22nd June 2018

22nd June – SASHA hosted the AGM of the West Berkshire Heritage Forum at Stockcross village hall. About 30 people attended including 8 SASHA members. After the formal part of the meeting there were 6 short presentations.
1. SASHA’s Carole and Viv gave a short history of the group and played snippets from the oral history contributors.
2. Boxford History Project gave the audience information about their work so far and showed us photographs of the mosaic found at the Mud Hole site, one of the three areas the group has been excavating near Boxford. This is of a type of mosaic unique in Britain and rare in the Roman Empire. The group need to raise £55,000 to pay for a professional overseen archaeological dig for the 2019 season.
3. Bucklebury – John Morton went to the Bluecoat School in Thatcham he was a preacher and an activist who successfully defeated a bill to enclosure Bucklebury Common in 1834. The chapel is a 19th century concrete building which has unusual iron caste grave markers standing in Bucklebury cemetery. There is a proposal to erect a “blue plaque” to John Morton.
4. Newbury Society – Gives a voice to people of Newbury who want it to be “a pleasant place to live”. They work to protect older buildings and influence the facade of the new building appearing in the Newbury area They are updating the listed building records, they have proved that the Tudor Cafe building’s official listing was wrong by hundreds years having been constructed around 1490 in the reign of Henry V11..
5. Thatcham Heritage working party – Thatcham makes claim to being the oldest inhabited place in England. This active group is putting on a guided walk in July and in August a “Blue Plaque” historical trail as well as WW1 concert and events during the Thatcham Festival fortnight in October.
6. Friends of Newtown Cemetery – Their initial aim was to get the cemetery in a safe condition to allow public access which was attained in 2012, it is now open to the public daily from 10am to 3pm. They put on a variety of events during the year the next one being of the 31st October.
All these groups have web sites with more details
There was a display of photographs and information at the back of the hall by SASHA and refreshments were enjoyed.