Here are some talks that have been heard previously at the Society.


Part of Talks programme for the 2005/06 season

10 Mar 2006  The Work of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission    TBA   

21 Apr 2006  There were no butterflies     Brigitte Mitchell
  German attitudes on WW1. 

12 May 2006  Emily's Diary - 1853     Ken Pearce
  Tales from the Uxbridge archives.

9 Jun 2006  AGM  followed by:  An Archaeological Journey through Syria     Richard Orton   
  Overview and slides of the main historical sites in Syria.


Talks programme for the 2006/07 season

8 Sep 2006  Mothers flew Spitfires: the amazing story of the ATA     Richard Poad  
  An unexpected story of WW2 from Maidenhead.

13 Oct 2006  The History of Stoke Court, Stoke Poges    Patricia Lindsey
  The different houses and the tenants who lived there including the uncle of the poet, Thomas Gray.

10 Nov 2006  Let's look at Inland Waterways    Mike Timms  
  A pictorial introduction to Britain’s canals and rivers, their history, geography and characteristic features.

9 Dec 2006 (Sat!)   Social event, St. Andrew's Hall, Stoke Poges.  7:30pm - 10:00pm   
  Food, Quizzes and Raffles

12 Jan 2007  The English Romanies and their crafts    Stuart King  
  The English Romanies left India 1000 years ago and arrived in England 500 years later.  To most people, they remain a mystery.

9 Feb 2007  Burnham Beeches and the Farnhams    Judy Tipping
  More pictures illustrating the history of these local villages.  Note: This talk had to be cancelled at short notice and was replaced by a talk on the Special Operations Executive.

9 Mar 2007  Recent Developments at Silchester    Amanda Clark  
  A report on recent excavations. 

13 Apr 2007  Tales of Old London, 1666 - 1851     Colin Oakes  
  A continuation of the tales collected by Colin as a London Guide. 

11 May 2007  Hailstones and other Happenings    Ken Pearce  
  Incidents extracted from the Uxbridge archives.

8 Jun 2007  AGM  followed by:  An Archaeological Journey in search of the Sea Peoples    Richard Orton 


Talks programme for the 2007/08 season

14 Sep 2007  Echoes of Old Village Life     Stuart King   
  Life in the old Chiltern village of Holmer Green with some local humorous readings.

12 Oct 2007  Burial Grounds of London    Leslie Grout
  Well known for his talks about Windsor, Leslie has explored London and some of the ancient sites used for burials.

9 Nov 2007  Charles Knight: philanthropist and professional publisher    Valerie Gray   
  Charles Knight founded our oldest local paper, the Windsor Express, and was a well-known Windsor resident.

11 Jan 2008  The Knights Templar    Richard Bland   
  Richard has not only studied the background of the Templars but has also considered local sites used by the Order.

8 Feb 2008  Note: CHANGE FROM ORIGINAL PROGRAMME:-  
8 Feb 2008  Stoke Poges and the First World War    Lionel Rigby  
  Lionel has written a number of books on Stoke Poges and has researched particularly its links with the Great War.

14 Mar 2008  A History of Boots the Chemist    Owen Rigby   
  The familiar High Street shop has a long and interesting history.  Owen has studied its origins and the place it has held in our lives.

11 Apr 2008  Tales of Old London, 1851-1999     Colin Oakes   
  Still more of the entertaining tales collected by Colin as a London Guide.

9 May 2008  A Barnardo Childhood    Dennis Sloan   
  Dennis's experiences as a Barnardo Boy were not as unhappy as one might have expected.

13 Jun 2008  AGM  followed by:  The Nile    Roland Bailey   
  Roland has a keen interest in Africa and has worked in various parts of the continent.


Talks programme for the 2008/09 season

12 Sep 2008  A history of Mr Punch     Bob Sacco   
  Bob recounts the history of the character, and shows his collection of puppets one by one.  He talks about the 'swazzle' and illustrates its use. His talk is serious, but is very entertaining.

