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Meeting Report – AGM and presentations

A broch in Shetland

The 2022 AGM of the Henley Archaeological and Historical Group was held on 1st March in the Kings Arms Barn. Committee member Dr Michael Redley was elected Chairman, replacing John Whiting who retired after some years of excellent service to the Group. Other officer positions were taken by new committee members Dawn Murton (Secretary), David Boulton (Treasurer) and Alexis Rendell-Dunn (Membership Secretary); the Group thanked their predecessors for their contributions.  Members then considered the Group’s varied and interesting programme for the year ahead. It includes a project to explore the experience of living in Henley during the Second World War.

After the formal business of the AGM, committee member David Feary described offerings on the Group’s website (, with information about its activities as well as Henley’s former inhabitants and its buildings. Ruth Gibson summarised the latest findings on the tree-ring dating of the town’s buildings; no 78 Bell Street was built in 1405 as a wing to its present neighbour no 76 of the same date, while no 74 was a service wing built in 1569. Member Sheila Dickie gave a brief illustrated presentation on Shetland’s ‘brochs’ – defensive towers built between 200BC and 200AD, like that on Mousa, pictured; and Richard Pinches drew the Group’s attention to a ‘retrial’ of the notorious Mary Blandy, which was being staged at the Kenton Theatre.

The next meeting will take place in the Kings Arms Barn (and via Zoom) on Tuesday 5th April. Michael Redley will talk on Teetotalism in Victorian Henley, which promises to be fascinating.