Speaker Meetings

FROM THE Speakers Team:

We hope that after all the disruption of the past year we have now managed to set up a fully future proof programme of speaker meetings. 

We are assuming that talks will take place via Zoom until the autumn when, all being well, we might be able to return to live meetings. However this will depend on the availability of the Baptist Church; all our future bookings should be able to take place either live or via Zoom so we are looking forward to an interesting and stimulating series of lectures without further disruption.

Speaker Meetings 2021/22

Sept - Wildlife on Your Doorstep    Tom Way

Oct - Art Inspired by Wine    John Ericson 

Nov - Music in Art    Sophie Matthews

Dec - London in times of Shakespear  Tim Barron

Feb - House of the Romanovs    Siobhan Clark

Mar - British Museum Treasures    Don Brown

21 April   Sing a Century   Andy Smith

19 May   From Barrow to Baghdad and back again   Philip Cairn

16 June  Chloroform - Sense and Insensibility   Graham Harrison

21 July    Memories of a TV Cameraman    Steven Jellyman

18 Aug    (our Garden Party hopefully)   

15 Sept   The Land of Giants and Volcanoes    Timothy Walker

20 Oct    Remembered, the Commonwealth War Graves   Julie Summers

17 Nov   The Mitford Sisters in the Cotswolds    Muriel Pilkington

18 Dec   600 Years of Christmas    Green Matthews


16 Feb  Last Supper at Pompeii    Dr Paul Roberts

16 Mar  How Tropical Rainforests Work    Dr David Jones

20 Apr  Charles Darwin and The Beagle    James Taylor

Updated:31 Mar 2021

The Speaker Meetings take place

monthly on the third Wednesday at 2 pm 

Click on this orange link to join in

Meeting ID: 863 8862 2562   Passcode: 881899

Andy Smith - Sing a Century

Andy Smith last came to talk to us in 2019 and many of you will remember his delightful talk entitled ‘John, Paul, Ringo and Me’. This time he features songs and instrumentals written and recorded over the last century, singing at least one song from each decade. There has been some amazing music written since 1920 and he will feature some well-known classics as well as a few forgotten gems. So prepare for a musical afternoon with the opportunity to test your memories and guess the year, the song, the artist or the musical. 

19th May – Philip Caine

From Barrow to Baghdad and back again

Philip Caine was born in Barrow-in-Furness, beginning his working life in the hotel business. He then headed to the off-shore oil rigs in the North Sea and began a career that spanned thirty years operating projects across three continents. The end of the Iraq war in 2003 took Philip to Baghdad where he directed the operations and project management of multiple accommodation bases for the American Coalition. After working all over the world he returned to Barrow where he now lives with his family. He began writing his first novel which was published in 2015 and since then there have been five further novels in his exciting thriller series.

16th June - Graham Harrison

Chloroform: Sense and Insensibilty

Graham Harrison is a member of the group Sunjester who would, in more normal times, be offering their presentations at National Trust and English Heritage properties around the country. After a long career in educational workshops Sunjester have, over the last six years, developed a successful series of adult talks. Graham will be talking to us about the history of anaesthesia and the quest to transform surgery from terrifying ordeal to pain free experience which resulted in alarming degrees of both bravery and recklessness. Horror and humour combine in tales of how early doctors and scientists experimented with anaethesia.


21st July – Steve Jellyman

Memories of a TV Cameraman

Standing behind his camera, Steve Jellyman has witnessed some of the iconic moments of the last 50 years. In his talk he will share some of the most memorable of these events with us and shed fascinating insights on people and situations. A real trip down memory lane and chance to revisit some of the later 20th century’s most newsworthy stories and characters.  


18th August - Garden party 



15th Sept – Timothy Walker

The Land of Giants and Volcanoes

We welcome a return visit from Timothy Walker (lecturer in botany at the University of Oxford and erstwhile Horti Praefectus of the Botanical Garden) who last spoke to us about the importance of plants in so many aspects of our everyday activities. This time he will talk about the Pacific States of America, the home of giant redwoods and volcanoes. In addition there are spectacular alpine meadows and some of the most dramatic coastline in the world. This talk will look at the botany of the region and the influence of the volcanoes on its geology, geography and flora.


20th Oct – Julie Summers

Remembered, the Commonwealth War Graves

Julie Summers, our most regular and popular speaker, returns to give a talk based on her own highly acclaimed book ‘Remembered’ which tells the human story behind the extraordinary efforts of those who felt that the fallen should be remembered in perpetuity, and with dignity.

17th Nov – Muriel Pilkington

The Mitford Sisters in the Cotswolds

Most of us have heard of the five Mitford sisters who first began to make headlines in the late 1920’s and have rarely been out of the news since. Between them they were close to many key figures of the last century. They knew Churchill, John F Kennedy and Hitler and entertained the Queen and Duchess of Windsor. Fewer of us probably realise that their childhood was spent at Asthall Manor near Burford from where they went on to dazzle in many different political and social spheres. 


8th Dec – Green Matthews

600 years of Christmas

Sophie Matthews was one of our earliest Zoom speakers and many of you will remember her fascinating talk about musical instruments in Baroque art, which she illustrated lavishly with music from her various bagpipes. For this talk she will be joined by her collaborator, Chris Green, as they explore Christmas music over six centuries and entertain us in song and on a variety of instruments. A real Christmas treat! 


15th Jan 2022 – Jim Holmes

Humanitarian Vision

Jim Holmes is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a professional documentary photographer. His career has taken him around the world to more than 50 countries and into some amazing landscapes. He has been particularly involved in photographing the work of humanitarian organisations such as Oxfam, Save the Children and the United Nations. He promises us an uplifting and insightful talk visiting some of their projects in Afghanistan, Laos, Mongolia, India, Myanmar and many other countries. 


16th Feb 2022 – Paul Roberts

Last Supper at Pompeii 

Paul Roberts is a classical archaeologist who holds the title of Sackler Keeper of the Department of Antiquities at the Ashmolean Museum. He was the Curator of the recent exhibition ‘Last Supper at Pompeii’ at the Ashmolean and he will talk to us about the catastrophic eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD. This is the third time that his name has featured on our programme with previous appearances having to be cancelled due to the pandemic. We very much hope that his talk will be able to go ahead this time!


16th March 2022 – Dr David Jones

How Tropical Rainforests Work

David Jones is a research biologist at the Natural History Museum in London. He specialises in rainforest insects and ecology and spoke to us in 2019 about the most dangerous animals on earth. He returns to speak to us about the main ecological processes that keep rainforests functioning and the threats that currently surround their long-term future. All very relevant to our current times.  This is another talk which has been rescheduled more than once and again we sincerely hope that it will go ahead without any further delays.


20th April 2022 – James Taylor

Charles Darwin and the Beagle

James Taylor is the author of ‘The Voyage of the Beagle’ which follows Charles Darwin’s extraordinary and momentous journey aboard Fitzroy’s famous survey ship. James Taylor is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and has a particular interest in marine paintings. We look forward to hearing some of the inside story of this perilous and momentous voyage which proved to be the watershed in our understanding of the development of biological species.  

©2020 Thameside Wallingford u3a

 Created by Sarah Boyt Robinson via Wix.com