Postcode Publications

Written by the people for the people

Sunday, 17th Jan 2021



Steve Jones, the local historian of the Havant area as produced a new booklet edited by Ralph Cousins called 'The Early Years of Waterlooville 1810-1910 and the History of the Forest of Bere'.

The ninety-page A4 special edition celebrates the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.

Steve tells of the turnpike road from Portsmouth to Sheet and that it took between nine and ten hours to travel from Portsmouth to London on the stage along roads that were not exactly the most comfortable.

The Forest of Bere at that time covered most of east Hampshire. In 1800 the forest measured 16,000 acres with 10,000 acres of open forest.

When the Forestry Commission took over in 1919 there was only 1,450 acres of woodland but since then through purchase and leasing now consists of 3,500 acres.

The Heroes of Waterloo public house has the legend that it was named after soldiers who rested there on their way home from the famous battle.

Steve tells us it the legend is somewhat fanciful and that the pub is most probable named after the battle itself.

The present pub is not the original it being a few yards further west.

The book tells of the long history of St George's Church in the town centre and also of the many traders, pubs, hotels, characters and other legends that have grown over the years.

With over fifty photographs and a few maps the book is excellent value at just £6.

It is available from Waterlooville library and Havant Museum.

Bob Hind
Posted on Tue, August 18 2015