Chairman’s Notes

In this time of turmoil and strife around the world it is fitting that our members have been recalling and remembering the struggles, battles and lives lost to establish democracy in this country. On the 20th September, the Anniversary of the First Battle of Newbury during the Civil War between Royalists and Parliamentarians in 1643, a group of over three hundred, consisting of many members with visitors and local residents, attended the unveiling of an Interpretation Panel at the Falkland Memorial. Lord Falkland fought for the Royalists. The Interpretation Panel explains the battle, provides translations of the Greek and Latin inscriptions on the memorial and commemorates the losses on both sides in the Civil War.

The event was attended by the Mayor, Mayoress and Councillors and we were fortunate to have eminent visitors who spoke at the event:   Amanda Beard, General Manager of Basildon Park, responsible for the site and monument, Dame Helen Ghosh, Director General of the National Trust, Lord Falkland, descendant of Lord Falkland, Michael Perkin, President of Newbury District Field Club, also a member of our Association and Howard Simmons, National Chairman of the Battlefields Trust.     Dame Helen Ghosh and Lord Falkland jointly unveiled the Interpretation Panel.   Dave Stubbs, a member of the Battlefields Trust, is also a member of our Association and talked about the battle and inscriptions on the monument and then led a guided tour of the battlefield.  Members of the Sealed Knot attended in costume and demonstrated weapons used in the battle. Prayers were said by Revd Paul Cowan of St. George’s Church and the Sealed Knot Chaplain. 

We thank Dave Stubbs for his leading part and all his work on this project together with those who designed the panel and installed it and we also thank Keith Spires for all his work on publicity, including delivering leaflets on the event.   

We have another full and varied programme of talks and visits planned for 2016 for which we are very grateful to all our volunteers for all the work they undertake in planning and organising.  I hope you will continue to participate and enjoy the activities. To help you make bookings as soon as you have read details of visits or events we have changed the layout so that booking slips are immediately below the details.  This has increased the size of the newsletter but we hope makes it easier. All feedback on whether this is a helpful change is very welcome. 

Best wishes for a Happy New Year.

Gerald Orbell 

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