Planned Lectures

Tue, 5 Oct 2021

Start time: 7:45 pm
Status: CONFIRMED
Venue: To be decided

About the lecture:

This lecture covers the first of a series of three books on the early independent bus and coach operators of the Thames Valley. The second book will cover the Bracknell, Crowthorne and Wokingham areas and the third will cover Maidenhead.

The highly detailed and well-researched information in the book has been gathered over a period of some 50 years and much of it has been obtained from primary sources. This information is enlivened by anecdotes about the individuals who operated these services and is accompanied by many photographs of the vehicles they used, often in local settings.

Most of the motor services arose in the period shortly before the First World War from horse-drawn operations, although the War itself naturally slowed their development. In the 1920s and 1930s, there was a considerable expansion in their activity, especially in connecting the outlying villages with the larger towns and in providing leisure excursions, greatly enhancing the mobility of the less prosperous inhabitants.

Our lecturer: Paul Lacey

The lecturer has been researching bus and coach operators in the Thames Valley since 1968, relying heavily on first-hand accounts of people with memories of them. He has so far published twelve books on the subject – more are in the pipeline – and has spoken to over 130 groups on the subjects of his books.  His website is http://www.paullaceytransportbooks.co.uk/

Tue, 2 Nov 2021

Start time: 7:45 pm
Status: CONFIRMED
Venue: Kings Arms Barn

About the lecture:

Following on from his earlier talks to the Group on the effect on the town of the Boer War of 1899-1902, and the unprecedented victory of the Liberals in the Henley constituency at General Election in 1906, Michael will look in detail at the fabric of the Victorian and Edwardian town. How and why did Henley grow in late Victorian and Edwardian times?  Attention will be given to its public buildings, to the creation of the infrastructure which shaped its development, and to the influences of local government and other local pressure groups on the process.

In particular, Michael will consider the builders who extended Henley southwards, with the New Town, St Andrew’s and St Mark’s Roads developments. They were the work of a close-knit group of families; the Owthwaites, Clements’, Hamiltons, and Wilsons. The heads of these families were remarkable men, often local and from artisan backgrounds, who speculated in land, organised and managed the large construction projects, and became significant property owners, not just in Henley but also in neighbouring towns. Michael’s talk will explore the way the builders were also key figures in the governance and civic life, shaping not just Henley’s physical structure but also its social and political life in the years up to the First World War.

Our lecturer: Michael Redley

Michael Redley lives in Norman Avenue in Henley. His doctoral work in history was on East Africa in colonial times. He made a career in central government and in statutory agencies concerned with broadcasting and at the University of Oxford. More recently he has returned to his roots in history.  He has published on various topics and teaches courses at the Department for Continuing Education in Oxford on twentieth-century British history and politics.

Tue, 7 Dec 2021

Start time: 7:45 pm
Status: POSTPONED
Venue: Kings Arms Barn

About the lecture:

In preparation

Our lecturer: Tim Healey