2017-2018 Programme

Meetings are held on Wednesdays at 8 pm in the Friends’ Meeting House, Rickfords Hill, Aylesbury, HP20 2RT (except where stated otherwise). For location and travel information please click here. Admission to meetings is free to full and associate members of the Historical Association. Visitors and Students welcome: Admission £2

18 October 2017

Reporting the Burma Campaign: war correspondents and media management in the Burma campaign 1942-1944

(Preceded by the Annual General Meeting at 7.30)  Dr Philip Woods, New York University in London More information

Dr Philip Woods teaches ‘Cultures and Contexts: Contesting British National Identity’, and also ‘Britain and Slavery’ at NYU in London. Until recently he taught at Kingston University, London where he was Academic Advisor in the International Office. He studied History at the London School of Economics and at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. His doctorate, which was published, was on British-Indian politics after the First World War. His current research is on the British use of film propaganda in India, and the role of war correspondents in Burma during the Second World War. He has published in a number of academic journals including The Historical Journal of Film Radio and Television, South Asia and Indian Horizons.


15 November 2017

Art & Design in the Chilterns

Dr Graham Twemlow, Decorative Arts Historian More information

A retired University academic Dr Twemlow writes and lectures on design history and decorative arts subjects. His PhD (University of Reading) focused on the poster designs of the celebrated American-born artist, E. McKnight Kauffer. Graham was a major contributor to the well-acclaimed Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design, working as specialist consultant, writer and editor. He has given talks at numerous institutes and venues in the UK, including Christie’s South Kensington, the Royal Society of Arts and, recently, the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.


20 December 2017

Aylesbury – A Music Town

(Preceded by the Christmas social at 7.15) David Stopps and Stephen Daglish, Music promoters and managers More information

Aylesbury ran as a music club in the market town of Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire between 1969 and 1984 in three distinct phases denoted by the venue in the town. Over these fifteen years, there were various trials and tribulations which saw Friars teeter on the edge more than once but it pulled through and presented the best artists of its day and is acknowledged as being heavily responsible for the subsequent success of such artists as David Bowie, Genesis, Wishbone Ash, Mott the Hoople, Cockney Rebel, Sailor, Stackridge, Stiff Little Fingers and more. Fans and artists loved the club, not least because of the atmosphere and the fact they were treated well by people who were genuine music enthusiasts. 


17 January 2018

Charlemagne’s Web: Building an Early Medieval Charter Database

Dr Rachel Stone, University of Bedfordshire More information

Charlemagne’s reign corresponds to an exceptionally high peak in the documentary record: some 4,500 documents survive from this period, more than for any other early medieval ruler. Though their distribution is patchy, charters have been preserved from all the main regions of Charlemagne’s empire. Besides the sheer volume of material they contain, they constitute a major source for other reasons. They are the most useful available source for social and economic history; further, whereas narrative sources hardly ever mention anyone outside the immediate entourage of the king, charters allow access, often of a very direct and personal kind, to broader sections of the population from regional elites to local peasant landowners. These characteristics make charters by far the richest source of prosopographical data for the Carolingian empire. see


21 February 2018

The message in the map: what is the cartographer telling us … and why?

Nick Millea, Maps Librarian, Bodleian Libraries, Oxford More information

 The Bodleian Library Map Department which holds 1.25 million maps, 20,000 atlases and an every growing number of CD-ROMs, digital datasets and cartographic software is, along with the British Library, one of the two biggest map depositories in Britain, far exceeding any others. Both are holders of two of the top ten collections in the world.


21 March 2018

Disraeli and the Transformation of the Victorian Conservative Party

Prof Lawrence Goldman, Institute of Historical Research, London More information

Lawrence Goldman was born and raised in London and attended the Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School in Elstree (of which he is now a governor). He went to Jesus College, Cambridge in 1976 to read History, graduating with a double first in 1979. Awarded a Harkness Fellowship, he studied American History at Yale before returning to begin doctoral research at Trinity College, Cambridge on the history of social science in the Victorian period. He was elected to a Junior Research Fellowship in Trinity in 1982 and was then appointed to a university lectureship teaching History in the Oxford Department of Continuing Education in 1985. In 1990 he became a tutorial fellow in History at St. Peter’s College, Oxford, where he remained for 24 years teaching modern British and American History. Between 2004 and 2014 he was the Editor of the newly-published Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, the record, in more than 65 million words, of the most notable figures in British history. He took up the Directorship of the Institute of Historical Research in 2014. He has contributed articles to leading journals like the English Historical Review, the Historical Journal and Past & Present and he is the author of books on Victorian Social Science, the history of Workers’ Education in Britain, and most recently, on the life of the political thinker and historian, R. H. Tawney. He is currently at work on a study of the development of social statistics and their impact on culture, politics and social thought in Britain under the title ‘Victorians and Numbers’.


18 April 2018

Reading’s “Hidden Abbey Project” – Discovering Henry I’s Abbey. A talk with illustrations and music.

John and Lindsay Mullaney, Hidden Abbey Project, Reading More information

The Hidden Abbey Project is a magnificent example of co-operation between Reading Borough Council and the other main landowners of the ancient Abbey site. These include St James’ Church, presbytery and school, owned by the Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth, the Ministry of Justice, in whose grounds Reading Gaol, made famous by Oscar Wilde, were built in the 1840s and Reading Borough Council owner of the Forbury and most of the remainder of the ancient ruins.

The aim is to undertake a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey of the area with the initial intention of discovering the exact nature and extent of the Abbey. Should this reveal items of interest which warrant archaeological excavation then we would move onto the next stage and dig some keyhole trenches.

Henry I was a reformer, moderniser and visionary. He made Reading his own special place and, had it not been for our royal founder, the town would not be the one we know today. see 


16 May 2018

Psychotherapist Three Counties Asylum, 1860-1999 (title tbc)

Rory W. Reynolds, More information


16 June 2018

Saturday Summer Afternoon Outing:

Halton House

A visit to Halton House, Wendover, with Trixie Brabner, Archivist

2:00pm (details to follow)



Terry Bloxham, Hon Secretary, Bucks Historical Association

138 High Street, Aylesbury  HP20 1RB  (01296 708926)

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