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The main activity of the Exeter Forum is its weekly programme of talks. These take place at the Mint on Fore Street, Exeter every Wednesday. As can be seen from the programme set out below, the subjects covered are wide ranging. Speakers are invariably stimulating and entertaining. Non-members are welcome to attend these talks subject to a modest charge of £3.
The talks programme until Easter 2023 is given below:
Since the Covid-19 pandemic has not yet completely subsided, the possibility of more stringent social restrictions cannot be ruled out. If restrictions do become tougher, it may be necessary to revert again to Zoom meetings. Any such change, and any change arising from speaker unavailability will be published on this website. Frequent checks here are therefore advised.
Wednesday 4 January 2023
How to look at Exeter’s Heraldry
Heraldic designs and coats of arms are a common sight in our streets, churches and many other places. From pub signs to elaborate shields on tombs in cathedrals, they tell us much about the individuals, places and organisations that they represent. David will use a wide variety of examples from Devon, with an emphasis on Exeter, to show how to interpret this rich symbology.
Wednesday 11 January 2023
The Exeter Ship Canal: Why It Matters
This talk will cover different attitudes over the years to Exeter's historic canal. John will challenge the city not to turn its back on its waterways but recognise them as part of its future.
Wednesday 18 January 2023
Doctor at Sea
Tony Davis spent 6 months as a Ship's Surgeon on Union Castle's Braemar Castle. This humorous talk is about some of the more curious adventures which happened during that time.
Wednesday 25 January 2023
The Exe Estuary - wildlife, threats and management
This talk will look at the importance of the Exe Estuary and Dawlish Warren for wildlife and the current threats to its ecosystems and species. Imogen will describe the ways that the estuary is being managed for the benefit of both wildlife and people.
Wednesday 1 February 2023
A History of Exeter Hospitals
Exeter Forum member Mike Richards will look at the long history of hospitals and medical care in the city of Exeter from Mediaeval times to the present day. He will outline how some of the main establishments evolved and detail some of the local characters. He will also show the important part Exeter has played in introducing significant medical procedures.
Wednesday 8 February 2023
Dr John Salvatore
What the Romans did for Exeter!
Archaeologist and Roman historian Dr John Salvatore will provide an overview of how the Romans shaped the development of Exeter as a city, from water supply and baths to roads and villas.
Wednesday 15 February 2023
Charlie Courtenay, The Earl of Devon
Exeter and the Earls of Devon – frenemies for a millennium
Charlie Courtenay, the Earl of Devon, will tell the story of the relationship between the Earldom and the City of Exeter over the last 1000 years, recounting the good times and bad that helped shape our historic community.
Wednesday 22 February 2023
The Kingdom of the Dumnonia
Historian David Gore from the University of Exeter will describe the Kingdom of the Dumnonia in the South West and how it evolved after the Romans left. He will show how recent excavations, stone sculpture inscriptions and pottery finds are helping to provide a clearer picture and explain how an organised church and trade, high status activity and some fabled kings feature in this still mysterious period.
Wednesday 1 March 2023
Professor John Bryant
Human Genetics – what’s Ethics got to do with it?
Rapid developments in human genetics are raising very important questions about privacy, testing, confidentiality and genetic therapies. Professor John Bryant will make a welcome return to the Exeter Forum to look at the ethical issues associated with the developments in human genetics.
Wednesday 8 March 2023
A La Ronde, Exmouth
A La Ronde is a fascinating, unique house on the edge of Exmouth owned by the National Trust. This talk will focus on the transformational A la Ronde project which includes the conservation of the internationally important Shell Gallery. The project also incorporates working with the local community and partnerships in a new way and will set the direction of how A La Ronde will continue to develop in future years.
Wednesday 15 March 2023
The Incorporation of Weavers, Fullers and Shearmen and Tuckers Hall
400 years ago, a Royal Charter granted by King James I allowed the Weavers, Fullers and Shearmen of the City of Exeter to become an Incorporation, based at Tuckers Hall. Robin's talk will look at the history and development of the Incorporation and its present role. He will also show the importance and historical significance of Tuckers Hall in Fore Street, Exeter.
Wednesday 22 March 2023
Human Microbiome Part 2
Leigh makes a welcome return to the Forum to give his talk on the Human Microbiome Pt2. The Human Microbiome is the ecological community of microorganisms that literally share our body space. This talk focusses primarily on the gut microbes and the link between our immune systems, our brain, and our gut, and how it affects our general health.
Wednesday 29 March 2023
Devon has a fascinating array of castles and historic fortifications. Photographer and author Robert will explain how they were developed and altered over the centuries to meet the changing military, political and domestic needs of the people who used them. Examples from every major period from the Iron Age to England’s newest castle, Castle Drogo will feature in the talk.
Wednesday 5 April
Wednesday 12 April
Wednesday 19 April
Exeter Forum restarts after Easter break
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