Following the Viking invasions that commenced in 870AD, Alfred the Great built a number of “emergency” fortifications, or “burghs”, to defend Wessex. It is believed that one of these was at Cookham but the site is not yet known. Marlow Archaeological Society has for many years been investigating possible locations around the islands of Sashes and Odney.
The Boer War from 1899 to 1902 was a significant event in the history of Britain in the twentieth century, affecting not just military thinking and the British Empire, but also Britain’s politics, its economy and society in ways which still resonate today. The war as been lost sight of as a result of the subsequent conflicts. But hundreds of thousands of men from Britain and its empire, many of them volunteers, took part in the war, and large numbers were killed or wounded. Thousand of volunteers from all over the world also fought on the Boer side. It was "the last of the gentleman’s wars" of the nineteenth century, while also pointing forward to the "total wars" of the twentieth century. The war also had serious implications for racial politics in southern Africa, politics and society , sowing the seeds from which the apartheid system grew. Michael’s talk will set the war in its context in South Africa, but will also consider the contribution Henley and its surroundings made to the war, and the impact it had here. Michael Redley's doctoral work at Cambridge University was in the colonial history of Africa. He has researched and published articles on British and imperial history. He also has a Masters Degree in Economics from the London School of Economics. He currently teaches history and politics in the Department for Continuing Education at the Oxford University. His recent research into Sir Charles Rose, of Hardwick House near Whitchurch in South Oxfordshire, whose four sons all fought in the Boer War, was published at the end of last year under the title The Real Mr Toad: Merchant Venturer and Radical in the Age of Gold.
Designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Chilterns has played host to many artists and craftsmen. Graham’s talk will focus on some of the 20th century artists who either made the Chilterns their home or found inspiration here – and sometimes both. Works by artists such as, Paul & John Nash, John Piper, Eric Gill, Clare Leighton, E. McKnight Kauffer and the textile designer Marion Dorn will be discussed and include their contribution to the applied arts in its many forms A retired University academic Dr Twemlow writes and lectures on design history and decorative arts subjects. He has given talks at numerous institutes and venues including Christie’s South Kensington, the Royal Society of Arts and the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.
This talk will look as the early history of diamonds with a particular focus on the medieval European world where there was increasing trade in diamonds from India and the first steps in the development of diamond cutting. There had been some use of diamonds in antiquity, first for working other gems and then set in jewellery, but these extraordinarily hard stones could not be cut or polished were seen as 'invincible' and surrounded by myth. Then gradually, rudimentary polishing developed and by the end of the Medieval period we have true diamond cutting and the birth of the diamond industry as we know it today. Jack Ogden is an archaeologist and historian who focuses on the development of jewellery materials and technology. He is an acknowledged authority in this field and has written and lectured widely on the subject for more than forty years. He has a PhD from Durham University, is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, an elected Fellow and Honorary Life Member of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain, and holds a Diploma in Art Law. He lives in Henley on Thames with his partner Sara Abey, plus piles of books and a banjo
Who was Boudicca? What precisely happened during and shortly after the Roman invasion of Britain, and how did we get to the rebellion of some British tribes in AD60? This talk goes into the hard evidence and some of it might surprise you.