Many members may be disappointed to note that the Croome Canteen does not feature as a venue. Unfortunately the National Trust has found an increase in the number of visitors who have complained because the canteen facilities are unavailable to them during our Talks. As a result we have been asked to make alternative arrangements and there will be more talks held at the Hanley Swan Memorial Hall this year.
Powick Parish Hall WR2 4RT
Hanley Swan Memorial Hall WR8 0DA
An admission fee of £2 (to include coffee/tea and biscuits) will be charged at each of the talks, except the AGM. At morning and evening meetings, refreshments will be served 30 MINUTES BEFORE the start of the meeting. At afternoon meetings, the refreshments will be served at the end of the talk.
If a meeting is in doubt because of inclement weather, then please check the website as a first step. If the website has not been updated to cover the weather situation then telephone the Talks Organiser.
NATIONAL TRUST WORCESTER – MALVERN CENTRE
TALKS PROGRAMME 2019 – 2020
TUESDAY 8 October 2019 Powick 7.30pm (Refreshments 7pm)
SANDY CALE - ELEGANT GEORGIAN WORCESTER
Sandy Cale is a founder member of Worcester Walks Green and Blue Badge tour guides since the year 2000. She does guided 2hr tours of Worcester all through the year. Tonight she will talk us through elegant Georgian Worcester in costume. Sandy will be taking us on an armchair walk through the city centre during the Georgian era with stories and characters of the time.
FRIDAY 8 November 2019 Hanley Swan 10.30am (Refreshments 10am)
MARTIN BLAKEMAN - GORDON RUSSELL: A CRAFTSMAN’S VIEW
The well-known furniture manufacturers Gordon Russell Ltd of Broadway were seen as the link between the Victorian arts-and-crafts movement of William Morris with Conran and his contemporaries.
Martin Blakeman first started work there in 1959 as an apprentice there and went on to spend his whole career with the firm, both as a craftsman and a manager.. After introducing the origin of the company, as the repair workshop for the Lygon Arms, Martin will talk about Gordon Russell’s obsession with good design and quality production, which found much favour in the market place.
SATURDAY 14 December 2019 Powick 2.30pm (Refreshments to follow the talk)
ADRIENNE GRINYER - JANE AUSTIN’S CHRISTMAS
'From Time to Time' is the name of our Christmas entertainment, made up of two experienced and knowledgeable living history interpreters, led by Adrienne Grinyer.
Their performance of Austen’s Regency Christmas is based on the life and traditions of the Austen family living in Chawton, Hampshire around 1811, showing just how different Christmas was 200 years ago.
With plenty of songs, banter and humour, they arrive fully costumed in the clothing of the time, handmade by the ladies themselves.
FRIDAY 10 January 2020 Hanley Swan 10.30am (Refreshments 10am)
BOB SKELT – KIM PHILBY, A GENTLEMAN, SPY and TRAITOR
Bob Skelt is an accomplished speaker and today he tells the life story of Kim Philby, a remarkable man – remarkable for all the wrong reasons! His journey through exposure to the theories of Communism at Cambridge, then the influence of the first love of his life in Vienna all combined to make him the ideal spy for the KGB. For 30 years Philby served in the British Intelligence Service (MI6) and betrayed Britain through most of this time. His career culminated in aiding his friends Burgess and Maclean to escape to Moscow.
SATURDAY 8 February 2020 Powick 2.30pm (Refreshments to follow)
After the main business meeting and a refreshment break,
GARTH LOWE WILL GIVE A PRESENTATION ON THE KNAPP and PAPERMILL NATURE RESERVE.
Garth is a member of Worcester – Malvern NT Centre and he is also a volunteer at the Knapp and Paper Mill. This beautiful nature reserve near Alfrick consists of old valley meadows, woodland & orchard that attracts nuthatches and green woodpeckers. The Leigh Brook has cut a winding valley with steep woodlands and kingfishers, grey wagtails and dippers may be seen on the water. Woodland occupies about half the reserve and some areas are managed by coppicing. This traditional method of cutting down young stems to near ground level on a rotation ensures that trees never die and there is always a range of habitats for wildlife at different stages of re-growth. As you can imagine, there is plenty of material here for Garth to share with us.
TUESDAY 10 March 2020 Powick 7.30pm (Refreshments 7.00pm)
MIKE HAYES - NOTHING LIKE A GOOD CONSPIRACY THEORY
Mike is Chairman of his local History Society and has been giving varied talks for the past 15 years to interested groups. he has an interest in canals and is Chairman of the Friends of Leominster Canal.
