Steve Roberts
Freelance writer, published author, public speaker, private tutor     


Public Speaking

I am an accomplished public speaker, having honed my craft firstly as a teacher and then in my capacity as an IT Project Manager. I'm sure that anyone who witnessed my presentations at the monthly team meetings at 'The Office' would vouch for the fact that my talks are going to be lively and fun!

I will talk on a variety of subjects, both local and further afield. Please see my list of Published Articles (under 'Writing') to get a feel for the kind of subjects I offer. My writing enables me to research any number of subjects, which can be turned into talks.

I provide my own equipment (laptop, projector etc) and any talk I give will be illustrated with photographs of whatever it is I am describing.

My fees are reasonable and negotiable, with expenses only having to be charged on top of this if I am required to travel longer distances. My fee, including any expenses would be agreed up front, so there are no hidden extras for you.

Oh and by the way the picture here tells a story. This is a plaque telling us that the war poet Rupert Brooke once lived in Bournemouth. The plaques of Bournemouth could be that elusive talk you're looking for!

There are lots of local talks such as this that I can do: Christchurch blue plaques, Hengistbury Head, the New Forest National Park, 150 years of Christchurch Station, the long lost Hurn Branch, Bournemouth Plaques, Jack the Ripper in Dorset. You have lots to choose from!

About to go on parade at the East Dorset Heritage Trust, Allendale House, Wimborne (10th August 2017) 


Lesser Known Bournemouth:

... will run alongside my second book (of the same name), which is now at the proof reading stage and due to be published later this year by Roving Press. 

The talk will be a fast-paced hour's journey through Bournemouth's past and present, teasing out some of those lesser-known stories, as well as more familiar tales. I'll cover History, the Rivers & Seafront, Nature Areas & Gardens, the Arts, Folklore & Strange Happenings, Family Fun & Other Activities, Sport & Leisure, Regular Events, Interesting Buildings & Businesses, descriptions of the book's 7 walks, the Outlying areas, and a summary of the book's 20 interviews.

Does Bournemouth really have no history?

Why is there only one street in Bournemouth?

What was Bournemouth's most famous haunting?

Who was the town's most notorious murderer?

Who was the Queen's eccentric ancestor?

What did the Beatles get up to in Bournemouth?

The Duffer's Guide to History:

It's been my personal view for a while that History has not been taught that well in this country. This is my go at setting the record straight - a duffer's guide. In 60 minutes we'll have a whistle-stop tour of British (and a bit of World) History, from the Stone Age to the Cold War. It's going to be a bit '1066 And All That', so will be full of humour (such as the weirdest Viking names I've managed to uncover) but will also have all the key moments in our history, in chronological order, so that people can see where we're going. Lots of questions will be posed (and hopefully answered) along the way. Was there really a King Arthur? Why was Alfred 'The Great' and did he really burn the cakes? Why was Edward I called 'Longshanks' and did his son Edward II really fall foul of a red-hot poker? I'll also be slipping in snippets of local history as we go. It should be quite a journey.

Dad's Army Fact & Fiction: 

An affectionate look at both the Home Guard and its portrayal in the popular TV series Dad's Army.

I look at the real Home Guard, why it was formed and what it did, with some popular myths dispelled in the process. I also look at the TV series, the characters, the actors who played them, the catchphrases, film locations, best episodes and so forth. Although the TV series was a sitcom, it is worth recording that the real Home Guard lost over 1,600 members, killed on duty, during its lifetime, with two of its number posthumously receiving the George Cross, this nation's highest gallantry award for those not facing the enemy. The talk attempts to be lively and fun, but also attempts to set the record straight.


WHEN DORSET MADE HISTORY (New talk - taking bookings from July 2024)

The Ringwood to Christchurch Railway (The Long Lost Hurn Branch)

150 years of Christchurch Station

Hengistbury Head

New Forest National Park

The History of the British Sandwich

150 years of the London Underground

Bournemouth Blue Plaques

Lesser Known Bournemouth (NEW)


Lesser Known Christchurch

Christchurch Blue Plaques

Jack the Ripper in Dorset 

Mr Selfridge, Fact and Fiction 

The Plaques of Poole 

Magna Carta, the Battle of Evesham and After

Dad's Army Fact & Fiction 

The Duffer's Guide to History (NEW)

