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Gosport’s  Local History Archive     collected by : The Gosport Local History Luncheon Club

History of The St. Vincent Local History Luncheon Club (Gosport Local History Luncheon Club)

THIS LOCAL HISTORY CLUB  was started in 1985 as part of the St Vincent Adult Education programme. Wendy Thorpe, the Centre Head was facing hard financial cuts. So she cut out the Tutor’s fee for our  Researching Local History Class  on the 3rd  Thursday of every month, and replaced it with Gosport’s St Vincent Local History Club.

She  organised it completely herself,  She collected together  people from her other daytime classes. She tempted them in with the prospect of an hour’s talk about new-found aspects of Gosport’s amazing history. This was given by  Class tutor, Joan Russell, her students & others.

Over biscuits and coffee Wendy “chose” the officers...  “You, you and you” – Audrey Brett  Chairman, Joyce Kilham Secretary and Pat Marsden Treasurer! Ok? I’m sure you’ll all be wonderful. (AND THEY WERE!) And I’ll rent you a meeting room, so 8 times a year you can have  a lunchtime Local History talk  from some  of the Class members about Gosport’s fascinating history.  And you can all go and chat over coffee in the lounge afterwards. How about  charging 1.50 per meeting for rent and postage  and coffee and biscuits?

So, for over 20 years, St Vincent L.H. Club members  have met 8 times a year. After 10 years we were obliged to move from  St Vincent to a more central meeting place at 151, Stoke Road. There, Health and Safety regulations restrict us to 50 members. But alas, over the years many a familiar face has been replaced by a new one, as age has taken its toll.  Gradually our knowledge of Gosport’s dramatic past has expanded. We’ve covered many topics, from 10th Century Saxon and Viking times up to the end of the 20th Century  including  the  making of our 21st C. Millenium Promenade.

OUR AIM NOW IS to summarise the best of 150 odd talks onto this website. Our Class explored Gosport’s history back centuries at a time. But the nost popular talks have been by our oldest members. Vivid childhood memoriesof growing up in old Gosport-town from 1900-1945, before and during World War 2 appeal to all ages! So gradually you too can get a feel of Gosport’s long amazing past

Chairman of the FRIENDS OF GOSPORT MUSEUM, Mr Robert Whiteley fights to keep its identity, now it is inside the new 2005 DISCOVERY CENTRE.  Copies of papers donated to the old Gosport  Museum Archive,  now in store, would enhance OUR Gosport archive.

DETAILS OF GOSPORT’S ST VINCENT LOCAL HISTORY CLUB               1. Name of Club - Gosport St Vincent Local History Club                  2. Date formed - May 1985 – more than 20 years ago                      3. Charity status - never applied for, but non-profit making                5. Attendance  restricted by Health & Safety to  50                          6. Active volunteers vary – at present only  8 or 9                           7. No paid personnel                                                                 8. Client Group includes:-

  • A)  Active older people interested in  Gosport’s History, free to attend a 2 hour lunchtime meeting on the 3rd Thursday  during  8 months a year.
  • B) A number of organisations large and small – Church groups,  “Friends Groups”. Townswomens Guilds. Discussion Groups, Luncheon Clubs, Womens’ Institutes, Political  Clubs etc. who have  asked  us for a speaker.
  • C) Members of the public who have attended Community-based functions or talks. Or where we have had stands and exhibitions, or heard our occasional appearances on local radio,

9. The main activity of our group is to provide  interesting factual stories  about  many aspect of Gosport’s fascinating past. Be it anything from fossils to the Romans and  Saxons, from the medieval foundations of Portsmouth and Gosport and  Rowner’s Grange Farm to  Gosport’s Millennium Promenade. From the 1642 battle between Royalist Portsmouth and Roundhead-occupied Gosport,  to our long rise and fall  as a military seaport. EVERYTHING has a past, and the past is always replaced by the present.

Joan Russell,  President Gosport St Vincent Local History Club.

This section of the site is being moved to www.gosporthistoryclub.org.uk

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Site first published 3rd April 2001

Updated 11th October 2017

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