Past Programmes

This page lists past programmes beginning with October 2022.

October  “Mapping the mediaeval world: Bristol in 1480” by Bob Jones

September  “The creation of the New Assembly Rooms Bath 1771”, Dr. Rupert Goulding 

March  St. Mary Redcliffe: Patronage, landscape & architecture – Jon Cannon  War & piracy in the Bristol Channel – Philip Ashford

May  Burgage plots in mediaeval towns – Peter Dawson

June  The story of Bath’s lost pleasure gardens- Kirsten Elliott

February Bath & the Work House-  Stuart Burroughs

April, 2021 “The Herschels in Bath: Music, science & social climbing” – Dr. Michael McEllin

May ’21  “The Tuckett family of Frenchay” – Alan Freke

June ’21. “The architectural follies of the West Country” – Jonathan Holt

September ’21  Saving Britain’s Art Treasures: The Corsham effect by Nick McCamley 

October ’21  From hill forts to pill boxes: Part 2 Episodes from Wiltshire’s military past by Nick Baxter

November ’21 The Social Impact of John Wesley in the Bristol area by Gary Best

December ’21 The VCH Project: A history of West Littleton, by Dr. John Chandler & Dr. Simon Draper


January:  I.K. Brunel: Man, myth & machines, presented by Dr. Terry Chivers. Terry is a Chartered engineer, who was born and raised in Marshfield.  This talk will concentrate upon Brunel the man and some of the myths that have grown around him and his achievements.

February   The history of Charmy Down: Part II, presented by Howard Burton.  Howard is a retired College Principal, who has made a study of Charmy Down. Part II looks at the community surrounding the former air field.

note: meetings for March, April & May 2020 (shown in red) were cancelled due to Covid lockdown. The talks on St Mary’s Redcliffe and the Burgage Plots have been rearranged for 15th March and 17th May respectively.

March          St. Mary Redcliffe: Patronage, landscape& architecture presented by Jon Cannon. 

John Cannon is an architectural historian & lecturer at the University of Bristol.  Jon Cannon is also a journalist, TV presenter and Keeper of the Fabric at Bristol Cathedral.

April           The Cleveland Pools in Bath: New research & restoration progress. 

Dr. Watts is a former Trustee to the Cleveland Pools Trust, which has been awarded a £4.7 m grant from the HLF to restore the Georgian Pools, due to re-open in 2021.

May       Burgage plots in mediaeval towns, presented by Peter Dawson.

 Peter Dawson is a retired teacher and member of the Northleach History Society. Marshfield has many of these narrow plots at the rear of the High Street.

June         AGM & From hill forts to pill boxes:

Episodes from Wiltshire’s military past, presented by Nick Baxter.  Nick Baxter is a retired history teacher, who now specialises in giving talks and guided walks connected to the history of Wiltshire.

SEPTEMBER   “From hill forts to pill boxes: Episodes from Wiltshire’s military past”- Nick Baxter

A comprehensive sweep of all kinds of defensive and military installations, throughout the ages in Wiltshire. Nick Baxter is a former history teacher, with an M.A. in public history.  Nick is also an experienced leader on public history walks.

OCTOBER     “The industrial heritage of the Cotswolds” – Dr. Ray Wilson (held on zoom)

The physical remains of Gloucestershire industries are examined in this talk by Dr.Ray Wilson, who is Secretary of the Gloucestershire Society for Industrial Archaelogy. (held on zoom)

NOVEMBER        “Slavery, public history & the Country house: Dyrham Park” -Dr.Jessica Moody

The title is self explanatory and currently subject to public debate.  Dr.Jessica Moody is a Lecturer in Public History at the University of Bristol. (held on zoom)

December ’20 “In comes I”, The History of Mummers Plays – Steve Rowley



2019 September 17th : 1607: The Great Severn Estuary Flood presented by Rose Hewlett.  

Rose is undertaking a PhD on this subject at Bristol University. Her talk will include new research about this devastating flood, which reached a height between six or seven feet and which went two to three miles inland to the South Gloucestershire levels.

