An introduction to the Friends of Old Wymering
The Friends of Old Wymering (FOW) came into existence in 2006 as a result of a grassroots campaign to save Wymering Manor from the threat of demolition.
We had three objectives:
- To promote interest in Old Wymering;
- To promote, encourage and support the restoration of Old Wymering Conservation Area especially Wymering Manor house and the other historic and interesting buildings nearby;
- To develop Wymering Manor house as a resource for history and social education, community purposes and for public access where and when this could be obtained.
What did we do to achieve these objectives?
We campaigned and supported Wymering manor with financial and practical help. Open Days and group visits in 2006-7 and organised Tours in 2015-6 attracted well over 3000 people. We raised funds with a New Year's Eve Party in 2006 and the Cabaret lunch in 2007. These showed the manor is a great place for celebrations. We gave talks on the history of Wymering Manor and Wymering to various groups, including schools and social groups. Since 2013 the proceeds from these talks have been donated to Wymering Manor Trust towards the upkeep of Wymering Manor.
We published a self-guided walk leaflet 'A Walk around Old Wymering Conservation Area'. It is available at Cosham library and to download from this website. We believed making the area better known will encourage support and participation in its conservation.
Together with Hampshire Buildings Preservation Trust in 2007 we paid for the dendrochronological study of Wymering Manor's timber frame that revealed for the first time that the house was built soon after 1581 (see dendro dating). We commissioned professional photography of Wymering Manor in 2011. The pictures record its condition and features so they are not lost during restoration. We have continued to record more recent changes.
Since 2013 Wymering Manor has been owned by Wymering Manor Trust and we worked closely with them since their formation. We co-operated to promote and run events and to help with regular clerical and maintenance tasks. The Trust and FOW shared a common aim to put Wymering Manor at the heart of the local community. The Trust's events draw local people - to enjoy themselves, to appreciate the special atmosphere of the Manor and as a result encourage them to support its restoration.
We kept members informed through this website and a Newsletter at least once a year.
In 2010 we proposed and organised the replanting of an elm tree in gardens at Hilsea, where John Wesley preached over 200 years ago. It is growing well and a beautiful sight for residents and passers-by to enjoy for many years to come.
We researched and recorded aspects of the past of Wymering parish. Some of the research was included in Newsletters to members and has since been posted on this website. The history of Jubilee House through the ages was researched on behalf of the matron and staff there who asked us to help. In 2009 the results were framed and presented to Jubilee House to hang in their Visitors' Room.
We commented on planning applications relating to Old Wymering and its neighbourhood. When 'The Wymering' site in Medina Road was redeveloped for housing in 2011 we were successful in getting changes made to the appearance and parking provision. The date stone from the public house was also built into the new housing at our request.
History of Wymering
There is a great demand today for information on local history but the history of Wymering has received very little attention. Local history enthusiasts and people tracing their family history can make an important contribution.
If you have information about Wymering's past, the people, the buildings or events, please share it with us. Family histories often cover details that official sources do not.
There is a lot of information held by individuals which, if brought together and organised, it could make a real difference to what we can tell the world about Wymering and Old Wymering.
Literature about Wymering
W.E.A. booklet 'Memories of Wymering and Paulsgrove' was published in 1998. It was largely based on the recollections of people who lived there before about 1960. It was revised in 2015 but the history of Wymering Manor section contains errors.
Anida S. Rayfield completed her Local History Diploma at Portsmouth Polytechnic (now University of Portsmouth) in 1978-9. Her dissertation was entitled 'An Analysis of In-migrant brides and grooms marrying in the parishes of Wymering and Widley 1655-1864'. She set out to explain changes in the distribution of marriages in Wymering and Widley where the bride and/or groom were not resident in the parish. There is a reference copy in Portsmouth History Centre.
Janet G. Hird (Archive Officer of FOW) completed her MA in Local and Regional History at University of Winchester in 2014 with a dissertation on Wymering. It is 'Going with the Grain: a study of economic and social change in a Hampshire parish between 1750 and c.1850'. At this time the parish stretched from Hilsea to Portsdown Hill. There are reference copies in the Portsmouth History Centre and Hampshire Archives and Local Studies in Winchester.
This was an occasional publication with FOW news events and activities. It was available free of charge to FOW members.
In mid 2016 it was felt by the committee that FOW had achieved its aims and that Wymering Manor Trust would look after the manor in the future. So it was decided with the agreement of the members to wind up FOW.