North East Hampshire Historical
& Archaeological Society


Events during 2014.

January 2014

On January 24th, for our first talk of the new year, Egyptologist John Wall returned with: Egypt on and off the Beaten Path!. This copiously illustrated talk covered a number of well-known and some less visited sites from the north of the country down as far as the Aswan dam. Our tour started with the stepped pyramid at Saqqara and proceded southwards. Many magnificent photos were included, beautiful painted reliefs were in abundance. Some photos were taken at night with the ruins floodlit, others showing familiar buildings from new angles, for instance Hatshepsut's Temple viewed from the surrounding mountains (Note. Our photo shown here is by Steve F-E Cameron).

Hatshepsut's temple

February 2014

On 28th February, Hugh's splendidly illustrated talk took us through the Imperial politics, battles and family infighting which led to Constantine the Great becoming leader of the Roman Empire. Constantine was a complex character, sometimes generous and merciful then suddenly ruthless and revengeful. Not someone that it would be wise to be close to! His reputation as the Emperor who made Christianity the religion of the Roman Empire may have been exaggerated.

Gold coin of Constantine

March 2014

Our AGM, held on Fri 28th March, was attended by 14 members with apologies from a further three. The business of reports and re-election of the committee was all conducted within one hour. The main topics of discussion were the imminent publication of the report on Borderware entitled "Sherds", the forthcoming movement of our library from Bagshot to the Farnborough Community Centre and a further collaboration with BARG (Berkshire Archaeology Research Group) at Greywell. Also on the horizon are a proposed visit to Chawton House Library in July or August and next year the exciting possibility of hosting an HAC conference. The evening ended with tea, coffee, biscuits and further light conversation.

April 2014

On 25th April, Pam gave an illustrated talk on her "Explore" holiday in the Balkans, taken last year. Starting in Sofia in Bulgaria and then entering Macedonia, we were treated to views of many fine buildings, often brilliantly decorated inside with frescos and mosaics, plus spectacular mountain scenery and lakes. Our photo shows a small Byzantine church on the edge of Lake Ohrid. Travelling south, Pam entered Greece passing through several historic towns and taking a boat trip around Mount Athos before returning north to Sofia to end the tour.

Byzantine church

May 2014

On Fri 9th, in preparation for our joint geophysical survey with BARG at Greywell, Tony gave a very informative presentation on the use of levelling equipment. After tea we had the opportunity to try it for ourselves.

Our speaker on Fri 23rd was Geoff May who worked for the Ordnance Survey until his retirement in 2008. He outlined the history of the OS from the mid-18th century through to the present day. The Napoleonic War gave importance to accurate mapping, starting in south-east England where the greatest threat of invasion was felt. Advances in technology and the presentation of maps has resulted in a world-class business whose major income source is now in digital maps rather than the paper maps with which we are familiar! All in all a very interesting and enlightening talk with many fine images given to a large enthusiastic audience.

Outline of Britain

It is with regret that I have to announce the passing of Jennifer Tearle on 25th May. She had been an enthusiastic member and took an interest both in our talks and in the practical evenings sorting pottery, etc. Her funeral took place on 10th June at Aldershot crematorium.


June 2014

The two lockable steel cabinets, promised some while back, were finally delivered to Farnborough Community Centre on Fri 20th June. These complete our library cupboard requirements and enabled the transfer of the remaining books from Bagshot on 1st July.

The second topographic survey at Greywell was conducted during a week of exceptionally warm weather and was well supported by NEHHAS members, some of whom assisted BARG in their resistivity and magnetometry survey. The results will be available by the time we meet again in September 2014.

At our final Friday meeting on June 27th the value of having our plan-chest available at FCC became evident. A print of a map of Hampshire by Isaac Taylor dated 1759 came to light which showed Greywell (Gruell) to have a church and a manor house at that time.

NEHHAS surveying in 2014

July and August 2014 - No meetings

September 2014

On September 26th, our first talk of the new season was given by Dr Kate Wiles on Anglo-Saxon charters. The first written documents used mainly Roman letters but with a smattering of runes where the Roman couldn't provide the right sound. Surviving Anglo-Saxon manuscripts are mainly concerned with ownership of property and land.

The fragment shown here is taken off the web and is part of a page from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. This is a fairly late Saxon document.

October 2014

On October 24th our illustrated talk by Diana White was on Reading Abbey. Founded by Henry I in 1121 the Abbey was visited by Henry II, Henry III and much later Edward IV. Henry I died in Normandy but was brought back to be buried in front of the alter at the Abbey. However in 1538 the Abbey was demolished during Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries. Much of the white Caen stone was reused in bridge construction. Henry I's body is now thought to lie beneath Victorian Reading Gaol!

Part of ruins of Reading Abbey

November 2014

On November 14th​​ we were treated to an illustrated talk "Down the Memory Line – Railways on Old Picture Postcards" given by John Hollands. John took us from London to the South Coast and the West Country on named trains such as The Atlantic Coast Express, The Devon Belle, The Brighton Belle, The Ocean Liner Express and others. We also ventured onto the continent and also to Egypt and North America. We even went into the realm of fantasy with Rowland Emett's "Festival of Britain" trains in the Battersea Pleasure Gardens! All in all something to bring back memories.

December 2014

At the final meeting of 2014 on December 12th members enjoyed a trio of short presentations followed by seasonal refreshments. The first presentation by Les Lawrie described his visit to Cove Fort in Utah, a Mormon site founded in 1867 on the instructions of Brigham Young. This was one of a string of ‘Way’ stations providing telegraph office and Pony Express stop on the Mormon Corridor.

The second presentation by Katrina Slocombe was based on her participation during excavations in 2014 at Woking Palace, joining others from Friends of Woking Palace and the Surrey County Archaeological Unit. Katrina described with slides some of the work relating to the massive walls of the Tudor kitchen and a particularly interesting and well travelled Valencian tile found near the moat.

The final talk given by Richard Hoyland recalled a stop-over in Iceland he made with his family en-route to Canada. In just a short time Richard squeezed in a number of sights in the capital including the cathedral and managed a dip in the outdoor heated spa!

All in all an excellent finish to the year’s programme, followed by drinks and mince pies.

church in Reykjavik


Note: More detailed accounts of our recent Friday evening talks and other events, can be found in our latest NEWSLetter. Click here for details of how to get your copy.


For a review of the previous year's activities click here.


This page last updated in October 2015.