The Monthly Speakers’ Meeting takes place on the third Wednesday of each month at 2.00pm in the Baptist Church, Thames Street, OX10 0BH, and is open to all Members of the branch and to potential new members wishing to find out more. Members are addressed by an invited speaker (see below), and this is followed by tea, coffee and biscuits.  There is no charge. The talks are usually excellent and it’s a good chance to see friends old and new.

Speakers Programme 2017

Please note there may be changes from the published programme of Speaker Meetings

Wednesday 18 January 2017 – 50s/60s Music by the 3rd Member of The Springfields by Mike Hurst

As one third of “The Springfields”, Mike Hurst was at the heart of British pop music in the 1960s.  Since then, not only has he continued as a performer, he has been a major producer in the music business, working closely with many top names producing records well known to us all. Mike now runs rock schools for youngsters and lectures on the history of English speaking popular music. He was very popular on his last visit to us and is sure to provide another entertaining and nostalgic performance.

Wednesday 15 February 2017 – Who was Arthur? – the story behind the stories by Jaye Windmill

Jaye Windmill approaches the Arthurian legends from the point of view of the storyteller rather than the academic historian, covering the tales of the legendary king and his court and exploring how history, myth and legend have become intertwined. Passionate about Britain and our cultural heritage, she considers whether Arthur really was a West Country king and even whether he existed at all.

Wednesday 15 March 2017 – WWII Fashion and Rationing by Julie Summers

A recent exhibition at the Imperial War Museum entitled “Fashion on the Ration” illustrated the difficulties and constraints of life and fashion in Britain in WW2. Much of the exhibition was based on Julie Summers’ book of the same title. Julie returns to us to give us the story in her own words and those who have heard the previous talks she has given us know how detailed and interesting they are.

Wednesday 19 April 2017 – Agatha Christie the Archaeologist by Henrietta McCall

After the famous crime writer first travelled to the Middle East in 1928, her life took a new and exciting direction when she discovered the lure of the ancient past, its connection with crime detection, and ultimately found personal happiness in the form of marriage to the archaeologist, Max Mallowan. Henrietta McCall is herself an archaeologist and able to talk very authoritatively about this fascinating final period of Agatha Christie’s life.

Wednesday 17 May – Visual Illusions: Can you believe your eyes? by John Ericson

John Ericson, often remembered as “The Corkscrew Man” who last visited us to give his amusing talk on “Pub Signs of Britain” is returning to Wallingford to present the challenge Can You Believe Your Own Eyes? In this thought provoking and entertaining presentation, John offers a selection of images, some of which will amuse you, whilst others will confound you, and some will even challenge your self belief. All done in John’s own delightful style!

Wednesday 21 June – Beer, sausages and marmalade – food in 19th century Oxford by Liz Woolley

Liz Woolley came to Oxford to study science but instead became fascinated by the city’s local history. She specialises in aspects of the life of the city’s ‘town’ rather than ‘gown’ and in the everyday lives of rural people across the county chiefly during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her talk in June will focus on everyday food and drink in nineteenth century Oxford.