I really enjoy giving talks to local groups and sharing my enthusiasm for local history and of course the wonderful story of Lady Henry Somerset.
I often pick up new pieces of information from those attending. For instance, when I spoke to Dorking Local History group recently, one of their members, Terry Wooden, told me that he understood some children from the Basque region had stayed at Duxhurst in the late 1930s, having been made homeless in the Spanish Civil War. He later sent me some further research notes from which it seemed the children had been cared for by the Holy Family Homes, an Anglo-Catholic charity which ran Duxhurst village in the 1930s.
The children were sent temporarily to Park Farm, Wotton, before returning to Duxhurst in 1937. As Holy Family Homes were desperately trying to sell Duxhurst and put the whole estate up for auction in 1936, it would seem they had decided to find alternative accomodation for their charges. But the auction was unsuccessful – no buyers came forward.
On Tuesday September 6th, I shall be doing a Meet the author/book signing at Reigate Priory Park Pavilion between 12 non and 2pm. It would be great to see you.
Then at 6pm on 6th September I shall be back at Priory Park Pavilion to give a talk about Lady Henry Somerset and Duxhurst. Admission is free but due to limited space, you need to reserve your place by emailing Helen West at email@example.com
I shall be down at Eastnor Castle on Thursday 8th September for a special Heritage Open Day and signing copies of my book in the gift shop, courtesy of the castle’s owner, James hervey-Bathurst, who is the grandson of Lady Henry Somerset’s cousin, Arthur, who inherited the Castle from her faher, the 3rd Earl Somers.
Then on Saturday 10th September I am giving a talk at Burgage Hall, in Ledbury (near Eastnor) at 3pm, linked to the country-wide Heritage Weekend.
On 1st December I shall be talking to The Reigate Society about Duxhurst – Surrey’s Lost Village at Reigate Priory. My talk to the Society in December 2010 was cancelled due to some of the heaviest snow Surrey has seen in years. Let’s hope for better luck in 2011. Entry is free and visitors are welcome.
If you are a member of a local group and in need of speakers, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org I can tailor my talk to your requirements, timewise and have my own laptop and projector (even a screen if necessary)
I am also happy to talk to writing groups about researching, writing and marketing historical biography and local history books.