HLF Heritage Talks

Throughout our Heritage Lottery Fund project, we have endeavoured to enrich our community with a wide range of fascinating, compelling and unique talks. Our speakers have included the BBC’s own Dr Michael Scott, Paul Atterbury best known for his regular appearances on The Antiques Roadshow and we will soon be joined by best-selling historical author, Alison Weir.


13 March 2014

Dr Suzannah Lipscombe, Prince to Tyrant: what changed Henry VIII

Henry VIII fascinates, compels and repulses us, in equal measure. After all the films, novels and paintings, Henry VIII is the British monarch we like to think we know. Have you ever wondered what turned the young, handsome, athletic Henry, once known as the brightest prince in all of Christendom, into the overweight, over-greedy, wife-beheading tyrant we know him as today? This historical talk demonstrates a unique approach to the character of Henry VIII. Dr Lipscomb is well known for numerous TV appearances, such as presenting National Geographic’s Bloody Tales of the Tower of London and the BBC’s recent The Last Days of Anne Boleyn; she was Research Curator at Hampton Court Palace and is the author of 1536: The Year that Changed Henry VIII

20 February 2014

Alison Weir, Elizabeth I: The Virgin Queen

Elizabeth was one of the most famous flirts in history- men were attracted to her like moths to a flame, not only because of who she was, but also because of her undoubted personal charisma. Yet Elizabeth is remembered today, as the Virgin Queen, an image she consciously promoted. Well known author Alison Weir has studied Elizabeth I for many decades, and her talk will offer intriguing insights into her life, throwing light on her views about her parents, Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, and her attitudes towards marriage and men.

2 November 2014

Chris Cockburn, The Birds of Langstone Harbour

The Hayling Billy Line sadly no longer  run across the landscape of Hayling Island, but this talk explored what wild life inhabits the Billy Line’s old tracks and the surrounding area of Langstone Harbour. This talk was part of the events and activities which took place on our greatly popular Hayling Billy Open day.

Audience numbers: 43

2 November 2014

Peter Keat, The Line to Hayling

This talk ecplored  the history and demise of the much loved branch line – The Hayling Billy . The audience listened to how the line was one of the most famous branches in the South, and discover how its closure came about, including unique and beautiful images and film. This talk was also part of the events and activities that took place on our Hayling Billy Open day. The talk was so popular more chairs had to be added to the location!

Audience numbers: 105

10 October 2013

Paul Atterbury, A Life with Trains

As well as appearing regularly on The Antiques Roadshow Paul is now one of Britain’s best known railway writers . Having successfully published over 12 large, beautifully illustrated railway books, this intimate talk described an avid enthusiasm for lost railways, rail history, the excitement of embarking on a new journey and his life-long love affair with railway life. Paul discussed his experiences of Great Train journeys such as travelling by rail across Europe as a student, and parts of the USA in the 1970s. Paul was a wonderful speaker who engaged with the audience wonderfully, chatting to enthusiastic fans and signing books during the interval and even after the talk.

Audience numbers: 128 (out of a capacity 134)


 6, 13 and 20 March 2013

Mary Law, Show and tell – Semi Precious Stones

These intimate talks were designed to run over a three week period, one hour talk being held each week. For each talk/show and tell, jewellery maker and expert Mary Law took her audience on a journey of the myths, traditions and legends of Semi – Precious stones.

Audience numbers: 10 (out of a capacity of 12)

8 February 2012

Dr Michael Scott, Delphi: Belly Button of the Ancient World

Dr Scott is one of the UK’s youngest Professors of Classics and Ancient History and joined us for a popular talk on one of the most popular mysteries of the ancient world – The Oracular Sanctuary at Delphi. Graduate of Cambridge University, explorer, researcher, acclaimed historic author and Television presenter; at this unique event Dr Scott brought the past to life, uniting the ancient world with our own. The audience became immersed in the distant past as they discovered how Delphi managed to survive as the “bellybutton” of the ancient world for over 1000 years and learn what Delphi still has to say to us today. Scott’s fascinating talk depicted stories of Gods, Athletic games, monuments to unity and civil war all of which populated the sanctuary. Dr Scott was a fantastic speaker who engaged with the audience, speaking to them at the bar during the interval and answering numerous questions in a post show chat after his talk.

Audience numbers: 78 (out of a capacity of 129)