Wharf Talks


2022 TICKET PRICE £5 - Price includes cuppa and cake  

SEPT 12th      THE “BABY MAKING” TECHNOLOGIES: WE CAN DO IT: BUT  SHOULD WE?                                                                                                   By Peter Brinsden

Peter, as a retired Consultant Gynaecologist and specialist in Fertility and ~Assisted Reproduction describes the early years leading up to the birth of Louise Brown, the world’s first test tuber baby.


SEPT 19th      DEVON AIR AMBULANCE – All About Us       By Becky Trout

How they work, fund raising etc

SEPT 26th      THE ENGLISH RIVIERA UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARK                                                                                  By Malcolm Hart

The area covers 3 towns – Torquay, Paignton and Brixham and consists of marine Devonian strata with Middle Devonia characterized by coral-rich, fossiliferous limestones. Within the territory of the Geopark there are a range of “fossil” climate signals such as raised beaches, submerged forests, terrestrial cave deposits as well as fauna and hominin remains.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                                    OCT 3rd       DAFFODILS AND DOCK DUNG                                    By Jackie Young                         A look at the History of Tamar Valley and the close links with sustainable production over time. From plight of the Devon Dock Dung Diggers to the deadly social impact of arsenic mining, the valley provides an inspirational backdrop to what has become modern living.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                                     OCT 10th    SEAHORSES                                                             By Douglas Herdson                A fish, but one unlike any other animal. Find out more about their strange lives and why they are endangered.                                                                                                                                                            --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                                OCT 17th         GREAT FLOOD OF FLORENCE                             By Jan Diamond              

 In 1966 Italy and the world nearly lost the Renaissance city of Florence when overnight the river Arno burst its banks in the worst flood Florence has known since 1333; sending torrents of filthy, contaminated water racing through the ancient heart of the city and its priceless collections in churches, libraries, galleries and museums. Thanks to an incredible worldwide response, the city and many of its wonders we saved.                                                                                                                    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------         OCT 24th        TAMAR VALLEY VINEYARD: who's clever idea was it to plant a vineyard?                                                                         By Emma Williams

Find out how a sleepy patch of Devon soil was transformed into a working vineyard in 2016 by the Williams family. Hear about the long list of jobs that need to be done throughout the year to turn grapes into wine! In particular discover the history and nature of the valley and the vineyard site itself. Then, most importantly enjoy a taste of the award-winning sparkling wine they have created.


 OCT 31st       REMEMBER, REMEMBER                                                By Barry Hamblin                  The story of the Gunpowder Plot. There is far more to it than Guy Fawkes and a few barrels of gunpowder! The talk explores why it happened, what happened, who really made it happen and what made Barry research this even in history.


NOV 7th        LENIN IN LONDON                                                By John Dobson 

London played an important role in Lenin’s development of his Bolshevik Party, largely unknown to the general public. This talk covers Lenin’s early life, including his time in London, up to the moment he grabs power in Russia.


 NOV 14th      THE PRINCETOWN RAILWAY                             By Chris Burchell 

Although not a victim of Beeching closures of 1963, the Princetown railway was closed in 1956 by British Rail as unviable. Now a popular cycling and hiking track, many would love to see the line open once again to encourage tourism. Chris’ slide talk explores the fascinating history of the branch line’s development from a quarrying track to passengers and freight for the Army and the Prison to its demise             


NOV 21st       CAPTAIN EDWARD HAWKINS : Superintendent of Prisons and                                      Prison ships                                                                                    By Barbie Thompson      During the Napoleonic Wars Hawkins was appointed to the above position, juggling with rations, complaints about food, corrupt suppliers, forgery, plots and escapes. From June 1808 to 1813       his headquarters was the prison hulk BRAVE which housed Danish POW and Hawkins also            lived on board.


NOV 28th       BERYL COOK                                                           By Hilary Bracegirdle

Hilary worked with Beryl Cook’s family to curate the recent exhibition for Plymouth City Council, which was joyfully received by visitors.  She will be showing how Beryl was inspired by her family, pets and friends, and will include plenty of fun and gossip.  She will also compare the paintings with those of other self-taught artists.


DEC 5th          GALAPAGOS: THE ENCHANTED ISLANDS       By Peter Brinsden   

In 1835 Charles Darwin was inspired and developed his theory of evolution. Peter describes his personal journey around the Galapagos Islands describing his journey and some of the dramatic wildlife       


DEC 12th        THE JOY OF ARCHIVES                                         By Felicity Goodall

A romp through some of the stories unearthed in archives all over Britain.


DEC 19th        TO BE CONFIRMED                                                                        By Claire Casely




JAN 30th        TALES OF A DARTMOOR GUIDE                         By Paul Rendell


FEB 6th           TIME GENTLEMEN, PLEASE                                 By Barry Hambin

The history of the measurement of time. The origins of our calendar, why there are 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an hour and 60 seconds in a minute. Investigating the agricultural lunar calendar.



FEB 13th         A VALENTINE CELEBRATION                               By Adrienne Hesketh


FEB 27th         PIXIES - from her book                                          By Claire Casely


MAR 13th      HAUNTED PUBS IN DEVON                                  By Richard Hesketh


MAR 27th      THE FAIR ARM OF THE LAW                                By Simon Dell


APR 24th        St GEORGE/SHAKESPEARE THEMED..so English! By Adrianne Hesketh


MAY 15th       LOST DEVON                                                           Felicity Goodall


JUN 12th        THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER                           By Barbie Thompson

The people in the USA celebrate Flag Day o9n 14th June each year but not many of us in the UK know the story that lies behind the adoption of the flag, also known affectionately as the Stars and Stripes and Old Glory. The flag has become a powerful symbol of Americanism. Proudly flown on many occasions – a barometer of public opinion accurately reflecting the current mood of the country.


JULY 3rd         DEVON PLACE NAMES                                          By Robert Hesketh


JUY 10th         THE SECRET WILDLIFE ON DARTMOOR           By Paul Rendell


JULY 24th       DON’T PUT YOUR DAUGHTER ON THE STAGE By Francis Burroughs


SEPT 25th      TALK ON MYANMAR                                             By Felicity Goodall


OCT 23rd        A HALLOWEEN DELIGHT                                      By Adrienne Hesketh


OCT 30th        Black Dogs, Witches and Hairy Hands              By Paul Rendell


NOV 6th         CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS                             By Felicity Goodall


DEC 11th        HISTORY OF THE CHRISTMAS CAROL               By Andrienne Hesketh

History of the Christmas carol, Christmas music and poetry.