Quizzes and Talks


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Staying Connected - the NWR online conference

Dates: Mon 19 Apr 2021 00:00 to Fri 30 Apr 2021

To book please click HERE

About the event

Following our hugely successful 2020 event, this year’s online conference offers community, content and creativity for lively minded women. Sessions are a mix of talks and panel discussions, plus the all-important quiz, presented under the banner of ‘Staying Connected’, our ultimate ambition for NWR members when so many of our face-to-face meetings have been cancelled.

Tickets for individual talks are £2.50 each for NWR members and £5 each for non-members.

Members can choose to book the whole conference for £20.

Non-members who are interested in joining NWR can take advantage of our special offer of the full conference plus a year's membership for just £40!

The programme is: For more information about each talk visit HERE

Monday 19th April at 7pm - Mark Rowland

Tracing the Tudors: The Real London of Wolf Hall


Tuesday 20th April at 6pm - Michael I.Ohajuru

How Black Lives Matter makes Black Culture Matter


Wednesday 21st April at 1.30pm - Dr Jennifer Rohn

UTIs, Bacteria and Lablit


Thursday 22nd April at 1.30pm - Jeremy Holmes

Shakespeare's Lost Women


Friday 23rd April at 7pm - Bingo


Monday 26th April at 1.30pm - Sean Patterson

Charles Booth’s Victorian Clerkenwell


Tuesday 27th April at 7pm - Debbie Lethby

Gut health and the brain


Wednesday 28th April - 1.30pm - Dr Jacqueline Cockburn

Spanish Art Fantasy Comes from the Ghosts; Gaudi and other Catalan Architects


Thursday 29th April at 6pm - Dr Kat Arney

Rebel Cell: Cancer, evolution and the science of life


Friday 30th April at 7pm – Quiz

The ubiquitous end of conference quiz

Thursday 22nd April at 6pm 

Food, Poverty and Children with Marion Molteno and Anna Taylor

Click HERE to book for Food, Poverty & Children

 Anna Taylor, director of the Food Foundation, talks with our patron, Marion Molteno, and shares her story of campaigning to ensure children are not hungry.


Thursday 6th May at 7pm

Food of the Gods - When chocolate was worth more than Silver with Sandy Leong

Click HERE to book for Food of the Gods

This is the third in our series of talks about everyday commodities and their amazing histories with Sandy Leong.

The Aztecs believed that cocoa seeds were a gift from the god of wisdom. The Spanish took the bean back to Spain in 1528 and kept its’ source a secret. By 1520 chocolate had arrived in England and the first Chocolate House opened in 1657. The Quakers were instrumental in making it popular, the Swiss refined it; and now we can’t seem to do without it! The God of wisdom gave us chocolate – not sure if that was a wise move or not......


Thursday 13th May at 7pm

Artists and the Theatre with Jo Mabbutt

Click HERE to book for Artists and the Theatre

For painters and sculptors the theatre exerts an irresistible pull. Scenery flourished from the Renaissance - artists Leonardo da Vinci, and Raphael produced designs and devices for plays, fêtes and masques, the sculptor Bramante brought perspective to the stage. For the early Stuart court Inigo Jones devised evocative designs for court ballets.

Serge Diaghilev commissioned over 20 avant garde painters such as Picasso, Matisse and Braque to provide scenery and costumes for the Ballet Russes and British ballet companies worked with home grown talent - Cecil Beaton, Oliver Messel and John Piper in the 1940s and 50s then later from the 1970s David Hockney, Howard Hodgkin and Gerald Scarfe amongst others who created designs for ballet and opera.

Modern, abstract designs have evolved with Ballet Rambert working with Bridget Riley and sculptors have also contributed to choreography – Usamu Noguchi with Martha Graham and Anthony Gormley with Buddhist Shaolin monks.

Jo Mabutt is a decorative artist specialising in experimental surface decoration, combining gilding with print and hand painting. I work on a variety of surfaces, from paper to textiles to glass, and am currently developing ranges of gilded jewellery, fashion and interior accessories. She gives a variety of lectures to the Arts Society and other interest groups.


Thursday 20th May 7pm

LGBT Campaigner, Booker nominated author, Vogue model, accomplished actress and holder of a philosophy PhD - A talk with Dr Sophie Ward

Click HERE to book for Sophie Ward's Talk

Dr Sophie Ward is an actor and writer who has worked in film and television since her feature film debut in Steven Spielberg’s Young Sherlock Holmes, and in theatre, most notably with the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow. Her list of both television and theatre credits is extensive and impressive ranging from Heartbeat to The Moonstone, and Jane Eyre to Hamlet.

