Before the new MailingList started on 12th November 2006, the mailing list was private – it wasn't searched by google and there was no way to view the messages unless you were a member in which case you could view the archives.
At the EGM on 7thOctober2006, GrahamBleach's proposal to move to a public mailing list was approved by a large majority. This page is therefore only useful for historical reference and for people who were signed up to the old mailing list to view the old archives linked above.
What was "wrong" with the old list?
The original mailing list was closed: although anyone was free to sign up to post or to read the archives, the emails were not publically available and were not available to search engines such as Google.
The majority of people thought that this deprived the Linux community of a valuable resource and was against the "openness" of Linux. We also did not have a search capability (which Google or other search engines could provide).
Why not just open the old list?
Some people did not want emails to be publically available. In order to prevent confusion it was decided that an entirely new mailing list should be setup. We therefore have:
Hants – the old mailing list
Hampshire – the new mailing list