List of talk subjects (updated Oct 2020)
This list of talks has been built up from over 40yrs of teaching groups and organizations of all sizes from universities and professional
organizations to small church groups. The smallest of these being 3 people and the largest 600, so anywhere in between is fine.
All talks are illustrated with pictures and /or video clips. As I do more research for courses, articles
and books, this provides material for various other talks on similar themes. So please ask for an update and the latest details.
If you would like a talk on an allied subject I may be able to help or recommend a suitable speaker.
Talks marked * require a very good blackout
General and recent additions
What time is it ? the
story of the non-existent thing we call time!! and how it has changed society.
Nottinghams Lost Theatres: Theatres from the local Nottingham area that entertained
1000s but are no longer with us.
Trick or Treat: Halloween: The story of our winter tradition its origin and meanings..
Easter Traditions: the story of our spring holiday and its traditions and origins
Victory in Europe: Nazi Germany's last week: the story of World
War Twos events leading up to and celebrations of VE Day.
The Charter and the Battle: The chartists in Nottingham and the battle of Mapperley Hills
Odd Laws: The strange laws that are still in force that we break all the time.
Friendly Societies: The story ofhow they
changed both our social and political life for ever.
Through our ancestors eyes: a look at historical events through our ancestors understanding and social
conditions at the time,.
Lady horsemen of the road: the story of female highwaymen and footpads
The end of the Pier show: The
history of the shows, and the theatres, on the British seaside piers
The Robins: the history of our post office and our postal service
Per Ardua ad Astra:
"Through Adversity to the Stars" the story of the formation of the RAF
Britain's rock: A tour of Gibraltars history in words , pictures and movie clips.
Invention by mistake: well known products or devices that were invented by accident or mistake.
Fascinating Felines: The sometime unusual and
fascinating story of the furry pet who shares our homes, the cat
The cup that cheers !: The fascinating story and the history of our national drink Tea
you sitting comfortably: The story of the beginnings of children's radio and television programmes.
Nursery Rhymes: parts 1 and 2 : their strange stories, meanings and origins
Catch phrase?: parts 1 and 2 : the meaning and origin of some well know sayings that we all use every day
*Perspective tricks: the story ofHolograms, Stereoscopes , 3D pictures
and images. Including demonstrations.
Tricks of Light and Colour: 4 different talks (parts 1-4 ) on optical illusions that fool the eye and brain
Then They were Gone: Unexplained
Mysterious deaths and disappearances of people over the years.
Let there be light : The Illuminating history of lights and lighting through out the ages.
Down to the sea: the story of why the British fell in love with the seaside.
Gone in two and half hours: The loss of "the
largest ship afloat" the White Star liner Titanic, that hit an iceberg
Traditional Christmas: How our British traditions of the Christmas season came about
Our ancestors toys: 2 different talks (parts 1&2 ) onChildren's toys and games from the Victorian era, with examples.
The Victorian Holiday:
How our ancestors enjoyed their first, new found, leisure time
A Road by any Name: How the development of British roads, through the ages changed society
Skeggy: Nottingham On Sea: A sketch of the long history of the seaside town of Skegness
Turn again: The real story of Dick Whittington, Lord Mayor of London
Little miss Sure Shot: the true story of Annie Oakley "the greatest shot in the world"
The Mary Celeste: The real
story of the ship and the famous maritime mystery
Up the Flue : The strange sooty history of Chimneys and Chimney sweeps through out the ages:
Herbert Ponting: Pioneer Photographer,
Film maker, war correspondent and explorer with Capt Scott in the Antarctic
Bread or Beer: How man changed for ever; the history of the start of farming and its connection to beer.
Turpin: The story of the real man and not just the legend
Houdini Highwayman: The story of Jack Sheppard Highwayman, robber and jail breaker, an 18th century peoples
Snippets from History: stories and tales, accidents, murder and strange events from the history of north Nottingham
Home Brewery: The story of the Robinsons
and the Nottingham Daybrook brewery firm
The biggest Worsted mill: The story of Hawksley and Davisons huge mill built at the start of the industrial revolution
Gone but not
forgotten: a look at some Lost buildings Parts 1 Nottingham.: Part 2 Arnold
Goose Fair on Film: part 1 in the square;
or part 2 on the forest The story, Historic film and pictures of Nottingham's own
Muriel and Bert: the story ofJessie Chambers, D H Lawrence’s first
girlfriend and their relationship.
Pints and Pubs: The long history of beer and beer houses. How our present pubs came about.
W H Higginbottom Architect: The unknown designer
of many churches, schools, cinemas and other public buildings
Getting about: moving from place to place; History of transport of people and goods through out the years.
the frames: the story of the times and trials of the Luddites frame breaking protests in Nottinghamshire
Horsemen and Footpads : the story of Highwaymen and robbers on our roads through
out the centuries
Luke Barton: the unknown Arnold inventor who brought us the modern socks and stockings
From Abacus to PCs; the history of how machines developed into our modern computers
Why should I use a computer!!: an introduction to what computers can do for you and why you will
soon need one.
Wars and the military
Dieppe: D Day rehearsal ? : the story of the raid on the French coast in August 1942
and the "greatest air battle".
Hearts of Oak : The stories of Women, who over the centuries, masqueraded as men to join the military
Violet Jessop: Stewardess, World
War One Nurse and survivor of the sinking of the SS Titanic and SS Britannic
Battledress and Greasepaint : the story ofentertainment and
the armed forces during World War Two.
The VADS : The invaluable service of the Voluntary Aid Detachments and Auxiliary Hospitals in World War One
Arnot Hill Auxiliary Hospital: the
story of Arnolds own Auxiliary Hospital during World War One
Up and At Em: The story of the Royal Flying Corp from its formation into war (1911-1914)
Wings over the Somme:
The Royal Flying Corp and the airwar during the battles of the Somme
Dads Dunkirk: the story of an ordinary squady and operation Dynamo, one man and the retreat from Dunkirk in 1940.
