Upcoming Lectures


For Better or Far Worse

Toni Broad

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Synopsis:    "It is a light-hearted and quirky look at marriage and relationships through the eyes of the Victorians.  It includes what happened if you didn’t marry, and what your options were if you did but you were not happy with your choice.  It also takes a glimpse at some of the more bizarre goings-on showing that wedded bliss wasn’t all it was cracked up to be."

Biography:    Toni Neobard & Kate Broad are active members of Hawkwell Village U3A in Essex.   Toni is Chairman, whilst Kate is the Groups Co-ordinator, Website Manager and Newseltter Editor.  They are both experienced family historians and until recently were partners in a family history research business.  They are authors of a couple of family history books, as well as writing pantomimes and comedy murder mystery plays which are performed for various charitable organisations. 


Political Correctness - The New Insanity?

Andrew Baker

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Andrew taught in Grammar Schools for over 40 years and is the author of a best-selling book on Contemporary British Politics.  Drawing on his experience of over 22 years as Headmaster of Westcliff High School for Boys, he recently published a further volume on Education and the Pursuit of Values: A Headmaster’s Reflections. He now works as a freelance lecturer and also as an education consultant.

The Talk :  George Orwell argued that freedom is the right to say that 2+2 = 4. Are we free today, or are we constrained in what we write, say and think and in how many issues are discussed?


History of English Surnames

Charlie Haylock

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History of English Surnames


Charlie will talk about the Anglo-Saxon and Viking by-names and nicknames we had prior to the Norman Conquest.


He will explain how and why surnames were introduced by the Normans . . . how they  evolved after the Domesday Book in 1086AD . . . and the disruption it caused the English.


Charlie will then enlighten us on the different types of various surnames, and give us their origins, their meanings and their derivation.


Please note :- this is not a talk on the history of family backgrounds . . . it is a talk on the “History of Surnames” . . . . including their very interesting and original meanings.


This will be followed by Q&A


Very informative and highly entertaining.