Farnham & District Museum Society

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Talks Programme 2023-2024




All talks start at 2:30 pm.


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 22nd 2023
Tudor Farnham

Presenter:    Pat Heather

Location:     The Garden Gallery



Pat will talk about life in Farnham town in the 16th century as seen through the eyes of one family, covering some aspects of the social, religious and economic background of the period.   






Date:            October 20th 2023

Subject:       The Art & Craft of Farnham:  Why We are a World Craft Town

Presenter:    Graham Mollart  

Location:     The Garden Gallery



Presenting what should be an aesthetic smorgasbord for your delight Graham Mollart, who has for the last ten years been a member of our Craft Town Committee, celebrates our unique visual history. His focus will be on the last 150 years in which we have had both a School of Art and a Pottery marking public milestones while delving behind local doors to discover the individuals and groups involved.  







Date:            November 17th 2023
Subject:       The life and times of Bishop Charles Sumner (1790-1874)

Presenter:    Rt Revd Dr Christopher Herbert

Location:      The Garden Gallery



 When invited to speak Chris wrote ‘ I am currently writing a book about him as a forty-year resident of Farnham Castle’.  Bishop Sumner led a long and influential life and I am sure that Dr. Herbert will present an interesting and lively talk on his life and his forty years in the Town. 













Date:             December 8th 2023 
Subject:        Readings from George Sturt’s work

Presenter:     Rosemary Wisbey

Location:      The Garden Gallery



 “To the memory of George Sturt who wrote with understanding and distinction of the wheelwright's craft and English peasant life". These words, engraved by Eric Gill, on a simple tablet in St Andrew's Church, Farnham, commemorate the writer and craftsman.  Rosemary will use Sturt’s words to bring back to life 19th Century Farnham.



















Date:             26th January 2024

Subject:        Scattered Squalor

Presenter:     Dr. Geoffrey Mead

Location:      The Garden Gallery



Although retired, Dr. Geoffrey Mead is still part of the Geography team at the University of Sussex.


He has specialised in the landscape of the South East and completed his doctorate in the suburban growth of the interwar period.  Between the wars there was an enormous growth in suburban housing but not all was Tudorbethan.  Much was what is now termed ‘plotlands’. 


Dr. Mead will look at the origins, growth and demise of this largely ignored aspect of our housing history with special reference to Surrey.





Date:             23rd February 2024

Subject:        WAAC’s in the 1st World War

Presenter:    Bianca Taubert-Bailey

Location:      The Garden Gallery


Women being recruited in London for the WAAC.


Bianca Taubert-Bailey, Curator of the AGC Museum in Winchester, was due to give this talk in February 2023 but unfortunately had to cancel due to catching Covid. We have another opportunity to welcome her and learn the background to how and why the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps was created.





Date:             8th March 2024

Subject:        Obsession, Enterprise and Death; The Industrial Revolution

                      and 3 Men’s Lives

Presenter:     Dr.  Frances Hurd

Location:      The Garden Gallery


Economic success during the Industrial Revolution came at a high price for individuals – even those who appeared to profit from it. 


Dr. Hurd will tell how three men caught up in the Industrial Revolution were affected by it. 


Dr. Hurd has a PhD in History and is often the invited speaker for conferences held by the Imperial War Museum.  





Date:             19th April 2024

Subject:        John Luard (1790-1875)

Presenter:    Gill Picken

Location:      The Garden Gallery

John Luard was an army officer who started his career in the Royal Navy as a midshipman but changed to the army. He fought in the Peninsular Wars and at Waterloo and as his career progressed became a talented war artist. In 1852 he wrote and illustrated  “History of the Dress of the British Soldier” which is a classic book on the subject still referred to today.


On his retirement from the Army he moved to Castle Street , Farnham, became founder of the Farnham Art School and a sculptor of church fonts (including one in Gill’s home parish of Tongham, which he carved in 1871 when he was aged 83)



 The talk will be followed by the AGM.