Hi, and welcome to the Portsdown u3a Local History Group webpage; thanks for dropping in.

We have a thriving Group of 16 members, at the time of writing, and we aim to make our meetings a friendly forum for the discussion of any aspect of local history, from identification of unknown photographs, to the discussion of the changing face of Cosham High Street, for example; or even what constitutes ’local’ history.

We endeavour to be an active Group, in that members are encouraged to research whatever aspect of local history interests them. If a member encounters a ‘dead end’, or some other snag, with respect to their research, it can be discussed at the meetings in the hope that another member can suggest an alternative strategy, or line of enquiry. Currently members are investigating such diverse topics as:

19th Century Portsmouth Canal and Railway Routes.
Admiralty Telegraph System
Drayton Institute
Cinemas
Rev. R.R. Dolling
Allotments

In addition, the Group has embarked on two joint projects. All local historians both enjoy, and can gain information from, studying old photographs. So we are attempting to produce a visual record of our ever changing local urban environment, as it stands at the moment, for the use of future generations of local historians.

Our second Group project is tied in with the centenary of World War I, and it’s impact on Portsmouth. Specifically, the Group has commenced to look at the Battle of Jutland, in which a total of over six thousand British sailors lost their lives. While the massive losses on the Western Front are, quite rightly, well remembered, this large scale loss of life at sea is rarely recollected. In particular we are looking at the impact on the residents of Portsmouth, the local families who lost a husband, son, or father: and on Portsmouth as a town; the geographical areas where bereavement was concentrated. Wherever the sources available will allow us to go.

It is not all ‘cerebral’ however; as we do organise visits to places of interest locally. Within the past year we have visited the Ovium Museum in Chichester, the Living Village in Gosport, and RAF Tangmere.

So, if any of the above sounds interesting, and you are, are about to become, or are considering becoming, a member of Portsdown u3a, we would be pleased to see you. We meet once a month, at The Church Of The Resurrection, Penarth Avenue, Drayton, at 10am on the first Tuesday of every month, except August.

Group Leader: Steve Doe
Email: contactportsdownu3a.org.uk

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The History Group go to Fairyland – by Wendy

On Friday 6 April the Portsdown U3A History Group opened its meeting to all Portsdown U3A members for a talk by Jackie Baynes, the author of a fascinating booklet exploring the history and story of the Rock Gardens at Southsea and the curator of an exhibition recently displayed in the Portsmouth History Centre on the second Floor of Portsmouth Central Library.

Jackie’s talk took us on a whistle stop tour of the UK demonstrating the popularity of the rock garden genre before concentrating on the history and development of our own rock gardens from its inception in the 1920s through to the present day. Jackie is a founder member of the Rock Garden Friends group who in partnership with Portsmouth City Council Parks Department are ensuring the future of the gardens with a rolling programme of planting, promotion and works, ensuring its future as a place for residents and visitors to enjoy.

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Postcard from NG collection