BCNT  Lectures Programme  2017

    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 2018. There are no lectures in December & January.

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

    February 14th 2017  - "The Man Who Re-built Wessex"

    Dr Francis Burroughes will give an illustrated talk about the architect, Benjamin Ferrey (1810 - 1880) who has been almost forgotten. Yet in his time he was staggeringly successful, building and restoring over 200 churches, houses, and public buildings in the West Country and beyond. Many buildings in Dorchester are by him, and Wells Cathedral owes much of its present appearance to the work he did there, as does Christchurch Priory and Romsey Abbey. He was also responsible for laying out the original street plans of the new sea-side resort of Bournemouth. Francis is shortly to publish a monograph about this remarkable man, whose buildings are often unacknowledged and under-rated.

    March 14th 2017 - " The Pyronaut And The Queen's Jubilee Pageant"

    Clive Brain will tell us about the fire fighting ship Pyronaut which worked in Bristol's city docks. She was designed to go under every bridge in the harbour without the need to open them and could reach places which were difficult for land based fire engines.  She fought fires in both peace time and during the bombing raids of the second world war. 

    Clive was formerly coxswain of the fire boat Pyronaut and is now a volunteer at the M Shed in Bristol taking visitors around the harbour on Pyronaut which was one of the 1000 ships in the flotilla at the Queens Pageant on the 3 June , 2012. 

    April 11th 2017 - "Antarctica"

    Professor Michael Danson of Bath University will talk about Antarctica. He is a Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Bath. His talk will be a photographic presentation of two scientific visits he made to Antarctica. It will give a glimpse into life there - the survival course undertaken by all scientists on arrival, the wildlife seen, visiting the huts of Scott and Shackleton, camping beneath Mt Erebus, and a night in the Transantarctic Mountains, and it will put modern life there in the context of the historic explorers.

    May 9th 2017 -  AGM

    AGM followed by an update on local NT properties by Tom Boden, who is the General Manager of Dyrham Park, Prior Park Landscape Garden, the Bath Skyline and the Bath Assembly Rooms.

    June 13th 2017 - "The Loss of the Titanic and a Wiltshire Family - some mysteries and myths"

    Over one hundred years since she sank on her maiden voyage, RMS TITANIC continues to intrigue and fascinate us. Lieutenant Commander Geoffrey Carr Royal Navy will give an illustrated talk combining the technical aspects with the social history of a family that actually took passage in the ship.

    July 11th 2017 - "The Vanishing Tradesmen of Bath"

    Stuart Burroughs, Director of the Bath at Work Museum, will tell us about the changing nature of shopping in Bath to the 20th century and those particular circumstances in Bath which led to its development as a retail destination as long ago as the 18th century. The Tradesmen (and women!) who supplied the resident population of the city and the visitors often operated in completely different ways and the evolution of fixed prices, boutiques and 'ready money' systems (paying for the purchase when taken rather than paying on a monthly account) form an important thread in the lecture.

    August 8th 2017 - "Post Haste".

    Ann King makes a return visit to talk about the development of the British postal system including the sending and delivering of letters over the centuries, post boxes, the changing locations of post offices etc., - with particular focus on Bath and the south-west where many innovations started in the 18th and 19th centuries.

    September 12th 2017 - "Healing The Wounded In Bath During World War One"

    Dr Andrew Swift will talk about the use of Bath and its hospitals to treat the wounded during the first World War. In April 1916, the Bath War Hospital opened on the site now occupied by the Royal United Hospital. It was designed to accommodate 500 patients, but by the end of the war had over 1,300 beds, well over half of them in tents or marquees. In just over three years, the hospital received over 22,000 wounded soldiers, over 86% of whom returned to some form of military service. Over 3,000 more soldiers were treated in the Mineral Water Hospital, while other buildings, such as Kingswood School, Newton Park and Bathampton House, were pressed into service as temporary hospitals, and new spa facilities were opened to cope with demand. In this talk, Andrew Swift looks at the role Bath played in the care and treatment of wounded soldiers during World War One.

    October 10th 2017- "Bath's Theatre Royal".

    Jason Lemoir has worked at the Theatre Royal Bath for 26 years and his talk gives a fascinating insight into the history of the theatre in Bath, as well as some stories that you won't find in the official guide books!

    November 14th 2017 - "Towards The Bicentenary: BRLSI 1824 ........"

    Growing out of the Agricultural and Philosophical Societies of the 18th century, Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution (BRLSI) was founded in 1824 and, after a quiescent 20th century, came back to life in 1993 and has provided a venue for education, discussion and exchange ever since. This illustrated talk by Dr Steve Wharton will discuss the history, development and characters of BRLSI, and look at its current activities and future aspirations. 


    BCNT  Lectures Programme  2018

    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 - "18th Century Shell House & Grotto Decoration in Bath and the West Country"

    Note this date has been changed and is not the second Tuesday in March

    An illustrated talk by Dr Gerald Hull and his wife Margaret. This illustrated lecture will notify the Grand Tour and
    the social-intellectual contexts for the changes within garden landscaping which developed throughout the century. It will focus on landowners and aristocracy and the developing role of women in shell house and grotto design within the counties in question - the Earl of Shaftesbury, the Goldneys, Ralph Allen, the Beckfords, Mary Delany, Lady Hertford and Charles Hamilton. There will be a careful examination of locations in Bristol, Bath, Fonthill, Old Wardour, Wimborne, Shelborne, Bowden, Belcombe and Bowood where new discoveries and interpretations at Crowe Hall, Prior Park and Fonthill Gifford will also be presented.

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

    A talk by Alastair Chambers. In 2008/9 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 - " The Code Breakers of Bletchley Park"

    John Selby will take a slightly different look at Bletchley Park and the role it played in breaking the codes used by the Germans before and during the second world war. Much has been written about the achievement at Bletchley. This presentation looks more closely at the people involved and the part these individuals played, the risks that were taken and some of the unsung heroes who are less known.

    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?