Our 2022 Talks Programme

Music Hall Superstar!

10th Jan 2022 (Dorking)
“Dorking Music Hall”

Before WW1, and for a while afterwards, Music Hall was everywhere – and that included Dorking. Learn more from Brian O’Gorman, the Official Historian of the British Music Hall Society


24th Jan 2022 (Zoom)
Canal History & Heritage (including the Wey & Arun Canal)

Talk by Roger Butler, an Arts Society lecturer, who contributes to magazines on the outdoors, canals, heritage and travel. He is a Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.


7th February 2022 (Dorking)
Members’ Evening

The core of this meeting will be four ten to fifteen minute talks by our members on different topics. If you’d like to contribute, please let us know.


21st February 2022 (Zoom)
“To Journey’s End – the Life of RC Sherriff”

Talk by Pete Allen, Director of The RC Sherriff Trust, on the Woking-based playwright, who wrote the famous WW1 play “Journey’s End” and film scripts including “The Four Feathers” and “The Dambusters”


7th March 2022 (Dorking)
“Suffragettes and Socialists in Surrey”

Talk by Kathy Atherton of Dorking Museum. Includes the Pethick-Lawrences and their circle in the villages around Dorking.


21st March 2022 (Zoom)
“Quakers at War (in Surrey and elsewhere)”

Talk by Dr Frances Hurd. In 1947 the work of Quakers (Society of Friends) during the WW2 was recognised with the Nobel Peace Prize – why? And who are the Quakers, anyway?


04 April 2022 (Dorking)
“Death in Tudor and Stuart Dorking” and very short AGM

Talk by local historian Sue Jones. Full title is “Death in Tudor and Stuart Dorking: plague and other mortality crises”. Should be a jolly evening!


25th April 2022 (Zoom)
“Smuggling Days & Smuggling Ways”

Talk by Mark Lewis. Smuggling didn’t just affect the coast, goods and people usually made their way inland – including to Surrey.


Book by Ros

09 May 2022 (Dorking)
“ Amazing Women of the Temperance Movement”

Talk by author Ros Black. Many of the women in the Temperance Movement also fought for women’s suffrage and also had strong Surrey connections, e.g. Lady Henry Somerset & Sarah Robinson.


Albury Church

23rd May 2022 (Zoom)
“Anglo-Saxon Surrey”

Talk by Kent-based academic William Aers. Expect to see a few skulls -maybe one of the belonged to one of your ancestors?


06 June 2022 (Dorking)
“ Guildford: The Rock & Roll Years”

Talk by local author and journalist David Rose. Followed by some LIVE music from some people who were playing Guildford pubs & clubs in the sixties!


Brookwood Cemetery

13 June 2022 (Zoom)
“Victorian Ways of Death”

Talk by Bristol-based author Helen Frisby. Expect something about Brookwood Cemetery (near Woking), the largest cemetery in the world in Victorian times


4th July 2022 (Dorking)
“ The Royal Observatory at Abinger

Talk by Graham Dolan on Abinger Magnetic Observatory, which operated from 1923 to 1957, recording the changes in the Earth’s magnetic field.
More details to follow



1st August 2022 (Dorking)
“ The String of Pearls Villages from Nutfield to Westerham”

‘The String of Pearls – villages, hamlets and features along the sandstone ridge from Nutfield to Westerham’ by Bob Evans

More details to follow.


Printed Calico

5th September 2022 (Dorking)
“ The Wandle’s Calico People

Talk encompassing both local-ish Industrial history and arts/crafts/design, by a speaker from the Wandle Museum
More details to follow



19th September(Zoom)
The Black Historical Presence in Surrey”

Talk by historian Angelina Osborne, author of “100 Great Black Britons”. More details to follow.


Dust Devil!

3rd October (Dorking)
“Droughts, Deluges and Dust-devils: 350 years of weather in SE UK”

Climate change is much discussed at the moment, but we’ve had our share of extreme weather in the past few centuries too. Talk by popular Surrey Weatherman Ian Currie


17th October(Zoom) TBC
A History of Railway Policing “

It’s crime time! Talk by Sussex-based local historian Kevin Gordon, which will include the infamous “Merstham Railway Tunnel Murder” of 1905.


7th November 2022 (Dorking)
“Finding Sapper Clay a Reigate WW1 Mystery”

Talk by John Griffiths-Colby on the story of how the chance discovery of a long-lost medal in a garden in Surrey triggered the search for an old soldier’s family


Runnymede Memorial

21st November (Zoom) TBC
1216 and all that – the real story of Magna Carta “

Talk by popular TV presenter Nick Barratt which will separate the myths about the Magna Carta from the real story


The Homewood, near Esher

5th December 2022 (Dorking)
“The Roaring Twenties: Art Deco in Surrey and London”

Talk by Dr Anne Anderson. More details to follow


Some Possibilities for 2023

“The Royal Earlswood Asylum for Idiots, Redhill” by Surrey History Centre

“Surrey Friendly Societies” or “John Burns – Radical Surrey MP” by Sean Creighton

Talk on Quex / Powell Cotton (Kent Gardens/Museum): either “The PCM as a hospital during WW1” or “A brief history of the museum and the collections” by Inbal Livne (Zoom)

“Surrey Villages Then and Now”, “‘A Victorian and Edwardian shopping basket: Bottles and Bygones from Guildford’s Forgotten Rubbish Tips” or “Railways Of Surrey” by David Rose

” New Surrey Archaeological finds” by Simon Maslin (Zoom?)

“Brewing along the Wandle Valley”, by Wandle Museum

“The Ghosts of Hampton Court” by Sarah Slater