Talks

I am also available as a speaker and have a selection of talks and presentations suitable for any size venue and audience. I talk for between 45 and 60 minutes depending on your requirements and all the presentations have visuals and some include live music! I can be fully self-contained and am happy to travel anywhere!
Typically I am booked by local history associations, W.I. meetings, Probus groups, schools and for cruises.

Some feedback:

In a word SuperbSteve Pollock

I don’t normally do this but this morning’s ‘lecture’/talk was just the very best – absolutely magic even to a musical ignoramus like myself. Totally brilliant. Please could you possibly pass this on to the Guest SpeakerNicko Franks

Thanks indeed for setting off our early 2022 programme with such vigour driving an engaging story. There’s no doubt your excellent singing continually receives additional accolades. I really do hope there’s a chance to present one of your other themes in the near futureAnthony Downing

I just want to thank you for both of your entertaining talks in Harrowbarrow yesterday …. The afternoon session was my Social Committee’s responsibility and I was delighted we were able to go ahead with our first event for nearly two years with such spectacular successEileen Sturt

I am confident you will receive five stars from all the members! We have many interesting speakers, but your added dimension of music elevated it to another levelMaria Grasso

On behalf of all Probus members – a big thank you for today. A top notch performance which won full praise from everyone. You really had us all thinking about the effects of the Great War Bob Langton

Many thanks indeed for entertaining us so splendidly yesterday, for which I have had plenty of enthusiastic feedback. – David Newth

An excellent talk today, thank you – Clive Robinson

If any of these subjects peak your interest, then please feel free to get in touch:

Surviving The Great War – The Songs, Humour and Words That Kept The Boys Going

A fifty minute presentation in words, music and visuals exploring how the Arts helped those embroiled in the devastation of the First World War to survive to the end of the day, or perhaps the week, or even to come home safely again. We’ll examine some of the Great War’s poetry, the songs that emerged and the wonderful satire which all worked to keep spirits up.

The Wit and Songs of Noel Coward

Born in 1899, Coward was an actor, writer, composer, director, producer, and in later life painter– and he excelled at them all. He said of himself ‘I am an enormously talented man, and there is no point in denying it’. 
This is a 45 minute reminder of that talent and some of the wonderful songs and wit of the ‘Master’ including Don’t Let’s Be Beastly To The Germans, Mrs Worthington, Mad About The Boy, There Are Bad Times Just Around The Corner and Mad Dogs & Englishmen.
This contains live music and visuals.

Politically Incorrect – The Songs of Tom Lehrer

Born in 1928 Tom Lehrer was a mathematical child prodigy who graduated from Harvard when just eighteen. However, it is for his satirical and often irreverent songs that he his famous. Songs such as I Hold Your Hand in Mine, When You Are Old and Grey, Poisoning Pigeons in the Park, We’ll All Go Together When We Go and I Got it from Agnes.
In this presentation we explore Tom’s career, his relevance today and I perform a selection of his most famous musical works.
A 45 minute presentation with live music and visuals.

Talbot House – a home from home

Run by the cleric Tubby Clayton, Talbot House in Poperinge, Belgium, became the ‘haven in hell’ for many British servicemen during the Great War and ultimately the inspiration behind the Toc H Movement. This illustrated talk introduces us to the house which allowed men of all ranks and religion to find some home comforts and to escape from the sounds, sights and odours of war for just a little while.

Butch & Sundance: Heroes or Villains?

In 1969 Paul Newman and Robert Redford immortalised two of America’s most notorious bank and train robbers of all time in George Roy Hill’s cinematic spectacle. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were represented as two affable and likeable Robin Hood style outlaws, but how accurate a reflection was this?
A 45 minute talk with visuals.

Private Godfrey’s Real War

To the legions of fans of ‘Dad’s Army’, Private Charles Godfrey was that wonderfully endearing, kind and gentle retired tailor who lives with his two spinster sisters in Cherry Tree Cottage, Walminton-on-Sea. However, the Great War experiences of William Arnold Ridley, who played Godfrey, as a combatant in the front line trenches of the Western Front would leave him both physically and mentally scarred for life.
A 45 minute talk with visuals.

Cheltenham at War

A look at how the Cotswolds spa town coped with the years of the Second World War – the influx of evacuees, the bombing raids, the new industries, the schools, the home guard and of course the Yanks!
A 50 minute talk with visuals.

Cheltenham’s Racing Heroes

For over 100 years Cheltenham Racecourse has been the home of National Hunt Racing, but it’s association with horseracing is longer and stronger than that. This talk explores some of the racing heroes that lived in or around the spa town including 13 time Champion Jockey Fred Archer, Grand National winner Tim Hamey, Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Frenchie Nicholson and five time Champion Jockey, Gold Cup and Champion Hurdle winner Billy Stott.