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Back in late May and early June 1940 over 350,000 men of the British Expeditionary Force were rescued from the Dunkirk beaches in France – one of them being my father.
A Mother’s tears
A few lines spotted in the ‘In Memoriam’ column of my local paper in June 1918 gave me the idea for this talk. I have put together some very poignant stories from my own research into
WW1 over the years. As the title implies, they view the War through different eyes.
First World War battlefields – then & now
The talk shows many of the battlefields on The Western Front and Gallipoli as they were during the War, and how they look one hundred years on; many photographs from my own collection.
Battlefields and Poppyfields
Looks at the many of the WW1 & WW2 battlefields in Northern Europe – from Ypres, Verdun and the Somme to Dunkirk, Normandy, Bastogne and Arnhem.
Rails to The Front
Railways (both at home and abroad) played an important part in the First World War, taking men and materiel to and from The Western Front; numerous maps and photographs.
Footballers in the trenches
Combining research into WW1 with my interest in football. Numerous stories of amateur and professional footballers who fought in the trenches during the War.
Preston in WW2
A snap shot of life in Preston and area during the Second World War – from rationing to air raids and V.E. Day in the town on the 8th May 1945.
“For you the War is over”
Stories of Lancashire men who became Prisoners of War – from where they were captured to the camps and conditions they were held in, to what happened to them in hands of the Germans, Turks and Japanese in two World Wars.
Features many of the greatest footballers the county of Lancashire has produced – including Dixie Dean, Tom Finney, Nat Lofthouse, Bryan Douglas, Alan Ball and Howard Kendall.
Preston North End in the Tom Finney era
Sir Tom Finney was one of England’s greatest players, playing for his hometown club from 1938 to 1960, as well as making 76 appearances for his country; he died in 2014.
Blackburn Rovers in the Bryan Douglas era
A look at the Rovers during the era of one of its most famous players, England International Bryan Douglas. He played for his hometown club from 1950 to 1969.
Social History, Railways and Travel
Looks at military and social history using four tins – a WW1 Christmas tin, a tin of emergency rations issued for D-Day in WW2, a coal miners lunch tin and a tin of Heinz baked beans; all have a Lancashire connection.
NEW Along the towpath
Highlights the history of the Leeds – Liverpool Canal between Wheelton, Withnell Fold and Hoghton nr. Chorley, the last section to open in 1818.
“Nowt but a Lad”
A very personal talk of my life in Lancashire since the 1950s – from schooldays through to my business career, plus 30 years as a football Referee and my interest in WW1.
Who do you think I am?
Based on the format of the BBC TV programme ‘Who do you think you are’? Although from Lancashire, my own family history goes back to 16th century London, the Home Counties and Yorkshire, with connections to America and the penal colonies in Australia.
The history of ROF Chorley
The Royal Ordnance Factory at Euxton near Chorley was one of the largest munitions factories in the U.K. Opened in 1938, at its height in wartime it employed over 35,000 workers. The factory closed in 2007 with the 925 acre site becoming Buckshaw Village.
Rails to the Lancashire Coast
A look back at journeys to resorts of Blackpool, Fleetwood, Morecambe as well as Heysham, Knott End and Glasson Dock during the steam era, the hey-day of rail travel.
Railways in the Lake District, then and now – the closed lines to Coniston and Keswick, the preserved line to Lakeside, the narrow gauge Ravenglass & Eskdale and the line to Windermere.
Railways around Chorley
The Lancashire market town was well served by railways until the 1960s; the talk is very much in the ‘then & now’ format with many never seen before photographs.
I first visited Italy in 1994 visiting Milan and Bergamo. Since then I have visited Venice, Sardinia, Sicily, the Italian Lakes, the Dolomites, Naples and “The eternal City”, Rome.
Features walks along existing and disused railways in the Lake District, Lancashire, France, Belgium and Italy, outlining the history along the lines; many ‘then & now’ pictures.
There is more to the Normandy than just the D-Day beaches. Whilst the talk covers the events of the June 1944, it takes a wider look at the historic region of northern France.
The talk looks at some of the history of the Mediterranean island of Malta – from the Knights of St. John and ‘Great Siege’ in the 16th century, through to World War Two when the island was awarded the George Cross by King George VI in 1942.
Other talks available
If you cannot see something you like I do have a number of other talks available; call 0345 193 0643 or use the form on the Contact page.
Groups and Clubs – £50
Historical Societies, Libraries & Schools – £60
I look for a contribution towards petrol / travel costs when travelling more than 15 miles from my home.
Terms & Conditions
Payment is to be made at the end of a talk / event. If a confirmed booking is cancelled, for whatever reason, by the organiser I will charge half-fee accordingly. I do not accept any liability for withdrawing from a booking or non-attendance at short notice due to reasons beyond my control (i.e.: illness, traffic accident / delays or similar). Copyright of all talks / presentations and supporting material rests with me as the author / presenter.