10 Oct 2008  The Magic Circle experience    Jean Purdy
  Jean has studied 'magic' for many years, and has been made a member of the Magic Circle, an honour not usually offered to lady magicians. She was the first to be so honoured.

14 Nov 2008  A career in archaeology - a life in ruins    Colin Oakes   
  Colin has completed a series of talks about London, but this time he tells about his early archeological experiences.

6 Dec 2008 (Sat!)   Social event, St. Andrew's Church Centre, Rogers Lane, Stoke Poges SL2 4LN.  7:30pm to 10:00pm.  
  Food, Quizzes and Raffles.

9 Jan 2009  The story of the English seaside    Hester Davenport   

13 Feb 2009  The River Thames    Richard Poad  
  The River Thames from Cotswold to the sea.

13 Mar 2009  Cardinal Wolsey    Richard Bland   
  Henry VIII's chief advisor, often depicted as an alter rex (other king). His main legacy is Hampton Court Palace.

17 Apr 2009  An ABC of churches     Leslie Grout   
  A look at some interesting churches in England

8 May 2009  A Victorian Bobby's notebook    Christine Weightman   
  This talk is based on the original notebook of the village Bobby in Sunninghill in the 1840's, when police coverage was not nationwide, and some years before the establishment of county forces in 1856.

12 Jun 2009  AGM  followed by:   Jordan: Petra and Jerash    Mac and June Gollifer   
  Mac and June will tell us about these intriguing places and show slides from their various visits.


Talks programme for the 2009/10 season

11 Sep 2009  Slough Booms: the inter-war years     Tony Pilmer   
  Tony is the Local History specialist in Slough Library, helps maintain the website www.SloughHistoryOnline.org.uk and also leads various walking tours of the area.

9 Oct 2009  Chairmaking in the Chilterns    Catherine Grigg
  Dr Grigg is a curator of Wycombe Museum and has made a special study of this local craft.

13 Nov 2009  Street furniture    Paul Bradley   
  We use street furniture all the time, from pillar boxes to sign posts.

12 Dec 2009 (Sat!)   Social event, St. Andrew's Church Centre, Rogers Lane, Stoke Poges SL2 4LN.  7:30pm to 10:00pm.  
  Food, Quizzes and Raffles.

8 Jan 2010 CANCELLED The curious disappearance of Glenn Miller    Tony Eaton   
  Major Glenn Miller’s aeroplane disappeared in mysterious circumstances – there have been many theories put forward as to its fate.

12 Feb 2010  Victorian lady travellers    Hester Davenport  
  Victorian ladies often undertook long and hazardous journeys and suffered many privations.

12 Mar 2010  Sir Christopher Wren    Mr & Mrs J Brewster   
  His life and his works.

 9 Apr 2010  Windsor Great Park, past and present     Barbara Askew   
  The Park, founded as a Royal hunting ground, now occupies only a fraction of its former area.

14 May 2010  Archaeology in and around Marlow    John Laker   
  John Laker reports on the successes of Marlow local digs.

11 Jun 2010  AGM  followed by: The History of Allotments    by Roland Bailey   
  Roland, one of our members, will give this illustrated talk.


Talks programme for the 2010/11 season

10 Sep 2010  Healthcare and Hospitals in Windsor during the 19th century     Brigitte Mitchell

8 Oct 2010  The Wedding of the Century: 1468    Christine Weightman
  The wedding between Margaret of York and Duke Charles of Burgundy.

12 Nov 2010   The curious disappearance of Major Glenn Miller    Tony Eaton  
  This is the talk postponed from January 2010.

11 Dec 2010 (Sat!)   Christmas Social, at St. Andrew's Hall, Rogers Lane, Stoke Poges SL2 4LN.  7:30pm to 10:00pm.  
  Food, Quizzes and Raffles.

14 Jan 2011 The Rudolf Hess Cover-up   Tony Eaton

11 Feb 2011  Animal Heroes and Villains    Edward Dixon

11 Mar 2011  A History of British Gardens    Barbara Askew

 8 Apr 2011  Shakespeare's Life and Works     Roger Askew

13 May 2011  Nell Gwyn and her Windsor Family    Hester Davenport

10 Jun 2011  AGM  followed by: An African Safari   by Jean Porter
  A talk with photographs of Jean's recent safari in Kenya.


