Talk Catalogue

British History

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Mirthy cannot guarantee the accuracy of information presented in the talks and we invite attendees to report any inappropriate content and behaviour by emailing alex@mirthy.co.uk

British History

Horses and Carriages in London

Talk Description and preview

For centuries horses were vital for any kind of travel or transport, either by carriage or on horseback. Andrew Warde tells us how these wonderful animals have served Londoners over past centuries. Hear about the ‘Quicksilver’ mail coach, how to climb onto an early omnibus and discover where, even today, you can find horses in London.

Talk length - 40 minutes.

Andrew Warde

Andrew Warde has more than 40 years experience as a London Blue Badge guide, with additional guide qualifications for the City of London and for Windsor & Eton. He presents illustrated talks and walks in and around London, telling all about historic buildings, curious survivals from times past, or special areas of London life and the Thames riverside. These talks reveal fascinating aspects of London’s past and the people who lived there.

Curiosities from London's Streets

Talk Description and preview

London is like a free open-air museum and art gallery combined – when you know where to look. This talk will show you where to discover a nine-foot dragon, some Grocers camels and a clock that once set time for the whole of Britain. In the words of Walter Beasant; “I've been walking about London for the last thirty years, and I find something fresh in it every day.”


Talk length - 45 minutes.

Andrew Warde

Andrew Warde has more than 40 years experience as a London Blue Badge guide, with additional guide qualifications for the City of London and for Windsor & Eton. He presents illustrated talks and walks in and around London, telling all about historic buildings, curious survivals from times past, or special areas of London life and the Thames riverside. These talks reveal fascinating aspects of London’s past and the people who lived there.

Crown Jewels & Coronations

Talk Description and preview

Coronations create a special charisma for the sovereign that enhances the personality of the individual wearing the crown. This talk is about the crown jewels and their symbolism underlining the assertion that the monarch is special. Find out about the historic jewels set into the crowns and sceptre, hear about some very old English crowns and which crown “was all crushed and squashed like a pudding that had sat down.”


Talk length - 44 minutes.

Andrew Warde

Andrew Warde has more than 40 years experience as a London Blue Badge guide, with additional guide qualifications for the City of London and for Windsor & Eton. He presents illustrated talks and walks in and around London, telling all about historic buildings, curious survivals from times past, or special areas of London life and the Thames riverside. These talks reveal fascinating aspects of London’s past and the people who lived there.

Explore Georgian London

Talk Description and preview

Explore the London of Samuel Johnson and George Handel. What was London like in their day and what remains?

Talk length - 43 minutes.

Andrew Warde

Andrew Warde has more than 40 years experience as a London Blue Badge guide, with additional guide qualifications for the City of London and for Windsor & Eton. He presents illustrated talks and walks in and around London, telling all about historic buildings, curious survivals from times past, or special areas of London life and the Thames riverside. These talks reveal fascinating aspects of London’s past and the people who lived there.

John Dudley and the Nine Days Queen

Talk Description and preview

Was John Dudley Duke of Northumberland the acquisitive tactician that historians have made him out to be?  A man who put the unfortunate, tragic and undoubtedly unwilling sixteen year old Lady Jane Grey on the throne of England for nine days back in the 16th century. It all ended in tears and lost heads, but was John Dudley the power crazy, grasping schemer that historians would have us believe. 

Talk length - 45 minutes.

Dianne Mannering

Dianne Mannering's original talks were based round the royal and noble characters in her two history books. Dianne is a very popular and well respected speaker.

London's Drains and Sewers

Talk Description and preview

Have you ever wondered about the huge network of drains and culverts beneath your feet in London’s streets? Here is an opportunity to find out more about where the water goes and how the network of drains and sewers came into being. Discover the story of nightmen, the ‘Cathedral of Drains’ and how to prevent a heavy drain cover from being blown high into the air.

Talk length - 41 minutes.

Andrew Warde

Have you ever wondered about the huge network of drains and culverts beneath your feet in London’s streets? Here is an opportunity to find out more about where the water goes and how the network of drains and sewers came into being. Discover the story of nightmen, the ‘Cathedral of Drains’ and how to prevent a heavy drain cover from being blown high into the air.


Talk length - 42 minutes

Lady Jane Grey - The Forgotten Tudor

Talk Description and preview

In Bradgate Park, Leicestershire, stands the ruins of Bradgate Manor, the birthplace & home of Lady Jane Grey, born into the Tudor family and dubbed the Nine Day Queen. This is a story of a girl with outstanding natural ability, whose strength of character & remarkable faith shine out, despite the darkness that often surrounded her. She paid the ultimate price for a throne she didn’t seek.

Talk length - 38 minutes.

Sandy Leong

Sandy Leong is an historian, passionate about bringing history to life and is a lively and entertaining speaker. She has a popular series of entertaining, light hearted talks on general historical subjects. However she specialises in the Tudors, an exciting time in the country as it was changing fast; and in the Viking period, who are much more than the stereotype of raiders in horned helmets. She is an international, professional speaker, and published author.

Murder, Sex and Mayhem in English Churches

Talk Description and preview

Warning: talk contains nudity and scenes which may offend.

When we sit in an ancient church enjoying the peace and quiet we probably don't realise that we are surrounded by images and stories of Murder, Sex and Mayhem. In this talk John Vigar, who has visited over 12,000 churches in England and Wales, shows imagery from a thousand years of history that represents stories of untimely deaths and sexual shenanigans.

Talk length - 45 minutes.

John Vigar

John has been a professional historian and speaker for over 40 years. For much of that time John also taught at the University of Kent as well as for the WEA and Denman College. His specialist subject is ecclesiology – the study of church architecture and associated topics.

Queen Victoria

Talk Description and preview

Her Majesty will visit your town and remind you about the events that have occurred during her long reign.

Talk length - 40 minutes.

Georgette Vale

In semi-retirement from her profession as a tutor and manager in the field of Sensory Impairment, Georgette Vale is now combining her hobbies of history, drama and craft and would love to share this with you. On the Live History side Georgette has created a series of one woman shows about notable Norfolk women in history.

The Bishop's Finger - A History of Public Houses

Talk Description and preview

The British public house started life as a Roman Wine Bar and dates back over 2000 years. Ale was central to the Anglo Saxon sense of community, the place to get a drink often marked by using a bush as a sign; by 1577 it is thought that there were 17,000 alehouse, 2000 inns and 400 taverns in England many with really interesting names that are still with us today. Tracing back the origins of the names gives us an insight into history. 

Talk length - 28 minutes.

Sandy Leong

Sandy Leong is an historian, passionate about bringing history to life and is a lively and entertaining speaker. She has a popular series of entertaining, light hearted talks on general historical subjects. However she specialises in the Tudors, an exciting time in the country as it was changing fast; and in the Viking period, who are much more than the stereotype of raiders in horned helmets. She is an international, professional speaker, and published author.

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