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, 28 September
“Secrets of the Lodge”             

Lynne Ingram

This afternoon’s talk, being given by Lynne Ingram, a local historian, has an intriguing title ‘Secrets of the Lodge’.

The first part of the talk will be about the history of the Lodge.  It was an old manor house, now disappeared, situated in Aldridge, and seems to have always been called ‘Aldridge Lodge’ probably dating from the 17th Century.  Little was known of its origins with not much information existing in the public domain until Lynne started to research its history.  She will tell us about the people who lived there and their experiences of Chile and South America.

The second part of the talk will cover from when the lodge was purchased by the local authority in 1918, and attempts were made to turn it into a hospital for World War 1 shell shock victims.  In the 1930’s it was used to house child refugees from the Spanish Civil War, funded with the aid of donations, volunteers and a committee called ‘The Walsall Committee for the Relief of Spanish Children’.  At the time this was kept a secret because of the British Government’s reluctance to being seen to give aid.

Friday 26 October 
“Ravenna, Florence & the Gates of Paradise”

David Keith Jones

This is a return visit by David who last visited us on the 10th January 2017 when he gave us an excellent presentation on “the Nomads of Kenya”.  David is a professional photographer specialising in travel and all of his presentations are produced using his own images.

The talk this afternoon is about the 5th Century mosaics and early Christian Churches of Ravenna – once the capital of the Roman Empire – contrasted with the splendid architecture of the Renaissance in Florence, once the capital of Italy. ng how they were taken.

Friday, 30 November
“The Grand Old Duke of York – A Right Royal Scandal”

Dr Graham Cope

Prince Frederick, second son of George III was a soldier from an early age.  He trained in Germany and at the outbreak of war with France in 1793, at 26 years of age, was the Commander of the British army in Flanders and Holland.  Although in the field he was thought by many to be a failure, he returned to London and over the next thirty years transformed the British soldier into a major force good enough to defeat Napoleon at Waterloo.

However, the Duke of York had many mistresses, but one, Mary Anne Clarke, was the focus of a major scandal when she and the Duke were accused of selling promotions within the army.  The background is one of treachery, deceit, political shenanigans and a major enquiry in Parliament which rocked the country for several weeks and resulted in the resignation of the Duke.

Friday, 25 January
“ The Lock Up”     

Corinne Brazier

This is a return visit by Corrine.  She previously spoke to us in November 2017 about the evolvement of women in the Police.  Corinne joined West Midlands Police in 2005 and 4 years ago became the first West Midlands Police Force Records Manager, she is also a West Midlands Police museum volunteer.

This afternoon’s talk is about “The Lock Up”.  Operating in the centre of Birmingham since 1891, the iconic Steelhouse Lane Lock-up finally closed its doors to prisoners in May 2016.  In June 2017 the West Midlands Police Museum started running open days at the site and now it is hoped it will become the new home to the amazing police museum collection.

There are many original Victorian features still present, combined with more modern facilities such as panic alarms.  Spread over 3 floors, each has tales to tell about how it used to operate, how policing has evolved and some of the notorious prisoners that stayed there.

This talk will tell you about the history of this unique building, the stories of some of the people who worked there and the tales of some of the former residents.