Lectures for the season 2022 – 2023

Evening meetings will take place on the second Wednesday of the month, starting at 7pm in the Aldridge Parish Church Rooms, The Green, Aldridge, WS9 8NH. They will include a refreshment break and raffle.  The meeting should end by 9pm.

Afternoon meetings will take place on the fourth Thursday of the month, starting at 2.15pm in the Aldridge Community Centre, WS9 8AN.  The meeting should end about 3.15pm and tea/coffee will be available after the meeting.


Wednesday 14th September 2022
Evening Lecture
Revealing the Stories of Attingham Park
Saraid Jones 

Discover more about the people who shaped Attingham’s history.  Hear about the family members, the lives of those who worked for them and the people who experienced Attingham as part of the Shropshire Adult Education College.

Find out more about conservation work in the house, collection and landscape which has helped bring Attingham back to life.


Thursday 22nd September 2022
Afternoon Lecture
Where’s my Bag  by Michael Morton  

Ever wondered what happens to luggage once you’ve checked in at the airport?  Once weighed and tagged at check in its sent off to join the other hundreds and thousands of bags to be sent hopefully, with you, onwards to your destination.

Some bags never make it.  According to recent research 8% of the complaints never come back.  The presentation goes beyond the scenes at a number of UK airports to see what really happens – you’ll be amazed!


Wednesday 12th October 2022
AGM and Evening Lecture
Wightwick and the Acquisition of its Collections by Helen Bratt-Wyton

Helen is senior collections and House Manager at Wightwick Manor. She has entertained us before with her talks. More details later.


Thursday 27th October 2022
Afternoon Lecture
The Evolution of Dance
Maggie Love

Following Maggie’s very interesting evening  talk on Charles Darwin last season we have invited her to talk to us again on ‘The Evolution of Dance ‘ which will take us on a journey through the dance forms of Western Civilisation and its influence on Social History.

Maggie’s career has included West End musicals, films, top drama schools and a stint in America.  She is a dance/movement specialist with Royal credits.  Her work has encompassed a variety of Shakespeare productions and Festivals across the world. 


Wednesday 9th November 2022
Evening Lecture
Britain’s Bloodiest Day –
The Battle of Towton 1461 
by David Skillen

Ask people to name famous battles and you get Hastings, Bosworth and occasionally Waterloo.  Yet few have heard of Towton, one of the most decisive battles of the Wars of the Roses and possibly, the bloodiest battle on British soil. On a bitterly cold day in March 1461 the Houses of York and Lancaster struggled for the Crown on a snow covered plateau in Yorkshire.  Here fought kings, dukes, lords and ordinary men. And here they died.

In this talk you will learn about the two kings who fought, walk the Bloody Meadow and cross the Bridge of Bodies and see how one Yorkist Lord had ‘a cunning plan’.


Thursday 24th November 2022
Afternoon Lecture 
Easy as ABC
by Mary Bodfish

Every time we pick up a pen- or put finger to keyboard – we link back to the priest-kings of ancient Mesopotamia.  A journey of over 5,000 years via Babylon Egypt, Phoenicia, Greece and Rome shows how our writing system reached this country – and how we have been using it since.


Wednesday 14th December 2022
Evening Lecture
Andrew Lound 

Andrew Lound is a regular visitor to WNTA and is always popular. Details of his talk will be posted later.


No afternoon lecture in December


Wednesday 11th January 2023
Evening Lecture
For Ever and for Everyone:  Managing Historic Gardens in the 21st Century by Simon Gulliver

Simon is a Gardens and Parks Consultant for the National Trust, responsible for advising on the development of 20 historic gardens in the West and North Midlands.Previously Simon also worked for NT Northwest region covering gardens in the Lakes and Cheshire

The talk will focus on how the National Trust manage their historic gardens and the plant collections they contain,  his work as a Gardens Advisor, and how as a team they manage gardens in the Midlands and North West


Thursday 26th January 2023
Afternoon Lecture

Weoley Hill Ltd – the story of a Bournville Village 
Bob Booth

Using pictures from various archives Bob tells the story of housing provision in Bournville promoted by the ideals of George and Richard Cadbury.  Weoley Hill, one of the earliest developments on the Bourneville Estate was conceived as an estate of privately owned houses not specifically for Cadbury employees.  Weoley Hill has been the home of several Cadbury family members over the years and has some interesting gardens, several of which open annually as part of the National Garden Scheme.


Wednesday 8th February 2023
Evening Lecture
Grand Old Mansion – Aston Hall and the people who called it home 
Rik Sowden

Aston Hall is a magnificent Grade 1 listed mansion house and one of Birminghams most iconic buildings. Rik will start his talk by telling us about the construction of Aston Hall and about Sir Thomas Holt. After the break he will tell us about the people who lived there and its life as a museum.


Thursday 23rd February 2023
Afternoon Lecture
Stourbridge Glassmakers, their history and their legacy 
Dr Kate Round

I tell of the growth of our glass industry from Medieval Forest Glass and the integration of expert Hugenot  glassmakers, from the development of discrete industries making utility bottles, glasses, and windows to the fine crystal tableware for which Stourbridge is renowned.  Why did the industry diversify?  How did the revolution of regulations, laws, taxes, materials, fashions and demand, change the industry?  The ingenious artisans of Stourbridge faced those changes: mastered, honed and augmented their skills and their expertise and the artistry has left a legacy that is celebrated worldwide.


Wednesday 8th March 2023
Evening Lecture
Volunteer at The Firs –
Elgars Birthplace
Richard Westwood Brookes

ELGAR THE COMPOSER YOU NEVER KNEW
Elgar is well known for his ceremonial pieces such as ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ and ‘Nimrod’.

In this talk Elgar’s biographer Richard Westwood-Brooks explains his life, how he rose from nothing to be one of the world’s greatest composers, and the challenges he faced along the way. It will also show that despite his image as the perfect Edwardian Gentleman, underneath Elgar was a very emotional and creative composer.  With the aid of some examples of his music, Richard will demonstrate that underneath that ceremonial veneer was a remarkable musical genius and a composer which perhaps you never knew.


Thursday 23rd March 2023
Afternoon Lecture
Women in Science and Medicine Catrin Rutland

Every so often women in Science, Medicine and Engineering get little press coverage, but how many female scientists can you name?  This talk looks at women in history, and those researching today.  It shows the huge impact that women have had in the scientific fields, discusses some of the problems they have overcome, and looks into the future.  Are women always a minority in the sciences?  How can we encourage young women to get involved?


If you wish to look at lectures from last season, visit our Archive page (see top menu)