Online Lectures

During this time of physical distancing we are arranging for some lectures to be delivered online. The ones we have lined up, so far, are shown below. Zoom has a limit on attendance so you need to register on the Wild Apricot site for each lecture. As you will see from below registration opens on the Tuesday before the lecture. Details of how to register are at the bottom of this page.

We will try and record the lectures and will give a link to the recordings below – you will need to login (with the email and password you use to register for events and renew your membership) to view these. As these are large files the recordings will not remain for ever!

Log on to view restricted content.

Upcoming lectures

  • July 3 at 11:00am – Sheffield’s Steel Making History at Hollis Croft – Mili Rajic 
    In 2017 the team from the Wessex Archaeology Sheffield office investigated a site, Hollis Croft, in advance of its development. The excavation revealed well-preserved industrial archaeology along with the remains of the workers’ housing and two local pubs. This webinar tells the story about the results of the excavation. Note: This is a webinar presentation rather than zoom but registration is very similar to zoom. (Registration will open on June 30.)

  • July 10 at 11:00am – Exploring Iceland’s Volcanoes – Dave McGarvie 
    A volcano erupts in Iceland roughly one a decade, and in the UK we seldom get to hear of them unless you’re an enthusiast and keep an eye on the news coming out of Iceland. Prior to Eyjafjallajökull 2010, eruptions in Iceland typically attracted a brief one-off item on the news. Now we are much more aware of Iceland and its eruptions, and there’s regular scare stories in the disreputable press about another eruption that will cause air travel chaos. You will probably know of someone whose travel plans were disrupted by the 2010 eruption (or perhaps you were personally affected?). To those of us working in Iceland, we’d been expecting an explosive eruption that would cause problems for commercial air travel, as the last sizeable explosive eruption was Hekla in 1947 which was long before high-volume air passenger travel. What we weren’t expecting was the UK’s lack of preparation for an explosive eruption, which was shocking to say the least. It turned out that despite scientific advisers trying to keep this high on the risk register (which would put resources into mitigation etc), it crept downwards so there was no ‘playbook’ and all flights were unnecessarily grounded….

    Very few people in the UK will remember that in May 2011 we had another explosive eruption from Iceland, and it was much bigger than Eyjafjallajökull 2010. It was the biggest explosive eruption since the Katla eruption of 1918, and in c.4 days it produced twice as much ash as Eyjafjallajökull did in c.45 days. And yet this eruption, from Grímsvötn, caused very few flights to be cancelled – largely because the ash did not travel direct to the UK and western Europe. I was invited to go an expedition in August 2011 to collect samples from the Grímsvötn eruption site before the Autumn weather fronts covered everything with c.3-5 m of snow, so I’ll tell you something about this trip.

    I’ll also take you on some travel through Iceland to other volcanoes that I have worked on, and as I have prioritised working on interesting and remote volcanic areas that are difficult to reach and that have been unstudied, I’ve been to some fascinating places. The main volcanic rock type that I have been working on is an unusual one for Iceland as it only forms c.11% of the land – rhyolite. This forms obsidian when it is cooled rapidly, and as much of my research has been on what happens when rhyolite erupts into glaciers, there’s been lots of obsidian around.

    Finally, there are currently four Icelandic volcanoes that are arguably ‘ready’ to erupt in the near future (a few months to a few years), and I’ll highlight these for you. Though Iceland often surprises us, so an unexpected eruption is always possible. (Registration will open on July 7.)


  • July 17 at 11:00am – Robert Webb. This is the planned showroom Lecture 
    Description coming soon.(Registration will open on July 14.)

  • July 24 at 11:00am – Landslides – It’s downhill all the way – Professor Dave Petley 
    Landslides are an under-appreciated natural hazard, killing an average of about 10,000 people per year. Even in the UK they can represent a significant threat – for example, the 1966 Aberfan landslide in South Wales killed 144 people, most of them children, whilst Network Rail suffers an average of about 75 earthworks failures per year. Landslides are a natural phenomenon, usually triggered by heavy rainfall or by earthquakes, but there is strong evidence that human activities such as road building in marginally-stable mountainous areas, is increasing their impacts. This talk will use examples from the UK, China, Pakistan and elsewhere to explain how and why landslides occur, and to explore the human and social costs that they incur. The talk will examine the disastrous impacts from the 2008 earthquake in China, and of a single enormous landslide in the mountains of Pakistan in 2010, showing the ways that these events affected the local population for years after the failure. Finally the talk will look at future prospects for landslides in light of climate change and increasing populations. (Registration will open on July 21.)

  • July 31 at 11:00am – Nick Waite 
    Description coming soon.(Registration will open on July 28.)
  • August 7 at 11:00am – My Camino – Anne Adams 
    Description coming soon.(Registration will open on August 4.)

  • August 14 at 11:00am – Sighted Guides and Guide dogs for the Blind – Daniel Bateman

    Four years ago, my wife, Lauren, went blind, at age 26. With the help and support of the charity Guide Dogs, I stood alongside her as she struggled to adapt and deal with the physical and emotional consequences of the loss of a sense. I’ll talk about this journey, the help Guide Dogs gave us, the impact they had on both of our lives, and our position now – the person Lauren has become, the support we still receive, and how the tables have turned and we continue to provide support to others in similar situations through volunteering. (Registration will open 11 August).


  • August 21 at 11:00am – Life Ruins. Exploring the links between crime, poverty and homelessness in a fictional setting – Danuta Kot
    Coastal towns like Bridlington are among the poorest in the country. In the summer, the tourist trade brings some prosperity, but what happens in winter when the visitors have gone? Often, homeless people from other parts of the country are shipped in to take advantage of the cheap winter rentals. Many of these may be young people with troubled backgrounds and no roots. As one of the characters in the novel says, ‘If you fill an area with prey, the predators will not be far behind.’ Life Ruins explores crime and exploitation in this all-too-familiar 21st century setting.

    Danuta Kot (who also writes as Danuta Reah and Carla Banks) is an academic with an interest in forensic linguistics. She has written several crime novels in addition to contributing to academic books. She is a past winner of the CWA Short Story Dagger, and is shortlisted for the 2019 award. (Registration will open on August 18.)

  • August 28 at 11:00am – Cryptography from Caesar to Public Key – David Jordan  
    Description coming soon.(Registration will open on August 25.)


To attend a lecture

  1. Register using Wild Apricot: You will need to log in (just click ‘Forgot password’ if you have forgotten it) and then click on Events and then click on the event for the lecture and follow the instructions.
  2. You will receive an email confirming registration and containing the link, zoom id and password for the lecture. Shortly before the lecture click on the link and, if need be, you will be told to download the Zoom app. You can follow the lecture on a computer, tablet, or smart phone. For the latter two you should download the Zoom app.
  3. Zoom are often updating their security. You will need the password as well as the meeting ID and you may have to wait in a ‘waiting room’ before the lecture – sorry no magazines or coffee available.

If you wish to find out more about Zoom, please read: Introduction to Zoom