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Lancashire over Sands
The County dates back to 1182 and includes areas over the sands of Morecambe on the Furness Peninsular and into the Lake District; the talk looks at its diverse history.
There have been many men and women in the County over the years whose stories have never been told – from entrepreneurs, Suffragettes, social campaigners, newspaper editors, soldiers and even a President of FIFA.
A regular visitor to Morecambe Bay, the talk looks at the history and changes around the bay from the Fleetwood to Arnside, Grange-over-Sands and the tip of Walney Island.
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 WW2 it employed over 35,000 workers. The factory closed in 2007 with the 925 acre site becoming a new ‘Village’.
Lancashire Lasses *
A range of ladies from the county – from Gracie Fields to Suffragettes, Mill ‘Girls’ and sportswomen such as the famous Dick, Kerr Ladies Football team. ( * available from Spring 2024)
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.
“Keep Calm and Carry On”
The talk looks how Lancastrians coped with everything from the Plague to two World Wars, the General Strike in 1926, the 1974 Three Day Working Week, through to the COVID pandemic.
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.
“Nowt but a Lad”
A very personal talk of my life in Lancashire since the 1950s – from schooldays to my business career, plus 30 years as a football Referee and my interest in WW1.
Lancashire footballing greats
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.
The Ref !
From 1967 to 1996, I spent 29 years as a Referee and Linesman in schoolboy, youth, amateur, non-League football and the professional game, seeing many changes along the way.
Rails to the Dales
The rail journey along the Ribble Valley and then up the scenic Settle to Carlisle line – both steeped in history; the talk mixes historic facts with old and new images.
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.
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.
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.
Many Lancastrians served in the The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment in WW1 and again in WW2 when it was renamed The Loyal Regiment; stories of some of the battles and the men who served.
Battlefields and Poppyfields
Looks at the many WW1 and WW2 battlefields in Northern Europe – from Ypres, Verdun and the Somme to Dunkirk, Normandy, Bastogne and Arnhem.
“For you the War is over”
Stories of Lancashire men who became Prisoners of War in two World Wars – 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.
Preston in WW2
A snapshot 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.
Other talks available
If you cannot see something you like I do have a number of other talks available; call 07963 345956 or use the form on the Contact page.
Groups and Clubs – £55
Historical Societies, Museums and Libraries – £65
I look for a contribution towards my travel costs when a talk venue is more than 15 miles from my home near Chorley in Lancashire.
Terms & Conditions
Payment is due at the end of a talk / event by cash, cheque (made payable to ‘S. Williams’) or by electronic transfer to my bank account [please request details in advance]. If a confirmed booking is cancelled for whatever reason by the organiser, I reserve the right to ask for / 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.
I have liability insurance cover of £5,000,000 via the British Association for Local History and their insurance brokers, Towergate Insurance Brokers; a copy of my certificate is available upon request.