The main event of the January coffee morning in Harnham Memorial Hall was an informative talk by Margaret Baskerville about Bentley Wood. So much is known about this, she said, she had to limit herself to recent times i.e. since 1066!
For centuries after it was part of a great woodland where local people enjoyed the privileges of felling oak for building, cutting hazel for wattle and hurdle making and gathering firewood. Also they could make charcoal and graze their pigs.
Nevertheless they had to be constantly mindful of the paramount rights of the king and nobles to hunt the deer.
Until the thirteenth century the most important lord of the manor lived at Amesbury; Salisbury did not exist as yet.
Transformation occurred in the eighteenth century although ownership had changed many times before and since. Native trees were replaced by other species, all planted in rows and regularly harvested.
Our Chairman John Wort had more to announce than usual. Besides giving details of some the month's meetings he asked for volunteers to help in the local community viz. the Harnham Day Centre.
The branch continues to grow and a party would be held to welcome new members.
Coffee mornings are held every second Monday in the month.
For membership enquires: 01722 321731
Contact: Mary Poynter