BCNT  Lectures Programme  2018/19

    All lectures will be held on the ground floor of the Salvation Army Citadel located at the corner of James Street West and Green Park Road. It is opposite Green Park Station.

    All lectures will be held on the 2nd Tuesday in the month at 2.30pm except March 2019 when it is the third Tuesday. There are no lectures in December & January.

    A charge will be made for all lectures of £3 for members and £5 for visitors.

    February 13th 2018 - "Chartwell and the Churchills"

    Dr Kathleen McCarthy was a volunteer at Chartwell until recently. She will briefly explore the interesting history of Chartwell before going on to look at how Winston Churchill fell in love with the house, bought it, and made his unique mark on it. Churchill family life then revolved around Chartwell; we will think about what the house and its contents have to tell us about their life there.

    March 20th 2018 - Cancelled Owing To Bad Weather

    April 10th 2018 - "The Offa's Dyke Path; South to North"

    A talk by Alastair Chalmers. In 2007/9 he walked the length of the path in stages, weaving back and forth across the invisible border between England and Wales. The route passes through magnificent and varied scenery, full of history and interest. His talk is illustrated with photographs taken en route of the countryside, its buildings and plants.

    May 8th 2018 - AGM

    After the AGM there will be a talk "The Trials and Tribulations of Working in Africa" by Jenny Bowen, Director of Sense Africa. She runs a business that creates tailor-made holidays to southern Africa. Her business has been running for 11 years and even today she is amazed at how things work, or don’t, in the countries she operates in. Jenny will go through her highs and lows of operating in Africa with amusing and anecdotal stories including being chased by a hippo which she was trying to feed.

    June 12th 2018 - "Walking Hadrian's Wall"

    Ian Williamson will give us an illustrated talk about his five day walk along the 84 miles of Hadrian's Wall from Wall's End, Newcastle to Bowness.

    July 10th 2018 - "The British Honours System"

    This presentation by Ashley Jones, takes the audience on a journey through the British Honours System, including some of the lesser known awards and stories of some worthy recipients. He will explain how to nominate someone for an award, how the selection process works and what to expect if a letter suddenly drops on your doormat from the Cabinet Office.

    August 14th 2018 - "Swindon, Wiltshire & the Suffragettes"

    2018 is the 100th anniversary of votes for propertied women over 30 years of age. Author Lucienne Boyce will tell us about the local suffragette movement.

    September 11th 2018 - "Brunel's Ships"

    Commander Philip Unwin RN will tell us about Brunel's three ships, the Great Western, Great Britain and Great Eastern. After dealing relatively briefly with the first two ships, he will cover the construction and life of Brunel’s leviathan, the Great Eastern, and her management and mismanagement, in more detail.

    October 9th 2018 - "18th Century Shell House and Grotto Decoration in Bath and the West Country"

    Dr. Gerald Hull and his wife Margaret will explore the impact of the Grand Tour on 18th century landscape design and, in particular, the developing role of women in shell house and grotto design in the south west, including examples from the Bristol and Bath areas.

    November 13th 2018 - "The Grand Tour"

    Bernard Merrick's talk "The Grand Tour" will inform us of what rich teenagers were doing in the 1700's and 1800's when they were sent abroad - how they travelled, where they went and how WE became Tourists! and......what has a dining fork got to do with it all?

    BCNT Lectures Programme 2019

    February 12th 2019 - "Village Signs"

    How do you know where you are? A sign at the entrance to a village or in its centre will tell you. More than just a name, a village sign may tell you something of the history and show significant buildings of the village. Their variety of forms reflects the imagination of the designer, yet why are they almost universal in eastern counties, but few and far between in the west? This presentation by Ann King shows the variety and some of the background stories of this largely English tradition.

    March 19th 2019 - World Heritage And Its Importance To The City of Bath".
                            Note this lecture is on the third Tuesday of March.

    Professor Barry Gilbertson is Chairman of the City of Bath UNESCO World Heritage Site. His talk will cover:

    • What is World Heritage ?
    • World Heritage in Bath
    • Ideas, Inspiration and Issues
    • Greater Community Awareness
    • Bath World Heritage Enhancement Fund
    • Great Spas of Europe

    April 9th 2019 - "'Inspir'd By Freedom': The Remarkable Story Of Catharine Macaulay

    Andrew Swift will tell us about Catharine Macaulay who was one of the most remarkable women of her age – an eminent historian and avowed republican who inspired and influenced both the American and French Revolutions. She was also one of Bath’s most celebrated residents, and in 1777 her 46th birthday was marked by the ringing of the abbey bells and a glittering gala at which the city’s great and good recited specially-composed odes. The following year, however, she shocked Bath society by running off with ‘a stout brawny Scotsman of 21’. Although her reputation in England never recovered, she continued to be honoured abroad, and in 1784 travelled to the United States as the guest of George Washington.

