Illustrated Talks

I am available to give Illustrated Talks to U3A & WI Groups, Gardening Clubs and other interested groups & organisations.

The following talks are currently available  (with more in preparation) :-

Swan Upping. This talk covers the five day journey of the Swan Uppers, rowing up the Thames from Sunbury to Abingdon in six traditional Thames skiffs, accompanied by several traditional powered support boats. The ceremony of Swan Upping dates from the 12th century when the Crown claimed ownership of all mute swans, which were considered an important food source. In the 15th century the crown granted rights of ownership to the Vintners' and Dyers' liveried companies and swans are now ringed with a number specifying which company they belong to.

The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant 2012.  This event took place on the Thames in June 2012 and consisted of approximately 1,000 boats assembled from across the UK, the Commonwealth and around the world. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh travelled on The Spirit of Chartwell with other royals. 'Gloriana' the Queen's row barge led the procession.

Thames Floods 2014. The storms, which began in October 2013, forced many from their homes and made 2013-14 winter the wettest since records began in 1910. More than 5,000 homes and businesses were flooded and many rivers in southern England reached the highest ever recorded levels.  Photos cover the Thames from Oxford to Staines comparing flood levels with normal levels.

Mapledurham Mill is an historic watermill located in the grounds of Mapledurham House in the county of Oxford. There has been a mill on this site since Saxon times and the present building dates from the 15th century, making it the only surviving working mill on the river Thames producing high quality flour. My talk covers the Watermills history and Mapledurhams use as a backdrop for many well-known films and TV series: The Eagle has Landed, Miss Marple, Midsummer Murders and Vanity Fair.  

Cherry Blossom in Japan. The talk covers three locations:-
is a popular spot for cherry blossom viewing (hanami).  About 1700 cherry trees are planted across spacious Nara Park.
is a city of of 1600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines, it was formerly the Imperial capital of Japan for more than one thousand years.  Kyoto is a modern city, but amongst the new developments pockets of ancient Japan linger, where kimono clad Geisha still shuffle along narrow, lamp-lit streets. 
is one of Japan's best cities for cherry blossom viewing. Nearly 5000 cherry trees line Okawa River for several kilometers.

Compton Acres near Poole in Dorset is comprised of several contrasting gardens set in 10 acres on a clifftop overlooking Poole Harbour.  Originally constructed in the 1920s these ornamental gardens are some of the most important in England.

All talks last between 30 and 45 minutes to suit your group with a Q & A session at the end. The cost is 40 inclusive of travel expenses and I can travel to venues throughout Berkshire & Oxfordshire.

No deposit or advance payment is required and  payment on the day can be by cash or cheque. I will also bring along a small selection of photocards available for sale.

My talks are PowerPoint presentations on my laptop and I have all my own equipment should the venue not have a screen or projector.

Please get in touch using the Contact Form or phone 0118 9402796 to discuss bookings.