October 15th:      The plasticine people: The Harbutts of Bathampton presented by Stuart Burroughs.    

The manufacture of plasticine began in 1897 and continued until 1983. Stuart Burroughs is Director of the Museum of Bath at Work.

November 19th:   The GWR Badminton line, presented by Alan Freke.

The line ran from Wootton Bassett to Patchway from 1903 until its closure in 1968.  Alan Freke is the Curator of Frenchay Village Museum

December 17th:    A Tudor Christmas, presented by Cherry Hubbard.

A physical representation of period food items and interpretation of domestic economy, culture & traditions.

Cherry Hubbard is a local social historian and period interpreter.



January 16th: Charmy Down: The history of a World War II Airfield -Howard Burton

February 20th: Tying the knot: Marriage in 16th& 17thC Wiltshire- Steve Hobbs

March 20th: J.S. Fry: A family business- Alan Freke

April 17th: Ugly mugs: Great gargoyles of Gloucestershire -John Putley

May 15th: The story of Bath- Dr. Cathryn Spence

June 19th: AGM & Sweeps to slaves: Working children in the past -Prof. Jennifer Tann

September 18th: Prisoner of war camps in the West Country during World War I. Colin Chapman

October 16th: Fanny Murray: Bath’s famous courtesan: – Dr. Barbara White

November 20th: Fore & aft: The Purton ships grave yard – Paul Barnett

December 18th: Communicating Christmas – John Penny


January 17th: Redstreak to winter scale: The history of west country cider & Perry Making-  Dr. Richard Stone

February 21st: Wiltshire’s forgotten water ways: A history of the Wiltshire & Berkshire Canal- Ray Alder

March 21st: The elusive Lady Apsley – Dr. Madge Dresser

April 18th: Life in the back yard: Craft industry in mediaeval towns – Bob Jones

May 16th:  Trouble at the mill: Bath & textile machine breaking- Stuart Burroughs

June 20th: Wandering & begging: The vagrant children of Bristol – Shirley Hodgson

September 19th: Wreckers tales: Ship breakers of the Severn – Paul Barnett

October 17th: Benjamin Milgrove: Musical toy man of Bath- Dr Matthew Spring

November 21ST: The architecture, sculpture & symbolism of a Victorian garden- Alan Bambury

December 19th: The history of pantomime – Prof. Jim Davis


January 19th:  Recent excavations in prehistoric Wiltshire – Bob Clarke

February 16th: Who’d be a magistrate: Dealing with food riots in 19thC Bristol. Steve Poole

March 15th:  The history of mining in South Gloucestershire- David Hardwick

April 19th: The Beau Street hoard – Stephen Clews

May 17th: Historic farm buildings of Gloucestershire – Dr. Jeremy Lake

June 21st: AGM & Highways and way markers of the south west – Jan Skrine

Sept. 20th: The World War I Project in South Gloucestershire- Jane Marley

Oct. 18th: HOSTS to ALHA AGM: The limits of authority (etc) – Dr. Alex Craven

November 15th: Caribbean slaves in north Wiltshire – Nigel Pocock

December 20th: Christmas with the Georgians – Dr. Cathryn Spence


January 20th: In the footsteps of Maud Heath: Along her Causeway to Chippenham. Kay Taylor

February 17th: A plague of blue locusts: The police in Victorian Bath. Graham Davis

March 17th: Gloucestershire Almshouses- John Loosley

April 21st: The clay tobacco pipe making industry of Marshfield – Marek Lewcun

May 19th: Dame Florence Hancock (Chippenham) 1893-1974 – Melissa Barnett

June 16th: AGM & Pictures & places: The Gloucestershire woollen industry (etc.). Jennifer Tann

September 19th: The Bristol region in the age of the Magna Carta- Prof. Peter Fleming

