Upcoming Lectures

01
Jul
2019

The Race to the Moon

Rick Shepperston

Show more

Telling the story from both the American and Soviet perspectives. 2019 is a significant milestone, being fifty years after Apollo 11's historic mission.

02
Sep
2019

Dullep Singh the Black Prince

Fraser Harrison

Show more

Maharaja Duleep Singh was the former Maharaja of Punjab who in 1849 at the age of 10 was removed from from the Punjab with his title and power devolved. The Koh-i-Noor Diamond was surrendered to Queen Victoria. Despite his exile and the removal of sovereignty, Duleep Singh became famous as a friend of Queen Victoria. He converted to Christianity in 1853 and settled in the UK in 1854. In 1864, Duleep Singh married Bamba Müller in Cairo and then established his family at Elveden Hall in Suffolk. They had eight children together. Queen Victoria was godmother to their eldest son.

Duleep Singh became known for his extravagant lifestyle, enjoying the countryside and game-shooting in particular. Duleep Singh also rebuilt the church, cottages and school in Elveden. Despite his lifestyle in Britain, he decided to fight to reclaim his land and title in the Punjab. In 1886 he returned to India where he re-converted to Sikhism. He went to live in Paris where he enlisted the help of Irish revolutionaries and the Russians to lead a revolt against the British in the Punjab but he was ultimately unsuccessful in bringing these plans to fruition. Bamba died in 1887, and in 1889 Singh married Ada Douglas Wetherill, an Englishwoman. They had two children. He died in 1893 in Paris but his body was returned to Elveden, where he was buried.

07
Oct
2019

From Toy Town to Buckingham Palace

John Stirling

Show more

John Stirling starts with an introduction into living up to expectations when you are born into a theatrical dynasty. When you are attempting to follow in the footsteps of well established Actors and Actresses that just happen to be your parents. It is no easy journey to attempt to find a route which makes you stand out and branch away from the establishment and finally break away, trying hard to find individuality and originality.

Then the inspiration of others in the field of comedy, their help, their support and working with them professionally, side by side attempting to achieve an end product that will please and be successful and above all, be remembered.

The performances, the friendships. Being able to return the support, opening doors and producing shows enhancing their talent, pushing them to believe in being able to cover more ground. To steer them away from their comfort zone and give them a new goal and to let the public see them in a different light, enabling them to surprise an unsuspecting public with an untapped talent, as yet unseen.

Finally the stories of how Actors and Actresses rescued their donkeys. The amusing situations so many of them have got into with their four legged friends, culminating in a private audience with her Majesty with two donkeys, my wife and my dog.

04
Nov
2019

Wimbledon … Tales of a line judge

Wendy Smith

Show more

Wendy Smith has been part of Wimbledon for 35 years as a line judge and umpire. She has also umpired at the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics as well as national and international tournaments. 

02
Dec
2019

History of Spoken English

Charlie Haylock

Show more

Charlie Haylock is one of Suffolk's leading entertainers. His informative and hilarious one-man shows are legendary in the county and all his books have been best sellers.

After this talk there will be a celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Blackbourne U3A. Look out for more details.

06
Jan
2020

Alice Hawkins – Suffragette

Peter Barratt

Show more

Alice Hawkins was a leading English suffragette among the boot and shoe machinists of Leicester. She went to prison five times for acts committed as part of the Women’s Social and Political Union militant campaign.

03
Feb
2020

The Guildhall Bury St Edmunds

Sandra Nicotera

Show more

The stories of 800 years of Bury St Edmunds heritage are woven into the very fabric of the Guildhall, one of the oldest continuously used civic buildings in Britain. Monks, monarchs, merchants and miscrteants have all played their part in this facinating tapestry of time.

02
Mar
2020

From Barrow to Bagdad

Philip Caine

Show more

Born in 1950, in Barrow-in-Furness, Philip’s working life began in the hotel business. His career developed into facilities management within the oil industry and almost thirty years were spent in places such as the North Sea, Algeria, Nigeria, Kazakhstan and Russia. From 2003 he spent seven years in post war Baghdad working with the American coalition and a further three years running oil services companies in Dubai and Iraq. Philip retired in 2015 and began writing as a hobby. To date he has published four fiction adventure novels all based on his experiences in the Middle East.

06
Apr
2020

The Burston School Strike

Ann May

Show more

On April 1st 1914 teachers Tom and Annie Higdon were dismissed from their posts in the rural village of Burston, Norfolk and with it began the ‘longest strike in history’. On that day the children marched around the village with cards hanging from their necks demanding that “We Want Our Teachers Back”.

The banner at the head of the march was inscribed with just one word “Justice”. Sixty-six of the local children had gone out on strike in support of their teachers, and the boycott of the local authority school lasted for the next twenty five years.

11
May
2020

The Rougham Estate

George Agnew

Show more

The Rougham Estate consists of over 3,000 acres of Suffolk countryside with ancient meadows, green lanes, oak-lined hedgerows, bluebells and orchids, parklands and arable fields. It traces its history back to Roman times and has seen both Saxons and Vikings. It was owned by the local abbey in Bury St Edmunds for six hundred years. The Estate has been owned by the Agnew family since 1904 and now part of it is in the process of becoming a charitable trust to preserve its legacy for the future.

01
Jun
2020

A Dairy Farmers Wife

Jane Barnes

Show more

Our farm is in Somerby, Leicestershire, and I do like to walk the fields, see the views across to Owston Wood and the spire of Tilton Church as the cows graze on the ancient grassland. Our farm is in the Countryside Stewardship and Entry Level Stewardship schemes, which means we work to encourage the wildlife, habitat and ecology on our farm. Alama Bank is a famous hillside on our farm, home to rabbits, fox and moles!

My husband Mark and I have 120 Ayrshire cows and their milk is used to produce (the world-famous) Stilton cheese. There are also two bulls – the proud fathers of some of our calves, which we either rear to enter the milking herd or sell at the local cattle market.

I'm passionate about the work we do and try to tell that story to as many people as I can.

06
Jul
2020

On illusions and delusions

Dr Alex Carter

Show more

Alex was awarded his PhD in Philosophy by the University of Essex in 2015. Before this, Alex studied Philosophy & Ancient History at the University of Wales, Swansea and Philosophy at the University of Bristol. Alex has over five years of teaching experience in Ethics, History of Philosophy and Philosophy of Religion. He has worked at the Institute of Continuing Education since 2015 as Academic Director for Philosophy and as a Panel Tutor.

Alex's teaching method was developed at the University of Essex where the principle aim is to get students to feel the "pain of the problem", i.e. to make plain the very real ways in which philosophical problems affect our lives.