BCNT  Lectures Programme  2015

February 10th - "Tyntesfield"

Jennie and Terry Stevens have been volunteers at Tyntesfield since September 2002 which was shortly after the National Trust had been successful in purchasing the House and Estate and before it opened to the public. They have found it exciting to be involved in the developments over the past ten years starting with thirty volunteers and progressing to the present total of well over eight hundred. Tyntesfield was one of the least known of English country estates until its purchase by the National Trust in 2002. It was identified in 1976 as one of the last great Victorian houses to have survived with virtually all of its contents intact making it an exceptional treasury of Victorian life and culture. This is reflected in the story of the four generations of the Gibbs family who have occupied the house. Whilst the Gothic style House with its Chapel is striking in appearance it is not a time capsule. The Trust was keen from the outset to provide life enhancing opportunities for individuals and for the public to share in the excitement of discovery together with the problems of conservation and restoration. Never before has a restoration project of this magnitude been carried out whilst staying open to visitors.

March 10th - “Raspberry Pi Microcomputer”

Find out why the Raspberry Pi credit card sized computer, manufactured in the UK and costing around £30 now has sales exceeding three million. In this light-hearted and humorous talk, David J Hallett MA will provide a whirlwind tour of computing from Babbage to the iPad, demonstrating why the Raspberry Pi has become an important tool in helping a new generation to learn the skills of programming and computer innovation. No flashing lights or loud bangs but this talk does contain a nostalgia warning.

April 14th - “Bath Silver”

Duncan Campbell will speak on silver crafted and sold in Bath. Attendees may recognise him from the "Antiques Roadshow" and from his shop "The Beau Nash" in Brock St.

May 12th - AGM, followed by “An Introduction to the Bath Food Cycle”

After the AGM, Fiona Bell will talk about the Bath Food Cycle.  Fiona is the Chair of a local volunteer group.


June 9th - “Rev Whalley”

Chris Stephens will tell us about the Rev Whalley in Bath in the eighteenth century, a clergyman who became rich by marrying widows.

July 14th - “Mines, Miners & Mining in the Bristol Area”

David Hardwick has been researching the industrial archaeology of the mining industry in the Bristol area for over 15 years and is a founder member of the South Gloucestershire Mines Research Group. In this talk, David will be revealing some of the recent discoveries found during the research of this largely forgotten industry. This illustrated talk will include details of the history of both the mines and the mining community and the methods used to win the coal. It will also explain details of some of the surviving remains and the works being undertaken to preserve them for future generations.


August 11th - “Lace in the West Country”

Europa Chang Dawson will tell us about lace in the West Country. Europa teaches lace making and knotting and helps to preserve this aspect of our heritage.

September 8th - " Kingdom of the Ice Bear"

Martin Saunders was a member of the BBC Bristol Film Unit from 1973 until 1992 where he was employed there as a Film Cameraman, filming many types of programmes ranging from Drama and Light Entertainment to Documentary, News and Current Affairs and, of course National History when his experience in underwater and aerial photography became very useful. His talk is based on the filming of the "Kingdom of the Ice Bear" and gives an insight into living and filming in the Arctic environment with personal and sometimes amusing experiences.

October 13th - "The National Trust in Bath - What we have acheived and what are our plans for the future".

This promises to be an interesting talk by Tom Boden who is the General Manager of Prior Park Landscape Garden, the Bath Skyline and the Bath Assembly rooms.

November 10th - "Fanny Burney: Life Inspiring Art"

Marie Louise Luxemburg will tell us about Fanny Burney, the novelist, diarist and playwright who spent part of her life in Bath.