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Planned Events

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Monday 22nd April 2024 at 01:45 p.m. for a 02:15 p.m. start

Much Ado About Numbers

Presented by: Rob Eastaway (Adult education centre)

This lively lecture that finds connections between Shakespeare, history and maths and is part of the 'Essex Year of Numbers' Campaign.  Rob explores the surprising and entertaining ways that maths and numbers crop up in Shakespeare's plays. An unmissable treat for both Shakespeare fans and numbers nerds.  Here are a couple of quotes about this talk : 

“It was so fascinating and revealing, I never knew the bard was so interested in having fun with Maths!”

 “Rob Eastaway was a great speaker, drawing out many entertaining as well as fascinating points.”


Monday 29th April 2024

Wat Tyler Country Park: guided heritage walk

Wat Tyler Country Park: guided heritage walk on Monday, April 29th 2024

Saturday 11th May 2024 at 07:00 p.m. for a 07:30 p.m. start

Spring Party 2024 at Mountnessing Village Hall

Join us at Mountnessing Village Hall for our Spring party with a Fish and Chip or Veggie Burger supper. We will have a live band, Simply 60s, playing all your old favourites all for only £24 per person. Please bring your own drinks and glasses.You may book up to two tickets for members by clicking on the link for this event. 

Monday 13th May 2024

The Gibberd Garden, Harlow

On May 13th we will visit The Gibberd Gardens, Harlow.  The cost includes entry to the garden, a talk from a trustee and light refreshments. Travel is not included.

Monday 20th May 2024 at 01:45 p.m. for a 02:00 p.m. start

AGM & "Titanic, The ship that never sank"

Presented by: Tony Harris (Adult education centre,)

Friday 7th June 2024

Wang concert at the Royal Festival Hall

Wang concert at the Royal Festival Hall on Friday June 7th.  Travel not included.

Friday 14th June 2024

Sissinghurst Castle Gardens and the city of Rochester

Sissinghurst Castle Gardens (included guided tour) and the city of Rochester visit on Friday 14th June. 

Monday 24th June 2024 at 01:45 p.m.

The History of the Thames Barge

Presented by: David Gibson (Adult education centre)

Wednesday 10th July 2024 at 09:45 a.m.

Member's Activities Day 2024

Join us for another fabulous day out at New Hall School. We have two superb speakers lined up, an array of workshops (of which you can attend two, one in each of the morning and afternoon sessions) a lovely lunch and lots of good company. Allocations will be on a first come, first served basis. We will help coordinate lifts for members that do not have their own transport. Book early to avoid disappointment.

click here for information

Monday 22nd July 2024 at 01:45 p.m. for a 02:15 p.m. start

Secret wartime device made in Chelmsford

Presented by: Alan Pamphilon (Bishops Hill adult College)

Wednesday 14th August 2024

Pretty Woman

Apply here to join the trip to see "Pretty Woman" on Wednesday 14th August 2024.  Please visit the Trips and Visits web page for full event details.

Monday 23rd September 2024 at 01:45 p.m. for a 02:15 p.m. start

The Crop circle Mystery

Presented by: Andy Thomas

With stunning visuals, Andy explores the extraordinary phenomenon of crop circles, the intricate shapes which appear in fields around the world each year and still defy total explanation despite media scepticism and much debate. This inspiring presentation reveals the fascinating history of the mysterious patterns up to the present and explores both the amazing designs and the many varied and imaginative theories put forward to explain them over the years.

Monday 28th October 2024 at 01:45 p.m. for a 02:15 p.m. start

Kensington Palace: Royal Home

Presented by: Siobhan Clarke

Go behind the scenes of generations of British Royal families, exploring both the glamour and domestic lifeinsidethe spectacular 3oo year old Kensington renowned for it's Royal residents from Queen Victoria and princess Diana to the present Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Monday 25th November 2024 at 01:45 p.m. for a 02:15 p.m. start

History in the Landscape

Presented by: Julian Whybra

How does history shape our landscape? Essex is particularly fortunate in this respect in that its settlement patterns can be traced back to the fifth century and its place names reveal the hidden origins and nature of the landscape around us. We will also discover what remains of our East Saxon origins today.

Monday 27th January 2025 at 02:15 p.m.

Miss Willmott's Ghosts

Presented by: Sandra Lawrence (Adult education centre)

Over the past eight years Sandra Lawrence has spent her waking life sometimes literally digging out new information about the life and gardens of Ellen Ann Willmott, including documents, objects and over 10,000 photographs. Her biography Miss Willmott's Ghosts was published in 2022 but the work is by no means over. This talk will cover Willmott's life, gardens, and the story so far.

Monday 24th February 2025 at 02:15 p.m.

