Past Programme 2017/2018

10th October 2017 – Nicholas Crane

The Making of the British Landscape

How much do we know about the place we call ‘home’?  Over many thousands of years the British landscape has been transformed from a European peninsula of glacier and tundra to an island of glittering cities and exquisite countryside. In this journey through time, we discover the ancient relationship between people and place and the deep-rooted tensions between town and countryside.

24 October 2017 – Robert McManners

Mining Art

For over 20 years Dr McManners  together with Gillian Wales have researched mining art in the North East, collected paintings and written several books on the subject. Following their successful “Pitmen and Prelates” exhibition in Auckland Castle in 2016 they have donated their collection of over 400 art works to a new gallery showcasing mining art which will open later this year in Bishop Auckland.

7 November 2017John Pilkington

Russia and Europe: What Next?

John makes a welcome return to Grange to tell us about his recent trip to Russia. Passions are running high in Ukraine and the breakaway states of the Caucasus. In 2015 John met people on both sides of the disputed borders, and promises some surprising insights.

21 November 2017 –  Michael Green

Priests, Piles and Parasites: Medical Mysteries from the Old Testament

Professor Green is a retired forensic pathologist with an interest in researching diseases that people might have suffered in the distant past.   “And the Lord shall smite thee down with emerods” – did the whole army really die of Piles? Did the houses and clothing really suffer from leprosy – for that matter did leprosy exist in Palestine in 3000 BC. Why was there death in Elijah’s pot and what do David and Job have in common – apart from spot? Those and other questions will be answered – with a pinch of salt, of course.

5 December 2017 – Paul Atterbury                                        

 Exploring Britain’s Lost Railways

Paul is probably best known for his appearances on the Antiques Roadshow but throughout his life he has had a keen interest in railways and has written a dozen books on the subject. He is also a patron of the Guild of Railway artists. During the 1960s and early 1970s Britain was devastated by railway closures. Paul traces the routes that have long since been abandoned but are nevertheless still rich in railway culture.

9 January 2018 – Christine Robinson

Chatsworth: The Housekeeper’s Tale

Christine tells the story of her family’s connection with Chatsworth’s great Estate over the last two centuries, and her own personal involvement with Chatsworth and the Cavendish family over more than forty years, the day-to-day care of this magnificent House, some of the characters who have worked there and the fabulous parties they have all enjoyed.

23 January 2018 – John Beatty

Adventures in the Wild
Nevile Burwell Memorial Lecture

John is one of the UK’s most exciting and stimulating nature, travel and adventure photographers. This talk covers adventures from around the world including the great wildebeest migration of the Serengeti; an astonishing festival in India called the Kumbh Mela; hidden mountain churches in Northern Ethiopia; the eagle-hunters of Khazak Mongolia and lots more.

6 February 2018 Jon Cannon

A Thousand Years of History:
Medieval cathedrals as time machines

Jon is an Architectural Historian who has written several books on Medieval Architecture and  has presented programmes on the BBC including “How to Build a Cathedral”. This talk explores the amazing structure and content of English Medieval Cathedrals and is full of insight about the people, contents and ritual beliefs which helped to create these beautiful works of art.

13 February 2018  Brian Wilson

Barrow’s Boys and Other Polar Explorers

Following the end of the Napoleonic wars, Great Britain had the largest Navy of all times. Sir John Barrow, (from Ulverston), was the second secretary to the Admiralty and he saw exploration as a useful way of utilising their skills. This talk concentrates on expeditions to try to discover a northwest passage, which went via the Arctic, through to the Pacific and to the Orient.  It is a story of courage, extreme hardship, personnel cost and eventual success.

6 March 2018 – Jerry Stone

The Next 50 Years In Space

A look at potential space activities of the future. We’ve been flying in space for over 50 years, since Yuri Gagarin in 1961. What will come next? Predicting the future isn’t easy – all kinds of people have failed to foresee achievements that we now take for granted. But they have also predicted things that have not taken place – bases on the Moon, humans on Mars, and holidays in space.

Here is a personal view of what the future may hold for us.