Wharf Talks


£5 - Price includes cuppa and cake  PLEASE check website for up to date details under WHATS ON

JULY 11th       HART OF PLYMOUTH                                                        By Derek Frood              Hart of Plymouth is a hidden story of Plymouth born Solomon Hart who became the first Jewish member of the Royal Academy and a 14foot square painting that he had bequeathed to Plymouth which has not been shown for a hundred years.

JULY 18th       BEYOND BLUE PLANET                                         By Jackie Young            Takes a look at inspiration behind the plastic free campaign and impact it has had. Gives some idea of why plastics have become such a problem, where hidden threats lie and the impact it is having as well as some of the successes.

JULY 25th       TUTANKHAMUN – TOMB AND TREASURES               By Jan Diamond  MARKING THE CENTENARY OF THE FIND: There has never been a discovery like it – not before, nor since: Howard Carter’s world-famous discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb uncovered a magnificent, astonishing, treasure trove of more than 5000 artefacts opened on 26th November 1922. This find is probably the most important in the history of Egyptology, if not the world.

During this talk, Jan endeavours to explain the puzzle of the burial, and touch on some of its treasures and the chaos Carter was presented with on the opening of this most famous archaeological find in the history of the world; and what is for her – the incredible details and logistics of his burial.                                                                                                             --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                                                             AUG 15th       THE PAINTINGS OF THE WIDGERY FAMILY                 By Chris Burchell             An illustrated talk about two painters whose works celebrate the wildness and beauty of Dartmoor. An inspired Victorian amateur, William sold almost anything he painted.

His son Frederick was also inspired by his father that he took formal training, basing his paintings on Devon and Cornwall’s moors and coasts, again selling profusely. Their works are very sought after. Chris illustrates his talk with slides of their work, making stylistic comparisons between father and son sand the fine art of the period.                                                --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The British picture postcard started in 1890’s. Th8is talk will look at the history and “the tricks of the trade” used over the period of 100 years and many other aspects of postcards.

SEPT 5th         THE HISTORY OF COINAGE                                              By Bryan Short

One of the great inventions of the Ancient Greeks, coins have been in use for over 2,500 years and adopted in every part of the world. This talk spans that entire history, highlighting important events and changes that had major effects on society. Warning: this includes some gory accounts of crime and punishment.

SEPT 12th       THE “BABY MAKING” TECHNOLOGIES: WE CAN DO THEM, BUT      SHOULD WE?                                                                                  By Peter Brisden

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                                 By Becky Trout

How they work.

SEPT 26th       THE ENGLISH RIVIERA UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPACK                                                                                   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                                                                                                   t 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 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             

Nov28th           Beryl Cook by    Hilary Bracegirdle


DEC 5th           GALAPAGOS: THE ENCHANTED ISLANDS        By Peter Brisden               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