East Woodhay Local History Society

This local society has been in existence since 1997 and has had many interesting talks about our area and its surroundings over the years as well as being involved with local research.

The society meets in East Woodhay Village Hall at Heath End once a month between September and March (excluding December) as well as having a visit to a local place of interest in the spring.

The membership fee for the year is £7.50 and visitors are welcome for an entrance fee to their chosen talk of £4.

To give you an idea, during 2016-2017 we had talks on a range of topics:

Guy Burgess, whose family lived in the parish at Oakhurst.

The Cheapside Hoard.

Abdication of Edward VIII.

Lord Falkland.

In 2017-2018 they were:

Dark Skies of the South Downs.

The Knights’ Hospitallers.


Women on the Railway 1939-1960.

The Astors of Kirby house.

The February meeting is our AGM but business is kept to a minimum as we follow it with ten minute talks by the members on a very wide range of topics such as agriculture, family history, Bond cars, sailing boats and the Lost Villages.

The research group’s most recent project has been the background of all those named on the Parish’s war memorials from World War One.

Graham Heald had already produced an excellent document about their military career and place of burial but we looked into the families they came from, where they lived and what they did. This led to two successful exhibitions in both village halls.

The society also produced a very informative book on the History of East Woodhay as a Millenium Project and copies are still available, as are copies of the book on the Parish’s footpaths

We are always grateful to receive any information about East Woodhay – memories, photographs, documents etc. Again please get in touch, as we don’t want to lose valuable resources. We can always scan or copy items if you want to keep them.

If you are interested in joining us or have information about anything to do with the Parish’s history then please contact:

Chairman: Norman Powers   pollard1942@mail.com                 01635 254154

Secretary: Christine Dalton chrissie.dalton@yahoo.co.uk          07880 628 114

Research Officer: Val Pollitt     valeriepollitt@googlemail.com    01635 253550


Once again the Society has organised speakers to entertain and educate during the season September 2018 through to March 2019.

Talks start at 8pm.

September 17th              Nick Young:          Newbury and Thatcham – an historic comparison.

 October 8th                     Terry Gilligan:       Aldbourne Bell Foundry: the famous foundry was making bells for at least 130 years between 1694 and 1826, including our bells at St Martin’s.

November 19th                          Sandham Memorial Chapel: Stanley Spencer’s life, war service and amazing paintings at Burghclere.

January 21st 2019            Christopher Scott:  Wining & Dining in the 17th century

February 11th 2019            AGM and 10 minute talks by members.

March 18th 2019             David Peacock     Donnington Castle

The venue for the talks will again be East Woodhay Village Hall. There will be light refreshments provided at the end of each talk, which will give those present the opportunity to meet the speaker and perhaps ask the question you wanted to during the evening.

Annual subscription is £7.50 per person and runs from February. Visitors are welcome at a charge of £4 though you can join the Society during the evening.

Please make a note of these dates in your diary and come and support the society and our guest speakers. It will be a pleasant change from the television.

Further information can be obtained from the Research/Talks Officer, Val Pollitt, 01635 253550 or the Secretary, Christine Dalton, 07880 628 114.

Additional Event:

On Saturday 10th November 2018 we will be repeating the display of our research on the war memorial names from World War One that was shown in 2014. There will also be new information on our research into the World War Two names. This will take place in St Thomas’ Hall from 10am to 4pm and will be part of several commemoration events held in our parishes to mark the centenary of the end of World War One that will be held over that weekend. Further information will be circulated in the coming weeks.