The HLHS runs a monthly series of 8 evening talks each year on a variety of topics. Invited speakers give a talk in Hexham on a topic of historical interest.

Currently Covid-19 is preventing us from holding physical talks in the Trinity Methodist Hall. These will be resumed as soon as is feasible. In the mean time Zoom is being used to give the talks online.

These Zoom-based talks are completely free, but are only available to members of HLHS. Members who receive HLHS announcements by email will automatically receive the talk details and the invitation to the Zoom talk a few days before the event. Members who currently are not on the announcements email list and who want to watch the Zoom talks are invited to send their email address to – tips for using Zoom are available here. If you’d like to join the HLHS, details are here.

If you would like to see the range of fascinating talks that have been given in previous years, please click here.

Evening Talks 2022

13 September 2022 1771 Tyne River Flood Gordon Scorer

Gordon Scorer will talk about the worst flood in Tyneside’s history and the bridge rebuilding program undertaken in its aftermath.

Presentation format to be confirmed

11 October 2022 The Rise and Fall of the West Gallery: popular religious music in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Dr Vic Gammon

Dr Vic Gammon will talk about a very distinctive style of popular church music which emerged in the eighteenth century and was largely reformed out of existence in the nineteenth. This presentation gives an overview of the history of this music and will be illustrated by musical examples. Further understanding of the subject could be gained from reading Thomas Hardy’s novel Under the Greenwood Tree (1871).

Presentation format to be confirmed

8 November 2022 Edwardian Explorations; Discovering Roman Coria Dr Frances McIntosh

Between 1906 and 1914 excavations at Corbridge uncovered the remains of the most northerly town in Roman Britain. The heavy lifting of this work was carried out by local labourers, most of whom are still anonymous. This talk explores the project discoveries and the men who made them detailed in an exhibition at Corbridge Museum April- November 2021.

The talk will be preceded by the HLHS AGM.

Presentation format to be confirmed

Talks You’ve Missed in 2022

11 January 2022 Pursuing the Blacketts Dr Greg Finch

How do you go about writing up the lives of an important regional family when they left little material behind? Greg Finch takes us through how he researched the Blacketts and gives some highlights of his findings.

HLHS Members can view a recording of the talk by clicking here.

8 February 2022 Half-Penny Ballads and the Soundscape of an Election: Newcastle upon Tyne 1774 Dr Barbara Crosbie

Dr Barbara Crosbie returns to talk about the soundscape of an election using political ballads printed in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1774. The focus will be on who was participating and how this fitted in with the wider culture of singing. This will give voice to the electioneering of the day and the general hubbub of the town with which this political discord had to compete.

HLHS Members can view a recording of the talk by clicking here.

8 March 2022 A Sword’s Tale: Reconstructing Bronze Age fighting styles through experiments and use/wear analysis Dr Andrea Dolfini

Tall tales of warriors’ deeds and shiny weaponry colour ideas of the European Bronze Age since Homer’s heady days. Dr Andrea Dolfini will talk about the Bronze Age Combat project, an interdisciplinary research project led by Newcastle University which seeks to answer how swords, spears and shields were used on the field of battle.

Apologies: Our attempt to record the talk for viewing offline were not successful.

7:30pm, Trinity Methodist Church Hall, Beaumont Street, Hexham.
Click here for directions to Trinity Hall

12 April 2022 The Bowl Hole Cemetery – life and death in the early medieval palace of Bamburgh Graeme Young

Graeme Young is one of the directors of the Bamburgh Research Project Ltd. He has a special interest in the early medieval period and this talk will detail the results of the excavation of a cemetery adjacent to Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland. Further information at

HLHS Members can view a recording of the talk by clicking here.

10 May 2022  Tom Corfe Memorial Lecture Safe Sanctuaries: The Defensible Churches of Northern England Dr Richard Pears

The churches of northern England provided spiritual nourishment, meeting places, artistic display and education for parishioners. For much of the period from the Viking raids in Anglo-Saxon times to the Border Wars between England and Scotland churches also provided refuge from raiders seeking to disrupt and destroy communities. Richard Pears will reveal the measures taken to provide refuge in churches across Northumberland, Durham, Cumbria and Yorkshire.

HLHS Members can view a recording of the talk by clicking here.