Vigo (Spain) and Pilgrimages

Funchal (Madeira) and its famous visitors

Lanzarote in the movies

Las Palmas, Gran Canaria


Bilbao, Biscay and the Shipping Forecast 

MOST POPULAR TALKS (No. of Bookings)

1 - Dad's Army Fact & Fiction (93)

2 - 150 years of the London Underground (76) 

3 - Mr Selfridge Fact & Fiction (58)

4 - The Duffer's Guide to History (39)

5 - Bournemouth Blue Plaques (34)

6 - Hengistbury Head (31)

=7 - The History of the British Sandwich (26)

=7 - Lesser Known Bournemouth (26)

9 - The Ringwood to Christchurch Railway (15)

=10 - Lesser Known Christchurch (14)

=10 - The New Forest National Park (14)

=10 - Poole Plaques (14)


"I pass on to you that there were only strongly favourable comments aboutcontent, delivery and satisfaction ref. your talk, going on to the following Sunday, with several "best ever talk" comments."

(BarryRutterford - Boscombe and Southbourne Probus Club) 

"Just a line to thank you so much for coming to our club yesterday.  Our members were full of praise for both the content and the way you presented it in the bar and over lunch.  I am glad you were also able to sell so many copies of your book."

(Graham Newton - Programme Secretary, Christchurch Probus Club) 

"Your talk today, on the History of the London Underground, was one of the best our group has had the pleasure to hear in years (and we book 17 talks p.a. :-). We look forward to next year's subject."

(Chris Simkins - Programme Secretary, National Federation of Occupation Pensioners, Bournemouth) 

"It is we who should be issuing the thanks as you really did lift us,in every sense, last night. The feedback from our members was most positive, so we look forward to seeing you again."

(Ken Cook - Programme Secretary, Ferndown Historical Society)

 "Steve's talk to the Christchurch Local History Society on the demise of the Ringwood to Christchurch Railway provided the ideal mix of facts, illustrations and nostalgia. With three extra rows of seats  required, it was a full house. Our members and guests were soon adding their own memories and questions, all of which ensured a very lively evening. His timetable even allowed a scheduled stop for refreshments."

(Ian Watson - Programme Secretary, Christchurch Local History Society)

"Thank you for coming to talk to our Society on Tuesday evening. Everyone that I have spoken to enjoyed it very much. Your presentation was excellent and gave all present the chance to see more clearly precisely what you were talking about. I will be in touch again when I start to put next season's programme together."

(Trevor Gilbert - Programme Secretary, Verwood Historical Society) 

"Thank you so much for giving the Wimborne Historical Society such an interesting and informative talk about the New Forest National Park . We were taken aback by the detailed information you supplied and some facts of which we were completely unaware. You have inspired us to hunt out some of the ‘treasures’ you mentioned to be found there! We look forward to meeting you again and listening to another of your varied subjects."

(Annette Arnold - Programme Secretary, Wimborne Historical Society)


After Dinner Club

Age Concern Christchurch Friendship Group

Age Concern, Hall on the Hill, Christchurch

Amberwood-Highcliffe Afternoon WI

Ashley Heath WI

Avon and Fordingbridge WI

Barton Lodge Care Home

Barton-on-Sea Probus (4 times)

Barton Townswomen's Guild (4 times)

Battle of Evesham Festival (2015)

BCP Carers (3 times)

Boscombe/Southbourne Probus Club (4 times)

Bournemouth & Beyond Discovery Group (5 times)

Bournemouth & Christchurch NHS Retirement Fellowship

Bournemouth Ladies Probus Club (3 times)

Bournemouth Literary Luncheon Club (twice)

Bournemouth Natural Science Society

Bournemouth & Poole MG Owners' Club (twice)

Bournemouth Probus

Bournemouth Probus 2 (twice)

Bournemouth Red Arrows Association 

Bransgore Rotary Club

Bransgore Townswomen's Guild (twice)

Brendon Care Clubs (13 times)

British Airways Retirement Association (twice)

Broadchalke WI

Broadstone Evening Townswomen's Guild

Bure Probus Club (3 times)

Burton Friendship Club (5 times)

Burton Women's Fellowship

CAA RSA Wessex Branch

Cameo Ladies, New Milton (3 times)

Canford Heath Townswomen's Guild (3 times)

Canford Magna & Merley WI

Christchurch & New Forest National Trust Association (3 times)

Christchurch 60+ Friendship Group (twice)