Sophie has been an active campaigner for LGBT rights and her non-fiction book, A Marriage Proposal, was published by the Guardian in 2014. She is probably most famous for being the first high-profile British actress to come out as a lesbian and walking the red carpet 24 years ago with her then girlfriend.

She has appeared as a Vogue cover girl, written for the Guardian, The Times, and The Spectator and campaigned for equal marriage rights.
She gained her PhD in 2019 from the English & Comparative Literature department of Goldsmiths University. Her research specialised in thought experiments in philosophy of mind and the use of narrative in philosophy, looking at issues of consciousness and AI, and the meeting between literature and philosophy.

Sophie's first novel, Love and Other Thought Experiments, was longlisted for the Booker prize in 2020.


Thursday 27th May 7pm

Rembrant's Vision with Dr Sophie Ooesterwijk

Click HERE to book for Rembrandt's Vision

Dr Sophie Ooesterwijk, who has been extremely well received in her previous talks with us, brings us this talk about Rembrandt.

Rembrandt’s vision: Dutch history painting in the 17th century

‘History painting’ was a special genre for a distinct clientele in the Dutch Republic. It depicted stories from especially the Bible and Antiquity, often with a dramatic impact aimed at stirring the viewer’s emotions.

However, history painting could also provide a glib excuse for depicting the female nude as in the stories of Bathsheba, the virtuous Susanna and Lucretia.

Trained in this genre by Pieter Lastman, Rembrandt gradually developed his own interpretations of such stories. With greater emphasis on inner conflict and personal drama, his visions are very different from those of his contemporaries and can still touch us today. 


Thursday 3rd June 7pm

All for the love of sugar

CLICK HERE to book

This is the fourth in our series of talks about everyday commodities and their fascinating histories with Sandy Leong.

All for the Love of Sugar

Sugar influenced the slave trade and was used as a medicine; it was a luxury for the rich and now has the reputation as a comfort food and many people crave it. Elizabeth I was so fond of it her teeth turned black. Few foodstuffs have had such an impact on human beings as sugar. 


Thursday 10 June 7pm

Reducing Inequalities with Dr Wanda Wyporsk 

CLICK HERE to book 

Dr Wanda Wyporska is Executive Director of The Equality Trust, the national charity that campaigns to reduce social and economic inequality. She is a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of York, a trustee of ACEVO (Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations), Redthread Youth, and Equally Ours and Governor of a primary school. She is a regular keynote speaker and was appointed as an Equalities Advisor to the London Recovery Taskforce, and sits on the Inclusive Data Taskforce, the Fight Inequality Alliance Steering Group and was a member of the Sheila McKechnie Foundation Social Power review, the NUS Poverty Commission and the Sex Education Forum Advisory Group.

Wanda has over a decade of experience working in the trade union movement, leading on equalities, social mobility and education policy. She is a TEDx speaker, has spoken at the United Nations, York Festival of Ideas, and chaired a panel at the Women of the World Festival. She regularly comments in the media, having appeared on Newsnight, BBC Radio 4's The Moral Maze, Sky News, and BBC 1's The Big Questions, and written for The Guardian, HuffPost, and The Independent among other outlets.


Thursday 17 June 7pm

Questioning Marion

CLICK HERE to book

Marion Molteno has very kindly done several interviews for us now as part of her role as patron of NWR.

Her new book, Journeys Without a Map is being published in June and so she has agreed to a session which will solely consist of her answering the questions submitted by NWR members. There is a space on the booking form for you to submit any questions you would like to ask Marion about any of her work.


Thursday 24 June 7pm

The Archers in Lockdown - A talk with Sunny Ormonde

CLICK HERE to book

Sunny has been playing the “outrageous and raunchy Lilian Bellamy” in BBC Radio 4’s The Archers since 2000 becoming one of the listeners’ favourite characters. Her antics have kept the nation entertained, whether it be riding round Ambridge on a Harley Davidson, drinking The Bull and the cider shed dry with Eddie Grundy, absconding to Costa Rica with her beloved, wicked Tiger, being oh so very naughty with Tiger’s brother Paul, or having furlong frolics with her handsome and very loaded knight Justin Elliot…Sunny will fill you in on all the behind the scenes stories about the world’s longest running soap opera – an evening of anecdotes, banter, and favourite pieces from Sunny’s long and distinguished acting career – humorous and touching in turn.


