Spotlight on Members and Visitors
Ltvas has a large membership with a diverse range of interests, all of whom contribute and support our activites.
Each month, starting November 2015, one of our members is featured in a mini profile. .
Jane is North Baddesley born and bred, her family having lived in the village since the beginning of the 20th century. As a very young child her love of history was triggered by a fascination with the antiquity of St John’s church in North Baddesley.
Despite dreams of becoming an archaeologist Jane ‘fell-into’ an accounting career, with the exception of a short period working as a clinical coder at a local hospital.
In recent years a career break provided the opportunity to participate in the LTVAS ‘Christopher Collier Anglo-Saxon Project’.
In addition to being a LTVAS member, Jane joined the North Baddesley Historical Society when it was formed in 2006 and has been the group Secretary/Treasurer for the past five years. She has also been a member of the Hampshire Genealogical Society for 30 years.
Jane’s main interest is researching anything and everything related to the history of North Baddesley – in particular the presence of the Knights Hospitaller in the village.
She admits that, prior to embarking on the current LTVAS Anglo-Saxon Project, her knowledge of the era was negligible. Attempting to detect evidence of an Anglo-Saxon presence in the local area has proven to be both challenging and absorbing.
As a result of the research undertaken, and the expertise of colleagues, Jane considers her knowledge of the period has increased immeasurably.
December Profile 2016
Howard Green had an initial career as a science teacher and was then head teacher of two secondary schools, firstly in Oxfordshire and then in Plymouth. From 1998, he worked at the Teacher Training Agency, the Department for Education and the National College for School Leadership where he set up several development programmes for senior teachers.
From 2007 to 2009, Howard was the first Director of Education for Oasis Community Learning, which now runs 45 academies across England. In 2012, Howard was appointed Visiting Professor in School Leadership at the University of Bristol where he has been undertaking research into issues that may limit a school’s effectiveness. He has published and lectured in the UK and abroad.
Howard moved to Romsey with his wife Jan in 2005 and has become actively involved with volunteering for the National Trust at Mottisfont, contributing to the community at Romsey Abbey and investigating the Anglo Saxon history of the Test Valley with LTVAS, focusing particularly on the early history of Mottisfont. He relaxes with family & friends, in the garden, through reading and by walking the dog. Hobbies are more a figment of his imagination than a reality!
November Profile 2016
Pat grew up in Bristol, but came to live in Romsey in 1968, having gained an M.A. in Social History, and a P.G.C.E; both from the University of Winchester.
Although an early member of LTVAS, she was unable to commit time to her real love of English History whilst teaching. However, since retirement, she has been able to pursue her interests in Agricultural History and is currently working on research into the mills of Domesday Hampshire.
She has written and contributed to a number of publications.
"Working the Land" a history's of farming in the Romsey area - co-authored with Jean Brent
"Where Town and Country Meet" - the story of The Romsey Show - co-authored with Barbara Burbridge. Pat also contributes to LTVAS Newsletters and 'Pots and Papers'.
Pat is a listed LTVAS speaker and is frequently called upon to give talks on aspects of Test Valley agriculture history; Her subjects being:
Agricultural Workers in Romsey -
A study of the working lives and living conditions of agricultural workers in and around Romsey.
Dig for Victory - Illustrated
The land Girls of the Romsey area and their contribution to the Second World War.
Romsey Show - Illustrated
The history of Romsey Show from its first beginnings in 1835.
Farming at Broadlands - Illustrated
Broadlands is the large estate occupying much land around Romsey. In this talk Pat looks at how the estate has been farmed.
October Profile 2016
Stephen’s interest in Romsey history stems from being a Romsonian; he has lived and grew up in the town since birth.
Although now retired, much of his working life was with Strongs/Whitbread where he was apprenticed as a signwriting artist: a craft overtaken by technology.
Stephen is particularly interested in archaeology - specialising in pottery and pipes. He has participated in many digs over the past thirty years, including the Abbey and Narrow Lane sites in Romsey, Eagle Warehouse and Chantry Street sites in Southampton and the Andover Iron Age Farm: usually as a volunteer, but also professionally.