An English village to Hollywood : The story of Jack Kitchin film editor and producer and the George Formby
*The Magic Lantern: the story of the earliest form of slide show and entertainment (using a magic lantern.)
Silent laughter on the silver screen.: 2
set of stories ( Parts 1&2 ) the first superstars, early comedy actors of the silent cinema.
The Tudor and the Moths: The story of the Tudor Cinema West Bridgford Nottingham.
on film: A look at the beginning of the cinema and the earliest adverts on film
Victorian Optical Toys: our ancestors toys that lead to the development of the movies and Television.
pictures: It Moves!! The earliest films and the start of the Cinema, Part 1 from 1888 -1899 and Part 2 1900-1913
Earliest 20th century British film makers: The story of those British Pioneers
who lead the world in early cinema.
Music Hall on film : 2 talks ( part1&2) with original film clips and stories, of showing early Music Hall acts
Variety at War; on Film:
(2 parts ) Film and stories of the Acts from the Second World War who kept up the moral
Fred and Ginger: the life, times and films clips of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers.
Our Gracie: The story of Gracie Fields in film and pictures.
Billy Merson: the story of Nottinghams own music hall and film star
Beside the seaside beside the sea: the history
of the start of todays seaside entertainment
Glenn Miller: Bandleader extraordinaire; his life and mysterious death
The Dance Band Era on Film: The story of some Famous British bands
of the 20s and 30s, recorded performing on film
Wakey Wakey: The story of Billy Cotton, the man, and his band
Lightwork : Exit stage left: stories
of60yrs in the theatre, designing and working in entertainment venues.
"Can you hear me mother:" life and times of comedian Sandy Powell
‘If it Wasn’t
for the Houses in Between’ : the career of Gus Elen Music Hall entertainer and 'Coster' comedian
*Theatre tricks and Illusions: some Stage lighting tricks and theatre effects. ( requires
a good Blackout and extra set up time )
The Sun, Naked Flames and the Theatre:: The history of stage lighting from earliest times to the present day.
Painting with light: The
art of stage lighting, how its done and how it works
When we meet again: the story of Vera Lynn; singer, film star and forces sweetheart.
Local History Nottingham area ( see also separate list for Arnold area )
Murder, Mystery and Mayhem: (parts 1&2 ) 2 different sets of stories of dark events in the Nottingham
Law and order: the history of police and policing in Nottinghamshire through out the ages
People and Places: (part 1&2)
on lesser known people from Nottinghamshire who however have shaped our history
The Forest; its Highway Robbery!: Robbers and Robbery on a lonely stretch of the road through Sherwood Forest
The Dragon has Wings: The Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corp Air Unit: the history of a unique airforce
in Spain: British Aircraft and the Spanish Civil War the rehearsal for World War Two
Small Airforces of the British Empire: How small empire airforces played
their vital part in World War Two
Mechanics in the Air: The unknown story of the Air Arm of the British breakdown rescue service, the Automobile Association
That's an odd one:
unusual and weird aircraft designed by the Allied and Axis forces in World War Two.
Mongrels of the air war: The story of aircraft, other than the Spitfire and Hurricane, that fought the Battle of Britain.
Talks on Local History of the Arnold area
caves of Arnold: the caves and tunnels cut into the rock below Arnold Nottingham
Arnold in the 15th century: the development of the middle ages agricultural town
Arnold in the 17th Century: The era of the Town of home industries and the English civil war
in the 19th Century: The town during the industry and revolution
The Cinemas of Arnold: The history of the cinemas and film shows over the years in
the small town
More Cinemas of Arnold: The further history of the cinema in a small town
The Cinemas of Mapperley: The
cinema in a Nottingham suburb
The Cinemas of Carlton: The cinema comes to the Urban District
More Cinemas of Carlton : The
cinema comes to the Urban District
Cinemas of Netherfield: The cinema comes to the Urban District
Ernhale to Arnold: The
General History of the town and village of Arnold part 1:
Ernhale to Arnold: The General History of the town and village of Arnold part 2:
Iron age to Iron horse; Arnolds history from earliest times to the industrial revolution
From fee to Free , Education in a small town: the history
of the towns early education and schools
The old Bonington : The history of Arnold largest 1000 seater cinema and theatre
to Public Park: The history of troubled times of Arnot Hill Park Arnold from open fields to the present park.
The Wakes of Arnold: history,
film and photos of the annual parades and celebrations in Arnold over the centuries.
*Arnold on film: historic film of Arnold through past times and events .
Grinding the Grain: History of Arnolds many windmills
Inns, Taverns and Pubs of Arnold;. The history of the pubs of Arnold
More Inns, Taverns and Pubs of Arnold;. The further history of the pubs of Arnold
Even More Inns, Taverns and Pubs of Arnold.
The further history of the pubs of Arnold
Arnolds painters: The lives of 4 different artists with a local Arnold connection
Country Retreat: the houses of the great and good of Arnold during the 17th to 20th century
Water water everywhere : the
story of the move from wells to piped water in Arnold
Making Arnold work, the development of a town: The history of changing town and the types of work in Arnold
Entertaining Arnold: The history of live entertainment in a small town
Mapperley as it was: Mapperley
Nottingham Its past in pictures
Forgotten schools of Arnold: the history of earliest boarding schools opened for the great and good in Arnold
in Arnold: a look at some of the Royal visits to Arnold over the years
Moria House: The history of this house and the people who lived there.
Arnold in the Middle Ages: the town as it changes during the 12th, to 15th centuries
Civil war and Industry: Arnold
,the town and the changes during the 17th century