We all like a conspiracy theory, paranoia, secrecy, intrigue and even lunacy. Some have got it all. From Kennedy to Princess Di, from Roswell to the moon landings we take a light hearted look at the history of the conspiracy theory and some of the strangest, weirdest and almost unbelievable
MONDAY 6 April 2020 Hanley Swan 7.30pm (Refreshments 7.00pm
RICHARD WESTWOOD-BROOKES – HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS
An author and journalist who has also been involved in the auction world, Richard now spends his time writing articles for newspapers, magazines etc, and maintaining and enlarging his own manuscripts archive. In addition, Richard is an acknowledged authority on the life of Sir Edward Elgar and he regularly presents lectures at the Elgar Birthplace in Lower Broadheath. The subject for his talk to WMNTC is the collection of historical documents and autographs. Richard will explain how a good content letter or manuscript is one in which the writer either tells you something of great interest or significance about himself or a primary field of his endeavour, illustrates creativity in that field, or provides descriptions or information about an important event. It is the presence or otherwise that determines the value of old documents.
MY WORK WITH THE NATIONAL TRUST – Tom Coombe
Tuesday October 9th 2018 Powick – 7.30pm (Refreshments 7pm)
Many of our members will have met Tom Coombe as he is the Senior House Steward at Croome Court NT property. Tom’s responsibilities include preventative conservation and liaison with the Croome volunteers. Tom will cover his career and describe what it means to be a full-time employee of the National Trust.
LAST VOYAGE OF U-BOAT 234 – John Mason
Friday November 9th 2018, Hanley Swan – 10.30am (Refreshments 10am)
John is a well-known speaker on military history and he will share with us the amazing story of the German submarine U-234. This vessel had travelled to Japan for an important exchange that could well have altered the course of history. This U-boat was returning from Japan when VE day was announced. Her captain changed course and surrendered his vessel to the US Navy on the 19th of May 1945
CHRISTMAS PAST – Mary Bodfish
Saturday December 8th 2018 Hanley Swan 2.30pm (Refreshments to follow the talk)
Mary is a founder member of Smethwick Local History Society, and is currently the chairman. She has taught local history research and palaeography for the University of Birmingham and will take us through the history of Christmas in England, a story that stretches back through the Victorians, the Tudors, and the Romans and in fact all the way to our most remote pagan ancestors.
CONSTRUCTION OF THE SEVERN TUNNEL – Geoff Fearnehough
Friday January 11th 2019 Hanley Swan 10.30am (Refreshments 10am)
The River Severn Railway Tunnel is a critical part of the trunk railway line between Southern England and South Wales, and carries an intensive passenger train service, and significant freight traffic. Contractors for the GWR began work in March 1873 and had progressed slowly when the tunnel was inundated with water in October 1879. This was a major setback and Geoff will explain the practical difficulties, eventual solutions and also the human input and absolute courage that finally enabled the line to be opened for passenger traffic on 1 December 1886.
Saturday February 2nd 2019 Powick 2.30pm (Refreshments to follow)
After the AGM and a refreshment break, Brian Skeys will present a Slideshow entitled -
“A Royal Greenhouse, A Fountain and a Chateau - a weekend in Belgium”
Founding Chairman of the Black Pear Gardening Club, Brian is a very keen gardener himself and has also visited many beautiful gardens. His slideshow will feature a visit to Belgium to see the Victorian era Royal Greenhouses at Laeken (rarely open to the public), the Water Gardens at Annevoie which feature amazing fountains rills and waterfalls and finally Brian will take us to the gardens and flower festival at Chateau Beloiel.
THE HISTORY OF WORCESTER CASTLE – Mike Napthan
Tuesday March 12th 2019, Powick – 7.30pm (Refreshments 7.00pm)
Mike has been the Principal of Mike Napthan Archaeology for more than 25 years, offering services including historic building surveys, archaeological projects and excavations and assessments for planning purposes.
Today nothing much remains of Worcester Castle but Mike will talk us through the history and features of this Norman fortification built between 1068 and 1069.
WILDLIFE FROM WYRE TO THE VALE – Wendy Carter
Monday April 29th 2019, Hanley Swan – 7.30pm (Refreshments 7.00pm)
Having been passionate about wildlife and our environment since childhood, Wendy has been the Communications Manager at Worcestershire Wildlife Trust for more than 10 years. Her talk is a personal journey featuring some of Worcestershire's iconic wildlife species as she journeys from the Wyre Forest in the north to the Vale of Evesham in the south of our beautiful county.