10.6.2016: The new Hungerford Historical Association website has been launched. It uses similar technology to the popular Virtual Museum website, with a cleaner layout, and a new Search facility. All the old material has been transferred to the new site.
1.10.2015: The new Hungerford Virtual Museum website has been launched - faster, cleaner, improved searches. Take a look!
27.6.2012: Annual General Meeting: About 45 members attended the AGM and Social evening. The usual reports were presented. Sheila Harris stood down after three years as Treasurer, and the new Committee was appointed, including Margaret Smallwood as Treasurer. Follow this link to see the full committee. Members had provided a delightful finger buffet, which was much enjoyed, as was the talk by Ron Rowland on "The first 35 years of CHAIN".
23.2.2012: New Committee Member: We are delighted that following the request for volunteers to join the HHA Committee, Mrs Fiona Hobson has stepped up, and will join the committee with immediate effect.
15.2.2012: Appointment of new Chairman: At the Committee Meeting on 15 Feb it was agreed that John Parry would assume the roll of Chairman of the HHA following Clive Priestley's recent death. The appointment will be ratified at the AGM in June, and it will be expected that he will fill the remaining term of just over two years. We shall be inviting volunteers from the current membership to fill his position as ordinary committee member. The HHA is very grateful to John for agreeing to take on this important roll.
26.1.2012: Death of our Chairman Clive Priestley: We are very sorry to record the death of our Chairman Mr Clive Priestley, CB, on 24 Jan 2012, after a short illness. This sad event was announced to the membership at the monthly meeting on 25 Jan.
19.9.2009: Launch of "Aspects of the early History of Hungerford": This important new book is now available. It is a compilation of original research work carried out by the late Mr. Norman Hidden, who spent over 30 years researching the medieval history of the town.
There are 30 separate chapters, covering such items as:
- The mystery of Stocken Street
- An armed affray at Hungerford
- John Tuckhill: First Constable of Hungerford
- The Great Fire of Hungerford
- Moral life of folk in Tudor England
- Pest House and Plague
- The murder of William and Ann Cheyney
- John Wesley's visits to Hungerford
Soft-cover. 316pp. Price: £8.95
It will be available at HHA meetings from 23rd September 2009, and from The Hungerford Bookshop. See Publications page.
24.6.2009: Annual General Meeting: 53 members attended the AGM and Social evening. The chairman, Dr Lois Pihlens, thanked the retiring members of the committee, and three replacements were duly elected. Sheila Harris is Treasurer, Mac McIntyre joins the committee, and Hugh Pihlens is the new Archivist. Follow this link to see the full committee. Members had provided a delightful finger buffet, which was much enjoyed, as was the photo quiz of Hungerford - the winner being Robin Tubb, who was presented with a copy of "The Story of Hungerford" by WH Summers. Next year's AGM will be on Wednesday 23rd June 2010 - starting at the earlier time of 7.30pm.
24.6.2009: The Hearing Loop is Working! We are delighted to record that The Town and Manor has now had a Hearing Loop installed in the Corn Exchange. Members with hearing aids were pleased to hear all the proceedings at the AGM.
14.2.2009: Launch of the Hungerford Virtual Museum: There is at present no museum building in the town, but the HHA is committed to providing information on the many artefacts and records of Hungerford's fascinating history by means of a virtual museum. We hope that many people will be able to collaborate with this project, by allowing us to photograph and share information on items in their possession. Do take the opportunity to visit the Virtual Museum. If you have an item of local interest that you would like to be considered for this Virtual Museum - please email the Administrator.
4.11.2008: Hearing loop in the Corn Exchange: We are sorry to have to report that the Hearing Loop in the Corn Exchange is still not functioning. We have been in repeated discussion with the Trustees of the Town & Manor of Hungerford (who own and manage the venue), and they are aware how important this facility is to so many of our members. However, at the time of writing, it appears that the loop will not be functional until perhaps March-April 2090. We are sorry for this delay, but the matter is out of our control.
9.10.2008: New book on Hungerford's History to be published shortly: We are pleased to announce that a new book "Aspects of Medieval Hungerford" is soon to be published by the HHA. This is a compilation of original research work carried out by the late Mr. Norman Hidden, who spent over 30 years researching the medieval history of the town. Many of his original papers and earlier published works have kindly been donated to the HHA Archives by his widow Joyce Hidden. For further details, see the Publications page.
