Past talks


9 January 2024: Exploration by Philip Beale
16 January 2024: Wellington and Waterloo by Russcombe Foster – cancelled, to be rescheduled
27 February 2024: Dining at the Villa Ventorum: ancient Roman Cookery at The Newt by Dr Mark Grant
5 March 2024: Past Forward at Salisbury Museum by Adrian jGreen, Director
2 April 2024: So Far So Good – an Amusing Talk on a Military Life by Malcolm Wells (replacement for the advertised talk)
9 April 2024 Sir John Thornhill by Jeremy Barker (replacement for the advertised talk)
16 April 2024 The History of Glass by Dr Francis Burroughes

10 January 2023: ‘Corfe Castle in the time of King John and Richard, Earl of Cornwall’ by Martin Papworth
17 January 2023: ‘The History of Arundells’ by Ivan Smith
28 February 2023: ‘Trinity House’ by Captain David Parsons
7 March 2023: ‘Game-changing Warfare’ by Tony Davies
4 April 2023: Dr Amy Frost ‘William Beckford’
11 April 2023: Susan Winch ‘Saxons, swineherds, weavers and convicts – one family’s ties to Mere’
18 April 2023: Nicola Turner Inman ‘The Royal Collection’
25 April 2023: Beverley Verwoert ‘The history of the Falkland Islands’
14 June 2023: Kit Stallard ‘The History of St Michael’s’
3 October 2023: Stuart Raymond ‘Wills and how to research them’
10 October 2023: David Hindley ‘The history of Wells Cathedral’
31 October 2023: Jonathan Holt ‘Follies of the West Country’
7 November  2023: Alan Jones ‘Look into my eyes – The history of hypnosis’
5 December 2023: Maurice Gee ‘The Mallet – the history of Shepton Mallet prison’
12 December 2023: David Heath ‘The time they cancelled Christmas’

1 February 2022: ‘The Gate Lodges of Wiltshire’ by James Holden
8 March 2022: ‘SS Great Britain’ by Ian Caskie
22 March 2022: ‘Florence NightingaTony Daviesle and the Herberts’ by Russ Foster
29 March 2022: ‘Nepal and the Ghurkhas’ by Johnny Fenn
5 April 2022: ‘Ethel Freame, A Gillingham Traveller’ by John Porter
12 April 2022: ‘The White Horses of Wiltshire’ by David Dawson
4 October 2022: ‘Environmental Archaeology’ by Dr Ines Lopez-Doriga
11 October 2022: ‘The Forward Family and its connections to Mere’ by Richard Backhouse
1 November 2022: ‘The Victoria County History of Wiltshire: Mere and Zeals’ by Dr Mark Forrest
8 November 2022: ‘Bosnia: the Fighting and Politicking then, and the Unfolding Tragedy now’ by David Leakey
6 December 2022: Susie Simmons ‘The Museum of Somerset’
13 December 2022:  Andrew Pickering ‘Bruton’s History as seen through its Museum’

28 September 2021: ‘The Rivers of Mere’ by Ian Sheppard
5 October 2021: ‘Updating Pevsner’ by Julian Orbach
12 October 2021: ‘The Borgias’ by Gerald Meyer
2 November 2021: ‘The Canal Age’ by Paul Atterbury
9 November 2021: ‘The Fascination of Place Names’ by Tony Painter
7 December 2021: ‘The Freezing Hell of Halswell’ by Philip Brown
14 December 2021: ‘The Archaeology of the Deverills Valley’ by Dr David Roberts

10 March 2020: ‘Lady Butler – 19thC Battle Artist’ Felicity Herring
3 March 2020: “Escape or Die”: King Charles II Escape after the Battle of Worcester,  Paul Cordle
4 February 2020: Captain Charles Fryatt and the SS Brussels Ben Carver
7 January 2020: History of Bells & Bell-ringing Mike Durkee

10 December 2019: Copper Printing Plates at Stourhead by Sandy Kerr and Geoff Ellen
3 December 2019: My 50 Years of Motor Racing by Mike Wilds
12 November 2019: The History of the Internet by Peter Mason
5 November 2019: General Pitt-Rivers by Adrian Green
8 October 2019: John Aubrey – A C17th Wiltshire Antiquary by Gerry Cook
1 October 2019: Kingston Lacey – The Medieval Manor House by Martin Papworth
16 April 2019: The Mere Man – A Beaker Warrior Burial by David Dawson
2 April 2019: Death at Porton Down; its investigation and inquest by David Masters
12 March 2019: Nathaniel Ireson of Wincanton, Architect, Master Builder, & Potter by Peter and Sarah FitzGerald
5 March 2019: Dunsterforce by Peter Landymore
5 February 2019: It Wasn’t Just Alan Turing by Hamish Bell
8 January 2019: The Frome Cheese Fair by Philip Cary

