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, please telephone the Talks Organiser, or check the website.
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.