Encouraging an interest in local history

An interesting book was published at the turn of the Century by the Alresford Historical

and Literary Society (http://www.alresfordhistandlit.co.uk), entitled “The Story of

Alresford”. This was written by the late Arthur Stowell, who came to live in Alresford, in

the Riverside Cottages in The Dean, in around 1980: actually around the same time as

your Editor. But Arthur was a teacher, and had a deep interest in history, so the book

sums up the many documents and accounts of the history of Alresford that Arthur found

and read over the years, to see what story he could make of life in the town over the years.

Some extracts from the book have already been used on this site, for example in

identifying a lot of people in the picture of the Alresford Home Guard in WW2. It will be

a useful source for future articles. Possibly because he was a teacher Arthur wanted to

pass on some of his enthusiasm for the town history, and finding out about history in

general, to future generations. So he has endowed a fund, that is administered by the New

Alresford Town Trustees (http://www.towntrust.org.uk), to make financial awards to

school projects that encourage children to take an interest in history, particularly the

history of the area of Alresford.

Typically the grants are up to £250. One recent donation was made to Cheriton school

for help with an activity sand-pit, where I understand the children use metal detectors

or similar to locate items buried in the sand!

The aspect of Arthur’s book that has become obvious to me is that he was looking for

any effects of the railway on the town: whereas it had significant impact on the

watercress industry and possibly the sheep sales, there do not seem to be that many

comments about it: nor of the effect when the line through Alresford closed. This might

be an interesting area for further study too.

5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Brian Rothwell on May 6, 2013 at 7:40 am

    Dear Nick,

    Arthur Stowall’s ‘book’ was a précis and an adaptation of his dissertation that he submitted for his master’s degree at the University of Winchester in 1999. This was entitled ‘The impact of the arrival of the railway on New Alresford’. It is available for perusal in the university library and members of the public are allowed in.
    Regards, Brian Rothwell


  2. I have had mail from you since I started subscribing last year but for some reason you don’t seem to remember me anymore. My mane interest is in the site named because I was born their and went to school their also in several of the photographs there are pictures of my relatives in one there is a football team of Alresford with Len Strong in it who used to live near me plus in the goal on the left of picture is a person called Eric Biggs this was my father who served during the war with the New Alresford Auxilary FIre Service at the old Fire Station at the bottom of Broad Street where I was born In No 20 Broad Street in 1947. Also my brothers name is mentiond in one of the emails of Alresford mentiond you called him Bill Biggs but his proper name is Graham John Biggs so can you restart sending again .Yours Sincearly S.E.Biggs


  3. I have had a subscription for over year with you but for so reason you don’t seem to recognise my email address I am interested in old photographs of New Alresford because I was born their on one or two photographs such as the Alresford football team my father is on them standing in the goal on the left of the picture his name is Eric Biggand also my brother is mentiond in one of your letters you call him bill biggs but his name is graham biggs yours Sincearly s.e.biggs


  4. I have had a subscription with you for over a year because I am interferes red in new Alresford photographs because I was born their and brought up there at 20 broad street on two or three of the photographs such as the one of Alresford football team because in the goal on the left of the picture is my father his name was Eric Biggs also my brother is named in one of the comments you called him Bill Biggs but his proper name is Graham John Biggs but you had the name wrong also my father was in the Auxilary Fire services And served with them during the Second World War at the fire station at the bottom of Broad Street on the right hand side so can you restart sending more because you seam to have forgot me my Email address was s.biggs781@ yahoo. Co. uk yours Sincearly S.E.Biggs


  5. There is a second place I would be interested in if you can find any info or photographs of it the place is Owslebury , England , Hampshire uk and Baybridge near the place and Longwood estate just up the road why I want this info is because my mother was born in Owslebury her grandparents lived in Baybridge plus she worked at the Longwood estate between 1934 and 1945 so can you kindly keep your eye open for this site for me . Yours Sincearly S.E. biggs


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