2022 Lecture Programme

Guest speakers give educational lectures or talks on the second Thursday of every month, except December.  The meetings are held in St Mildred’s Church Hall at 7.30pm. (January, February and March lectures are held at 2.30pm.)

Thursday, 13th January 2.30 p.m.

‘A Child’s Life in the Middle Ages’

Imogen Corrigan, our favourite Mediaeval lecturer, will talk to us about a child’s life in the Middle Ages.

Thursday, 10th February 2.30 p.m.

‘Grey Owl’ 

A welcome return to Geoff Hutchinson who will tell us the fascinating story of Grey Owl, a Hastings’ man, who lived his life as a Red Indian.

Thursday, 10th March 2.30. p.m.

‘The Scenic Beauty of the Seychelles’

Ian Rumley Dawson, our wonderful wildlife photographer, returns to tell us about this unique group of small tropical islands.

Thursday, 7th April 7.30. p.m.

‘What Happened to Christopher Robin?’ 

Gilly Halcrow makes a welcome return and will talk about the impact of Winnie the Pooh on the life and times of Christopher Robin.

Thursday, 12th May 7.30 p.m.

‘A Royal Interlude’   

Peter Hartley. This is a talk about the Queen’s routine, the royal year

and the traditions of the Royal Maundy. Peter has been a member of the Queen’s household for many years.

Thursday, 9th June 7.30 p.m.

‘Uganda – Churchill’s Pearl of Africa’

Doctor Clive Nuttman will reveal the mystery of the title.

Thursday, 14th July 7.30 p.m.

‘A Walk Around St. Leonards on Sea’  

David Clarke will take us through the back lanes and Regency splendour,

and reveal a dream to build a New Town.

Thursday, 11th August 7.30p.m.

‘The Wreck of the Amsterdam’

Hadon Luke,  a new speaker for our Association, will talk about the maiden voyage of the Amsterdam in 1748 when it lost its rudder and beached at Bulverhythe, near Hastings, where you can still see the wreck today at low spring tides.

Thursday, 8th September 7.30 p.m.

‘From Passchendaele to Peace – Did the war end in 1918?’

Melanie Gibson Barton will provide an overview of the final months of the Great War from Passchendaele and the Russian Revolution to the Treaty of Versailles.

Thursday, 13th October  7.30 pm

‘1,000 Miles Up the Nile’

Clive Barham-Carter is a new lecturer for us and he will talk about one of the longest rivers in the world.

Thursday, 10th November AGM 7.00 pm



2021 Lecture List – for reference

Guest speakers give educational lectures or talks on the second Thursday of every month, except December.  The meetings are held in St Mildred’s Church Hall at 7.30pm. (January, February and March lectures are held at 2.30pm.)

Owing to the current situation regarding COVID-19, we have had to make some alterations to the Lecture Programme and book some more Zoom lectures. We will return to lectures in the Church Hall as soon as we possibly can.

December 17, 2020, 7.00pm Zoom lecture:

Roseanne Williams, ‘Ham House’. Roseanne took a course at Birkbeck College in London based on the NT in London, some years ago, before standing for the Council of the NT. (Roseanne was elected.) Her challenge was to make a presentation on ‘The Many Firsts in Ham’. This has evolved into a presentation on Ham House in the seventeenth century, which is how the NT choose to present it today.  She looks at the history of the house plus some Stuart history and the story of how a father and daughter, William and Elizabeth Murray, developed Ham and then says how it came into the hands of the NT.’

This talk has proved to be a very popular presentation with audiences.

Thursday, 14th January, at 7.00 p.m.

Imogen Corrigan: (ZOOM) “The Ship Burial at Sutton Hoo.” Our favourite mediaeval lecturer will explain how this C7th hoard showed the wealth of the country at that time.

Thursday, 11th February at 2.30 p.m.

Melanie Gibson Barton: (ZOOM) “Belgian Royal Family, murder, madness and mayhem.” After Eva Braun, she will now give us an insight into the Belgian Royal Family from 1830.

Thursday, 11th March at 7.00 p.m.

Roger Butler – St Kilda (ZOOM lecture)

Roger Butler is an experienced lecturer who speaks to groups and societies throughout the UK. He is also an established writer/photographer and regularly contributes to a wide range of magazines covering the outdoors, countryside, canals, heritage and travel. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society and a Chartered Member of the Landscape Institute. He is also a member of the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild.

Remote St Kilda lies 40 miles west of the Outer Hebrides and this isolated archipelago is the only World Heritage Site in Britain to be nominated for both its natural and cultural interest. This talk describes the fascinating history – after more than 4000 years of human habitation the last islanders were evacuated in 1930 – as well as the wildlife, the scenery and a way of life which has now gone forever. You’ll see the highest cliffs in Europe, the world’s biggest gannetry and the famous jagged sea stacks. St Kilda is an extraordinary place!

Thursday, 8th April at 7.00 p.m.