Thursday 1 July 7pm

Spicing up our lives

CLICK HERE to book

This is the fifth in our series of talks about everyday commodities and their fascinating histories with Sandy Leong.

Spices have been important to mankind for a long time, they have been used for culinary purposes, as preservatives and as medicine. At times they served as a currency - you could pay your rent in peppercorns; the quest for them caused wars and made men fortunes.


 Listen to previous talks by online SPEAKERS 


The Most Heroic Failure of Modern Times: Shackleton's Antarctic with Jeremy Holmes

When Ernest Shackleton set of to cross the Antarctic for the first time in 1914 he was already a celebrated explorer, but his ship quickly got trapped and then crushed in the ice... and that is just where the story begins. Shackleton's leadership became the stuff of legend: this talk explains why

Women in the Picture with Ann Marie Michel

Unfortunately we did not have the rights to record this talk.

History of Handbags with Susan Howard

Susan has collected vintage handbags for some 35 years.  She now uses her collection and her knowledge about handbags to deliver a witty, polished talk about the history of bags through the decades..

From Art to Zoology: A Stoy of Evolution with Katrina Van Grouw

Katrina discusses evolution and adaptations in birds, but also her personal evolution from artist to science author.  Informative, inspirational, and often very, very funny, she talks in particular about her 25 year journey to create her magnum opus The Unfeathered Bird.

The Crimes of Dr Gramshaw with Rosemary Cook

Drawing on her book of the same name, Rosemary kept us all gripped telling us about this Doctor who worked in Stillington and York between 1873 and 1908, when a national scandal erupted as his personal and professional life imploded and a young governess died.

Transgender: Interplanetary Travel from Mars to Venus? with Helen Dale

This talk will examine the difference between male and female brains, why  the sexes behave differenly and, perhaps, help us to understand each other better!  The session then looks at Helen's own personal journey, how she hid her secret for decades, how she came out to friends and family and at work - with humorous anecdotes on the way.

Swinging London with Nick Dobson

The sixties saw London cast off the gloom of the post-war years and transform into the bright, swinging centre of style and culture.  This illustrated timeline provides a reminder of that groovy, swining decade!

The Craft of the Silversmith with Penny Wheat

A lively and amusing talk based on 36 years as a lecturer at Stafford College.  lavishly illustrated with many items of silverware and jewellery.

Shops and Shopping: The Small Shop Through the Ages wth Dr Janet Pennington

We take shopping for granted nowadays, using our local shops (if we still have them) and going to the supermarket.  We can even order on-line and have a home delivery at our convenience.  How different wsa it for our ancestors - would we recognise a medieval shopfront in our own High Street?  How many have survived?  and what about shop signs and shop names - how have they changed?  Do you have shop-keeping ancestors?


Mocha, Latte and the Wine of Araby

Listen to the talk with Sandy Leong - COMING SOON

This is the second talk in our series about everyday commodities and their fascinating histories with Sandy Leong

Mocha, Latte and the Wine of Araby: A short history of our love affair with coffee

In the 17th century it was believed that coffee had medicinal properties; In 1600 Pope Clement gave his permission for Catholics to drink it; the first Coffee House opened in England in the mid 1600’s.; Our love affair with the coffee bean goes back several centuries, before becoming a popular drink on the high street. 



Listen to the talk with Jasvinder Sanghera CBE - COMING SOON

I feel extremely lucky to be able to bring you this talk from such a high profile and amazing woman.

Jasvinder Sanghera CBE. A survivor of a forced marriage, she is the founder of Karma Nirvana, a national award winning charity that supports both men and women affected by honour based abuse and forced marriages. She is a highly acclaimed international speaker and an expert advisor to the courts in matters of child, civil and criminal proceedings.

Jasvinder’s memoir ‘Shame’ was described in the House of Lords as a ‘political weapon’ and, along with ‘Daughters of Shame’ are Sunday Times Top 10 Bestsellers. In 2018, she was awarded Honorary Doctor of Law by De Montfort University, Leicester, and Woman of the Year by Leeds City Council and in 2019, she was awarded the Robert Burns Humanitarian of the Year Award and also the Sikh Woman of Substance Award.

