Category Archives: Talks

19th March Mr Frank Stone The Great Escape – A Personal View.

We were all spell­bound and fas­cin­ated by the story of Veteran Stalag Luft III sur­vivor, Frank Stone, who took us through his exper­i­ences after being shot down over Germany in 1940. The ingenu­ity and determ­in­a­tion shown by all con­cerned in the build­ing of the now famous Tom, Dick and Harry tun­nels is without ques­tion, and though Frank claimed there were one or two embel­lish­ments in the film “The Great Escape”, it was largely a true reflec­tion. We all felt it was a priv­ilege to be in his com­pany. The pic­ture shows Frank on a recon­struc­tion of the trol­leys made for use in the tunnel. He donated his fee to the Bomber Command Memorial – for me inform­a­tion see The trolley

Veteran Frank Stone demon­strat­ing a trol­ley at the entrance to a recre­ation of the famous ‘Harry’ escape tunnel


12th March Paul Cutts Family photography and social history.

Those old family photos that have been gath­er­ing dust in your draw­ers tell more than just the fact that Aunty Doris was a little frail old lady. As Paul revealed they say much about the social his­tory of the time and a greater story emerges. Using his old family pic­tures Paul took us through the years from the mid 1800’s to the present day weav­ing the social his­tory as we trav­elled through time. A well delivered talk which should inspire us all to get out our old photos and write our own story. In clos­ing he reminded us that today’s pic­ture is tomorrow’s his­tory – so snap away!

5th March Mr Gerald Eveleigh Ranmoor — History and Development

With some excel­lent pic­tures of Ranmoor in times gone by, Gerald told us how the area had been developed by the steel Barons desire to move West and away from the smoke and noise of the industry in the centre and East of the City. The Firths, the Browns and the Vickers and many other wealthy busi­ness­men all built fine houses in the Ranmoor area which had largely been farm land until that time. Then a number of soci­et­ies were formed who bought up the spare land that remained and sold plots for devel­op­ment under strict con­di­tions which accounts for the sim­il­ar­ity of the devel­op­ments in the area. For those of us who grew up in the dis­trict there were many happy memor­ies brought to life through the pic­tures! The book by Peter Warr entitled The Growth of Ranmoor, Hangingwater and Nethergreen will sat­isfy your quest for fur­ther inform­a­tion.

The Ranmoor Inn

27th February Mr Clive Hart Archaeology of the Sheffield Peak District.

Clive’s interest in archae­ology dates from his days as a small boy and has con­tin­ued to this day. With sev­eral degrees to his name, he has spent most of his work­ing life involved in the study of archae­ology and has been instru­mental in rais­ing the pro­file of sites which are under threat from agri­cul­ture, build­ing or road infra­struc­ture. His jour­ney through the some of the sites within the Peak District revealed that we are often unaware of the his­tory behind the fea­tures we see. His pic­tures took us to vari­ous places includ­ing the most import­ant pre­his­toric site of the East Midlands, Arbor Low which is a Neolithic henge monu­ment atmo­spher­ic­ally set amid high moor­land. Within an earthen bank and ditch, a circle of some 50 white lime­stone slabs, all now fallen, sur­rounds a cent­ral stone ‘cove’ – a fea­ture found only in major sacred sites. Nearby is enig­matic Gib Hill, a large burial mound. You can find it east of the A515 on the Ashbourne to Buxton road.



20th February Peter Wild — The canals of England

Peter took us on a jour­ney of explor­a­tion through the high­ways and byways of our canal system, with great enthu­si­asm and a very inter­est­ing set of slides. Peter was an avid narrow boater and was able to describe many of his per­sonal exper­i­ences as he covered, the water­ways. He took us through tun­nels, under bridges,over aqua­ducts, through locks, and poin­ted out some hostel­ries, touch­ing on their his­tory.

He also explained the art of the dec­or­at­ive paint­ing of the barges and utensils: some­thing his wife is par­tic­u­larly good at. His talk enabled us to see the coun­tryside and our indus­trial her­it­age from a com­pletely dif­fer­ent point of view, with no rush or noise; just the sound of the birds and the water.

We must remind ourselves that Peter is a very young 90 and Stuperlowe Probus has invited him back for his cen­ten­ary talk.

David Corns.

13th February Dr James Grayson Comparative Religions

In just under an hour James dis­tilled the main reli­gions of the world into an order that was easy to follow and clearly under­stand­able – no mean feat! You could hear our grey matter work­ing as we fol­lowed him through the ages of man’s devel­op­ment. Thoroughly enga­ging and stim­u­lat­ing, his talk pro­voked many ques­tions from the floor. Altogether a won­der­ful over­view of the world’s reli­gions.