He has been an executive committee director with the Test Valley Archaeology Trust and has worked for the Southampton City archaeology Unit under Andy Russell.
Stephen, who was once profiled on a Norman Goodland television programme, has been a member of LTVAS for forty years and is playing an active part researching the Nursling section of the Christopher Collier Anglo Saxon Project.
He is an active member of the Viewfinders of Romsey Camera Club and recently exhibited his photographs at King John’s House – a hobby that has proved very helpful with recording of archaeology digs.
September Profile 2016
With the exception of 3 years at Teacher Training College in Roehampton, Lynda has lived in Hampshire all her life.
She discovered through her interest and research into family history, that her Mother's side of the family had lived within a 10-mile radius of Romsey for over 300 years; Lynda feels very rooted to this part of the county and has a sense of my place within a long line of family members. - Becoming a great traveller or explorer was therefore not in her blood.
Lynda freely admits that history was not a subject that enthused her to any great extent at school, but it has become an interest that has surfaced only in latter years. She found that through researching her ancestors and discovering their ‘back stories’, it has brought history to life and shown its relevance in social history.
Most of her working life was spent at Cupernham Junior School where she was the Special Needs Teacher and later, the Special Needs Co-ordinator.
Lynda retired 4 years ago and now, when her time is not taken up entertaining her two adorable grandsons, she enjoys hobbies of genealogy, gardening and local history. She is married to Denis; a sports fanatic who still does cricket umpiring during the summer months and is an armchair sportsman during the winter.
Lynda greatly enjoys attending Ltvas meetings and the responsibility of being the sales coordinator for Ltvas publications, which involves dispatching online book orders, stocking local retailers and running occasional bookstalls.
August Profile 2016
To read profiles of the following members
1 Phoebe Merrick
Chair of LTVAS
2 Malcolm Heathcote
Records & Database
3 Barbara Burbridge
Vice Chair of Ltvas
4 Charles Burnett
Speaker on aspects of Romsey
5 Brenda Landon -
6 Colin Moretti
I.T. for Ltvas
7 Mary Harris
8 Ted Mason
9 Jean Brent
10 Frank Green
11 Linda Emery
Book & Publications Sales
12 Stephen Copper
Frank has had an abiding interest in archaeology, with his first recognition of items in his parent’s garden when he was barely 5 years old. That coupled with his family later living in Chichester, he became involved at age of 6 in washing Roman finds for the school archaeology table; material from Fishbourne. This might just have fostered an interest in archaeology.
Frank in his teenage years, after being packed off to Egypt on a school trip, became a volunteer (albeit paid) on a number of excavations in Norfolk and then studied Prehistory and Archaeology at Sheffield University. He undertook research at Southampton University on botanical material from archaeological sites and worked in Winchester from 1975 for 4 years. He later worked on similar material from the wreck of the Mary Rose and many other sites.
Whilst director of the Test Valley Archaeological Trust; that he joined in 1980; he undertook further study and a Master’s degree at Oxford Brookes in Historic Conservation.
Subsequently he worked for TVBC as Heritage Officer for 10 years and has now worked at the New Forest National Park Authority also for 10 years. Frank has been the archaeological adviser to Romsey Abbey since 1980 and a member of LTVAS since that time!
He was a founder member of The Association of Environmental Archaeologists, The Society for Churcha, and helped found many other groups; including what is now the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists. Frank serves on a number of national archaeological organisations. Locally he is a member of the Winchester Diocesan Advisory Committee for the care of churches.
July Profile 2016
Jean came to Romsey later in life than most of the committee members. She was brought up in a South Wales valley and left to read history at Manchester University where she met her husband.
Following graduation she spent 25 years teaching 11 to 18 years old students British and European history in various types of secondary schools in London, Kent and Surrey.
When her husband took on the task of amalgamating the colleges of higher education in Cardiff into one university Jean went from the deputy headship of a grammar school in Tooting to another in a comprehensive school in the rural town of Monmouth.
