Talks Archive

Programme 2012 - 2013

Merchandise, Merriment and Middens: an odyssey through the 18th century streets of Sherborne
by George Tatham

Date: Tuesday 25 September 2012

This talk will consider aspects of the cultural, social and economic experience of living in 18th century Sherborne with its market, industries, shops, inns and two provincial newspapers.

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Alan Turing - Bletchley Park Codebreaker
by Dr Mark Baldwin

Date: Tuesday 9 October 2012

2012 is the centenary of the birth of Alan Turing. Using an unrivalled collection of slides, Dr Baldwin will explain the workings of the Enigma machine. The presentation will be followed by a demonstration of a rare 1944 4-rotor Enigma machine.

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Empires of the Sea: the Mediterranean in the Sixteenth Century
by Roger Crowley

Date: Tuesday 23 October 2012

In the sixteenth century the Mediterranean became the battleground for an epic maritime struggle between the Ottoman Empire and Christian Europe. This illustrated talk will explore a contest for the Middle Sea that was at the same time imperial, religious and economic.

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The Brookes of Sarawak and the British North Borneo Company
by Adrian Thorpe

Date: Tuesday 13 November 2012

For 100 years Sarawak, a part of Borneo the size of England, was ruled as an independent state by an English family – the White Rajahs of Sarawak. Adrian Thorpe knows Sarawak well and in his illustrated lecture will tell the story of this unique country

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Commander Ian Fleming – Naval Intelligence
by Kathy McNally

Date: Tuesday 27 November 2012

Ian Fleming’s role in WW2’s secret operations was ‘equal to the most fantastic inventions of romance and melodrama’ according to Winston Churchill. Kathy McNally tells of Fleming’s role.

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Court Life in 13th Century England
by Dr Ben Wild

Date: Tuesday 11 December 2012

The talk will seek to offer some new interpretations on Henry III's reign by focusing on the politics of the royal court.

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Lady Butler: Battles Artist
by Felicity Herring

Date: Thursday 10 January 2013

In 1874, this genteel Victorian Lady sent a painting of the Crimean War to the Royal Academy where it was an outstanding success. From then on she almost exclusively painted battle scenes from Waterloo to Afghanistan and WW1

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The Representation of the People Act (1918) and the coming of Democracy to Britain
by Professor Andrew Thorpe

Date: Thursday 24 January 2013

The landmark '1918 Representation of the People Act' brought mass democracy to Britain for the first time. This lecture will explain why this Act was passed in 1918 and will also set it into the longer-run context of Parliamentary Reform Acts from 1832 onwards.

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Plant hunters and pioneers
by Caradoc Doy

Date: Thursday 7 February 2013

The Story of the Veitch Nurseries of Exeter & Chelsea. They were the first commercial nursery in Britain to sponsor their own plant collectors. This illustrated talk highlights some of the well-known and interesting plants introduced by this important firm

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The Great Stink
by Dr Stephen Halliday

Date: Thursday 21 February 2013

In the sweltering summer of 1858 the Great Stink of sewage from the polluted Thames drove MPs from the Chamber of the House of Commons. Parliament had to act - drastic measures were required to clean the Thames and improve London's primitive sewage system. The engineer entrusted with this task was Sir Joseph Bazalgette

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The Exiled Collector
by Anne Sebba

Date: Thursday 7 March 2013

In her lecture Anne Sebba, biographer of William Bankes : 'the Exiled Collector’, will talk about William as a serious collector of  Ancient Egyptian artefacts and Spanish paintings as well as some fine - and some less fine - Italian decorative art. She will also discuss the high price he paid for the Victorian morality which judged him.

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The search for the Durotriges – Dorset and the West Country in the Late Iron Age
by Martin Papworth

Date: Thursday 21 March 2013

Who were these people, who, 2000 years ago, built great hillforts like Maiden Castle and Badbury Rings?  How did they respond to the Roman Conquest and how did they adapt to Roman occupation? Were the Durotriges a united tribe or a series of differing communities that gradually banded together to form a confederacy?

More details about 'The search for the Durotriges – Dorset and the West Country in the Late Iron Age'