Jasvinder is recognised as bringing the issue of forced marriage into the public domain and Prime Minister David Cameron stated that her work ‘turned my head on the issue of forced marriage’.


'Our Lives': Shaping Inspiring Stories

Listen to the talk with Marion Molteno and Mary Simpson - COMING SOON

Mary Simpson, teacher of English to adults, talks to our patron, Marion Molteno about supporting people to write their own stories.


Fashion, Fury and Feminism: The origins of the RSPB

with Tessa Boase

Unfortunately we no longer have viewing rights for this talk.

Victorian campaigner Emily Williamson was so incensed by the millinery trade’s use of plumage that she invited her friends to tea ⁠— and persuaded them to sign a pledge to wear no feathers. The all-female group called itself the Society for the Protection of Birds ⁠— “a very ambitious title,” noted The Times, under the headline “Birds and Bonnets.” The year was 1889, and the fashion for feathers was reaching a terrible crescendo.

The story of the RSPB’s unstoppable growth (its ‘R’ for Royal Charter granted in 1904) is, of course, history.

Except that it isn’t. Because the writers of history then chose to ignore, or suppress, or even reinvent the remarkable fact that the British bird conservation movement had female founders. The ladies behind this society got none of the credit. Emily (along with the other ladies who contributed) survives in the annals as a faceless name, and that is all.

When social historian Tessa Boase told the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds she wanted to write their early story, they refused to let her visit their archives. To a former investigative journalist, this was a challenge she could not resist . . . This lecture shines a light on the intriguing story of women’s love affair with plumage – and of the brave eco feminists who fought back on behalf of the birds. Moving from a polite Victorian tea party to an egret hunt in a Florida swamp; from a suffragette ‘monster rally’ to a milliner’s dusty workshop, you’ll be taken back in time to a world where every woman, of every class wore a hat.


A Nice Cup of Tea: A Potted History of Tea

Listen to the talk with Sandy Leong 

This is the first in a series of talks from Sandy related to our everyday commodities and their fascinating histories. 

The British answer to any problem or crisis (and certainly for me!) is often a cup of tea. If you have had a shock or an upset someone will make you a nice cup of tea. But how did the British love affair with tea start? It is a fascinating tale of adventure, taxes, criminality, temperance, rationing and a morale booster in World War I and II; and of a Duchess who established the ritual of afternoon tea. 


Cross Dressed to Kill: Women who disguised themselves to fight 

with Vivien Morgan

Unfortunately we did not have the rights to record this talk. 

Vivien Morgan is a former ITV News Journalist and Documentary Producer, who picked up a camera to become a TV Video journalist pioneer. Travelling undercover she reported from the closed Communist countries, from Tibet and Myanmar and later from much of Sub-Saharan and West Africa as well as the Middle East and Iran.

Her fascination with historic young women who cross-dressed in the 17th-20th centuries came from her own experience of what it meant to hide your identity to get your story, but not going as far as swapping skirts for trousers and signing-up for the army to fight! Fascination turned into research and ended up with a book to commemorate them

This talk is based on Vivien's book ‘Cross-dressed to Kill- women who went to war disguised as men’ which is a unique collection of illustrated stories by women cross-dressers of English, Irish, French, Prussian, Russian, Spanish, American and Israeli nationalities.  It tells of how and why hundreds of extraordinary young women dressed as men to fight as soldiers in the 17th to 19th centuries. Vivien has songs, poems and a list of women to be remembered and included in our telling of history.

You can buy the book on Amazon https://amzn.to/30wXtDH
Or from Waterstones https://www.waterstones.com/book/cross-dressed-to-kill-women-who-went-to-war-disguised-as-men/vivien-morgan/9781838177904


Poetry Breakfasts and More with Marion Molteno and Anna Dreda 

Listen to the talk by Anna Dreda

Anna Dreda, founder of the Wenlock Poetry Festival talks to our patron, Marion Molteno, about running an independent bookshop & encouraging a community of local poets.


Gendered Harm in Asylum

Listen to the talk with Dr Vicky Canning

Britain is often heralded as a country in which the rights and welfare of survivors of conflict and persecution are well embedded, and where the standard of living conditions for those seeking asylum is relatively high. Drawing on a decade of activism and research Dr Vicky Canning contends that, on the contrary, conditions are often structurally violent.

