Farnham & District Museum Society

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Talks Programme 2020-2021

All talks start at 7:45 pm (except April 2021)


Entry to the talks is free for members (a donation towards the costs would be appreciated).


Non members are most welcome to attend any talk, there is a charge of £3 for each visitor.






Date:              September 24th 2020
Subject:         Frank Austin, brother of the more famous Jane

Presenter:    Dr Cheryl Butler



The lesser known story of Jane Austen’s sailor brother Frank who rose to become Lord Admiral of England is told by Dr Cheryl Butler, Hon. Fellow the University of Winchester and Board Member for the Hampshire Trust.  


Frank’s is a fascinating life of great achievement and Jane drew upon the lives of her sailor brothers in her novels Persuasion and Mansfield Park.




Date:              October 8th 2020
Subject:        Working the Wey – bargemen of the Wey Navigation around 1700

Presenter:    Sue Jones


The Wey Navigation opened in 1653 and ran for a century between the Thames at Weybridge and Guildford before its extension in the 1760s to Godalming.


While much has been written about the Navigation’s construction, less is known of the people who worked on it in its early days. Sue Jones will discuss the Navigation in its first century focussing on the bargemen who worked it, their boats and their trade.


This work formed part of a dissertation for the Master’s in Local History at Oxford’s Department of Continuing Education, where Sue is now studying for a doctorate on the economy and demography of early modern Surrey.




Date:              October 22nd 2020
Subject:        Neolithic Temples of Malta

Presenter:    Mike Pengelly


Mike Pengelly returns to talk to us about the earliest inhabitants of Malta who arrived around 5200 BC from Sicily using rafts.  They were megalithic temple builders and Mike will show us some of the oldest structures in the world that still exist.




Date:              November 5th 2020
Subject:        George Abbott Man of the World

Presenter:    Nicholas Bale


Described by the Chambers Biographical Dictionary as ‘a sincere but narrow minded Calvinist’ this son of Guildford led an eventful life becoming Archbishop of Canterbury in 1611.  Nicholas Bale, local historian and Friend of Guildford Museum will talk on his life and the reason behind his endowment of a hospital in Guildford.




Date:              November 19th 2020
Subject:        The Life and Loves of Ada Lovelace

Presenter:    Dr. David Taylor


Dr. David Taylor, Chairman of the Surrey History Trust and a Trustee of Painshill Park Trust invites us to look at the life of Ada Lovelace.  Born Augusta Byron she was the only legitimate child of Lord Byron and was a mathematician and writer known chiefly for her work on Babbage’s mechanical general purpose computer.




Date:              December 3rd 2020 
Subject:        History of Christmas Foods

Presenter:    Rupert Matthews


After his brief sojourn as an MEP, Rupert Matthews has returned to his career as an historian and speaker.  Before leaving for Brussels he spoke to us on the Battle of Waterloo but this time speaks on a seasonal topic .









Date:              January 7th 2021





Date:              January 21st 2021





Date:              February 4th 2021






Date:              February 18th 2021





Date:              March 4th 2021



Date:              March 18th 2021




Date:              April 1st 2021




This meeting will start a little earlier at 7.30.


The talk will be followed by the AGM.