It was after retirement that they decided to move to Romsey to be nearer their two children and five grandchildren.
She joined the History Society where it was suggested she did some research on barns. Thankfully this was soon extended to farms and with Pat Goodwin she wrote the LTVAS publication " Working the Land in Romsey - a History of Farms and Farming Families". This work still continues and there is now a file on each of the historic farms of Romsey.
Other local history interests include yeoman farmers, the lordships of the Romsey manors, the history of Broadlands, the Romsey enclosures and John Salt, churchwarden 1544.
Jean is also the society’s public relations officer, her articles frequently appear in local newspapers, journals and frequently on our website.
June Profile 2016
Ted is a Southampton-born former solicitor who retired after 25 years with Hampshire County Council doing what he said was "the best job in the office", supporting its many roles in the countryside (notably Rights of Way and Commons), museums, libraries, historic records and as Harbour Authority for the River Hamble.
He was responsible for the legal side of setting up numerous charitable trusts, for gardens (the Hampshire Gardens Trust), landscape, archives, archaeology, tourism and the Mary Rose Trust.
Ted's maternal grandmother was born in Timsbury, coming from the Tongs family whose roots were traced to Stockbridge in the early 1700s. Ted himself moved to Romsey 34 years ago with his young family.
Being keenly interested in the events and influences that have shaped the world and Romsey in particular, Ted has investigated the history of Middlebridge Street where he lives, and a lost part of Romsey and its ancient highway called Eny that was, in the 1760s, absorbed into Broadlands Park.
May Profile 2016
April Profile 2016
Mary was born in Southampton but moved north to study Medieval History at York University and post- graduate Anglo- Saxon Archaeology at Durham University. She then decided to teach and taught history to 16-18 year old students.
In 1975 she became head of history at the Romsey School and moved into the town. Here she joined LTVAS and met her husband, Roger, who was already an active member of the archaeology section. After a spell in Somerset, while Roger was working as a conservator for Wells cathedral, they moved back to Hampshire and settled in Timsbury.
From 1985 Mary worked at Richard Taunton College in Southampton, teaching history and classical studies as well as working as pastoral head and higher education co-ordinator. Mary rejoined LTVAS and serves on the committee as Minutes Secretary and Treasurer.
Since retiring Mary has been involved in history role- play in primary schools and she and her husband are members of the Gosport Living History Society and work as volunteers at the Living History Village at Little Woodham, Gosport. Roger has built and operates the village pottery while Mary works as a spinner, weaver and dyer.
Mary has always been interested in researching the history of the places where she lives and has spent many happy hours studying the history of Timsbury and Michelmersh, particularly the medieval aspects, as well as being involved in a number of LTVAS projects.
The current Anglo-Saxon project has enabled Mary to return to her original interests and the study of the Saxon charters and efforts to understand the local landscape in the Saxon period is proving fascinating.
After retirement following a career as a physicist, in 2004 Colin moved to Romsey from west London; keen to know more about the history of his new hometown he soon joined LTVAS.
Although his main interest is family history (he leads the local U3A genealogy group) he was soon a regular visitor to the Society’s talks and to the workshop seeking information about the town for his U3A activities.
He joined the committee in 2011 and in that role he has taken a special interest in the computing facilities and is the resident solution provider on I.T matters; he is presently one of the four society members with a particular interest in the geographic information system in use by LTVAS (QGIS) which is used to record, analyse and present all types of geographical data.
Colin has carried out some local research but it does not relate to his own family history as, regrettably, he has no Romsey connections.
March Profile 2016
Brenda has been Membership Secretary of the Society since 1998. Before coming to Romsey she worked in Fleet Street in the advertisement section of a company running a large group of provincial newspapers.
Her late husband, Graham, was a consultant engineer who served on the committee as its Treasurer and encouraged her to become Membership Secretary.
Since taking over the membership Brenda has seen numbers rise from 103 to its present total of 338. She is also responsible for the distribution of the regular newsletters and keeps the committee informed of membership news.
At meetings she can always be seen at her table by the door welcoming members as they come in, most of whom she seems to know personally.
