Home > Next Meetings

Next Meetings

A brief outline of our next talks

Meetings take place, commencing at 7.30pm, in The Crawford Hall, Salford Road, Bidford on Avon B50 4EZ


21 February 2020.  "A Gentleman would not like it”: The History of Restraint in Mental Health Care

Talk by Dr. Sarah Chaney, Royal College of Nursing and Research Fellow at Queen Mary College, University of London

When we picture a Victorian “Lunatic Asylum”, an image that tends to spring to mind is that horror film staple, the strait-jacket. Few people are aware that the “non-restraint” movement in England and Wales meant that all restraining garments, straps or chains largely disappeared from public asylums for a half-century. By the early 1850s, all asylums in England and Wales were claiming to follow the non-restraint system.

This development is significant, because it complicates the widespread assumption that changes in mental health care must necessarily be progressive: if one encounters a strait-jacket in a museum collection, for example, it is more likely to be a twentieth-century garment than a Victorian one. The arguments raised throughout the debate also highlight other issues in mental health: the changing role and status of mental health nurses, concerns about “chemical restraint” with drugs and the legal status of the mentally ill.

The care of mentally ill patients can be compared with the equivalent in-patient provisions for physical ill health and the nursing care they might have received.

Dr. Chaney completed her PhD at UCL in 2013, focusing on self-injury in late Victorian asylums. Her research has focused on nineteenth and twentieth-century Britain and the USA,  including: The history of nursing and healthcare, The history of self-inflicted injury and suicidal behaviour, The social history of asylum psychiatry in Britain since 1800,  Patient narratives in mental health care and survivor history. Histories of normativity and of emotions and emotional health. She has 12 Research paper published and has spoken on Radio 4. Currently Dr. Chaney is curating an exhibition at the Royal College of Nursing to open in January 2020: 'Who Cares? A History of Emotions in Nursing'.


20 March 2020.  History of Streets and Buildings of Stratford

Bob Bearman Retired Head of Archives and Local Studies, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

This presentation draws from his research publication of 1988, revised 2007. It concerns the naming and renaminig of Stratford's streets from the founding of the town in thirteenth century through to the present day.  Bob Bearman probably knows the history of our local town better than anyone else living.


17 April.  Partners of Prime Ministers

David Howe

David's talk consider four Prime Ministers who never married, all of whom at some point had at least one close relationship with a woman. 

Following on, the focus of the talk will be on the Churchills, the Attlees, the Edens, the Wilsons, the Thatchers, and the Majors