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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) 

 

NEW TALK

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.

   

TALKS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE

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)

Southampton

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

Tenerife

Bilbao, Biscay and the Shipping Forecast 

 

MOST POPULAR TALKS (No. of Bookings)

1 - 150 years of the London Underground (63) 

2 - Dad's Army Fact & Fiction (62)

3 - Mr Selfridge Fact & Fiction (44)

4 - Bournemouth Blue Plaques (33)

=5 - Hengistbury Head (23)

=5 - The History of the British Sandwich (23)

=5 - The Duffer's Guide to History (23)

8 - Lesser Known Christchurch (14)

9 - Poole Plaques (13)

10 - The Ringwood to Christchurch Railway (11) 

 

TESTIMONIALS 

"I pass on to you that there were only strongly favourable comments about content, 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)

 

GROUPS and EVENTS WHERE I'VE SPOKEN

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-on-Sea Probus (twice)

Barton Townswomen's Guild (4 times)

Battle of Evesham Festival (2015)

Boscombe/Southbourne Probus Club (twice)

Bournemouth & Beyond Discovery Group (3 times)

Bournemouth & Christchurch NHS Retirement Fellowship

Bournemouth Ladies Probus Club

Bournemouth Literary Luncheon Club

Bournemouth & Poole MG Owners' Club

Bournemouth Probus

Bournemouth Red Arrows Association 

Bransgore Rotary Club

Bransgore Townswomen's Guild

Brendon Care Clubs (13 times)

British Airways Retirement Association

Broadchalke WI

Broadstone Evening Townswomen's Guild

Bure Probus Club (twice)

Burton Friendship Club (3 times)

Burton Women's Fellowship

Cameo Ladies, New Milton

Canford Heath Townswomen's Guild (3 times)

Canford Magna & Merley WI

Christchurch & New Forest National Trust Association (twice)

Christchurch Central WI

Christchurch Conservaties

Christchurch History Society (4 times)

Christchurch Probus Club (4 times)

Christchurch U3A (twice)

Christian Cancer Care, Christchurch

Cranborne Historical Society (3 times)

Discovery Cafe Group, Sturminster Marshall

Dorchester Evening Townswomen's Guild

Dorchester Ladies Group (Durnovarian Dames)

Dorset Family History Society

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

Ferndown Evening Townswomen's Guild (3 times)

Ferndown Historical Society (5 times)

Ferndown Probus

Ferndown Rotary Club

Fordingbridge Historical Society

Friends of Christchurch Library

Friends of the Red House Museum

Friends of Stanpit Marsh

Friends of St Barbe Museum, Lymington

Friends of St Catherine's Hill

Gaunts and Holt WI

Gulliver Afternoon WI, Lilliput

Hall on the Hill, West Christchurch (twice)

Hants Genealogical Society, Highcliffe (3 times)

Hearing Concern Romsey

Hengistbury Residents' Association

Highcliffe Castle

Highcliffe Community Association, Men's Forum (twice)

Highcliffe Evening Townswomen's Guild

Highcliffe Ladies' Luncheon Club (5 times)

Highcliffe Local History Society (6 times)

Highcliffe Rotary Club

Highcliffe Wine Circle

Horizons, Poole

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

Lilliput WI

Lymington & District Historical Society

Lymington U3A

Lymington WI

Meeting Point, Barton (3 times)

Merley Evening Townswomen's Guild

Meyrick Ladies Probus (twice)

Milford-on-Sea Probus 

Minster Probus (4 times)

Moose International Poole Lodge (4 times)

Moose International Winton Lodge 

MS Society, Lymington & District

Mudeford Ladies Club (twice)

Mudeford Ladies Luncheon Club (twice)

National Federation of Occupational Pensioners, Bournemouth Branch (6 times)

National Federation of Occupational Pensioners, Christchurch/New Milton Branch

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

New Forest Probus

New Horizon Club, Christchurch (6 times)

New Milton Men's Get Together (twice)

New Milton Stroke Club

New Milton Townswomen's Guild

North Bournemouth Probus Club (3 times)

Parkstone Evening Townswomen's Guild (4 times)

Parkstone Probus

Parkstone Trefoil Guild

Pennington WI

Poole Heart Support Group

Poole Museum Society (4 times)

Poole Probus

Poole U3A

Post Office and BT Veterans

Retired Engineers' Luncheon Club (3 times)

Ringwood & District RBL

Ringwood Salvation Army Social Group (twice)

Ringwood U3A (3 times)

Romsey Historical Society

St Catherine's Hill WI (twice)

St George's Ladies Evening Group (twice)

St Leonards/St Ives Age Concern (10 times)

St Leonards/St Ives WI 

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

Salvation Army Ladies, Winton 

Society of Poole Men (3 times)

Society of Women Writers & Journalists

Southbourne Friendship Club (twice)

Southbourne Literary Society

South Wessex Archaeological Association (twice)

Studland History Group

Sundowners, Copythorne

Sunrise, Westbourne

Talkabout, Downton

Tangent Ladies' Circle, St Leonards (twice)

