What we're about

This Portsmouth group is a branch of the History Association. The History Association was formed to bring together people with an interest in history, regardless of training or profession. The group meets once a month between October and the summer and puts on lectures that are open to all. Each lecture costs £1 per talk, students free. You can also join as a local member and pay £5 for the year.

Upcoming events (4)

The South Sea Bubble of 1720

Room 2, Training Centre, Portsmouth Academy, PO1 5PF

2020 marked the tercentenary of the South Sea Bubble, a famous financial market crash. Many people have heard of the Bubble and some know that it was a key event in the political career of Robert Walpole. However, the episode itself is little known and has attracted its fair share of myths. This talk will cover the economic history of the Bubble itself and discuss how some of the myths were created. Talk given by Dr Helen Paul, University of Southampton. £1 to attend, students free.

The East India Company: the company that changed the world

Training Centre, Portsmouth Academy

This talk outlines the history of the East India Company, an institution that over almost three centuries transformed the relationship between Britain and India. From its inauspicious beginnings, through its spectacular rise and stunning collapse, this paper will give a unique insight into the company that transformed the world. Talk by Dr John McAleer, University of Southampton. £1 to attend, students free.

The Battle for a Continent? Britain and the Cold War in Africa

Training Centre, Portsmouth Academy


After the colonial flags were lowered across Africa in the 1950s and 1960s, plenty of commentators, both Western and Soviet Bloc, debated what would happen. What would the new independent Africa look like? What would its leaders do? And how could outsiders influence this? This talk will go behind the scenes to consider a world of government in which everything was up in the air. It will focus on what part the UK, as a major ex-colonial power, played in the years after empire. This is a story of democracy and communism, of wars seen and unseen, of spies and lies, and what some viewed as a battle for the heart of an emerging continent. Talk by Dr Chris Prior, University of Southampton. £1 to attend, students free.

Ghostlore, Urban Space and Local Memory in Victorian Portsmouth

Room 2/07, 2nd floor, Park Building, University of Portsmouth

Portsmouth's dominant historical narrative is a simple one: it is both home and handmaiden to the Royal Navy. This paper draws upon the town's nineteenth and early twentieth-century folklore to show the existence of alternative histories and localised understandings of spaces and places. It also shows how this was frequently at odds with Victorian Portsmouth's efforts to develop a more modern, civic image. In doing so, this talk argues for the importance of studying local folklore and the way it can disturb some of our familiar historical narratives. Talk by Dr Karl Bell, University of Portsmouth. £1 to attend, students free.

Past events (24)

‘Coins burning holes’: airborne operations that didn’t happen in 1944

Training Centre, Portsmouth Academy


Photos (4)