A Hampshire Calendar

Speaker: Gerald Ponting
24th April

Gerald Ponting

Gerald Ponting


Gerald Ponting has become renowned for his colour slide shows and digital presentations but as a writer, he specialises in local history, archaeological sites and guide-books and has been involved in self-publishing since 1977. He was brought up on a small farm in Hampshire and went to school in Salisbury, and university in Southampton. He was a biology teacher for 30 years in Suffolk, Outer Hebrides and Hampshire. He received the British Archaeological Award 1978 for research at Stones of Callanish. He was a Blue Badge Tourist Guide for Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset in the 1990s, he is also the Author or co-author of over 20 books, mostly on Hampshire communities and is an experienced speaker to many societies since 1965.

For this presentation he illustrated each month of the Hampshire year and included changes in the countryside – wild flowers, butterflies, fungi, autumn colours, frost – as well as regular and traditional events. These include May Day Morris at Southampton Bargate, the Tichbourne Dole and the Wickham Horse Fair. This was an inspiring presentation, beautifully illustrated with just the right amount of detail.

Some of the many events featured are presented below taken from Gerald’s leaflet of notes. Click here to visit his website


‘A Hampshire Calendar’ – Presentation by Gerald Ponting

Some of the events featured in the presentation


Local pantomimes (Chameleons, Chandlers Ford)

The Winter garden at Hiller’s Garden near Romsey

Walks in the New Forest


Snow at Flexford Nature Reserve, Chandlers Ford

Chinese New Year (sometimes late in January) – Southampton

Misty mornings in the New Forest (Kings Hat Inclosure)

Shrove Tuesday – Pancake Race at Alton


Daffodils and magnolias

Lady Day – distribution of the Titchbourne Dole

Easter events (or April) – Easter bunnies at Royal Victoria Railway


Bluebells and other spring flowers at (e.g.) Crab Wood, Sparsholt

Sheep and lambs on the downs

Little Woodham 17th century Village, Gosport (Various dates over summer season)


May Day, 6am at Southampton Bargate – King John’s Morris

Spring flowers on St Catherine’s Hill, in Flexford Nature Reserve and on the shingle beach at Lee-on the-Solent

Azaleas and Rhododendrons in Brenty Woodland at Hiller’s

May 20th – Wickham Horse Fair

Watercress Festival – New Alresford


Wild orchids at Noar Hill Reserve, near Selbourne

Open gardens around the county

Village fetes – notably St Cross, Winchester

Mottisfont Rose Garden at its best

Victorian Cricket Tournament at The Butts, Alton


Winchester Hat Fair

Pedal Car Grand Prix Ringwood / New Milton alternate years

Flowers of chalk downland (e.g. Broughton Down, Martin Down); butterflies

The New Forest Show


Heather in the New Forest; wetland plants at Avington Park

Flowers and vegetable shows

Bournmouth Air Show – the Red Arrows


Autumn fruits of the hedgerows

Romsey Show


Cider Making Weekend at Burley

Fungus Forays

Pigs foraging the New Forest for acorns and beech mast

Pumkin Festival, Royal Victoria Country Park, Netley

The Bonfire Boys’ Carnival at Titchfield


Guy Fawkes Night

Autumn colours (New Forest, Hiltingbury Lakes, Hiller’s Gardens)

Beaulieu Road pony sales (other months also, 5 times a year)


Frosty mornings; birdlife on Keyhaven Marshes, near lymington

Traffic light trail, Twyford Gap, M3

Victorian Christmas at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Boxing Day Mummers’ Play, The Vine, Bursledon

Meet of the New Forest Hounds at Balmer Lawn, Boxing Day

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