Key historical sites in Portsmouth and Gosport throw open their doors for new history week

HISTORY buffs will be given a ‘behind-the-scenes’ view of some of the area’s hidden gems as part of a new heritage week by a community group.

Friday, 20th August 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Friday, 20th August 2021, 4:57 pm
James Stallard and William Donaldson

Portsmouth and Gosport History will be organising tours of a number of prominent historical sites across the Portsmouth area in a bid to boost people’s love of the past.

The action kicks off on Monday, with a series of tours focusing on the history of Rowner led by members from the group, and will run until Sunday, August 29.

William Donaldson, who founded the group in 2019 when he was just 15, said it’s popularity has boomed and said he was eager to whet the appetite of history-lovers with this ‘trial event’.

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Wymering Manor is among the sites being featured in this month's history week event Picture: Malcolm Wells (141533-2805)

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He said: ‘In 2019 I founded the group at the age of 15, this was originally to give the public a new platform to share bygone stories.

‘However, since that day it has exploded into something spectacular. We now have over 5,000 members, our motto ‘Our heritage, our duty’ has pushed others to do more for our fantastic history, that sadly gets overlooked.’

The Rowner tours take place on Monday from12-1.30pm and 2.30-4pm.

Gosport’s Diving Museum is also being showcased in the week-long bonanza, with two, hour-long tours taking place between 11am and 1pm on Wednesday.

Military lovers will be in for a treat on Tuesday as The Pompey Pals give a tour of their museum at Fort Widley, from 12-3pm.

While on Saturday, August 28, as the Royal Armouries and Palmerston Fort Society support the showcase of Fort Nelson, from 4pm to 6.30pm.

William added he hoped the week would be a success after a challenging period during lockdown. He said: ‘We continued to serve our local community through the past 26 months, by researching and sharing simple heritage posts for all to enjoy.

‘Sadly, Covid-19 has impacted our abilities to host events like the history week. Although with the end near we hope to drive our motto further by becoming a charity within two years.’

Anthony Wills, a member of Portsmouth and Gosport History Group said: 'I take my hat off to you William. I think what you are doing in sharing your interest with others and especially the younger generation keeping their interests alive and showing them what our brave men and women went through to give us all the lives we have today.’

For more details on the history week, email [email protected] or search for the group on Facebook.

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