    May 14th 2019 - AGM

    After the AGM we will have an update from Tom Boden, NT General Manager for Dyrham Park, Prior Park Landscape Garden & Bath Assemby Rooms, on the Prior Park dams project and from Deanne Lewis, Head Gardener at Dyrham Park, on the developments in Dyrham Park's gardens.

    June 11th 2019 - "Origin Of The Modern Economy"

    Professor David Auckland will talk about the economic/political system that governs our lives which was developed over a period of only fifty four years from 1690 to 1714, embracing the reigns of Charles II, James II, William III and Queen Anne, around a series of solutions to straightforward issues arising mainly from a shortage of cash to fight wars. A fascinating story unfolds describing the origins of all the various facets of our present economic order including government bonds, banking, insurance, and the stock exchange complete with its mysterious nomenclature most of which originated in those fifty four years! The story enables us to understand the fundamentally simple worlds of commercial and national finance, and to interpret the over complex economic reports and events that assail us daily.

    July 9th 2019 - "A Plague Of Blue Locusts"

    Professor Graham Davis will explain that the "Blue Locusts" refers to the initial unpopularity of a uniformed police force in Britain. Bath was one of the first borough police forces in 1836 established when the city faced economic difficulties from the loss of fashionable society. The council looked to raise the social tone to attract middle-class residents and retirees. Apart from working-class hostility, the Bath Police endured a high turnover of recruits, the misconduct of some of its officers and financial scandal. However, by the end of the century, the police had gained public respect as a professional force.

    August 13th 2019 - A talk by Jim Parkyn From Aardman Animations

    Jim Parkyn has worked as a senior model maker with Aardman since 2000 and has played a part in most productions since then. Credits include "Chicken Run", "Wallace and Gromit", "Shaun the Sheep" and "Creature Comforts". In this talk he will cover the history of Aardman and its classic titles, how the films are made and his own experiences at the company.

    September 10th 2019 - "Richelieu: The Cardinal And His City"

    In this talk Brian Freeland will talk about the role of Cardinal Richelieu in the development of France. In 1585, when Armand-Jean du Plessis (later Cardinal de Richelieu) was born, France existed only as a geographical area: neither language nor law provided any unity. Loyalties were feudal, religious and/or regional. Richelieu dictated both the military strategies which provided France with new defensible borders, and inaugurated the unifying reforms which moulded the state’s own national cultural identity.

    In the process Richelieu discovered the power of cultural propaganda, and sought control of the country’s literary and artistic activities and institutions. Working closely with the royal architect Lemercier, the Cardinal planned buildings of enormous extravagance, including the church at the Sorbonne, where he was proviseur, and the magnificent Chateau and ‘walled town’ on the family estate at Richelieu. The Palais-Cardinal in Paris (later the Palais Royale) included a theatre, and he collected paintings and sculptures by many of the outstanding artists of the time, now on view in Paris, Orleans and Tours. He also founded the Académie Francaise.

    October 8th - "American Garden Meets English Landscape"

    This talk on the making in 2017-18 of the New American Garden at the American Museum is by the Head Gardener Andrew Cannell. Designed by leading American landscape architects, Oehme Van Sweden, the New American Garden is their first European commission and sees the complete redevelopment of a two-and-a-half acre lawn into a bold naturalistic landscape with winding footpaths and colourful perennial borders set against the stunning backdrop of the Limpley Stoke Valley. The garden is scheduled to be opened by Alan Titchmarsh in September 2018.

    November 12th 2019 - "Wildlife Of The Brazilian Pantanal"

    The Pantanal is the world’s largest tropical wetland, located mostly in Brazil but extending into Bolivia and Paraguay. This illustrated talk by Professor Michael Danson will describe our search for the rare and elusive Jaguar, an apex predator with a bite so powerful that it can pierce the skull of the largest Caiman. Along the waterways, we will also see Giant River Otters and the world’s largest rodent, the Capybara, plus a variety of other mammals, a host of beautiful birds, the occasional snake, and many of the 10 million Caiman that live in the Pantanal.