Bournemouth and Beyond Discovery Group

Past Events

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Past Events


 Talks: September – December  2017

19th             Julia Freeman – Life and Travels of a Bridge Engineer

26th           Shirley Critchley – The search for HMS Wagner lost in Patagonia in 1741 one of the greatest stories of survival in naval history

3rd             John Goslin The rise and fall of the ‘78’ History Of Sound Recording

10th           David Warhurst Travels in Thailand Japan and Korea

17th           No Talk

24th           John Wren Our German Kings

31st            John Smith Roman Life


7th            Rosemary Legrand Spectacular South African Flora. The gorgeous flowers and fantastic scenery of this amazing country.

14th           Tony Bates The Australian Outback

21st           John Childs The Woodland Trust – The UK’s largest woodland conservation charity.

28th           AGM



 Talks: January – April  2017


10th           Hugh Ashley – Bournemouth Cinemas


17th           Adrian Green – Finding Pitt-Rivers


24th           Leanne Colverson – Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance


31st            John Hallett – History of Kingston Lacy


7th           David Beardsley – The Bankes family of Corfe Castle and Kingston Lacy: a Dorset dynasty
14th         Julie James – Mission to Seafarers


21st          Michael Rowland – Bournemouth Gardens


28th         Jo Amey – The Tile Lady


7th               Mike Andrews – Christchurch: a smuggling town


14th             Stuart Morris – Portland


21st              Colin Stone – Industrial Tramways & Railways of  South Dorset


28th             Dr Philip Coward – Tolpuddle Martyrs & Their Times


4th                 Social Evening


2016 Autumn Programme


20th    John Smith “Augustus 2000 years on” -Augustus was the first of a long line of Roman Emperors – he set a standard of stability and management needed after the civil wars.


27th    John Jones Round London by Canal


4th     Bryan Pinchen ‘Strange Bizarre and True’ Tales from the natural world’ A talk filled with fascinating and almost unbelievable facts across a broad spectrum of the natural world.


11th     Terry Vincent ‘China- Ancient and Modern’ Life under the Emperors including the Terracotta Warriors and the Forbidden City, Communism and its after-effects and its progress to a world power


18th     Robin Cook   ‘Life at Harrods’


25th     Steve Roberts ‘Bilbao and the Bay of Biscay ‘


1st       Members Evening


8th     Dorothy Gill ‘ Roses in No-Mans Land ‘ Nursing in the UK and on the battlefields during World War I.


15th    Bonny Sartin ‘From Corscombe to New Zealand’ – Edmund Sartin took his family from Corscombe to New Zealand in 1840. They were on the very first ship to go to Taranaki in North Island. This is a tale of poverty, pestilence, con men, war, gold fever and song. Not necessarily in that order


22nd     Jacky and Mike Smith ‘Eastern Shore of Virginia ,USA.’ The history and places on this isolated finger of land by Chesapeake Bay


29th     Christopher Legrand ‘Around the World in Music and Pictures’. This highly popular presentation brings together a wide variety of well and lesser known music from different countries around the world and is illustrated with a exciting mix of pictorial scenes and events. (Musical)







12th   John Barker: In the Steps of Tess of the d’Urbevilles. We follow Thomas Hardy’s heroine from her birthplace in mid-Dorset, to Bournemouth and Stonehenge, to the church of the Turbevilles and end up at the grave of her creator.

19th    Members’ evening: The Manor Houses of Dorset.

26th   Philip Browne: A Freezing Horror. Philip Browne will describe the final voyage of the Halsewell, East Indiaman, which was wrecked on the Purbeck coast on a freezing January night in 1786. He will examine the significance of the voyage for Captain Peirce and his family, and the impact of the shipwreck on the people of Dorset and on the nation as a whole. His book on the subject was published in October 2016.



2nd     Roger Morris: From Northumbria to Australia-From lead to gold. Roger will describe how the miners from the North of England helped shape the development of Australia and the State of Victoria in particular during colonial times. A tale of adventure, of how they made lost fortunes in the gold fields and in their own way made their mark on a new nation.

9th     Dr Cheryl Butler: Women, Work and Wool: The Tudor Women of Southampton. Cheryl combines her duties as the Head of Culture at Eastleigh with her research on the sixteenth century. An Honorary Fellow of Winchester University and Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, she has produced 3 volumes for the Southampton Records Society and books on Itchen Ferry Village and Tudor Southampton. She is a lecturer and a registered Blue Badge Guide.