Talks programme for the 2011/12 season listed below.

9 Sep 2011, 7:30pm:  History beneath our feet    Colin Hennell
 Hear about the ways in which a metal detector can help us discover some of our history, the legal position, and examples of what can be found.

14 Oct 2011, 7:30pm:  A picture of Windsor in the 2nd World War 1939-1945    Brigitte Mitchell 

11 Nov 2011, 7:30pm:  An evening talking about the history of Slough     Nick Yarrow.  
PLEASE NOTE that this will be held at:
The Chapel, St Andrew's Church Centre, Roger's Lane, Stoke Poges, SL2 4LN.

17 Dec 2011 (Sat!)   Social event, St. Andrew's Church Centre, Rogers Lane, Stoke Poges SL2 4LN.  7:30pm to 10:00pm.
  Food, Quizzes and Raffles.

13 Jan 2012, 7:30pm:  The mysterious disappearance of Leslie Howard and Amy Johnson    Tony Eaton

 10 Feb 2012, 7:30pm:  Painting the War    Edward Dixon
  Learn about the vivid Great War paintings of Spencer, Nevinson, Paul Nash and others. This fully illustrated talk will explore different styles and pro/anti war attitudes, and also reveal many hidden meanings..

  9 Mar 2012, 7:30pm:  Two decades of archaeology in Slough and its suburbs    Dr Steven Ford

13 Apr 2012, 7:30pm:  Dickens - The Great Performer     Roger Askew  
  Born 200 years ago this year, Dickens is one of the greatest of British writers.  

11 May 2012, 7:30pm:  The Olympic Games:  Past and Present    Barbara Askew  

 8 Jun 2012, 7:30pm:  AGM  followed by: Views of New Zealand    Jean Porter 


Talks programme for the 2012/13 season listed below.

14 Sep 2012, 7:30pm:  Duties of Ward Beadle    Lesley Grout
 In the medieval universities beadles were students chosen by instructors to act as assistants, carrying books, taking attendance, and assisting in classroom management.

12 Oct 2012, 7:30pm:  Out of the Blue    Jim Cummings  
 Why he chose to be a Policeman and how he became involved.

9 Nov 2012, 7:30pm:  The Gunpowder Plot     Colin Oakes  
 Discover what Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators hoped to achieve with the Gunpowder plot. Why did their plan fail.

15 Dec 2012 (Sat!)   Christmas Social event, St. Andrew's Church Centre, Rogers Lane, Stoke Poges SL2 4LN.  7:30pm to 10:00pm.  

11 Jan 2013, 7:30pm:  Magic Lanterns    Tony Brown & Gordon Case  
 The history of the Magic Lantern includes many facets and several branches of science and history. In Victorian times, the magic lantern was at its peak as a popular form of entertainment.

 8 Feb 2013, 7:30pm:  Taplow Mound    Barbara Askew
  Current Archaeology has an article on this 7th century Saxon burial mound and iron age hillfort at Taplow Court.  Artefacts found when the burial mound was excavated are in the British Museum.

 8 Mar 2013, 7:30pm:  Bayeux Tapestry    Peggy Verall
 One of the most important historical events of the Medieval era is the Norman conquest and the Bayeux Tapestry celebrates the story of William the Conqueror, and the Battle of Hastings.

NEW DATE: 19 Apr 2013, 7:30pm:  History of Whitefriars Glass     Mike Beech  
 James Powell & Sons were not only Britain’s longest running glass house; they were the most productive and by far the best. Their glass always reflected the fashion of the day and in many cases actually made the fashion possible.  

10 May 2013, 7:30pm:  History of London    Sally Botwright  
 Sally will give a talk on the History of London which promises to be very interesting.

 14 Jun 2013, 7:30pm:  AGM  followed by: More Experiences of Africa    by Roland Bailey


Talks programme for the 2013/14 season listed below.