Jackie Marsh-Hobbs – The Secrets of Brighton Pavilion (ZOOM lecture)

Jackie Marsh-Hobbs is a lecturer, specialist guide, local historian and researcher. She has a degree in ‘The History of Decorative Arts and Crafts’. Jackie has worked as a freelance guide at the Royal Pavilion, also in education at Preston Manor and the Brighton Museum. As part of the Brighton Festival Fringe since 2001, she has conducted tours of Brighton Station. Since 2001 Jackie has given talks to numerous organisations, societies and universities around the country and abroad on subjects ranging from pleasure piers to the Royal Pavilion.

Brighton Pavilion is one of the most famous and exotic buildings in Britain, attracting half a million visitors per year. Built for King George IV, its majestic Indian architecture on the outside is complemented by its chinoiserie interior.  In 1850 the Royal Pavilion escaped demolition by 1,343 to 1,307 votes. It was bought by the Town Commissioners from Queen Victoria for £53,000, excluding the lavish contents and fixtures which were stripped out and taken to Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Kensington Palace. Consequently this exotic palace changed from a royal residence to a civic building, with diverse uses ranging from an art gallery to a military hospital.  Its shabby interior was then transformed back to its original splendor, with much of the contents returned on permanent loan from the royal collection. 

Thursday, 13th May at 7.00 p.m.

Dr Geoff Doel –  Kent Mummers Plays & the Hooden Horse (ZOOM lecture)

Geoff Doel lectured on British Folklore and Mythology for Birkbeck College, where he took a PhD on Thomas Hardy’s use of folklore, and on the Summer Academy and Durham University Summer School programmes. He currently teaches literature, medieval history & traditional culture for the Universities of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church on their adult education programmes. Geoff is co-author of fifteen books on aspects of folklore, including Folklore of Kent: The Kent Hooden Horse; Worlds of Arthur: and The Green Man in Britain. He featured on Time Team, which used his book on the Arthurian legends and is actively involved in traditional folk song & drama.

Thursday 10th June 7.00 p.m. Paul Whittle. ZOOM “The true story of the River Kwai Railway”A train enthusiast who has already talked to us about Siberia and Toy Train to the clouds will give us the truth behind the film.

Thursday 8th July 7.00 p.m. Peter Medhurst. ZOOM ‘I am the very model: parody & satire in the operas of Gilbert & Sullivan’. The operas of Gilbert & Sullivan are rich in contemporary satire and witty personal allusions. The lecture tells how each of the fourteen operas, on which the partners collaborated, drew inspiration from the world in which they lived.  As a result, celebrities, politicians, social mores, manners, artistic taste, the class system – even Queen Victoria’s red drawing room at Windsor Castle – are poked fun at. The lecture explains how the then first Lord of the Admiralty, W. H. Smith, became the model for Sir Joseph Porter KCB in HMS Pinafore, how Oscar Wilde (in part) inspired the ‘fleshly poet’ Bunthorne in Patience, and how Gilbert himself was arguably the model for the Judge, in Trial By Jury.

Peter Medhurst is an internationally renowned singer, pianist and lecturer-recitalist. He has toured all over the world; in the last few years visiting New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, as well as making frequent tours in Europe. Closer to home, he has presented events at the Barbican, St John’s Smith Square, and the Royal Festival Hall. He has also directed presentations at the Wallace Collection, the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery and the V&A, linking the visual arts with the world of 17th & 18th century music making. Peter has also appeared on Classic FM, Radio 3, Radio 4 Arts Programme, and Midweek with Libby Purves.

He is a familiar face to audiences of music societies, regional theatres and British festivals as well as to those of arts-based organisations such as The Art Fund, The National Trust and the Arts Society.

Thursday 12th August 7.00p.m.   Dr. Clive Nuttman ZOOM “Madagascar enchanted Isle”.  A new lecturer, an Environmental Biologist who will talk on this extraordinary island, the geography, history and its people.

Thursday 9th September 7.00 p.m. David Simmonds. ZOOM Thomas Hardy and the National Trust

Thomas Hardy is one of our most popular classical authors and poets.  He was not a member of the Trust, but despite this, there are many connections.  In Dorchester, both his birthplace and his own home are owned by the Trust, together with some of the places mentioned in his works.  These range from Stonehenge Down to the cliffs of North Cornwall. This illustrated talk looks at the links between Thomas Hardy and the Trust.  It concludes by examining the relevance of Thomas Hardy today.

Apart from studying at the University of Nottingham, David Simmonds has lived in Essex throughout his life and resides in Chelmsford, England’s newest City.  He is a great lover of Hardy’s work and a member of the Thomas Hardy Society.  As well as giving talks through the Trust’s East of England Talk Service, he is a volunteer for the National Trust at Hatfield Forest and President of the Chelmsford National Trust Supporter Group.  He is a keen birdwatcher and walker and, with his wife, visits the countryside and coast whenever he can.

Thursday 14th October. Gilly Halcrow. ZOOM A popular speaker who will tell us more “Exploits of the SOE”

Thursday 11th November AGM. To be arranged.

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