Christchurch Central WI

Christchurch Conservaties

Christchurch History Society (6 times)

Christchurch Probus Club (7 times)

Christchurch U3A (5 times)

Christian Cancer Care, Christchurch

Colehill WI

Cranborne Historical Society (3 times)

Daniels Lodge, Highcliffe

Discovery Cafe Group, Sturminster Marshall

Disparate Housewives

Dorchester Evening Townswomen's Guild

Dorchester Ladies Group (Durnovarian Dames)

Dorset Family History Society (3 times)

Dorset Federation of Townswomen's Guilds

Dorset Ladies Luncheon Club

Dorset Morris Minor Owners Club 

Dorset Thimble Society

East Dorset Heritage Trust (5 times)

East Dorset National Trust Association (twice)

East Hants Federation of Townswomen's Guilds

ELLE Luncheon Club

Ferndown Evening Townswomen's Guild (3 times)

Ferndown Historical Society (5 times)

Ferndown Probus

Ferndown Rotary Club

Fleet & Farnborough Local Family History Group 

Fordingbridge Historical Society

Fordingbridge U3A (twice)

Forum Dining Club, Ringwood

Friends of Christchurch Library

Friends of the Red House Museum (twice)

Friends of Stanpit Marsh (twice)

Friends of St Barbe Museum, Lymington

Friends of St Catherine's Hill (twice)

Gaunts and Holt WI

Go Ahead Ladies, Broadstone

Gulliver Afternoon WI, Lilliput

Hall on the Hill, West Christchurch (twice)

Hants Genealogical Society, Basingstoke

Hants Genealogical Society, Highcliffe (4 times)

Hants Genealogical Society, Romsey

Hearing Concern Romsey

Hengistbury Residents' Association (3 times)

Highcliffe Castle

Highcliffe Community Association, Men's Forum (twice)

Highcliffe Evening Townswomen's Guild

Highcliffe Ladies' Luncheon Club (9 times)

Highcliffe Local History Society (6 times)

Highcliffe Men's Forum (3 times)

Highcliffe Rotary Club

Highcliffe Wine Circle (twice)

Highcliffe Women's Lunch Club (3 times)

Horizons, Poole

IBM Retirees (4 times)

Kinson Historical Society (3 times)

Kinson Ladies Group (twice)

Kinson Townswomen's Guild 

Knole Club, Boscombe

Kyriai Ladies Group, Parkstone

Ladies Charity Luncheon Club, Mudeford (twice)

Lands Ladies, Northbourne

Lentune Ladies

Lentune Probus

Lilliput WI (twice)

Lymington & District Historical Society

Lymington U3A

Lymington WI

Meeting Point, Barton (3 times)

Merley Evening Townswomen's Guild

Meyrick Ladies Probus (3 times)

MG Club (3 times)

Milford & District Ladies 

Milford-on-Sea Probus (3 times)

Milford-on-Sea U3A

Minster Probus (4 times)

Mixed Blessings, Merley

Monks Brook U3A (3 times)

Moose International Poole Lodge (4 times)

Moose International Winton Lodge 

Mornington Court, New Milton (twice)

MS Society, Lymington & District

Mudeford Ladies Club (3 times)

Mudeford Ladies Luncheon Club (twice)

Muscliffe Garden Club (twice)

National Federation of Occupational Pensioners, Bournemouth Branch (7 times)

National Federation of Occupational Pensioners, Christchurch/New Milton Branch

National Women's Register, Barton/New Milton (twice)

New Forest History & Archaeology Group

New Forest Probus (3 times)

New Forest Quaker Care Home, New Milton

New Horizon Club, Christchurch (8 times)

New Milton Men's Get Together (3 times)

New Milton Sands WI

New Milton Stroke Club

New Milton Townswomen's Guild (twice)

New Milton U3A

North Bournemouth Probus Club (4 times)

Opals Group, Milford-on-Sea 

Parkstone Evening Townswomen's Guild (5 times)

Parkstone Probus (twice)

Parkstone Trefoil Guild

Past Rotarians and Associates (New Forest & District) (twice)

Pennington WI

Poole Heart Support Group

Poole Museum Society (5 times)

Poole Probus (twice)

Poole U3A

Post Office and BT Veterans

Retired Engineers' Luncheon Club (3 times)

Ringwood & District RBL

Ringwood Antiques Club

Ringwood Probus

Ringwood Salvation Army Social Group (3 times)

