Friday afternoon talks

Friday afternoon talks are held at the Methodist Church Hall, Station Approach, Solihull starting at 2.00pm. Admission is £3.50 for Solihull Centre Members and £5.00 for visitors or guests of members. Tea, coffee and biscuits available at the interval, cost 50p.

Parking is limited at the hall but three hours free at Tudor Grange Leisure Centre, BUT NOTE TICKETS FROM THE MACHINE MUST BE DISPLAYED (be warned wardens do patrol.)

Friday 26 January
Alison Evans of Bedworth

John Barton

This afternoon John is making a return visit to following his very popular talk on George Eliot. This time his subject is Alison Evans. She was George Eliot’s great niece and the daughter of Canon Evans, the rector at Bedworth for 50 years.

Alison kept journals from 1904 until 1918 and they provide an interesting adolescent insight into Edwardian Bedworth. They are similar in vein to the popular ‘Diary of an Edwardian Lady’

John says ‘Alison is brought to life by her journals and it gives me great pleasure to present them to local people who perhaps in their own lifetime, have listened to stories about events during the early part of the 1900s.

“She is sensitive, humorous and illuminating in her written word and anyone watching the show will leave with an inner warmth from this unique insight.”

Friday 23 February
New Zealand, the Island, her Plants, Gardens & People

Howard Drury 

Howard was born in Lincolnshire then moved to Birmingham working for 20 years as a Horticultural Training Officer and as a researcher and presenter on Central TV’s Gardening Time for 611 episodes. Today he still writes, runs gardening clubs and gives appearances throughout Britain in addition to giving horticultural advice and running gardening holidays around the world.

This afternoon his fully illustrated talk is about New Zealand, the islands, her plants, gardens and people.  This is a new updated talk starting in the Botanic Gardens in Christchurch and then moving onto other gardens in the area leading on to Canterbury plains and the alpines of the Southern Alps then to Dunedin, the wild flowers around Queenstown and Milford moving on to South Blenheim before moving to the north island and concluding the journey with the Chelsea Flower Show of the South.

Friday 23 March
The History & People of Baddesley Clinton

Carole Preston

Carol Preston is a volunteer at Baddesley Clinton working as a room guide and archivist. She says ‘I was about four years of age when I discovered the abbeys and castles of the North East of England and from then my interest in British history, especially the monarchy, just grew and grew. When I started as a room guide nothing had prepared me for the sheer joy I’d feel from making new friends and talking to like-minded people about this glorious house and its 500-year history.’

Today she will share with us some of the facts that she has discovered whilst working at the property.