Local and Community History Month: A journey through Kings Worthy

May sees the launch of Local and Community History Month. To mark this, we are taking a look at some of the collections we care for, as we take a journey through Kings Worthy using objects and photographs in our collections and beyond.

A journey through Kings Worthy

Hampshire Cultural Trust holds a wealth of objects that tell their own stories about places, people and events in Hampshire. However, sometimes objects can be connected to tell a wider local story.

This is a ‘Ludlow type’ reference number 1014573 post box from the reign of Edward VII (1901-1910). It was formerly part of the Old Post Office in Kings Worthy and was donated to Winchester Museums Service in December 1966.  The Ludlow boxes were always set into walls, enabling the content to be retrieved from the back of the box. This was very useful because up to 1910, sub-postmasters were responsible for providing secure postal facilities in their post offices.

The Old Post Office in Kings Worthy had closed by 1979, but the building was recorded by local Bishops Waltham photographer John Bosworth. John’s photographs are held in the Winchester collections and show the fixtures and fittings that were removed when the post office was stripped out.

Exterior of the Old Post Office in Kings Worthy, 1979.
Interior of the Post Office in 1979, showing front door and counter.
 Interior of Post Office in 1979 showing back of shop.

Other photographs in the Winchester collections show the building around 1880 and 1910.  The circa 1910 image is a postcard that was posted in the village and is stamped Kings Worthy 6 March 1917.

Old Post Office circa 1880, taken by Winchester photographer William Savage.
Postcard showing Kings Worthy Old Post Office c.1910, with local children.
Rear of same postcard stamped Kings Worthy.

The postcard was posted by Dorothy Theodore to her sister in London.  Further postcards showing local scenes from Dorothy kept her family informed of her life in Kings Worthy where she lived with her husband, 2nd Lieutenant Basil Northcote and their young son John, born in 1917.  The family lived in Kings Worthy because Basil was serving with the British Army at one of the camps on the outskirts of Winchester.  Descendants of Dorothy and Basil were found on Ancestry and they kindly provided a photograph of the family.

Dorothy, Basil, John and Auntie Monica.

There were six army camps established around Winchester during World War I for use as staging centres for sending troops to France and for repatriations after hostilities ended. These camps also hosted American and Commonwealth troops.  The camps were at Hursley Park, Pitt Hill, Flower Down, Hazeley Down, Magdalen Hill and Avington Park.

Avington Park camp, around 1915.

The following is an extract from a journal kept by Basil detailing a day in one of the camps, at least for an officer.

We even know where Basil parked his bike!

Postcard showing bikes parked outside Cart and Horses Inn.
Reverse of the above postcard.

Many thanks to Gilly Nixon for the photograph of Basil, Dorothy and John, the journal extract and information on the family.

This article was written by:
Author image

Ross Turle

I am the Curatorial Liaison Manager for Hampshire Cultural Trust. I help with the care of the collections held and enable access to the collections so as they can researched and exhibited.
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