Fri 13 Sep 2013, 7:30pm:  Pirates, Pressgangs, and Smugglers    Colin Oakes 
 Tales of the darker side of the lives of Dockers and their families.

Fri 11 Oct 2013, 7:30pm:  Victorian Dresses    Anne McWhirter 
 We are in for a treat this evening with our speaker, who hopes to bring along a small selection of clothing from Victorian times.

Fri 8 Nov 2013, 7:30pm:  Victorian Windsor     Lesley Grout
 Have you ever wondered what it was like in Windsor in times past? Our speaker will enlighten us in this talk.

Saturday 7 Dec 2013    Christmas Social event, Hastings Room, St. Andrew's Church Centre, Rogers Lane, Stoke Poges SL2 4LN.  7:30pm to 10:00pm.
 Food, Quizzes and Raffles.

Fri 10 Jan 2014, 7:30pm:  Magic Lanterns    Tony Brown & Gordon Case
 This is part two of last year’s talk and demonstration and will comprise a new set of slide shows.

Fri 14 Feb 2014, 7:30pm:  The Queen Reigns Supreme    Sister Mary Chris 
 This talk will show how worker bees look after their queen and how she controls them, or does she?

Fri 14 Mar 2014, 7:30pm:  London and its Theatres    Colin Oakes 
 A few of the many stories of the life and times of the actors and singers in the world of entertainment.

Fri 11 Apr 2014, 7:30pm:  Suffragettes     Edward Dixon 
 The story of the fight for votes for women, and the lengths they were prepared to go to to achieve this.

Fri 9 May 2014, 7:30pm:  How our Language Evolved    Hugh Granger 
 Our speaker tonight will explain, in a clear and entertaining way, the main stages in the development of the English language.

Fri 13 Jun 2014, 7:30pm:  AGM  followed by: A Glimpse of Mediaeval France    by Jean Porter


Talks programme for the 2014/15 season listed below.

Fri 12 Sep 2014, 7:30pm:  Houdini     Bob Sacco 
 Through the years, Houdini gained fame after repeatedly escaping from police handcuffs and jails. Harry was given certificates from various wardens for escaping from their prisons.

Fri 10 Oct 2014, 7:30pm:  Berkshire Folk Tales    David England 
 History, Myth, and Mystery in a collection of stories.

Fri 14 Nov 2014, 7:30pm:  Russia Past & Present     Mike Beech 
 We will be looking at the many beautiful buildings in Moscow and St Petersburg including the opulence of the Kremlin and the Hermitage, contrasted with the poverty in the countryside.

Saturday 13 Dec 2014    Christmas Social event, Hastings Room, St. Andrew's Church Centre, Rogers Lane, Stoke Poges SL2 4LN.  7:30pm to 10:00pm. 
 Food, Quizzes and Raffles.

Fri 9 Jan 2015, 7:30pm:  War time Poets and Poems    Edward Dixon 
 Come and hear about some of the Poetry that was inspired by the Great War.

Fri 13 Feb 2015, 7:30pm:  The Reeve’s Tale    Hugh Granger 
 How the majority of folk lived, in a typical village of 1450: the housing, food, work, and customs.

Fri 13 Mar 2015, 7:30pm:  The Electroscope to the Swan Theatre    Mike Dewey 
 A history of public entertainment in High Wycombe between 1900 and 1990.

Fri 10 Apr 2015, 7:30pm:  Stone Age Thugs     Colin Oakes 
 Awful Archaeology about life back in the times when things were very tough.

Fri 8 May 2015, 7:30pm:  Battersea Home for Dogs & Cats    Jackie & Anne 
 The history of the dogs and cats home and its work today.

Fri 12 Jun 2015, 7:30pm:  AGM  followed by a talk: A Career with Maps... and an important mapmaker's bicentenary    by Bev Travess


Talks programme for the 2015/16 season listed below.

Fri 11 Sep 2015, 7:30pm:  History of Medicine      Tony Masey 
 How it all started, and why?

