Event Planner

Speaking

Educate, Entertain & Inspire

 

A HISTORICAL ROUTE TO VICTORIAN GARDENS

Takes you from the earliest known gardens in Roman Britain through the ages to the Victorian times when gardens changed to massed beds of flowers, exotic colours, and intricate designs, with examples of each style that can be visited in Britain. Some of the finest Victorian Gardens are now public parks. The talk also covers popular plants and flowers of the Victorian era and gardens today are still influenced by the grand Victorian style, particularly those belonging to stately homes and country estates, which retain their 19th-century splendour even today.

thumbnail_famous-victorian-era-gardens-1
thumbnail_Dog talk.jpg

HOW THE VICTORIANS TURNED MERE BEASTS OF DOGS INTO MAN’S BEST FRIEND AND CREATED THE PEDIGREE DOG

Dogs originated from wolves domesticated in Europe, 19,000-32,000 years ago and the talk tells how domestic dogs were perceived until the Victorians, with their love of sentimentality, had dogs as pets, built dogs homes for strays, created the Kennel Club with dog shows and above all bred dogs to fit a purpose through cross-breeding to develop the dogs of today that are deemed to be pure breeds, pedigrees. The talk shows how many pedigree dogs of today looked before the Victorians messed around with their genes. This talk will be available to organisations once a public presentation has been given to raise funds for Dysynni Dogs

HISTORY OF WELSH SUNDAY SCHOOLS

Starts with a brief explanation about how Sunday Schools started around 180AD. It explains how the World’s first Sunday schools began in the 16th century and the first established one in England in Gloucester in 1780. The talk continues on to the time when Sunday Schools were an integral part of rural Welsh life as a basis for educating poor children through the circulating schools in Wales. These Circulating Schools, started by Griffiths Jones and later carried on by Thomas Charles of Mary Jones and her Bible fame, was a form of education, began before Sunday Schools, and before the introduction of any formal, legal system of education such as Board Schools.

thumbnail_Sunday Schools.jpg
thumbnail_Welsh photographers.jpg

WELSH VICTORIAN PHOTOGRAPHERS

is a talk in three parts. It begins with a brief account of the early history of photography to set the scene for the important and influential Welsh photographers and their work during the Victorian era. As a natural progression in this story of photography the talk concludes with the introduction of postcards that became a mass-produced industry and collectors delight that more importantly recorded social history and life during these times using photography.

MARY JONES AND HER BIBLE

tells the true story of how a sixteen-year-old girl, Mary Jones from Llanfiangel y Pennant, near Abergynolwyn, walks barefoot across the mountains to Bala in 1800 to buy her own copy of the bible in her own language, Welsh. She cleaned for a local farmer to save all her pennies to buy her bible, then she walked the 28 miles over the mountainous terrain and back. Her efforts impressed Reverend Thomas Charles and inspired him to persuade those in London to form the British and Foreign Bible Society. The talk covers Mary’s and Reverend Charles’s life, the development of the Bible Society, and the worldwide spread of Bibles, it also covers the formation of Welsh Circulating Schools later to be Sunday Schools that taught children to read and write in an era when there were no schools and children worked.

thumbnail_Mary Jones.jpg
thumbnail_Drovers (2).jpg

WELSH DROVERS

moved cattle, sheep, pigs, and geese hundreds of miles across Wales and England existing long before the cowboys of the Wild West and their cattle drives. 3,000 cattle were regularly moved annually in the seventeenth century from Anglesey into England. By the end of the eighteenth century, the figure had trebled to 9,000 there were also reports of six thousand cattle coming from the Llyn peninsular, while further south the cattle journeying through mid-Wales were reckoned to number some 30,000 annually. Learn about the local drover’s road from Machynlleth to Llanidloes via Staylittle and on to Shrewsbury, Birmingham, and London.

TOLL GATES AND THE REBECCA RIOTS

The talk starts by describing an attack on a toll gate during the riots between 1839 and 1843 and continues with the causes of the riots and the reasons why rioters dressed in women’s clothing and performed rituals before pulling down a toll gate and burning a toll house. The riots caused at least one fatality, in the small village of Hendy on 7 September 1843 and are covered in the talk which also includes photographic slides of historical places and sites and of local Toll Gates from Aberystwyth, Machynlleth, and Porthmadog to name a few and why they are all of similar design.

thumbnail_Toll Gates and Rebecca Riots.p
thumbnail_Magic Lantern.png

MAGIC LANTERN - VICTORIAN REALITY

The talk covers the popular 19th century entertainment for the sentimental Victorians using Magic Lanterns which exploited the conditions of Victorian life for the working class the social problems that existed at the time such as Poverty, Drunkenness, Unemployment, Gambling, and the neglect of children. The talk includes local Temperance slides including Aberdyfi, Machynlleth, and Aberystwyth and concludes with a modern presentation of an actual Magic Lantern slide show and poem.

WOMEN'S STRUGGLE FOR THE VOTE

The talk is in two halves beginning with a detailed look at what life meant for women in the 19th century and how they were in the complete control of men in all aspects of their lives. The second half of the talk looks at Welsh Suffragettes and the impact of their actions to gain the right for women to vote, including the major incident in Llanystumdwy in 1912 reported two days later in the New York Times. The talk also includes a small piece on Emily Davison who died as a result of colliding with the King’s horse at the Derby 100 years ago in 2013.

thumbnail_Women's vote.jpg
thumbnail_Chartists.jpg

CHARTIST MOVEMENT IN WALES

explains the Chartist movement as being the first mass movement driven by the working classes. How the failure of the 1832 Reform Act to extend the vote beyond those owning property with less than a tenth of the male population of the UK able to vote caused the movement to develop and grow. The talk covers Chartism in Wales, the riots in Newport at the Westgate Hotel and Llanidloes, a local chartist hero, Hugh Williams from Gell Goch, near Machynlleth, and how through brave men like him, we owe in part our democracy today - votes for all, secret ballots, salaried elected representatives, reasonable parliamentary terms, the freedom to organise and lobby employers for better.