October 20th: From trenches to trams: The life of a Bristol Tommy—Clive Burlton

November 17th: The rise & fall of the Spa Doctor – Dr. Roger Rolls

December 15th: Let us be merry: Traditional Glos. Carols & wassails -Gwilym & Carol Davies


January 21st:  The geology of Dyrham Park – Elizabeth Devon

February 18th: The Cleveland pools- Dr. Linda Watts

March 18th: Family history: Fact or fiction?  – Pat Hase

April 15th: A recent history of Marshfield medicine – Dr. Peter Brunyate

May 20th: Village witchcraft- Prof.  Ronald Hutton

June 17th: AGM & Highlights of Marshfield records – David Smith

September 16th: Secret underground city: What the Government did at Corsham during World War II – Nick McCamley

October 21st: The Bristol Royal Infirmary & the poor 1757-1856 (etc.) –        Dr. Annsofie Witkin

November 18th: The Cotswold Way: 100 miles of history- Dr.Steven Blake

December 16th: The role of the Royal Mail Guard – Martin Horler


January 15th: The Box Tunnel Navvies – Dinah Starkey

February 20th: Time keeping & the clocks of Marshfield – Peter Frankland

March 19th: The stately homes of Roman Britain – Gerry Gowans

April15th: Folk tales of Wiltshire – Kirsty Hartsiotis

May 21st:  Researching village archives and maps – Liz Mildner

June 17th: AGM (No talk)  & visit to Wiltshire & Swindon Archives

September 17th: Bigwigs to bloomers: Sayings of Bath – Alan Williams

October 15th: Lawrence of Arabia & his motor bikes – Steven Ratcliffe

November 19th: The vindolanda tablets: Life on Hadrian’s Wall – Garry Gowans

December 17th: Paintings & prints in Dyrham Park- Dr. Rupert Goulding


January 16th: Brunel, brotherhood & the early railways in N Wiltshire – Mike Stone

February 20th: Rocks around the Marshfield area – Elizabeth Devon

March 19th: The Tormarton Dig- Richard Osgood

April 16th: The Dutch water gardens of Dyrham Park- Christine Cole

May 21st: The Codringtons of Doddington – David Smith

June 18th: AGM (No talk)  & guided walk around Frampton Cotterell- Merle Summers

September 17th:  The history of pubs and alehouses – Michael Marshman

October 15th: The history of the Severn Estuary – Simon Haslett

November 19th: yesterday’s run ways: Airfields of Oxon, Wilts., Glos. & the Cotswolds- William King

December 3rd: The importance of dance in the days of Jane Austen- The Jane Austen dancers


January 17th: The peacock male – Barbara Gilmour

February 21st” The history of the Beachley to Aust River Severn ferry (etc.) Tim Ryan

March 21st: The prehistoric landscape from Avebury to Stonehenge (etc.) – Isobel Geddes

April 18th:   The pilgrim route to Glastonbury – Dinah Starkey

May 16th: William Tyndale & the origins of the English Bible – David Smith

June 16th: AGM (No talk) & guided walk around West Kington

September 19th: Feisty females of Bath – Audrey Woods

October 17th: The history of deer parks in the area- John Stowers & John Cotton

November 21st: Arts & crafts in the Cotswolds – Kirsty Hartsiosis

December 5th: The history of bell ringing/bells of Marshfield-Terry Chivers/D.Colbourne


January 18th: The murder of Edward II in Berkeley Castle – David Smith

February 15th: Mankind’s greatest blessing: the history of anaesthesia – Dr. Tim Smith

March 15th: The lost ports of the River Severn & the Bristol Channel- Roy Gallop

April 19th: Marianne North: A Victorian artist- Gina Merrett-Smith

May 17th: Strata Smith puts Bath on the map- Elizabeth Devon

June 14th: AGM (No talk) Guided tour of historic sites in Chippenham

September 20th: The history of farming in the Cotswolds – Mark Connelly

October 18th: Chew Valley before the flood – Lesley Ross

November 15th: The Severn Valley tsunami – Simon Haslett

December 6th: Seasonal customs – Prof. Ronald Hutton