Fri 9 Oct 2015, 7:30pm:  Thirty years in the Fire Service     David Richards 
 An account of his training and action in the fire brigade.  Experiences in dealing with amusing and sad situations.  An insight into how the service was organised and how it is run today.

Fri 13 Nov 2015, 7:30pm:  Architects of Remembrance      Edward Dixon 
 The Story of Great War Memorials.

Saturday  5 Dec 2015, 7:30pm to 10:00pm. Christmas Social event, Hastings Room, St. Andrew's Church Centre, Rogers Lane, Stoke Poges SL2 4LN. 
 Food, Quizzes and Raffles.

Fri 8 Jan 2016, 7:30pm:  History of Boulters Lock     Richard Poad 
 Maidenhead Heritage Centre will give us an insight into this beautiful area.

Fri 12 Feb 2016, 7:30pm:  Local History     Judy Tipping 
 Farnham Common, Farnham Royal, Burnham Beeches.

Fri 11 Mar 2016, 7:30pm:  Digging for Victory     Colin Oakes 
 Allotments and Gardens in War.

Fri 8 Apr 2016, 7:30pm:  Norway in a Nutshell      Jean Porter 
 A look into another of Jean’s wonderful holidays.

Fri 13 May 2016, 7:30pm:  Secret London     Mike Beech 
 Due to its strategic location on the River Thames, London has been at the centre of British life from Roman times right through to the present day. Given its importance and existence for over 2,000 years, there are bound to be numerous stories and many secrets.

Fri 10 Jun 2016, 7:30pm:  AGM   followed by a talk: An unexpected Bronze Age discovery in South Wales   by Caryl Travess


Talks programme for the 2016/17 season are listed below.

Fri 9 Sep 2016, 7:30pm:  Defiant Saxon Queens      David England 
 This talk is about the history and myths surrounding powerful queens in the Anglo-Saxon period, including Queen Emma of Normandy, who was queen to two kings and mother to two kings.

Fri 14 Oct 2016, 7:30pm:  London City Safari     Sally Botwright 
 Sally will take us on a safari in the comfort of our seats and give us a little look into London history.

Fri 11 Nov 2016, 7:30pm:  Titanic the true Story      David Richards 
 An alternative take on the familiar story of the Titanic and its fatal encounter with an iceberg.

Saturday  3 Dec 2016, 7:30pm to 10:00pm. Christmas Social event, Hastings Room, St. Andrew's Church Centre, Rogers Lane, Stoke Poges SL2 4LN. 
 Food, Quizzes and Raffles.

Fri 13 Jan 2017, 7:30pm:  Miss Dove and the Campaign in Wycombe     Colin Cartwright 
 In High Wycombe the most prominent member of the suffragists’ movement was the founder and Headmistress of Wycombe Abbey School for Girls.

Fri 10 Feb 2017, 7:30pm:  The Life and Voyages of Captain Cook     Stephen Palmer 
 Come and hear more of Captain Cook - explorer, navigator, cartographer.

Fri 10 Mar 2017, 7:30pm:  Swan Support     Wendy Hermon 
 From saving cygnets to looking after the parent swans.  A look into how they manage to help as many as they can.

Fri 7 Apr 2017, 7:30pm:   Comedy Greats of Variety      Bob Sacco 
 We'll hear about a selection of comedians from the Golden Age of Music Halls and later. Warning: may contain jokes.

Fri 12 May 2017, 7:30pm:  Chesham - a Bucks village     Colin Oakes 
 This pretty village is full of history and enchanting stories; come along and hear some of them.

Fri 9 Jun 2017, 7:30pm:  AGM   followed by a talk:  The History of the Aquatic Chicken   by Roland Bailey. 
 The talk will be illustrated by some of Roland’s personal experiences.


Talks programme for the 2017/18 season are listed below.

Fri 8 Sep 2017, 7:30pm:   Swan Support      Wendy Hermon 
 As Wendy had to cancel last year, she’s back to tell us how they manage to look after the beautiful swans.

Fri 13 Oct 2017, 7:30pm:   Barnes Wallis’s Amazing Career     Hugh Granger 
 The story of the designer of R100 airship, the Wellington bomber, Tallboy, also Bouncing Bombs and Swing-Wing aircraft.