February Profile 2016
Charles Burnett is very much a Romsonian; he has not only lived his entire life in Romsey but also in the house of his birth – a rare distinction.
His interest in local history developed at the age of 12 whilst listening with fascination to recollections related by the Slater, Withers and Mitchell families, of their memories from mid Victorian times.
Charles was indentured to a long established Romsey building firm, Wheelers of Portersbridge Street. His job brought him into contact with and gained him intimate knowledge of local properties and families. He later joined the engineering department of Whitbread Brewery and completed his working life as a lecturer in Plumbing & Heating at Eastleigh College.
Since joining LTVAS over 20 years ago, he has put his encyclopaedic knowledge of Romsey, its residents, and his interest in photography to good use by helping to build, identify, catalogue and add to our Photographic Library.
Charles is often called upon as a speaker and has for many years given the popular end-of year, LTVAS Christmas slide-presentation; his recent talk focused upon Romsey Market Place and the events which have occured there over past centuries.
January Profile 2016
December Profile 2015
Barbara grew up in Southampton, where she and her future husband lived just two roads apart.
She read History at London University before going to work in the city at Shell Petroleum, then based in Bishopsgate.
When the younger of her two daughters started school, Barbara went back to education herself, taking a PGCE at Southampton University, she then took a teaching post from 1970 until 1985 at Romsey Infant School Her affinity with Romsey and its past dates back to this time.
Barbara joined LTVAS in 1982, initially to help schoolchildren become aware of their local history. After a while she developed a special interest in the changing economy of Romsey between the 17th and 19th centuries.
Having enjoyed six years of classical Latin at school, Barbara rekindled her interest in 1985 and, for the past thirty years, has studied Medieval Latin. This has proved useful in transcribing and translating early documents relating to Romsey and district.
She is our vice-chairman and has been editor since 1990, writing and co-writing many of the publications and newsletter.
She represents LTVAS as the Town Hall Archivist and as a trustee of King John’s House & Tudor Cottage Trust Ltd. She is frequently called upon to give public talks and lead tours.
Barbara is currently an active member of the society's Anglo-Saxon Project with particular reference to Ampfield and Urban Romsey.
November Profile 2015
Malcolm has been a member of LTVAS since about 2000, during which time he has contributed to several LTVAS books and has given talks on the subject of Heraldry.
He has spent much of the past 15 years cataloguing the thousands of photographs held by the society in a database.
Malcolm and his wife Jill moved to Romsey in 1970 from Danbury in Essex to take up a post at Roke Manor.
During his career as an electronic and systems engineer, he spent 2 years in northern Canada defending the west at the height of the cold war!
He retired in 1999 since when he has pursued his interests in local history, helping at King John’s House, photography, the local U3A and woodcarving.
October Profile 2015
Chairman of LTVAS
Our Chairman, Phoebe Merrick, was a founder member of LTVAS and has played a continuously active role during the 40 years since its inception.
In the society's early days, its main emphasis was on archaeology, today however, it is the history of the Test Valley that has become center-stage.
Phoebe moved from London to Romsey in 1967 and shortly after enrolled at King Alfred’s College, Winchester to train as a teacher. It was through one of her projects researching the history of Romsey schools that she developed her love of history in general, and with Romsey’s history in particular. She later took two research degrees based upon the history of the cloth trade; in part out of interest in the subject but also to develop an academic approach to history.
Phoebe has served on the society's committee in various capacities since its foundation, most recently as chairman. Her enthusiasm is a spur to us all.
Dr Alex Langlands
of Winchester University
Dr Alex Langlands who was on loan to us from the Winchester University, has visited us frequently over the past year as part of our Christopher Collier Bequest - a three-year Anglo Saxon study of the Test Valley.
His technical expertise and detailed knowledge of our landscape has stimulated and given our members the opportunity to enhance their skills in many aspects of historical and archaeological research. Working with the University has brought about a very profitable partnership.
Dr Langlands has recently left us to take up an appointment in Swansea. We shall miss him, but wish him well in his new apointment.