Talks

Talks

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.

The general format for the year’s talks are that the first two talks for January and February (in the depths of winter!) will be “online” and broadcast over the internet using Zoom. The remaining talks will be “physical”, and presented by the speaker in Trinity Methodist Church Hall in Hexham. We may need to alter this general format as circumstances dictate, but the details for each talk will clarify the arrangements.

All talks are completely free for HLHS members. Non-members may attend the physical talks for a small payment.

HLHS Members who receive HLHS announcements by email will automatically receive the talk details (and an invitation to the Zoom talk, if appropriate) a few days before the event. 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 2024

12 March 2024  Hadrian’s Wall and the Illusion of Uniformity  Dr Rob Collins

Hadrian’s Wall is one of the most famous monuments of the Roman Empire, but it is often perceived as one large and uniform wall. In reality, the Wall captures a range of diversities – in its building materials, in its construction – and it is important to understand these for a deeper insight into the actual use of Hadrian’s Wall in antiquity.

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

9 April 2024  Mobile Artisans, Cross Industry Connections and Glass-making in Early Modern Northern Britain  Oliver Gunning

By exploring how mobile workers transferred their knowledge across cultural divides and geographic obstacles, this talk will explore how the North East of England and Central Belt Scotland was connected to Europe through not only the trade of goods, but through the movement of people.

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

9 May 2024  Tom Corfe Memorial Lecture  Scandinavians in Northumberland: The Place-name Evidence  Professor Diana Whaley

The Viking influence on Northumberland is the subject of much debate. This talk examines the evidence for Scandinavian settlement in the region.

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

10 September 2024  Transatlantic Blues: The North East Music Scene and the US Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s  Professor Brian Ward

In 1967, two distinguished African Americans, Martin Luther King Jr. and Jimi Hendrix, found themselves in Newcastle upon Tyne. It was less of a coincidence than it might first appear. In this talk, Brian Ward takes a fresh look at the impact of the US civil rights movement on Tyneside during the 1960s, a time of important developments in British race relations – and in transatlantic popular music.

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

8 October 2024  The Enemy Within: WW1 Aliens in the North East   Silvie Fisch & Rosie Serdiville

Almost 10,000 foreign nationals in the North East became friendly or enemy aliens at the outbreak of the First World War. Their lives were often seriously affected by hostile attitudes and restrictive wartime legislation. This talk looks at some of the personal experiences and harsh realities endured by innocent people, but also at stories of support from local individuals.

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

12 November 2024  The Cramlington Train Wreckers: Terrorists or Workers Defending their Community?  Ed Waugh

During the 1926 General Strike, miners in Cramlington accidentally derailed the Flying Scotsman.  No one was killed and only one person was slightly injured. Eight Northumberland miners were sentenced to 48 years’ penal servitude.

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

The talk will be preceded by the HLHS AGM.

Talks You’ve Missed in 2024

9 January 2024  The History, Mystery, Meaning & Beauty of 18th Century Gravestones  Mark Hatton

The 17th, 18th & early 19th centuries saw an extraordinary surge in creative stone carvings on gravestones, all rich in symbolism and individuality. This talk explores the development of this art with many examples from Northumberland and The Borders.

7:30pm. Online via ZOOM. HLHS Members can view a video of the talk via the Member’s Section of the website.

13 February 2024  The Capitally Condemned: Executions at Newcastle Gaol 1829-1919  Dr Patrick Low

During the lifetime of Newcastle’s Carliol Square Gaol, 16 people suffered the ultimate penalty of the law. In this talk, Dr. Patrick Low will explore some of the remarkable stories of the condemned prisoners, the crimes they committed and how they faced their doom.

 7:30pm. Online via ZOOM