Fri 10 Nov 2017, 7:30pm:   Isambard Kingdom Brunel      David Richards 
 An insight into his family life, and a look at his notable projects in civil engineering, railways and shipping.

Saturday  2 Dec 2017, 7:30pm to 10:00pm. Christmas Social event, Hastings Room, St. Andrew's Church Centre, Rogers Lane, Stoke Poges SL2 4LN. 
 Food, Quizzes and Raffles.

Fri 12 Jan 2018, 7:30pm:   The lesser-known Grand Houses of South Bucks     Mike Dewey 
 We don’t know which houses he will pick so come along and be surprised with us.

Fri 9 Feb 2018, 7:30pm:   Gutsy Women     Colin Oakes 
 A History of Women’s Achievements in London.

Fri 9 Mar 2018, 7:30pm:   The New Camelot - Edward III’s Windsor Castle     Barbara Askew 
 We'll hear how Edward III set out to transform Windsor Castle from a battle-scarred fortress into a splendid fortified palace.

Fri 13 Apr 2018, 7:30pm:   Bacon & Bagels      Jeff Rozelaar 
 An autobiographical account of post war East End.

Fri 11 May 2018, 7:30pm:   History of Four Georges     Jamie Carter 
 Jamie has researched and followed the lives of several historical royal figures and for this talk will give us an insight in to the lives of four of the King Georges.

Fri 8 Jun 2018, 7:30pm:  AGM   followed by a talk:  And the wall came tumbling down   by Marian Payne 
 "I  was fascinated by the  news of the fall of the Berlin Wall and wished I could  take off immediately for Berlin. The first opportunity I had to have a look was in February 1990  and this is what I saw and experienced."


Talks programme for the 2018/19 season are listed below.

Fri 14 Sep 2018, 7:30pm:   Codes - a brief history      Anthea Wright
 This talk looks at a number of different codes and some specific examples of where they have been used in the past and the outcomes.

Fri 12 Oct 2018, 7:30pm:   Barnes Wallis’s Amazing Career     Hugh Granger
 The story of the designer of the R100 airship, the Wellington bomber, Tallboy, Bouncing Bombs, and Swing-Wing aircraft.

Fri 9 Nov 2018, 7:30pm:   The Blackfriars Road     Colin Oakes 
 (Note: this is change from original programme)
 Theatre, Church and Commerce.

Saturday  8 Dec 2018, 7:30pm to 10:00pm. Christmas Social event, Hastings Room, St. Andrew's Church Centre, Rogers Lane, Stoke Poges SL2 4LN.
 Food, Quizzes, and Raffles.

Fri 11 Jan 2019, 7:30pm:   The Vikings     Barbara Askew
 This talk will explore the world of the Vikings: who they were, where they came from, and their roles as raiders, traders, and invaders, with special emphasis on the Viking settlement of Britain. The talk examines Viking life and culture, arts and technology, ships, burial, hoards, and jewellery.

Fri 8 Feb 2019, 7:30pm:   The Lady with the Lamp     Paul Whittle
 The amazing achievements of a truly remarkable Victorian lady.

Fri 8 Mar 2019, 7:30pm:   The Use of Deception in World War 2     Hugh Granger 
 (Note: this is change from original programme)
 How we faked maps, bomb damage, lorries, tanks, parachutists, harbours, airfields and even entire invasions.

Fri 12 Apr 2019, 7:30pm:   Marylebone      Colin Oakes
 More than just a station.

Fri 10 May 2019, 7:30pm:   The Saxon Era     Anthony Poulton-Smith
 A revealing look at the so-called Dark Ages: why they were anything but 'dark' and gave us a language, a system of government, many of the imperial measurements, and much, much more.

Fri 14 Jun 2019, 7:30pm:  AGM   followed by a talk:  Women in Mathematics   by Anthea Wright
 A look at the lives of some women before 1900 who were interested in Maths, but whose names are probably less well known than their male contemporaries.