We offer talks on a wide range of local history topics.
Our experienced speakers are in great demand and have given talks in places as far apart as Coventry, Croydon and Yeovil. Our talks score very highly for audience satisfaction and some groups even book a regular annual talk.
Talks are usually illustrated with slides and last about 50 minutes. Some talks can be adapted for a shorter or longer period, so please ask. If your hall is large an amplification system would be helpful.
The Dunkirk Little Ships – the perfect talk for 2020 – the 80th anniversary of the “miracle of Dunkirk”.
Description: Hundreds of small boats helped rescue soldiers from the beaches at Dunkirk in 1940. This talk is a tribute to those Little Ships and their incredibly brave crews. Includes many references to Thames-built or Thames-based boats.
Title: Grandma Flew Spitfires
Description: Air Transport Auxiliary – a forgotten story of courage, skill and sacrifice. Our most popular talk – gets 5* ratings every time!
Title: White Waltham Airfield: 80 years of aviation history
Description: Few airfields in the world have such a rich aviation heritage
Title: Behind the Cockpit Door
Description: Everything you always wanted to know about flying, but didn’t know who to ask.
Title: Flying high: a pilot’s eye view
Description: includes aerial photographs, local, UK, Europe and further afield
Local history talks
Title: Maidenhead’s Motor Industry
Description: the first cars were built in Maidenhead in 1914!
Title: Vanwall – hopes of a nation
Description: Maidenhead’s own racing car, driven to Grand Prix triumphs by local boy Stirling Moss
Title: Maidenhead and the Movies
Description: including Hammer Horror, “Carry on Nurse” and Gerry Mr Thunderbirds Anderson, with lots of film clips
Title: Are you married? Or do you live in Maidenhead?
Description: Centuries of gossip and scandal!
Title: Copper, Love and Stars : Ray Lodge
Description: a 19th century Thames side villa
Title: Doctor at the Dean
Description: the life and times of a 1920s village doctor
Title: The fights over Cookham Commons (1799-1852)
Description: Cookham and Maidenhead are separated by acres of National Trust commons. In the early 19th century there was quite a battle over ownership and rights – and the implications are still with us today
Title: God Save the Queen! Royal connections of Maidenhead and district
Description: Refresh your knowledge of history from 1066 t0 the present day, tracing an extraordinary number of local royal connections
Title: Reminiscence Sessions
Description: Let us help lead your members “down memory lane” with the help of photos and bygones. Ideal for small groups.
River Thames & canal talks
Title: The Dunkirk Little Ships
Description: Hundreds of small boats helped rescue soldiers from the beaches at Dunkirk in 1940. The story of those Little Ships and their incredibly brave crew make the perfect talk for 2020 – the 80th anniversary of the “miracle of Dunkirk”.
Title: The River Thames: from Cotswolds to the sea
Description: Follow the course of the Royal River Thames in this fully illustrated talk by Richard Poad
Title: The River Thames: from Henley to Windsor
Description: A closer look at the river between two iconic riverside destinations.
Title: With 3 men in a boat from Kingston to Oxford
Description: Join Montmorency the dog and his human friends on their skiff voyage up the Thames, and see how much hasn’t changed since 1889
Title: Thames Valley Millionaires – Temple to Taplow
Description: Keith Parry describes some of the huge riverside mansions in our area.
Title: The history of Boulter’s Lock
Description: Boulter’s Lock is still a symbol of Maidenhead. This talk traces its history from 1772 to the present day, concentration of Maidenhead’s Edwardian heyday.
Title: Up River: Arts & Crafts, River Enterprise, Murder Most Foul!
Title: The Kennet and Avon canal: the water road to Bath
Description: It is 100 miles and 100 locks from Reading to Bath – the K & A is an astonishing piece of engineering.
Title: Slow boat to Manchester: voyage through the canals of England
Description: 4 mph flat out! Sit back and let narrowboat owner Richard Poad transport you from Oxford to Manchester with his beautiful photographs.
Other topics talks
Title: Maidenhead Heritage Centre: What we are, what we do
Description: Includes objects for you to handle
Title: The Bahamas: 700 Islands in the Sun
Description: a personal perspective by Heritage Centre chairman Richard Poad, whose ancestors settled in the Bahamas over 200 years ago
Title: Palladio: the world’s most influential architect
Description: 21st century ‘Palladian’ buildings are a dreadful pastiche of the real thing! This illustrated talk demonstrates why Palladio was so influential.
Title: Giants of Modern Architecture
Description: Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright: love or hate their buildings, they are three of the giants of 20th century architecture, and their influence is still felt in 2016.
Title: The Shakers – much more than pretty boxes and fancy kitchens
Description: The Shakers are the longest surviving utopian society in North America and have had huge cultural influence. Discover more about these peaceful people who gave their “hands to work and hearts to God”.