Wharf Talks


FOR MORE INFO VISIT TAVISTOCKWHARF.COM or CALL THE BOX OFFICE ON 01822 611166         OPEN MON-SAT 11.15am-2.15pm and 6pm-8pm TICKET PRICE includes cuppa and cake


SEPT 8th(Fri)and 26th (TUE)  REKINDLE YOUR INNER SPARKLE                                                        By Jeanette Kishori McKenzie

JEANETTE KISHORI MCKENZIE. Local author, entertainer and humanistic psychologist

TALK: Helping you with a life-enhancing experience, exploring natural stress relief, confidence building, conflict resolution and other topics. Meeting every other Tuesday.(AUG 29th , Fri 8th SEPT, Tue 26th SEPT )

SEP 4th          TOP 10 ITEMS in TAVISTOCK MUSEUM  By Rod Martin

ROD MARTIN:  A trustee / manager of Tavistock Museum.  In a previous life a chartered

civil engineer.

TALK: Come and hear all about the following TOP 10 ITEMS.

Tavistock Abbey Stone Head and Floor Tiles, Market measures and notices,  Sir Francis Drake commemorative china collection,  Tavistock crested china,  Band-of-Hope temperance banners, chapel china collection, HMS Lamerton -Tavistock's adopted ship records,  US Army in Tavistock during WW2 records, Bill-the-Baker's bun, and Jim Thorington photographic collection of local events (1960-1990).  



JAN DIAMOND:  Known for her presentations on time living in Egypt in the early 1980's and Egyptology. Has a diploma in Egyptology and a passion for the history, architecture, art and landscape of Egypt.

TALK: Leonardo da Vinci – a true giant of the world science and art - often described as the “Universal Genius” or “Renaissance Man”; and who painted what is probably the best-known portrait in the world – the Mona Lisa.

But who was Leonardo da Vinci? 


To understand Leonardo and his prodigious, wide-ranging achievements, it is necessary to know the man. 

He possessed an insatiable curiosity, energy and scientific mind; throughout his life seeking to understand the world around him, questioning anything and everything that caught his attention.


When studying Leonardo, is it is difficult to know quite where to begin.  Fortunately, he left a fabulous, vast body of works in the form of thousands of drawings and writings.   Writings which reveal so much of Leonardo, his life and achievements that, for many, make him perhaps the 'Greatest Genius of all time'!



SEP 18th      THE WAR IN UKRAINE AND THE FUTURE OF RUSSIA                         By John Dobson                                                                       

JOHN DOBSON: Graduate of London and Southampton Universities. 31 years in Royal Navy (final job – Naval Attaché, Moscow). Cabinet Office working for John Major PM. Owner/operator of a group of nursing homes. Since 2016 columnist for Indian Sunday Guardian and is a Visiting Fellow at University of Plymouth

TALK: John is back by popular demand after his talk for us in July. He will give an update on the position of both sides in the war, after which he will discuss the various options of how it might end. He will then offer a glimpse of Russia’s future after the war


SEP 25th         AN ENGLISH TEACHER IN MYANMAR                                          By Felicity Goodall

FELICITY GOODALL: Former journalist working on a regional paper before spending several years as a freelance foreign correspondent in Norway Worked on radio and television and is an author and written several community pantomimes.

TALK:  Inspired by her father's near-death experience during World War II, Felicity Goodall travelled to Myanmar to research a book telling the story of thousands of people who fled Japanese invasion in 1942. She has returned three times to teach street kids and children who have fled from war zones and raises money to support their education.


OCT 2nd         THE ORGAN – 2 ½ THOUSAND YEARS HISTORY                                   By Francis Burroughes

FRANCIS BURROUGHES  Now retired, but in his long career he has been a school-teacher, and director of several companies. Has been a church organist for over fifty years, a keen flower arranger, and a conductor of numerous choral societies, operatic societies, and musical groups. An acknowledged authority on antique glass.

TALK:  Discover how one of the oldest and most complicated musical instruments in the world actually works. This is the fascinating history of the organ, illustrated with historic pictures, actual organ pipes and sound recordings.                                                             


OCT 9th          TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF A SURGEON                                          By Gavin Haig

GAVIN HAIG:   Practised as a surgeon and doctor with a passion for attracting wildlife into our gardens. Developed award-winning Wildlife Garden at Tiverton Hospital.

TALK:  relates to my journey from a Classics education , to managing to wangle my way into Bart’s Hospital.

St. Bartholomew’s Hospital is the oldest London Teaching Hospital and

I was simply overwhelmed by the surgical team I was a student with.

I was so impressed that I was sure I would venture down the surgical route if and when I qualified as a Doctor.

My surgical tutor thought otherwise   “NO CHANCE!” he assured me!!

Quite a struggle to train as a surgeon, but we got there, including 

working for Sir Lancelot Spratt and George Qvist, at the Royal Free Hospital, was noisy, crazy and simply amazing person to work for, hence the outrageous film was made featuring Qvist as the outrageous consultant Surgeon…did I survive working for him???

Did the Lady from Luton survive ,when the light didn’t work in Mr Qvist

hands ??

Only the talk will tell!


OCT 16th        THE GAMBIA (1816-1830)    By Gwenneth Drabble

GWENNETH DRABBLE:  studied Physical Natural Sciences and Social Anthropology at Cambridge University. She has taught English and Science in England and Singapore, and lectured in Teaching English at a university in Malaysia. She worked as a freelance editor and proof-reader for nearly twenty years, and wrote the book Blacksmiths and Missionaries, based on her family heritage, to ease herself into retirement. Gwynneth now lives in the Tamar Valley, and her hobbies include reading, writing, sewing, walking and playing musical instruments. The following talk is based on her book.                                                                       

TALK: This talk focuses on slavery, the anti-slavery movement as linked to the Gambia between 1816 and 1830. It discusses why the British leased the land on the River Gambia to resettle captives rescued from slave ships. It asks why the colonial authorities asked for missionaries to help, and why so few were prepared to go there. It tells the stories of some of the brave women and men missionaries who served there.


OCT 23rd        DEVON ORCHARDS – How DEVON TOOK TO CIDER                              By Michael Gee

MICHAEL GEE:  Inaugurated to North Devon’s ‘Save our Orchards’ campaign in 1990 and has written ‘The Devon Orchards Book’. He was awarded a BEM for services to orchard conservation in 2013.

TALK: Traces the history of orchards in the county. Explains how Devon took to cider in a big way after Tudor times, planting so many orchards that they exceeded needs. Now, after a long period of decline, there has been a revival in orchard planting and cider.



PAUL RENDELL  “Dartmoor Paul”, was born in Plymouth and became enthusiastic about Dartmoor from an early age. Fascinated by the moor’s industrial archaeology and its wildlife. Left school and trained as a chef. Became Head Gardener at Devonport Dockyard but Dartmoor called! He now writes many articles for various publications, founded and edits “Dartmoor News” and has been DNP Guide for over two decades and is a member of the Moorland Guides.

TALK: Witches, devils, hairy hands and wild animals can all be found in this talk which is about legends and folklore on Dartmoor