For survivors of gendered violence, harm inflicted throughout the process of seeking asylum can be intersectional and compound the impacts of previous experiences of violent continuums. The everyday threat of detention and deportation; poor housing and inadequate welfare access; and systemic cuts to domestic and sexual violence support all contribute to a temporal limbo which limits women’s personal autonomy and access to basic human rights.

Dr Vicky Canning has spent over a decade working on the rights of women seeking asylum. She is interested in support for survivors of sexual violence and torture across NGOs and migrant rights organisations, and in mitigating border harms. She is currently a senior lecturer in the school for policy studies at Bristol University.


Miniature Adults? Images of Children in Western Art

Listen to the talk by Dr Sophie Oosterwijk

Looking at early child portraits we often see only miniature adults dressed stiffly in adult-like clothes. Yet what can portraits by artists such as Rembrandt or Velázquez really tell us about children in the past?

Recognizing the (artistic) conventions behind these images may help to discover more about childhood throughout history, and about social expectations.

This lecture will challenge our preconceptions by showing how children were presented in art from Antiquity up to the present – and why. 


Anti-alcohol, Pro-freedom: The trailblazing women of the Victorian temperance movement (COMING SOON)

The nineteenth century movement against alcohol and other intoxicants (known as temperance or teetotalism) was made up of hundreds of local and national groups, each with very different aims and approaches. One of the characteristics that brought these groups together in the mid-nineteenth century was its acceptance of women, both as speakers and leaders. Although the principles of temperance tended towards the traditional role of women as guardians of family and community morals and conduct, this conservative content conversely made it possible for women to undertake campaigning roles previously inaccessible to them because of their gender. Their work laid important (and often unacknowledged) ground for the women's rights movement. Such was the demand for written content for the hundreds and thousands of publications per year that women were able to earn money from articles and short stories to feed the hungry presses. Not only did this give women access to a regular income, in several cases it led to writing careers in mainstream fiction such as Ellen Wood. Female temperance campaigners were among the first to speak to large mixed groups. The backlash against these female speakers was surprisingly vicious to a modern audience with violent protests at meetings and in the streets, and vitriolic articles against such 'unnatural behaviour' by commentators such as Charles Dickens. The bravery and determination of these early female speakers in the face of this opposition enable a slow shift in public perceptions until, by the end of the century, it was increasingly normal (if not entirely accepted) for women to publicly speak and write about political matters. This talk will give a short history of the women of the early temperance movement, an in-depth discussion of their fiction, and a taste of the alarming opposition they faced. 

Dr Pam Lock is a lecturer at the University of Bristol. Her research focuses on alcohol in Victorian fiction and culture with a particular focus on public and fictional interpretations of new medical and scientific ideas about drinking and drunkenness. 


Sinner or Saint? The Changing Image of Mary Magdalene

Listen to the talks by Dr Sophie Oosterwijk  MA (Leiden), MA (York), PhD (Leicester), PhD (Leiden), FSA

Artists such as Donatello, Caravaggio and Titian have produced a bewildering variety of depictions of the saint: as an opulently dressed former courtesan with a jar of ointment. Or as a repentant sinner, revealingly dressed or with just her hair covering her body.  The saint that we now know is actually a conflation of four different female characters from the gospels, such as the sister of Martha and Lazarus (Luke 10) and the woman to whom the risen Christ first appeared (Mark 16).  Medieval legends include the story that Mary Magdalene travelled to France after the Crucifixion and ended her life in penitent seclusion in Provence.

This talk will explain the different stories and the startling depictions ‘the other Mary’ in western art.


The Householder Path to Enlightenment (or How to go from trained killer to nurturing mother in 3 Easy Steps) 

Listen to the talk by Sally Dearman 

Following Sally's hugely successful talk 'Women can Fly', which attracted a feedback score from members of 4.7 out of 5, and a great number of requests we have booked the next two talks in Sally's series!

This is the last talk in the series - The Householder Path to Enlightenment (or How To Go From Trained Killer To Nurturing Mother In 3 Easy Steps). After 11 years in the military, first as a fighter controller and then as a pilot, Sally embarked upon motherhood and civilian life simultaneously. Remarkably, both she and her children survived. In this talk Sally shares some of her journey from trained killer to nurturing mother. 'It suddenly occurred to me that you can't cut off your children's limbs to get them to fit into a box. I had to find another way. The way was to throw away the box, but what then?'

