Would you like a speaker at your event? I have many years of experience talking to Rotary Clubs, Women's Institutes, history groups etc. Talks can be tailored to your own requirements although they generally last for around 45 minutes, allowing time for questions from the audience. Many of the talks are illustrated with slides.
Please contact me if you would like me to speak to your group, or if you would like a list of all my talks.
My current list of talks includes the following:
Talks about Shropshire
2,000 years of Shropshire history
2,000 years of history in one lecture - impossible! That's quite true of course but, with this lecture, I aim to give a general picture of the county's history with the arrival of the Romans, the Saxons and the Normans to the birth of the Industrial Revolution and the introduction of the modern age.
If you have a party visiting Shropshire and would like a general talk about the county, perhaps on the first night of your stay, I would be delighted to prepare a talk to suit your individual needs.
The history of Shrewsbury
This is a general look at the town's history. If members of your group are unable to enjoy a walking tour perhaps this 'armchair tour' would be a suitable (and much more comfortable) alternative. Other talks on Shrewsbury concentrate on its architecture or the town's military history.
An 'oddity' can be anything that strikes you as 'odd' or is in any way unusual. It could be an ancient relic or a folly on a grand estate, an amusing gravestone or a unique survival from the Industrial Revolution. I have been 'collecting' Shropshire oddities for some years now and this is a selection of a few of my favourites.
Thomas Telford's Shropshire legacy
Telford was one of the finest engineers that this country has ever produced. In Shropshire he built roads and bridges, canals and aqueducts, churches and even Shrewsbury's prison.
A house in Shropshire - the story of Attingham Hall
Home to the Noel-Hill family, Attingham Hall is now looked after by the National Trust. Built in 1785, it is a particularly fine mansion and houses a superb collection of paintings, furniture, china and silver. But the story of a house is also the story of the people who lived there.
Brother Cadfael - the fact behind the fiction
For many people who have read the novels, Cadfael seems like a real person. But he was fictional, the creation of the local writer, Ellis Peters. The talk explains some of the genuine history behind the detective stories in a series of books that were very carefully researched.
It's said that you always get lots of ghost stories in border regions - it's a way of scaring your enemies and warning them not to encroach upon your territory. Perhaps that explains why there are so many ghosts in Shropshire.
Talks on general subjects
The story of English pub signs
Did you know that it became the law as early as the 1390s that every establishment selling alcohol had to show a sign? Pub signs certainly have a long history. This talk is about the history of many of our favourite pub signs and also explores the important part that pubs have played in our history generally.
Nursery rhyme stories
Many of those little rhymes that we sing to our young children go back hundreds of years. Some nursery rhymes recall historic events, some were the political lampoons of their day, some are really very rude. Find out just what it is you are repeating to your children!
The truth about Christmas
Why do we celebrate Christmas on the 25th December? Who was Father Christmas? Discover why we celebrate Christmas in the way that we do. As a result of the many requests that I should write a book on the subject I have now published a book titled All (you ever wanted to know) About Christmas. For further information please go to my 'Books' page.
Francis Frith - a Victorian photographer
Frith was one of the great British pioneer photographers. He travelled widely - in the 1850s he was the first man to take a camera to the upper reaches of the Nile. He also produced an amazing collection of photographs taken all over the British Isles and the archive of pictures he started is now the largest privately owned such archive in the country.
As an author for the Francis Frith Book Company I became fascinated by the man himself. This talk is therefore about the life of Francis Frith and is illustrated with many of his own pictures.
If you would like me to speak to your group on a subject that isn't listed above, do please ask me about it. Many of the above talks have developed as a result of just such enquiries.
Address: Dorothy Nicolle, 32 Chapel Street, Wem, Shrewsbury, SY4 5ER, United Kingdom