16th   Ann Gardner MBE: C.R.U.M.B.S: Training with a Purpose. Ann was very concerned that her daughter, who has learning difficulties, was unable to find work. Ann set up a charity to develop training in catering for people with similar problems. It has gone from strength to strength. Anne will be accompanied by her Operations Manager, and will provide refreshments for all our members to show what Crumbs produces.

23rd   Jacqui Halewood: The Shire Hall Project.. Three years ago, the Dorchester Prison closed, and plans to convert it into a hotel start this year. This seems a fitting time to hear the results of research by Jacqui Halewood and her team at the Dorset |History Centre into the records of the Shire |Hall, where so many of the prisoners were sentenced.



1st     Chris Thain: The Brownsea Island Nature Reserve. Chris is the manager of the Reserve, leased from the National Trust. It’s large, sheltered lagoon is important for overwintering and summer breeding birds and its flooded woods, lakes, reed beds and pinewoods are home to diverse habitats and wildlife, including sika deer and the red squirrel

8th     Mike Crankshaw: The Stour from Stourhead to Christchurch Harbour. Mike sailed the length of the River Stour in a Canadian canoe, and will talk about and show us all the interesting things he passed on the way.

15th     Stuart Morris: Portland: Isle of Fascination: an audio-visual presentation. Stuart is recognized as the authority on Portland and his book: Portland in the Discover Dorset series is recognized as the best account of this unique Island, its history, geology and industry. We shall see one of his four presentations, the one covering the Island generally.

22nd     Social Evening



2015 Programme



22nd      KATHY McNALLY The Making of the Man who made James Bond . Was Ian Fleming the real James Bond?


29th      BOB MIZON A Tour of the Universe



6th       JOHN ENGLAND Guernsey and the other Channel Islands


13th      SALLY HUMPHREYS The secret world of bats


20th     RICHARD RANDERSON So you think you are King Canute!


27th      FELICITY HERRING A Journey to Egypt and the Holy Land with the C19 artist David Roberts



3rd       MEMBERS EVENING Motoring memories


10th     PHIL HOLT Donald Campbell – Across the Lake. Find out what made Campbell a legend both on water and land. What pushed him to that final fateful attempt at a water speed record.


17th      RON TAYLOR Sugar and Spice A story of slavery , great explorers and how sugar has influenced our tastes.


24th     JEREMY WATERS Travels inside Turkey







13     John Barker: History on our doorstep: The Story of St Joseph’s Convent. Eileen and John Barker were intrigued by a building opposite to their home in Branksome Wood Road, demolished in 1986. They will talk about its founder, Lady Georgiana Fullerton, philosopher and novelist.


20     Ian Schulz: Slow down take a closer look: The focus of all Ian’s talks is how anyone with a moderately good camera can take good photographs of local wildlife. Tonight’s presentation concentrates mainly on the New Forest and his own garden.


27     Derek Radley: Green Island Holiday Trust: The Trust started life on Green Island in Poole Harbour before moving to the Harbour shore. A charity, it organises holidays for disabled people, with great support from a dedicated band of volunteers.



3     John Smith: The Battle of Britain over Bournemouth and Poole 1940: Seventy-five years ago the inhabitants of Bournemouth and Poole witnessed battles in the air. John will give a general introduction then show how the local battles differed from those over southeast England.


10     Gillian and Richard Drewitt: The recollections of a local building company,    James  Drewitt & Sons, Ltd. Wherever you look in Bournemouth and Poole you see evidence of this firm’s activities. Gillian, MD, and her brother will talk about the firm’s history and share the pictorial archive


17      Bonny Sartin: The folk songs of Dorset. Between 1905 and 1907 the Hammond brothers of Clevedon in Somerset collected over 600 folk songs from the people of Dorset. 111 of these were sung to them by members of Bonny’s family. This is the story of these two men and their quest to record the old songs before they disappeared.


24       Mike Ladle: Something fishy. Mike Ladle is a specialist on the fish in our local rivers and we have benefited from his knowledge in the past. Recently he had another book published and will share his latest research with us.



3     Colin Bowditch: The decline of the flax and hemp industry in Beaminster. The Brit valley was the centre of flax and hemp production in the eighteenth century. A team of volunteers from Beaminster Museum conducted a survey to discover why the industry died in Beaminster and continued to thrive in Bridport.


10  Diana Trenchard: Napoleon is coming. What shall we do? Diana has a copy of ‘The Plan’, a fascinating document which shows that Dorset was prepared to the last detail to respond to this threat.


17  Lilian Ladle: Excavation of a Roman villa at Druce Farm. Lilian tells the remarkable story of how a group of volunteers, all members of the East Dorset Antiquarian Society, have excavated, over the past six years, what was obviously a very large, prosperous Roman villa near Piddlehinton.


24   Social evening