Before the Zip with Towse Harrison

 Following Towse Harrison's hugely succesful Wedlocked: Women know your place! talk which 99% of members rated excellent or very good, this was a specially customised talk for NWR addressing some of the periods of history not covered in that talk and the questions asked.  Towse mentioned that the word ‘spinster’ comes from the fact that spinning and weaving was considered an essential role in a woman’s life. However, history and archaeology have again mainly ignored the role of women as creators of the fabric of society, in both a literal and figurative sense.  Nowadays we tend to take clothing for granted, regarding it as easily available, cheap and disposable. Most of us have lost sight of the fact that a finished piece of clothing is just a very small part of the process.

This talk re-introduces the 'invisible history' of thread, weaving and cloth, looking at examples of women’s lives along the way, to explain why cloth can show us so much about the past, and how important it has been to world history. Towse promises we will become more respectful of our clothes and their makers in the future!

Wedlocked - women, know your place! (our first talk by Towse Harrison)

Most women in the past had few choices about life and marriage partners. Usually they found themselves ‘owned’ by, or in positions of, dependence on a man; father, husband, brother, guardian. This is the story of how some came up with drastic and novel solutions when this arrangement went wrong, displaying remarkable strength and resilience in a society whose attitudes and laws were weighed against them.

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People - 
Listen to the talk by Claire and MIke

Music for Dogs performance 

This informative and insightful presentation was delivered by volunteer speakers Mike and Claire, ably assisted by the seven month old black labrador, Watson.  Learn about the work of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, the incredible dogs they train and how together they help deaf people leave loneliness behind and reconnect with life.


Listen to the talk bySally Dearman

Women Can Fly

In October 1984, Sally, an established parachutist and private pilot, flew herself into Royal Air Force Cranwell for her Initial Officer Training.  After six years' service as a fighter controller she transferred to the pilot branch where she became the first woman through the RAF's fast-jet flying training system befoe re-training as a rotary pilot (Search and Rescure).  She left the Royal air Force in 1995 and now works as a stress counsellor, relationship and self-development oach and public speaker.


Listen to the talk by Elizabeth Gowing

A Courageous and Skilled Shot: Montenegro's Photographer Princess Ksenia

The eighth daughter of King Nikola chose her own way in life, carving out a place for herself as secretary and valued advisor to her father, becoming the first women in Montenegro to drive, and developing a particular talent for photography (though a contemporary also described her as a 'courageous and skilled shot with a pistol')


Listen to the talk by Neil Riley

Following on from the discussions regarding Brenda Cameron and her talk related to ME, many members wanted to hear from an expert in the condition. We are very lucky, therefore, that one of our NWR members is married to the chair of the ME association, Neil Riley. 

“Myalgic Encephomyeltis”-often known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 

 The truth behind this devastating illness by the Chairman of The ME Association. The human stories of who gets ME? Are there treatments? Is there a cure? Will Covid 19 bring more cases?

Neil Riley is a speaker, trainer and coach. Neil is a regular after-dinner speaker, a member of Toastmasters International and a winner of many humorous and serious speech contests. Following a successful career in law, he developed and presents Speech-craft Workshops to Charities, the Voluntary Sector and Educational Trusts. He also coaches individuals in public speaking and presentation skills.

He is Chairman of the ME Association which is a registered National Charity for people with ME/CFS. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) In his capacity as a speaker he has raised many thousands of pounds for this charity.


Listen to the talk by Rosemary Cook 

The Nightingale Shore Murder - Solving a 100-year-old crime

Author of The Nightingale Shore Murder, the award-winning book behind Channel 5's Agatha and the Truth of Murder, invites you to try to solve this 100-year-old true crime. Florence Nightingale Shore, a decorated army nurse just back from World War One France, was murdered on a train in 1920. No-one was ever brought to trial for the crime. In this interactive presentation you will meet the suspects, see the evidence, and hear the theories, both old and new, about 'whodunnit'. Then it is up to you to decide who YOU think committed this terrible crime.


Listen to the talk by Jeremy Holmes

The ideas and poetry of John Donne 

John Donne was controversial even in the early 17th century. He wrote some of the most sensitive and moving love poetry in the English language but also became Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral.  