Thorney Hill & Bransgore WI 

Tiddington Good Companions, Stratford-upon-Avon (3 times)

Tuesday Luncheon Club, Bournemouth

Twynham Probus Club

Verwood Evening Townswomen's Guild (twice)

Verwood Flower Club

Verwood Historical Society (3 times)

Verwood Horticultural Society

Verwood Probus Club

Verwood Townswomen's Guild

Wallisdown Ladies Group

Waterford Probus Club (3 times)

Wesley Guild, Poole

Wessex Friends (5 times)

Westbourne Masonic (twice)

Westbourne WI

West Christchurch Residents' Association

West Parley Townswomen's Guild (twice)

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

Young at Heart Club, Ringwood (3 times)

 

MY SCHEDULED BOOKINGS 

08/10/2019 - Highcliffe Ladies Luncheon Club (Bournemouth Plaques)

09/10/2019 - Friends of the Red House Museum (The Duffer's Guide to History)

14/10/2019 - St Leonards/St Ives Age Concern (Lesser Known Bournemouth)

31/10/2019 - Tiddington Good Companions (The Duffer's Guide to History)

07/11/2019 - Highcliffe Womens Lunch Club (Dad's Army)

08/11/2019 - Highcliffe Wine Circle (The Duffer's Guide to History)

13/11/2019 - BA Retirement Association (The Duffer's Guide to History)

27/11/2019 - Southbourne Friendship Club (Lesser Known Bournemouth)

05/12/2019 - Christchurch & New Forest National Trust Association (Lesser Known Bournemouth)

17/12/2019 - Dorset Family History Society (Mr Selfridge)

10/01/2020 - Hampshire Genealogical Society (150 years of Christchurch Station)

14/01/2020 - Lilliput WI (The Duffer's Guide to History)

15/01/2020 - Poole Museum Society (Bournemouth Plaques)

21/01/2020 - Parkstone Probus (London Underground)

22/01/2020 - Bournemouth Ladies Probus Club (The Duffer's Guide to History)

04/02/2020 - Mixed Blessings, Merley (Dad's Army)

05/02/2020 - West Parley Townswomen's Guild (The Duffer's Guide to History)

12/02/2020 - Southbourne Evening Townswomen's Guild (The Hurn Branch)

17/02/2020 - New Milton Townswomen's Guild (London Underground)

19/02/2020 - Southbourne Literary Society (Lesser Known Bournemouth)

03/03/2020 - Christchurch History Society (Lesser Known Bournemouth)

04/03/2020 - Ringwood Salvation Army Social Group (The Duffer's Guide to History)

05/03/2020 - Men's Get Together, New Milton (Dad's Army)

06/03/2020 - Burton Friendship Club (London Underground)

09/03/2020 - Christchurch U3A (The Duffer's Guide to History)

18/03/2020 - Bure Probus Club (The Duffer's Guide to History)

25/03/2020 - Wednesday Group, Victoria Park Methodist Church, Winton (Dad's Army)

01/04/2020 - (morning) Cameo Ladies, New Milton (Dad's Army)

01/04/2020 - (evening) Hengistbury Residents' Association (Mr Selfridge)

02/04/2020 - Verwood Horticultural Society (Mr Selfridge)

20/04/2020 - St Alban's Gardening Club, Bournemouth (New Forest National Park)

21/04/2020 - Past Rotarians & Associates Club, New Forest & District (Dad's Army)

07/05/2020 - Sway and District Probus Club (Bilbao, Biscay & the Shipping Forecast)

11/05/2020 - National Federation of Occupational Pensioners, Christchurch/New Milton (Dad's Army)

04/06/2020 - Go Ahead Ladies, Broadstone (Dad's Army)

16/06/2020 - Mudeford Ladies Club (The Duffer's Guide to History)

18/06/2020 - Ringwood U3A (The Duffer's Guide to History)

24/06/2000 - New Milton U3A (The Duffer's Guide to History)

03/07/2020 - National Federation of Occupational Pensioners (The Duffer's Guide to History)

15/07/2020 - Fordingbridge U3A (Dad's Army)

13/08/2020 - Romsey Archway U3A (London Underground)

26/08/2020 - Barton-on-Sea Probus (Lesser Known Bournemouth)

03/09/2020 - Verwood Townswomen's Guild (Lesser Known Bournemouth)

16/09/2020 - Barton Townswomen's Guild (The Duffer's Guide to History)

03/10/2020 - Waterford Probus Club (Subject TBC)

06/10/2020 - Poole Probus (Subject TBC)

17/10/2020 - Forum Dining Club, Ringwood (Dad's Army)

02/11/2020 - Wessex Friends (The Duffer's Guide to History)

12/11/2020 - Boscombe & Southbourne Probus (Lesser Known Bournemouth)

26/11/2020 - Bournemouth Probus 2 (Lesser Known Christchurch)

05/01/2021 - New Forest Probus (London Underground)

14/01/2021 - Bournemouth Literary Luncheon Club (The Duffer's Guide to History)

10/02/2021 - Martin & Damerham WI (Dad's Army)

23/02/2021 - Miltford on Sea Probus (The Duffer's Guide to History)