Our Programme


Tuesday 15th October 2024 Dr Sandra Knapp ‘In the Name of Plants: Remarkable Plants and the Extraordinary People Behind their Names’

Merit Researcher, Natural History Museum, President of the Linnean Society 2017-22
The names of plants that are so familiar to us, Magnolia, Bougainvillea, Sequoia may be just names but behind the names lie stories of espionage, heroism, rivalry, mystery and inspiration

Tuesday 29th October 2024 Prof. Robin Wilson, Emeritus Professor of Pure Mathematics at OU ‘The Other Side of Sullivan’

Sir Arthur Sullivan (of Gilbert & Sullivan fame), was a major force in Victorian music. We’ll hear about his non-G&S works: his symphony and cello concerto, 100 art songs, choral music and church music, and his Romantic opera Ivanhoe.

Tuesday 12th November 2024 John Petters ‘A Jazz Life Continues’

His talk to us last year was hugely popular, he is coming to tell us more about his fascinating life as a drummer, bandleader and broadcaster.

Tuesday 3rd December 2024 Cathy Haill ‘Look Behind You – a Brief History of Pantomime’

Outlandish costumes, broad comedy, celebrity turns and audience participation – we’ll hear about them all and see some surprising illustrations too.

Tuesday 14th January 2025 Ruth Nieman ‘Freekeh, Wild Wheat and Ancient Grains’

The historical, biblical and cultural journey of heirloom grains from hunter-gathering communities to their importance in a modern, healthy and delicious diet. Ruth’s book of this title was short-listed for the Andre Simon prize in 2022

Tuesday 4th February 2025 Meredith Bowles ‘Architecture for the Climate Emergency’

The award -winning architect, based in East Anglia, will discuss the urgent need to build sustainably, and how this can be achieved.

Tuesday 25th February 2025 Prof Patricia Fara ‘ J M W Turner’s Rain, Steam and Speed’


Art meets Science, and we will get expert guidance in inimitable style.

Tuesday 11th March 2025 Dr Roger Bowdler ‘Gardens of the Dead’

This talk considers the ever-fascinating story of cemeteries in England, Scotland and Wales and explores the link between the churchyard and the cemetery.

Tuesday 25th March 2025 Lord Rees of Ludlow, Astronomer Royal; Master, Trinity College, Cambridge
The James Webb Telescope

Peering deeply into the cosmos this telescope is giving scientists the first detailed glimpse of supernovae from ages long ago.