Christchurch: a small town with a big history
Walk through the town of Christchurch and its history can be seen around every corner. From the magnificent priory to the ducking stool and the town's local history society are eager to help.
There have been four history groups in Christchurch in the last 100 years but the most recent one started twenty years ago by a handful of enthusiasts and now boasts 325 members.
Chairman Ian Messer is happy so many people are involved in the society but wants the group to grow even bigger not just in membership terms but in its influence and standing within the town.
The society's history room holds over 3500 documents including maps, photographs and every copy of the Christchurch Times from 1855 until it folded in 1983.
"Reading through the old newspapers is fascinating explains Ian and shows that nothing changes and we are still making the same mistakes today as we did a 100 years ago."
The group organises guest speakers to talk at its meetings during the winter and has regular trips to other historic towns. It also runs guided walks and publishes a quarterly magazine called The Journal.
Ian's favourite part of Christchurch is around the Priory and the castle ruins. "There are many hidden gems says Ian and you only need to look up to see some great old buildings."
The society is always on the lookout for new members and Ian is confident that that society will go from strength to strength because history is being made every day.
last updated: 09/10/2008 at 15:16