9.10.2008: Improvements to the HHA Archives: Much work is going on to improve the storage of items in the HHA Archive, including the Norman Hidden papers (see above). New shelving, and a revised catalogue is under way by our archivist, Fred Bailey.
9.10.2008: Membership continues to thrive: The paid-up membership already stands at 203 - once again confirming how popular the HHA continues to be. Over 150 members and guests attended the September meeting.
9.10.2008: Joint BRO / Town & Manor / HHA Archive project: We are pleased to announce that the HHA is working with the Berkshire Record Office and the Town & Manor of Hungerford in a project that aims to collate and index a large number of historic Town & manor documents, some dating from as early as 1275. The HHA has submitted a grant application to the Greenham Common trust. For more information on the BRO/T&M/HHA project, click here.
23.9.2008: Death of our Patron, Gerald Ward, CBE, DL.: It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden and unexpected death of our Patron, Gerald Ward. Gerald has been a very active Patron since he kindly accepted the position ten years ago. He has attended many meetings, has suggested and arranged several visiting speakers, and has himself introduced speakers . We are very shocked and saddened by the news, and send our condolences to his wife Amanda, his daughters Sarah and Lucy and all the family.
25.6.2008: Annual General Meeting: Once again the AGM and social proved a very popular and well-attended meeting. The outgoing chairman, Mrs Daphne Priestley guided the meeting through the business of minutes of the last AGM, Chairman's, Treasurer's and Archivist's reports. Two new members were voted on to the committee (see Committee page), and in the absence of other nominees, Dr Lois Pihlens was elected by acclamation as the new Chairman. A splendid buffet was provided by members, after which everyone enjoyed a presentation on St. George's Chapel Windsor by Leslie Grout, a former Mastermind winner on the topic, and and active Blue Guide. The Association looks forward to a visit to St. George's Chapel during the coming year. Next year's AGM will be on Wednesday 24th June 2009.
25.6.2008: Annual General Meeting: Please note that the A.G.M. will start at 7.30pm (rather than the usual 8.00pm).
27.6.2007: Annual General Meeting: About 60 members attended the AGM. The first part of the evening included the business of tabling of Minutes, Chairman's, Treasurer's and Archivist's reports, election of Secretary, and two committee members (see Committee page). A splendid buffet with wine and soft drinks was available, after which we all much enjoyed an entertaining presentation by one of our local antiques experts Mr. Stewart Hofgartner, on "The Life of an Antiques Dealer". This generated much interest and many questions. Next year's AGM will be on Wednesday 25th June 2008.
8.6.2007: Annual Summer Outing: About 35 members enjoyed another great HHA summer outing, in excellent weather. The trip this year was to Laycock - the delightful and historic village in Wiltshire. Two local guides showed us around the village, pointing out some of its very many historic features. We then gathered in the 15th century Church of St.Cyriac for a talk about the history of the church. We all were free to have lunch at any of the many splendid pubs, restaurants and tea-rooms in the villlage, before taking our own time to visit the historic Laycock Abbey, and the fine Fox Talbot Museum. Do have a look at the Photos of the Outing. Remember to book early for next year's outing!
22.3.2007: Change of speaker for May meeting: The talk on 23rd May will be Mr David Stubbs on "The Battles of Newbury". The previously arranged talk on "Churchill - The War Years" by Mr Fred Bailey will be part of next year's programme.
22.1.2007: Change of Secretary: We are sorry to announce that our Secretary, Jean Hutchings has had to resign her post because of pressure of work. For the remainder of the year (until the situation is ratified at the A.G.M.) Jane Francis has kindly taken over the role of Secretary.
3.6.2006: Committee Members required! At the Annual General Meeting on 28th June, we are seeking nominations for Treasurer, and two other committee members. All posts are normally for three years. If you know of anyone wishing to stand, please contact the Secretary, Mrs. Jean Hutchings.
3.6.2006: Annual Summer Outing: 41 members of the HHA enjoyed a splendid day's visit to Kelmscott Manor and Buscot Park yesterday. The weather was absolutely wonderful, which allowed us to enjoy the gardens as much as the interesting interiors. Do have a look at the Photos of the Outing. Remember to book early for next year's outing!