He grew up a Catholic but converted to Protestantism in an age when religion and politics were so interwoven people were burnt at the stake for their beliefs. He gave some of the greatest sermons ever, with crowds queuing to hear him, but was forever conscious of his own mortality. As Donne said, “Ask not for whom the bell tolls – it tolls for thee”.

This talk dramatises and explains his writing and thinking.


Listen to the talk by Vivienne Arkell

Land's End to John O'Groats

Vivienne talks about the trials and tribulations associated with planning and walking over 1,200 miles from Land's End to John O'Groats in 2017 that certainly tested her patience and enduraance. She was raising money for "Classroom in the Clouds" a project to fund teachers working at high altitude in the Himalayas.  The experience has had positive and far-reaching benefits to her life.


Talk by Lucy Adlington (Unfortunately no longer available as we only had permission for one month)

"Egyption Socks and Royal Vests"

Lucy Adlington spoke at the York Diamond Day and is a clothing historian with an amazing collection of historical clothing and the stories to go with them.

In this talk Lucy takes us through the fascinating history of knitting - journeying beyond knit-one-purl-one to learn about Egyptian socks and Royal vests, playful ponchos and radical yarn bombing.



Listen to the talk by Ruth Badley 

Ruth Badley is one of our newest NWR members who, due to the pandemic, has yet to attend her first, eagerly anticipated, meeting. 

She graduated from the Central School of Speech and Drama in 1978 and taught in secondary schools in London before moving to South Australia, where she worked in adult migrant education, specifically with Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees.

Later she pursued a successful second career as a journalist and was the arts and food writer for Ackrill Newspapers, in Harrogate, North Yorkshire for many years. She currently runs her own public relations and freelance writing consultancy, providing results-driven public relations and marketing services for businesses and corporations in the geospatial industry.

Her blogs encompass food, travel, literature, visual and performing arts, live music and Bruce Springsteen. Ruth sits on the judging panel of the UK’s Quality Food Awards and the Great Taste Awards. Ruth wrote and directed Just Playing for Dubai’s Short and Sweet Theatre Festival in 2016.

Ruth will be speaking about Where are the grown-ups? which is her first novel.


Listen to the talk by Ginny Davis

Ginny will be giving us a dramatic reading of her play 'Family Matters' which contains mild sexual references.

Ginny was our excellent speaker at the Birmingham Diamond Day celebrations when she spoke about her life, giving tantalising snippets of her dramatic work. Ginny, originally a barrister, is now a writer and performer for theatre and a public speaker. As well as touring to small theatre and studio spaces she regularly performs in community venues, often as entertainment for fund raising organisations.

 Ginny was born in Birmingham and educated at schools in Birmingham and Malvern. She read Law at the University of Cambridge. In 1989 she was called to the Bar and practised criminal law in the Midlands until the birth of her daughter, when she become a stay at home mother. She would not call this giving up work.

Ginny started writing and performing sketches as fundraising activities whilst chair of the PTA for her children's school. In 2008 she decided to take things further and performed her one woman play “Ten Days .. that shook the kitchen!” at the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It was a sell out success and became the first of the six stand-alone plays which comprise “The Ruth Rich Saga”. (“Ten Days ..!”, “Family Matters”, “Double Booked”, “Something Fishy”, “Fashionably Late” and “UpDownSizing”.) Ginny now works full time writing and performing her own material.



QUIZZES (provided by groups for sharing)  

Sarah AKhtar's Quiz - July 2020

Sarah Akhtar's Quiz - Answers

J Dellar-Eggar Quiz -July 2020

J Dellar-Eggar Quiz - Answers

Online Zoom Quiz (May 2020) Questions

Online Zoom Quiz (May 2020) Answers

Easter Picture Round

Easter quiz (Round 2 to 7)

Easter quiz Answers

Newsround Emoji quiz

Newsround Emoji quiz answers

80s songs picture quiz

80s songs picture quiz answers

VE Day quiz

VE Day answers

West Bridgford Quiz (Music, Food & Drink, Science, JB's, Textiles & The World)

West Bridgford Quiz Answers

Witney Quiz (Food & Drink, Music and Girls & Boys)

Witney Quiz Answers

Witney Quiz (Sports & Games, Countries & Sweets)

Witney Answers (for above)

Diamond Quiz

Diamond Quiz answers

Diamond Picture Quiz

Diamond picture quiz (Answers)

60s Diamond Jubilee Quiz

60s Diamond Jubilee (Answers)