Home > Programme of Meetings 2019-20

Programme of Meetings 2019-20

Programme, September 2019 to July 2020

This programme introduces crime and punishment, illnesses and health treatments. Pension arrangements after the Civil Wars come up for review. We have biographical talks and episodes on how to get on in the world. Altogether a fascinating year.

All meetings start at 7.30pm; each presentation lasts 1 hour.

Meeting date


20 September

Tudor Icons - the Social Secrets of Fashion

An insight into the secrets of Tudor fashion. In a world dominated by strict hierarchy, what you wore in Elizabethan England defined your social position. Choose your fabrics with care. For unless you dress as a Lady or Gentlemen, you will not be treated as one.

Speaker: Dr. Nic Fulcher, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

18 October

Warwickshire Murderers and Villains of the 19th Century

The fall of a plough decided one young girl’s fate but there are also bank robbers, angry sons and a case of mistaken identity. An evening of C19th intrigue, suspense and murder in this collection of Warwickshire villains.

Speaker: Vanessa Morgan

15 November

From Pillory to Prison Cell

A history of criminal sentencing from the 16th to the 21st Century. The talk covers punishments: the stocks, pillory, the death penalty, transportation and imprisonment. We are challenged to consider whether our dependence on sentences of imprisonment is justified

Speaker:  Ginny Davis, Barrister

20 December

Another Icarus: Rise and Fall of Percy Pilcher

The tale of aviation pioneer Percy Pilcher, and his sister, Ella. Percy’s quest for flight ended tragically on the banks of Avon, when on the cusp of becoming the most famous name in aviation history.

Speaker: Roy Smart

17 January

Plague, Pestilence and Pox; Disease and Death in Days Gone By

How our ancestors suffered from weather disasters, accidents and epidemics. Epidemics of bubonic plague, smallpox, cholera and other diseases will be discussed, and the measures taken to counteract them.

Speaker: Dr. Richard Churchley

21 February

“A Gentleman would not like it”: The History of Restraint in Mental Health

Development of care in Asylums. 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.

Speaker: Dr. Sarah Chaney, Royal College of Nursing and Queen Mary, University of London

20 March

History of Streets and Buildings of Stratford upon Avon

A very local topic drawing on the speaker’s detailed research.

Speaker: Dr. Bob Bearman, Retired Head of Archives and Local Studies, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

17 April

Partners of Prime Ministers

Four Prime Ministers who never married, all of whom at some point had at least one close relationship with a woman.  The talk then considers the Churchills, the Attlees, the Edens, the Wilsons, the Thatchers, and the Majors.

Speaker: David Howe

15 May


Bereavement and Loss in Civil Wars in Warwickshire

Findings from the Warwickshire part of a national study entitled “Welfare, Conflict and Memory during and after the English Civil War”, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council; to examine the fate of maimed soldiers and widows.

Speaker: Prof. Andrew Hopper, Centre for English Local History Leicester University

19 June


Robert Dudley, Kenilworth Entertainment

Elizabethan Courtier, Dudley attempts to woo Queen Elizabeth into marriage in 1575, with a three week extravaganza of entertainments and gardens at Kenilworth Castle. A desperate last ditch stand!

Speaker: Dr. Gillian White