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First Special “Open” Meeting


Thursday 7th October 2021                                                                 2.30pm Dunchurch Village Hall

Comparing Civilisations…5000 Years and 15 Countries                          Speaker:  Anthony Addams

Egypt  3000 BC                                   
Babylon    1750 BC                         
Athens 500 BC

Born in ancient Mesopotamia, with the “Code of Hammurabi”, you might have been a “Superior Woman”, or an “Inferior Man”.  Born in Ancient Greece, the birthplace of Democracy, you might have had the vote, but only if you were an Athenian. Under Magna Carta, were you a Baron?  Or a serf …with no rights, not even owning your own body?  How was Israel set up as a new state?  The oldest continuous democracy is…?  Where and when you were born over the centuries, would determine your life. Anthony explores the staggering differences in forms of government in 15 countries over 5000 years.

William Penn 1600’s.jpg
Magna Carta 1215 AD 
America 1688 AD
China 2013  

Please note: This is our “Welcome Back” special meeting, with NO admittance charge, and open to all, friends and acquaintances, as well as regular members. At the end, we shall hold a short discussion session to gather your views on the way forward with RNTA after our enforced suspension.

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Wednesday 20th October 2021                                                            7.30pm Dunchurch Village Hall

Mary Queen of Scots – the Captive Queen 1568-1587                           Speaker:  David Templeman

David Templeman, Elizabethan historian, writer and lecturer, came to us a few years ago with his knowledgeable and inspiring two talks about the life of Mary Stuart in captivity in England, and he now returns to us with an updated and revised edition of this enthralling story, tied in with his recent book on the same subject. David writes:

2a-Mary Stuart at Fotheringhay -painting by John Duncan.jpg
2-Fotheringhay Mary QoS.jpg
“Find out what really happened to Mary in her captivity years on this journey around Carlisle Castle, Bolton Castle, Tutbury, Wingfield Manor, Chatsworth, Sheffield Castle and Manor Lodge, Buxton and Worksop Manor. Rather than the benign period portrayed by her biographers, the talk conveys intrigue, passion, plots and escape attempts. It is an important part of the story of one of history’s most romantic and enigmatic character's.”
Mary Stuart at Fotheringhay -painting by John Duncan

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Thursday 4th November 2021                                                             2.30pm Dunchurch Village Hall

Railway Crime                                                                                                          Speaker:  Mike Riley

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Mike Riley, who has given us previous lively talks on the Great Central Railway and Railway Accidents, returns to  give a fascinating illustrated run-down of notable crimes on the railways of Britain during the last two hundred years. (We all know about the famous Great Train Robbery of 1963, but what of the murder of Elizabeth Camp, the first woman ever to be murdered aboard a train in Britain (1897), and of the Merstham Tunnel Mystery (1905)?) 

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Wednesday 17th November 2021                                                       7.30pm Dunchurch Village Hall

The Panama Canal (and more)                                                                   Speaker:  Anthony Addams



Why was the Panama Canal built? Why did the French fail? How did the Americans succeed? Anthony Addams (a member of our Rugby NTA) describes in his illustrated talk, the history, politics, construction and operation of this canal, while we transit from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

This is followed by a look at other extraordinary canal structures in France, Belgium, Scotland and Germany. Compare different engineering solutions and see why one was doomed to failure. All illustrated with 130 slides and personal exploration.

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Thursday 2nd December 2021                                                            2.30pm Dunchurch Village Hall

"Light Fantastic" - One Thousand Years of Stained Glass                                Speaker:  Keith Cattell


Having given us excellent talks on “Victorian Architecture” and “English Castles” in previous years, Keith returns with another visually enthralling presentation. He writes:

“Although a very common material, glass, when coloured and assembled into pictures and patterns, has entranced man for well over 1000 years. It is now enjoying a world-wide resurgence of interest and this talk covers its history from the earliest examples to the present day.”

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Thursday 20th January 2022                                                               2.30pm Dunchurch Village Hall

Annual General Meeting   Followed by:

National Trust Aspirations for the Midlands and East of England              Speaker:  Paul Forecast 

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Thursday 3rd February 2022                                                               2.30pm Dunchurch Village Hall

Creating a New Feature from an Old Garden                                                      Speaker:  Mick Evans
Mick Evans, Head Gardener at National Trust’s Packwood, is visiting us again to present another fascinating chapter in the work he and his team are doing in re-imagining and re-creating the gardens and landscape at Packwood.
7-packwood view over south court to the yew garden.jpg

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Wednesday 16th February 2022                                                         7.30pm Dunchurch Village Hall

The History of the BTH Works in Rugby                                                              Speaker:  Alain Foote


Following his enthralling and deeply researched study of the Willans works in Rugby, which he gave us two years ago, Alain returns with the story of another major landmark of Rugby’s industrial past, the British Thomson-Houston works, for so many years a prominent and iconic feature of railway journeys into and out of Rugby station.

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Thursday 3rd March 2022                                                                    2.30pm Dunchurch Village Hall

Northampton Guildhall - A Story in Stone                                                            Speaker:  Kate Wills
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Kate Wills will recount the story of one of the most striking and beautiful Town Halls in England, an outstanding work of Edward William Godwin, one of the most imaginative and artistic architects of the Nineteenth-century Gothic Revival. His work here was not confined to the  design of the building, but also to stunning  interiors and superbly crafted furniture for the working spaces within; a truly aesthetic whole.

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Wednesday 16th March 2022                                                               7.30pm Dunchurch Village Hall

Queen Victoria - A Life in Portraits                                                         Speaker:  Gillian White

Throughout her long life, Queen Victoria was painted by the Leading artists of the day. From daughter to empress, by way of wife, mother and dog-owner, her ever-changing role on Britain’s stage was carefully captured and controlled for both public and private consumption. In this talk we’ll follow her story in a selection of these portraits – some familiar, some perhaps surprising – and see a winsome toddler develop into a symbol of the nation.

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