talks programme - september - december 2017
September 6th Mark Cottle Buckfast Abbey: the rebuilding of a Medieval Monastery
Buckfast Abbey is a unique example of a medieval monastery beautifully rebuilt to its original design and use. Founded in 1018, it is now approaching its millennium year. Nearly four centuries after its dissolution by Henry VIII in 1539, the Abbey was rebuilt by a small group of dedicated monks in a project lasting just over 30 years. Using archive photographs from the 1880’s to the late 1930’s, this lecture will tell the story of Abbot Vonier’s great vision and how against the odds this was realised in stone.
Mark has spent over 20 years lecturing in Anglo-Saxon, Medieval and Tudor history in further and higher education. In 2001 he set up Exploring History which presents courses and talks that aim to bring back a sense of fascination with the richness and achievement of a remarkable period in English history. More details of Mark and Exploring History can be seen on their web site at :
September 13th Mike Rendell Courtesans, Fashionistas and Street-Walkers,
18th Century style
Mike Rendell has written many books about life in the Georgian period. He has always been fascinated by the history of England in the Eighteenth Century and was fortunate to inherit a large number of detailed documents and artefects belonging to one of his ancestors who lived at this time. Mike has an excellent web site containing information relating to the Georgian period and details of his books, and this can be accessed at the following address :
September 2oth Jane Wright St Peters Malawi Education Trust
Since 2002 the staff, students and parents at St. Peter's School have raised over £120,000 to support a range of projects in the community of Mtunthama in central Malawi and students now have an opportunity to join an annual expedition to Malawi and to help with some of these projects. Information about this work is available on the St. Peter's web site at the following address :
September 27th Nigel Hyman Stephen Reynolds: Fisherman, Author, and Homefront Hero: A Forgotten Story
In August 1906 Reynolds, a struggling young middle-class writer, walked with his dog, Margot, from Devizes to Sidmouth. He was befriended by the Woolley fishing family who effectively adopted him. He learned to fish and in 1908 described his new life in a widely acclaimed book, “A Poor Man’s House”. He became the spokesman for the fishermen and, during the Great War, undertook the mammoth task of maintaining fisheries in the southwest.
Nigel is the Curator of Sidmouth Museum and has written a number of books about the history of Sidmouth, including "Sidmouth: People and Places", “Sidmouth’s Literary Connections” and “Richmond House to Sidholme”. Copies of his books are available at Sidmouth Museum or can be purchased through the Museum's on-line shop at http://www.sidvaleassociation.org.uk/online-shop, and Nigel will have some books available for purchase at the meeting.
October 4th John Maclean Is Anyone Out There?
In this fun but enlightening talk we look at the possibilities of life in the Universe and the way aliens have been imagined by Hollywood and others. Be prepared for some intriguing questions and sensible answers with a large lump of "tongue in cheek."
John is an astronomer, astrophotographer and lecturer on Astronomy and Astrophysics, and is UK Ambassador for the NASA OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission and agent for NEOShield-2 project. Further details about John’s career and activities are available on the Exeter Observatory web site at http://www.exeterobservatory.com/ , which also has detailed information about the work of the Observatory.
October 11th Roger Harding & John Ellis The Stover Canal 1736 to 2016
Roger is a founder member of the Stover Canal Society and his talk will be covering the early history of the Canal, how the Society started and later became a Trust, and the restoration that has taken place.
The Trust has a very informative web page at the following address :
October 18th Steve Beech The Woodland Trust
Steve will be describing the work of the Woodland Trust, the UK's largest woodland conservation charity. The Trust has over 500,000 members and supporters and has more than 1,000 woodland sites, covering over 26,000 hectares, all over the UK. Their aim is to see a UK rich in woods and trees, enjoyed and valued by everyone, by protecting and campaigning, planting trees and restoring ancient woodland, for the benefit of wildlife and people. The Trust has a very informative web site at the following address : www.woodlandtrust.org.uk
October 25th Social Meeting General Discussion on the Future of Forum
November 1st Andrew Mimmack The Work of the Parole Board
The Parole Board is an independent body that works with its criminal justice partners to protect the public by risk assessing prisoners to decide whether they can be safely released into the community and was established by the Criminal Justice Act 1967. Members of the Parole Board are appointed by the
Secretary of State for Justice and Andrew serves on the Board as an Independant member.
Andrew served as Clerk to the Exeter and to the Central Devon and North Devon Magistrates' Courts, and as President of the Justices' Clerks Society.
November 8th Paul Cleave Devon's Food History and Legacy
November 15th General Assembly
November 22nd Martin Horrell A Miscellany of Little-Known Facts about Churches
Martin will be showing items from the earliest times of Christian churches in Britain including the Ogham Script, Viking tombs, Saxon Crosses and Norman carvings through to Funerary Helmets and Hatchments of the 18th century.
November 29th Keith Badman The History of the Greenhouse
December 6th Social Meeting
December 13th Members of Forum Christmas in Words and Music
December 20th No Meeting
December 27th No Meeting