With the obsessions have come a number of opportunities to speak to a wide range of community groups and organisations over the years. This has ranged from Local Arts Societies, Regional Gardens Trusts, Women's Institutes to Church Groups, Rotary Clubs, Townswomen's Guilds, Sports Clubs, U3A, Museums, History Societies, Academic Institutions and lobbyist organisations.
I was on the approved list of speakers for the County Durham Federation of Women's Institutes and am currently on the Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Federation's approved list of speakers, as well as a regular with local U3A's.
I offer a light hearted but entertaining talk which groups find interesting, informative and enjoy. Five talks are now available.
Much more on my Facebook Page here
NB: I am now an accredited lecturer for the Arts Society. Click here for my talk at Directory Day 2018.
Talk ONE - Bandstands - History, Decline and Revival
A talk on the history of the Bandstand, from their origins in the mid-18th century to their heyday during the Victorian park making era, and their subsequent decline post World War Two. This talk is a slide show that follows this fascinating history and the recent revival of the bandstand in our public parks. This is a highly illustrative talk that engages many and fascinates the listener and has had excellent feedback from those who have heard this engaging talk. THIS IS A VERY POPULAR TALK
Talk TWO - A Concise History of our Great British Parks
Talk THREE - Parks, People and Places - A Life in Landscape
Talk FOUR - Cassiobury, The Ancient Seat of the Earl's of Essex
Talk FIVE - A History of London's Royal Parks
London's royal parks are among its most beautiful and beloved spaces: just as much as the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace or St Pancras Station, the mere mention of Hyde or Regent's Park is enough to evoke the capital in all its glory for residents and tourists alike. They have a grand history - some were royally owned as far back as the Norman conquest, others were acquired by Henry VIII during the Reformation - and since being opened to the public during the eighteenth century, they have hosted some of London's great events, including the Great Exhibition and innumerable jubilees and celebrations. This talk tells the story of all eight of the parks from the point when they were acquired by the monarchy until the present day, including the major historic moments and events with which they are associated.
Talk SIX - Decimus Burton - Architect
Decimus Burton was born in 1800 Decimus Burton FRS FRSA FSA FRIBA (30 September 1800 – 14 December 1881) was one of the foremost English architects and urban designers of the 19th century. He was the foremost Georgian and Victorian architect in the Roman revival, Greek revival, Georgian neoclassical and Regency styles. Yet he is hardly ever mentioned, let alone in the same breath as Wren, Nash, Hawksmoor. Yet he should be. Architect of Regency buildings at Regent's Park, London Zoo, Kew Gardens, Hyde Park, Phoenix Park, Dublin, Tunbridge Wells and Fleetwood in Lancashire. His Athenaeum Club on Pall Mall is one of his finest buildings. But what do we know of him? This talk tells the story of Decimus Burton, one of our finest architects.
Talk SEVEN - Leighton Buzzard in 50 Buildings / Watford in 50 Buildings / Luton in 50 Buildings
Ever wondered what really makes our towns and cities so memorable? It is often the buildings and the architecture and their development from Middle Ages to modern day. Our buildings shape our towns and cities. Based on the 'In 50 Buildings' Series, I have written books on Watford, Luton and Leighton Buzzard as well as co-authored books on Windsor & Eton, Manchester and Salford, I can tailor a talk to each of these towns or cities illustrated by slides and stories associated with each building.
Talk EIGHT - Parkitecture: the Buildings and Monuments of Public Parks
So what makes a great park? what are the ingredients of a great park? what is it that we enjoy when we visit? The legacy of our great Victorian parks includes the fantastic features within them - drinking fountains, bandstands, park lodges, palm houses, boating lakes, cafes, bridges, mansions, museums, glorious gates, statues, monuments and sculpture. I call this 'Parkitecture'. The architecture of the park. Join me on a journey through some of Great Britain's finest public parks and enjoy the feast of features within them - parkitecture!
Cost and availability
Please contact me for costs as they vary depending on the group, size and location. Mileage is charged at 27p per mile.
Each talks lasts approximately 60 minutes but again can be tailored to suit.
Evenings are preferred but also occasional daytime availability too (subject to work commitments). If not already booked, short term notice can also be catered for.
All I ask for usually is a screen or a blank wall to display the slideshow which is powerpoint. I have a laptop and projector with extension.
Telephone 0791 5602358 or email [email protected] to book.