Welcome to the Ringwood Society Website

Below are some of our recent events, announcements and forthcoming events

Posted in General

From Corn to Popcorn

What is going to happen with the empty old cinema in the Market Place?

This is a question that has been going on for many, many years. With a new local developer developing a scheme to revitalise the building, now is a good time for another look at the history of this important building in Ringwood’s Market Place.

Local historian Mary Baldwin, and Society committee member, will be presenting an interesting and illuminating talk entitled “From Corn to Popcorn” on behalf of The Ringwood Society at Greyfriars Community Centre on Tuesday July 16th at 7.30pm.

Mary will be tracing the history of the building from its construction in 1868 as the Town Hall and Corn Exchange, through its period as a cinema during the 20th century and subsequent life as a shopping centre and then night club.

Tickets priced £5 are available from Greyfriars Community Centre or online through Ticketsource here.

Members of The Ringwood Society benefit from free entry with membership, which is only £10 per year. If you are not already a member, click here to join us.

Posted in Events

Memories of the Ringwood Railway Exhibition

After many months of preparation, The Ringwood Society announces the premiere of their ‘Memories of Ringwood Railway’ exhibition at Greyfriars Community Centre. On Friday June 21st between 7.30pm and 9pm there will be a private showing for Ringwood Society members only.

On Saturday 22nd June 9am-1pm the exhibition will be on display for everybody to view free of charge. Come along to see photographs, memorabilia and displays about ‘Castleman’s Corkscrew’ railway, an important part of Ringwood’s history for well over a hundred years. Featured will be newly filmed footage of local people who can remember the railway, providing memories to be kept for generations to come.

The exhibition is funded through a grant awarded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, which is why it is open to National Lottery ticket holders only between 1pm to 5pm on the Saturday. The exhibition then moves to the Meeting House throughout July 2024.

Posted in Events, Projects

Guided Tour of Poole High Street Heritage Action Zone & Poole Museum

Margo Teasdale, BCP Senior Conservation Officer will guide us through the Historic England funded improvement works to Poole High Street. Taking a detailed look at planned, in-progress & completed projects to improve the public realm & shop fronts.

You can find out more about Heritage High Street Action Zones on HE’s website -https://historicengland.org.uk/services-skills/heritage-action-zones/regenerating-historic-high-streets/

Following a walk along the High Street we will take a look at the ongoing restortaion works at Poole Museum.

Members can book a place on this visit at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/guided-tour-of-poole-high-street-heritage-action-zone-poole-museum-tickets-860994085487?aff=ebdsoporgprofile

Posted in Events

Ringwood Society Annual General Meeting – March 12th 2024

At the Ringwood Society Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday 12th March we will be providing an update on the old cinema site as well as some insight on the progress of our Memories of the Railway Project. 

The Old Town Hall and former Cinema building is of great interest to us. We see this as a great opportunity to explore the challenges and joys of developing such a site and hearing from members about their thoughts and memories of the building.

In addition to the election of the committee the AGM will provide an update on the Memories of the Railway project, with a sneak preview of some of the materials that are being developed for the exhibition. 

The meeting is from 7.30pm at Greyfriars Community Centre and is open to Ringwood Society Members. If you love the history of our town and would like to be involved in enhancing it in the future and would like to become a member of the Ringwood Society then please email: info@ringwoodsociety,org,uk or follow this link for more details https://ringwoodsociety.org.uk/join-the-ringwood-society/. Members benefit from free entry to all our talks and meetings and the opportunity to get involved in our projects. 

Posted in Awards, News

The Ringwood Society Design and Conservation Awards 2023

Ringwood Society was delighted to present its Design and Conservation Awards on 18th October 2023, with three awards being presented by Town Deputy Mayor and Ringwood Society Committee member, Rae Frederick. 

The award for Best Residential Project went to Emily and Joe Sturdy for Orchard House, an excellent example of a thoughtful and thorough restoration. Inappropriate paint and poor-quality modifications have been removed, and new timber sash windows have been installed.

