Meetings, speakers and topics –
|10 January 2023||Life Under The Veil||Sandra Simmonds|
|14 February||The View From The Wings||Brian Freeland|
|14 March||Smuggling In The Christchurch Area||Michael Andrews|
|11 April||Railways Of The New Forest||Roger Burfit|
|9 May||Building Spitfires Without A Factory||Alan Matlock|
|13 June||Rolls Royce And The Silver Lady||Kevin Patience|
|11 July||The Lumberjills|
Joanna Foat tells their story for the first time,
and gives them the recognition they so truly deserve.
On the eve of the Second World War, with only seven
months supply of timber stockpiled, Britain was in trouble.
Timber was critical to the war effort: it was
needed for everything from aircraft and
shipbuilding to communications and coal mining.
Lacking in both men and timber, the government made a choice.
Reluctantly, they opened lumber work for women to apply.....
and apply they did. Enter the Lumberjills.
The Women’s Timber Corps had thousands of members who would
prove themselves as strong and as smart as any man:
they felled and crosscut trees by hand, operated sawmills,
and ran whole forestry sites.
They may not have been on the front line, but they fought
their own battles on the home front for respect and equality.
And in the midst of wartime, all weathers and heavy labour,
they lived an exciting life in the forest.
Many a firm friend was made around a campfire while doing
each other’s hair for an evening dance.
They discovered a new found freedom, nomadic existence,
romance and even soulmates. In Lumberjills,
|8 August||A Day In Iran As A Housewife|
The second talk is a follow up to the first from Sandra she gave us in January 2023.
It's an in depth account of how she lived life on a daily basis, what was expected
and how she managed to cope with further rules and regulations.
She explains how she coped with the different cultural background compared
to the westernised freedom she had been brought up with in this country.
The family she married into were very religious and she had to try and mould
into their beliefs and the way women should be treated.
|12 September||A Grandmother's Legacy: Full Steam Ahead|
With ancestors who were in India at the very beginning of
the steam trains starting up in the Indian subcontinent,
as well as those whose professions on the railway were
held in high esteem by the railway companies themselves,
we learn how life was for my grandfather who grew up on
a railway colony, the first of its kind in India which
proved to be an exemplar and one in which set a precedent
for future ones to be established.
Kipling remarked how that particular railway colony was
"a paragon of European enterprise in the heart of India,
laid out with military precision; each house with its
share of garden, its red-brick path, its growth of trees
and its neat little wicket gate."
With a highly visual presentation of steam trains, we
learn how obstacles were overcome with civil engineering
achievements to provide a suitable way for trains to
travel along a series of mountains with 1:37 gradients
all with the aim of trading commodities for the
East India Company.
This talk details the opening up of a country which up
until the railway was only possible by bullock cart
due to the varied landscape, climate and conditions
of the roads. We end with a light hearted look at the
difficulties faced by the author thirty years ago when
trying to buy a train ticket in India.
|10 October||From Sugarcane to Surrey - An Indian Diaspora|
“My talk reflects the way the Indian indentured
labourers were treated under the British rule
in Mauritius, the Dodo Island.
As the third generation, I explain in this presentation,
how I navigated myself through the caste system,
dire poverty, discrimination and injustice to reach a
level playing field”.
|14 November||The Story of Stewarts Garden Centre|
Martin is rightly proud of the history. It’s amazing,
not only for the fact that the business has remained
within the same family for over 275 years, but also
for the amount of historical material that has been
saved during that time.
Martin will show us some amazing photographs
and documents that have been retained over the years
and explain some of the far sighted plans of both past and
present which ensure the ongoing success of Stewarts.
|5 December (Ist Tuesday)||How Do You Takes Yours?|
Set at a tea party in the early 1950s, hear tales from the history of tea drinking
and learn the correct etiquette of afternoon tea.
|2024||Talks will be announced early in 2024|