restoration programme has
allowed the mill to grind flour in the traditional way.
A modern introduction is the turbine driven by the flow of water in an Archimedes screw,
which generates electricity with any surplus being sold to the National Grid.
photo taken on the stones floor shows millstones bottom left and right.
In the centre the large vertical drive shaft is rotating at
speed to turn the millstones and to power ancillary equipment within