Talks for Adults

Below is a small selection of the talks that I currently offer. These talks can be tailored to suit the length of time available. Most have an optional image element, I can bring a laptop if you have the screen. 

I have done full multi-week courses for the Workers Educational Association on seventeenth century life, medieval pastimes, and the history of the English language, and can talk on all sorts of aspects of these topics as well as many aspects of the history of medicine and the supernatural.

If you have a specific subject in mind, and for information on prices etc, please contact me directly on

Seventeenth Century Newcastle


Taking early maps of the old walled town of Newcastle as a starting po]int, this talk envisages around the streets as they once were, from the Quayside to the New Gate, taking in plague and punishment, siege and spectacle.

Witchcraft in the North East

Everything you always wanted to know about witches, but were too afraid to ask. Taken from real court records and other original documents, these stories include devils and witchfinders, arsenic, fairies... and ducks.


- leeches, Lepers and Lucozade

Find out what might happen if you fell ill in times past - who might treat you, where, and with what medicine? Includes replica medical tools and a real leech.


From munitionette football to military hospitals, find out how the people of Tyneside coped with the pressures of the Home Front 1914-1918.


How a Roman lady (or gentleman!) might get ready for a banquet, including the correct use of crocodile dung and all the latest Roman fashion tips. Includes replica objects and reconstructed Roman recipes.

Boardgames from History

Games have a fascinating history, from the Royal Game of Ur found in 5,000 year old tombs, to the invention of Monopoly to point out the evils of landlords! Learn how the Romans cheated at dice, what monks could play dice sinning, the moral origins of Snakes and Ladders, and the favourite games of the Suffragettes.

The Spark of Life: The Science behind Frankenstein's Monster

This exploration of the early nineteenth century obsession with electricity as a force of life takes in frog's legs, executed criminals, the Anatomy Act, steam intellect societies, the Chair of Dr De Sanctis, a spontaneously generated mite and more.




In this exploration of what medieval people really thought, meet the Alnwick Vampire and the Three Living and Three Dead. Learn what to do if you meet a ghost, and all about the original Grateful Dead.


From floods to floating hospitals, clowns to "comfortables", all sorts of things have happened not merely on the banks of the Tyne, but upon its waters. Find out about a few of them in this illustrated talk.

"Thank you so much for coming to talk to us... it is a fascinating subject and you have a wonderful knowledge of what made people in the past "tick". I know all our members really enjoyed what you had to tell us." - Heighington Women's Institute on the medicine talk.

"It was really interesting and enjoyable and certainly provoked plenty of questions!   It's always great to have someone really knowledgeable about their subject as the enthusiasm is infectious!!" - Middlestone Local History Group on the witchcraft talk.