The 2013-4 programme attracted good audiences – on one occasion 120 attendees. The two excursions – Christ’s Hospital and Wallingford were both fascinating. I was amazed at the central role Wallingford has played in English history. Our thanks go to Professor Nigel Saul for organizing such an excellent day. In future there will be a dedicated mobile number in case of members being delayed/lost and wanting to find the group. The bitter fruit of experience… Apologies to those impacted.
We hope that the 2014-5 programme, enclosed with this newsletter, will appeal to the membership. All lectures will take place at St. Nicholas’s Hall, Guildford GU2 4AW and will start at 7.30 pm. The only variation to this is that the AGM will be held starting at 7 pm before the first lecture on 23rd September. I will be posting a short bibliography on the West Surrey Branch website – it is there for your use, but is in no way ‘demanded reading’.
Dr. Russ Foster will open our programme. He was the first academic to work on the Wellington Papers after they were deposited at the University of Southampton. A book stemming from the resultant doctorate was published in 1990. Since then he has contributed over 30 articles to various journals and in 2014 published “Wellington and Waterloo- The Duke, the Battle and Posterity: 1815-2015”. His talk looks not only at the event and the man but how perceptions of both have changed over the decades.
Our second lecture on 14th October will be by Dr Robert Saunders. Both in the 1832 Reform Act debate and in the Chartist movement, much of the energy of popular radicalism came from a sense of religious mission. There was also, however, a religious case against reform. Dr Saunders explores this religious dimension to the conflict surrounding Chartism, which has all too often been treated as a purely political affair.
Professor Jonathan Phillipswill be our guest on 18th November. His topic is Saladin’s rise to power, his capture of Jerusalem from the Crusaders in 1187, his conflict with Richard the Lionheart during the Third Crusade, and also the preservation and evolution of his image through the centuries, bringing the story right down to the present day.
On 2nd December we are delighted to welcome Mike Simpson, the grandson of George Simpson, who was the meteorologist on the Terra Nova Expedition 1910-3 during which Captain Scott and his pole party perished. Simpson was in charge of the main base during Scott’s pole attempt. Mike brings the benefits of the private family knowledge of these tragic events and some of the original Ponting photographs.
In 2015 we can look forward to Professor Dan Stone on “Rethinking Liberation: The End of the Holocaust?”; Professor Nigel Saul on “Magna Carta” and Dr. Grant Tapsell on “The Visual Culture of Politics in Restoration England”.
The annual cost of Associate Membership is £12. An application form for this is attached. Could you please return this, together with your payment, to Frank Flower, ‘Ifiori’, 1 Brynford Close, Horsell, Woking, GU21 4DW. We look forward to another year of interesting topics.
Chris Mitchinson (Chairman)