RAF 'Special Duties' Service and SOE

Presented by: Andy Strange (Adult education centre)

RAF 'Special Duties' Service and SOE (Special Operations Executive) - the part they played in Allied support of The Resistance organisations during WW2

Monday 24th March 2025 at 02:15 p.m.

Canal History and Heritage

Presented by: Roger Butler (Adult education centre)

A colourful introduction to the history and heritage of our 2000 mile canal network, with remarkable engineering, architecture and landscapes. The talk looks at locks, bridges, cottages, warehouses, aqueducts, tunnels and, of course, a few boats too 

Monday 28th April 2025 at 02:15 p.m.

Boom & Bust in Medieval Lavenham

Presented by: Jane Gosling (Adult education centre)

The beautiful timber-framed buildings for which Lavenham is so famous are the legacy of a thriving industry in cloth production, unrivalled anywhere in the Country. It's cloth merchants made Lavenham one of the wealthiest towns in Tudor England. This talk by Jane Gosling, former Manager of the National Trust’s Guildhall, explores their rise to fame, the houses they left behind, and the inevitable crash that followed.

Monday 19th May 2025 at 02:15 p.m.

Musicals and Singalong

Presented by: Debbie Spice (Adult education centre)

Today's presenter is Debbie Spice, an  an extremely versatile performer whose  extensive training and experience means she can access many styles of singing including Musical Theatre, Operetta and Popular music. Debbie is currently an active performer for professional opera company ‘Figaro and Friends’

Monday 23rd June 2025 at 02:15 p.m.

British Politics in Turmoil

Presented by: Andrew Baker (Adult education centre)

Britain has been living through a series of political upheavals for several years now. In addition, Covid has increased our debt, the NHS is struggling and families are reliant on food banks. What interlocking elements lie behind these disorders and what new factors are shaping our thinking and allegiances?

Monday 28th July 2025 at 12:00 a.m. for a 02:15 p.m. start

History of Purfleet and Purfleet Royal Gunpowder Magazines.

Presented by: Paul Hounsell (Adult education centre)

A history of the Royal Gunpowder Magazines and Purfleet-onThames, together with an assortment of artefacts on how we use to live.

Monday 22nd September 2025 at 02:15 p.m.

Faber & Faber: Ninety Years of Excellence in Cover Design

Presented by: Toby Faber (Adult education centre)

Toby Faber is the grandson of the founder of Faber & Faber, one of London’s most important literary publishing houses. This talk traces its history through its illustrations, covers and designs and looks at some of its most famous artists.

Monday 27th October 2025 at 02:15 p.m.

Brixton - From Riots to Recovery

Presented by: Angela Morgan (Adult education centre)

Brixton - From Riots to Recovery

10th April 1981 is an important date in Black British history. Brixton in South London became the scene of unrest that exposed the realities of the prejudice and discrimination that the Caribbean community had tolerated. The impact of the 'Uprising' still resonates today. But, despite its difficult often challenging past, Brixton is a place of change, opportunities, and celebration.

Our speaker Angela Morgan will take you on an informative and entertaining virtual tour of Brixton with glimpses of its past, the present and potentially the future of this famous residential and shopping area.

Monday 24th November 2025 at 02:15 p.m.

Thomas Becket

Presented by: Imogen Corrigan (Adult education centre)

This talk charts Becket’s rise from being a reluctant scholar who loved sports to being one of the most powerful men in the land. It follows his disputes with Henry II culminating in his shocking end and it tries to find the man behind the robes of office he loved so much. It is a story of great drama, but a human one, nonetheless.

Monday 26th January 2026 at 02:15 p.m.

The sculpture heritage of Harlow

Presented by: Peter Aylmer (Adult education centre)

Harlow is rightly known as 'Sculpture Town', thanks to a growing collection of around 100 public works of art on continual display in its streets and public places. But how did this come about? Peter will trace how the new town's master planner, the renowned architect Frederick Gibberd, saw public art as integral to his conception of the town, and how that legacy has been developed since. He will also look at how the very plan of Harlow is itself something of a work of art, based on Gibberd's close understanding of the Essex landscape.

Monday 23rd February 2026 at 02:15 p.m.

Secrets, Scandal and Salacious Gossip of the Royal Court, 1660 to 1830

Presented by: Sarah Slater (Adult education centre)

Sarah will talk about all the naughty bits of history that we probably didn’t learn about at school! She will reveal some royal scandals and secrets including a look at the role of royal mistresses. We all enjoyed Sarah’s previous talk on kirtles and corsets and this one sounds as though it will be equally entertaining.

Monday 23rd March 2026 at 02:15 p.m.

Inn Signia

Presented by: John Ericson (Adult education centre)

The art work and stories behind peculiar pub names.Have you ever wondered why we have so many pubs called 'The Red Lion' or 'The Crown'? Have you ever heard of 'The Bucket of Blood' or 'The Cow and Snuffers'? Come along and John will enlighten us.