14.4.2006: Annual Summer Outing: The summer outing this year is on Friday 2nd June, and will be to Kelmscott Manor and Buscot Park. This twin program promises to be an exceptional day out, and is available to all HHA members. Ticket price (which includes all entrance fees, coach transport, morning coffee, lunch and driver's tip!) is £23.00 for National Trust members, or £30.00 for non-National Trust members. For further information, contact The Treasurer.
14.4.2006: Membership: Our current membership is 218 people, a significant increase from the previous year.
5.9.2005: Change of Speaker: The speaker for the October meeting has been unable to attend, but we are delighted to announce that at short notice, Dr Lois Pihlens has agreed to speak on "William Morris - In Pursuit of Beauty". It should be a great evening!
23.6.2005: Silver Jubilee Booklet: At the A.G.M. (see below) the outgoing Chairman (Karen Sperrey) announced the publication of the HHA's celebration of its first 25 years - a 54-page booklet including masses of information about the Association's first quarter century, and resumes of six of the talks given during that time. See the Publications page for further information. The booklet is available free of charge to all members of the 2004-2005 Silver Jubilee Season. Members attending the A.G.M. were given their copies at the time, and other members may collect their copies from Karen Sperrey or at the September meeting.
23.6.2005: Successful Annual General Meeting: The A.G.M. and Social evening was attended by 36 members. The Chairman's report and Annual accounts were presented, and after a finger buffet, members enjoyed a short historical quiz. At the end of her 3-year term of office, Karen Sperrey stood down as Chairman, and is replaced by Daphne Priestley OBE, DL; Francis Turner and Margaret Wilson stood down as committee members, and were replaced by Peter Hibberd and Brian Hawkins. See the Events page for details of next year's program.
15.6.2005: Summer Outing Cancelled: It is with much regret that the committee has been forced to cancel this year's Summer Outing as there were too few members wishing to attend. All members who have prepaid their tickets will be fully refunded.
7.4.2005: Photo Gallery: A small photo gallery of historical photographs of Hungerford has been added to the website. We hope you enjoy the images - keep watching for further additions!
7.4.2005: "Hungerford - A History" is now available direct from the HHA! Please use the special Order Form. For more details, see the Publications page.
18.2.2005: The Summer Outing: The annual summer outing this year will be on Saturday 18th June. The outing will be to Farleigh Hungerford Castle, near Bradford-on-Avon, and Corsham Court, near Chippenham. Tickets will be available from the March Meeting, or from The Treasurer. The coach will leave the Town Hall steps at 9.00am, and return by 6.00pm. The cost depends on membership of English Heritage, and whether you wish to have lunch provided, but is between £11.00 and £18.50.
18.2.2005: The April Meeting has changed: Unfortunately, Barbara Croucher will be unable to give her planned talk "Ramsbury: Medieval Church and Daily Life", but we are pleased to welcome Mr Nick Griffiths, who will speak on "A Roman Soldier's Letters Home".
18.2.2005: Change of Archivist: As mentioned earlier, John Allen, our Archivist for the past 20 years, has retired - we are enormously grateful to John for all his excellent care and attention to the Archives over this long time. We are pleased to announce that the new Archivist is Mr Fred Bailey - details on the Committee page.
21.1.2005: Applying for Membership made easier! You may now download a Membership Application Form from this website, which you may then complete and send to The Treasurer as advised on the form.
21.1.2005: Thatcham Historical Society reminds us to promote their website, which gives lots of information including their list of events for the year. See www.thatchamhistoricalsociety.org.uk
19.12.2004: West Berkshire Heritage News reminds us of the many events taking place at our excellent local museum. From February, the Museum will re-open (after it's annual January closure for cleaning and conservation), with a bran new fine art exhibition.
For more details, see www.westberkshiremuseum.org.uk
14.11.2004: Our archivist, John Allen, is standing down after 20 years. He has done an enormous amount of work for the Association, and a scan of the archive list will show how much material is now available locally for research by members. We owe him a great debt of gratitude. We do have a new archivist in the wings - and full details will be announced shortly.
10.9.2004: The new season of HHA talks is about to start! Full details will be on the "Events" page shortly. The first talk is on Wednesday 22nd September, when Dr Hugh Pihlens is talking on "Victorian Hungerford".
10.9.2004: The Friends of Reading Abbey have asked us to promote their website, and a link is on our "links" page: www.readingabbey.fslife.co.uk
5.6.2004: The HHA is 25 years old this year! Look out for special events later in the year.