Online Lectures

We have been setting up these on line lectures with the help of the Friday Showroom Lecture team, who have provided us with some lectures they had ear-marked for the Showroom. Next year’s programme of Showroom lectures is being put together but some of the team are ‘stepping down’ and they need more help. Please click here for more details.


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!


Upcoming lectures


  • April 16 at 11:00am – The Sinking of the Empress of Ireland – Barbara Beard 
    The tragedy of the sinking of the Titanic is well known. However, the sinking of the Empress of Ireland on its route to Liverpool two years later has been somewhat lost to history, even though more passengers died on the Empress than on the Titanic. In fact it was Canada’s greatest peacetime maritime disaster. Barbara will focus on the design of the ship and the disputed reasons for its sinking. She will also tell the story of some of the passengers and crew who either survived or died, including those from a Salvation Army band on route to a congress in London. (Registration will open on April 13).

  • April 23 at 11:00am – Celebrating British seaside piers – Anya Chapman 
    Victorian seaside pleasure piers are unique to the British coast, but many are now over 150 years old. This important part of British heritage is under threat: in the early 20th century nearly 100 piers graced the UK coastline, but almost half have now gone. This illustrated talk charts the historic development of British seaside pleasure piers, from their beginnings as humble landing stages, through to the ‘golden age’ of pier building. Today many seaside piers are overcoming the challenges that the 21st century brings and we will consider how piers remain a fundamental part of any visit to the seaside and are truly embracing the future. This illustrated talk will appeal to anyone with an interest in seaside piers and aims to provide recommendations to ensure the future sustainability of these iconic structures; so that we can enjoy them for another 150 years!
    Those attending are encouraged to share their memories and experiences of seaside piers alongside their thoughts and suggestions on piers of the future. The work of the National Piers Society is crucial in the preservation and continued enjoyment of our seaside piers. The presentation will finish by looking at some of the recent work and campaigns by the NPS. We encourage everybody to enjoy at least one seaside pier this summer!
    Dr Anya Chapman is Senior Lecturer in Tourism Management at Bournemouth University and is also Honorary Secretary for the National Piers Society. Anya has visited all the seaside piers in the UK (some more than once!), and in her role with the NPS Anya has worked with national and local government, charitable organisations, local and national media, and pier owners to aid the regeneration, and raise awareness of, seaside piers. (Registration will open on April 20).

  • April 30 at 11:00am – The British Constitution – Brian Christopher Jones 
    Brian’s book discusses the increasingly important subject of constitutional idolatry and its effects on democracy. Situated around whether the UK should draft a single written constitution, the book argues that constitutions have been drastically and persistently over-sold throughout the years, and that their wider importance and effects are not nearly as significant as advocates maintain. Analysing a number of issues in relation to constitutional performance, such as whether these documents can educate the citizenry, invigorate voter turnout, or deliver ‘We the People’ sovereignty, I find written constitutions consistently failing to meet expectations. (Registration will open on April 27).

  • May 14 at 11:00am – Recycling Electronic Waste – Chris Sedgley, UK Compliance Manager, Veolia 
    Details to follow. (Registration will open on May 11)


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
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