Ringwood U3A (5 times)

Romsey Historical Society

Romsey Men's Shed (4 times)

Romsey Test Rotary Club

Rothesay Lodge, Highcliffe

Royal Airforce Yacht Club

St Alban's Gardening Club, Bournemouth

St Catherine's Hill WI (3 times)

St George's Ladies Evening Group (twice)

St Leonards/St Ives Age Concern (11 times)

St Leonards/St Ives WI 

St Martin's Discovery Group, West Moors (twice)

Salvation Army Ladies, Winton 

Society of Poole  (5 times)

Society of Women Writers & Journalists

Southbourne Evening Townswomen's Guild

Southbourne Friendship Club (4 times)

Southbourne Literary Society (twice)

Southampton University / Arts & Humanities Research Council 

South Wessex Archaeological Association (3 times)

Studland History Group

Sundowners, Copythorne

Sunrise, Westbourne

Sway and District Probus Club

Talkabout, Downton (3 times)

Tangent Ladies' Circle, St Leonards (3 times)

Thorney Hill & Bransgore WI  (twice)

Throop WI

Tiddington Good Companions, Stratford-upon-Avon (4 times)

Triumph TR Register (twice)

Tuesday Luncheon Club, Bournemouth

Twynham Probus Club (3 times)

Verwood Evening Townswomen's Guild (twice)

Verwood Flower Club

Verwood Historical Society (3 times)

Verwood Horticultural Society (twice)

Verwood Probus Club

Verwood Townswomen's Guild (3 times)

Wallisdown Ladies Group

Waterford Probus Club (3 times)

Watford Park U3A (twice)

Wesley Guild, Poole

Wessex Friends (8 times)

Wessex Triumph TR Register

Westbourne Masonic (3 times)

Westbourne WI

West Christchurch Residents' Association

West Parley Townswomen's Guild (4 times)

West Wellow WI

Wimborne Civic Society

Wimborne Evening Townswomen's Guild (4 times)

Wimborne Historical Society 

Wimborne Ladies Luncheon Club

Wimborne Methodist (twice)

Wimborne Probus Club (3 times)

Wimborne Rotary Club

Wimborne Stroke Support Group

Wimborne WI

Winton Methodist Church

Winton Primary School

Young at Heart Club, Ringwood (4 times)


23/07/2024 - Bournemouth Natural Science Society (Poole Plaques) - ZOOM

05/08/2024 - Colten Care, The Meadows, New Milton (London Underground)

07/08/2024 - Adapt Cafe, Somerford (Dad's Army)

12/08/2024 - Family Tree Study Club (Royal Family Trees) - ZOOM

15/08/2024 - New Milton Probus (Dad's Army)

(p.m.) - 17/09/2024 - East Dorset Heritage Trust (When Dorset Made History)

(evening) - 17/09/2024 - Dorset Family History Society (Subject TBC)

18/09/2024 - Age Concern, Hall on the Hill (When Dorset Made History)

15/10/2024 - Society of Poole (Mr Selfridge Fact & Fiction)

23/10/2024 - Bournemouth Probus Ladies Club (Dad's Army)

07/11/2024 - Wimborne Probus (Dad's Army)

12/11/2024 - Twynham Probus (London Underground)

(p.m.) - 14/11/2024 - Verwood Friendship Club (Dad's Army)

(evening) - 14/11/2024 - Boscombe & Southbourne Rotary Club (Subject TBC)

21/11/2024 - Wessex Water Southern Retired Group (Lesser Known Bournemouth)

07/01/2025 - Mixed Blessings, Merley (When Dorset Made History)

10/01/2025 - Highcliffe Community Association Ladies Forum (Dad's Army)

04/02/2025 - Christchurch Probus Club (When Dorset Made History)

10/02/2025 - Fordingbridge Historical Society (Dad's Army)

18/02/2025 - Verwood Probus (When Dorset Made History)

05/03/2025 - Cameo Ladies, New Milton (Lesser Known Bournemouth)

19/03/2025 - ELLE Luncheon Club (When Dorset Made History)

01/04/2025 - Christchurch History Society (When Dorset Made History)

06/05/2025 - Redlynch Local History Society (Lesser Known Bournemouth)

02/07/2025 - Lentune Ladies (Dad's Army Fact & Fiction)

01/09/2025 - Wessex Friends (When Dorset Made History)