11 December 2018: Fifty-five Years Fighting Rust, by Ian Dean
4 December 2018: The Death of Gordon of Khartoum by David Baker
13 November 2018: Alberto Bioletti, Soldier of Napoleon and Master Clockmaker of Wincanton by John Baxter
6 November 2018: Stonehenge by Julian Richards
16 October 2018: Hadrian’s Wall by Mark Corney
9 October 2018: Stephen Hyde Cassan, Curate of Mere and Bruton by Justin Bailey
17 April 2018: Sugar to Camels by Ros Liddington – an illustrated talk about the sugar trade
3 April 2018: Out of my Attic – Boy’s Toys of the 20th Century by Michael Weale
13 March 2018: Stand Up and Be Counted – The Story of the Census by Daphne Tighe
6 March 2018: The Wessex Turncoat by Michael Wills
20 February 2018: Emergency Planning and Practical Salvage in Historic Houses by Hannah Severn
9 January 2018: Dorset Heroines by David Beaton

5 December 2017: Dartmoor Mindscapes by Peter Knight
12 December 2017: Kings of Music by Tom Weare
14 November 2017: Paul Maze, a Frenchman in khaki, the last impressionist by Philip Schofield
7 November 2017: Peace without victory: could the Great War have been ended in 1917? by Peter Landymore
10 October 2017: Popham: a 16th century lawyer who made good! by James Bradnock
3 October 2017: ‘The history of Desert Island Discs’ by Ralph Jerram
25 April 2017: ‘Jade, Amber and Gold, three stories from pre-history’ by Hilary Griffiths
4 April 2017: ‘The Yetties Group’s tours across Europe, Far East and Africa’ by Bonnie Sartin
21 March 2017: ‘Will Shakespeare’s London – danger, vanity and vice’ by Gerry Cook
7 March 2017: ‘Life and Times of the Iconic Vulcan Bomber’ by Tony Davies
21 February 2017: ‘Shackleton’s 1914 Expedition to the South Pole’ by Frank Marshall
7 February 2017: ‘How the 1940 Invasion of Belgium changed my Life’ by Monique Turnbull
17 January 2017: ‘Royal Naval Hovercraft in the Falkland Islands 50 years ago’ by Vernon Phillips

6 December 2016: Inner sanctums by Rob Curtis
15 November 2016: In search of Francis Faugoin, Steward for Henry the Magnificent at Stourhead by Julia Mottershaw
1 November 2016: Mysterious life of Walter Henry: from workhouse to transatlantic troopships in World War 1 by Howard Nichols
11 October 2016: Mid 19th Century Charity Organisations in Mere by Michael Plaxton
4 October 2016: Verwood industry and life by Pam Reeks
3 May 2016: Mata Hari – Eye of the Day; The Story of the Beautiful and Clever Double Agent by Kathy McNally
5 April 2016: Constable – His Visits to Gillingham by Sam Woodcock
15 March 2016: Conservation – the Agents of Decay by the Hannah Severn
1 March 2016: SS Great Britain – From Launch to Relaunch by Ian Caskie
2 February 2016: A Fresh Look at the Silk Industry in Mere by Julia Mottershaw
12 January 2016: Ancient Jordan and Petra: A Personal View by Tony Grinyer

1 December 2015: The Brigade of Gurkhas 1815 – 2015 – 200 Years of Service to the Crown by Johnny Fenn
17 November 2015: The Society’s Archive: Open for Business by Jenny Wilding
3 November 2015: The Last Russian Countess of Pembroke by Ros Liddington (Archivist, Wilton House)
13 October 2015: Sheep to Ships to North Sea Oil Rigs – Occupational Health in the 20th Century by Rose Cox
6 October 2015: History and Development of Variations; a musical Adventure by Jill Jenkins
17 March 2015: Fossils, Rocks and Dinosaurs: – local content, Somerset coal fields, Lyme Regis and Mary Anning, by Gerry Cook
3 March 2015: Annual General Meeting followed by A Blast from the Past, by Jonathan Weeks. Listen to woodwind instruments from the middle ages
17 February 2015: Paradise Lost: Stourhead Gardens’ Lost Features, by Julia Mottershaw
3 February 2015: Rural Temperance 1880-1908, by Canon Andrew Evans. A case study on Mere Society
20 January 2015: A History of Bruton School for Girls, by John Burrough
6 January 2015: A Very Fair Castle -The Changing Face of Corfe Castle and its Role within its Landscape, by Judith Teasdale, landscape architect

2 December 2014: The First World War: Tunnelling and Mine Warfare, by Phillip Robinson, adviser on films and documentaries
18 November 2014: Occupational Health Hazards, post industrial revolution: chimney sweeps to deep sea divers, by Rose Cox
4 November 2014: Shaftesbury: King Alfred’s Legacy, by Rob Curtis, a South West Tourism blue badge guide
14 October 2014: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”: Henry, Alda and Harry’s Years at Stourhead’, by Janet Way
7 October 2014 – Archive Fever: Modern Research, by The Hon Victoria Glendinning CBE critic, broadcaster and novelist talking on research methods