On receiving the award Emily said “We are so proud of our new home. It’s been a long road to get it to where it is now. It’s been great uncovering some of its old features and adding some new things too. We are excited for our future at Orchard House and glad we’ve been able to revive it.”

Residential Award

Best Commercial Project was won by The Pour House. Pictured receiving the award are Tina Saddington and Simon Jeanes. Ringwood Social Club closed its doors in 2011, and after 12 years of hard work the building is open and returned to its former glory. This is testament to the determination and drive of Tina Saddington and Helen Homewood.

Helen commented that “it was a wonderful surprise to be a recipient and to have the committee’s hard work and dedication recognised. We hope that The Pour House goes on to be a long-standing integral part of the wonderful community that makes up Ringwood.”

And the winners of Best Community Project were St. Peter and St. Paul Church, South Window Restoration. Pictured are Jacqueline Brown and Roger Dewar from Ringwood Benefice and Emma Mullen of St Ann’s Gate Architects receiving their awards.

After nearly 200 years of weathering the South window stonework had deteriorated to such a degree that the glass was in serious danger of falling out.

Emma Mullen said “The urgent need to make the south elevation structurally sound and watertight provided an exciting and rare opportunity as church architect, to design a new window. The contemporary and simple design sought to enhance that which it replaced; introducing coloured glass and motifs inspired by the New Forest, whilst working within a traditional diamond leaded matrix. It was a pleasure to work with the Parish Church and the experts at Salisbury Cathedral Stained Glass and Colin Avery stonemasons on the successful delivery of this project.”

Jacqueline Brown added “The Parish Church is absolutely delighted to receive this recognition from the Ringwood Society. This was a long and at times arduous project and so we are even more thrilled with the result, and with the number of people from the town who have engaged with it and sponsored panes of glass. It’s good to know that the church is now weathertight for the next hundred years!”

Alex Bancroft from the Ringwood Society Committee explained, “All our winners show the desire and drive to restore and bring back to life buildings of historic importance within the town. Our awards aim to recognise the thought, attention to detail and efforts of those involved. Nominations are now open for the Design and Conservation Awards for 2024”

More details about the winners can be found at www.ringwoodsociety.org.uk/awards

Posted in Awards, News

Memories of the Railway in Ringwood

We are delighted to announce that we have successfully secured a grant of almost £44K for a Memories of the Railway project. 

This grant, awarded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund will not only enable the memories to be kept for generations to come it will also fund the restoration of a small area of land that was part of the former railway coal yard. 

The project consists of 2 major parts:

  1. Capturing memories of the Railway in pictures, video and audio forms and sharing these via both exhibitions and on-line means. This part includes the opportunity for local students to learn interviewing and video editing skills under the guidance of Ringwood TV’s Jay Cox.
  2. Revitalising a small area of land that belongs to the Bisterne Estate and used to be part of the Coal Yard for the Railway. This will involve tidying the site, restoring the sign and lamp and erecting an information board. The design of the information board (and the exhibition) will include involvement from the young people of the town and be supported in this regard by SPUD (a local charity specialising in youth involvement in urban design projects).

The Railway through Ringwood closed almost 60 years ago, making it an opportune time for this project. 

Pictured is an illustration of what the site might look like. 

The Society would also like to thank the Bisterne Estate for their support.

If you have memories of the railway and would be willing to be interviewed please get in touch by mailing info@ringwoodsociety.org.uk

Posted in News, Projects

Relaunching the Ringwood Town Trail

You may have noticed copies of the new Town Trail leaflet around Ringwood.

Designed for visitors, but equally of interest to locals, the Town Trail starts at the Ringwood Meeting House and History Centre, taking you down to the Market Place, along the High Street down to the Bickerley, down West Street and back to the Market Place and the Furlong.

The trail takes about an hour, providing interesting facts and pieces of history, it also includes lots of opportunities to stop at cafes, pubs and restaurants for a drink or something to eat.

If you run a cafe, pub, hotel or bed and breakfast and would like some leaflets please get in touch with us at info@ringwoodsociety.org.uk

Posted in News, Projects