Wharf talks Aug to Dec 2021

Monday 16 August -  Speaker: Ian Gasper  -  Birds and Their Behaviour: An Illustrated Talk

This talk will cover the many aspects of how birds live; their physiology (what makes them different), their movement, feeding methods and abilities as well as breeding methods and intelligence.  Migration and navigation strategies will also be covered.  Ian will mainly use his own wonderful photos taken from his travels around the globe to illustrate his themes.  The talk will be of interest to not just those aware of birds, but also to those who are passionate about them.

Monday 23 August  - Speaker: Peter Burkill - Tyger Tyger

'Tigers are both mystical and real.  William Blake wrote Tyger Tyger Burning Bright in 1794; a poem which struck me as a school boy and on which I will expand further.  Fast forward to March 2020, when we flew to India to try and get a glimpse of the elusive tiger.  Fortunately, we were lucky but then got overtaken by events as Covid 19 caused chaos around the world.  The main focus of my talk will be a photo-essay on the wildlife in three National Parks of Madhya Pradesh.  I will conclude by commenting on Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book.  This was written in 1894, in which the tiger, (Shere Khan) features as the man-eating 'baddy'.  How true is that?'

Monday 13th September - Speaker: Richard Thomas - A Day in the Life of a Thames Tug
A close up look at the work done by the Cory Tug General VIII, which was one of a fleet of five vessels engaged in the movement of refuse lighters on the Thames.  The talk features a voyage from Wandsworth to the aptly named Mucking in Essex.  It gives an insight into one of the remaining commercial operations on the tidal Thames and how this has changed since the closure of the dumping site at Mucking.

Monday 20th September - Speaker: Simon Dell - Tavistock's Policing Past

Simon Dell's new talk ties into his two recently published books, Tavistock's Policing Past and Tavistock Guildhall - A Story of Policing which he wrote to celebrate the restoration and subsequent opening of Tavistock Guildhall as a 'gateway' centre for the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site.  His talk charts the life of this unique building which housed the Magistrates Court and Police Station from 1848 until 2012.  That significant record made Tavistock Police Station one of the oldest purpose built Police Stations in the Country to have continuous use.  Simon's publications also commemorate over two centuries of Policing in Tavistock and West Devon, from the early years before the Guildhall was built, through the centuries to the time when the Police service moved into it's new, modern home.

Monday 4th October - Speaker: Robert Hesketh - Devon's Railway Heritage

The railway has profoundly altered Devon, leaving a rich and varied heritage.  This talk explores that heritage; including our two main lines and four branch lines, as well as our excellent preserved railways, two cliff railways and the cycleways/walkways established on former tracks.  This talk will be illustrated with over 130 images.

Monday 1st November - Speaker: Jan Diamond - Tutankhamun; Heavy is the Head that Wears the CrownTutankhamun; possibly the most famous image in history.  But, who was he?  What were the circumstances behind his early death? and who inherited his throne?  Pharoah Akhenaten, had pitched the country into chaos and disorder and it was his 9 year old son, 'Tutankhaten' who faced the challenges of bringing stability to the land, but always with powerful courtiers behind the young King.  Then, at only age 19, Tutankhamun unexpectedly died .  The throne fell into the hands of these same courtiers and ultimately, the 18th Dynasty - the mightiest Dynasty in 3000 years of Empire came to an end.

Monday 6th December - Speaker: Dr Geri Parlby - From the Abbey to the Guildhall - Images of Tavistock from the 18th - 19th Century.  Artistic Licence or Historical Evidence?

Tavistock Abbey's ruins have been an inspiration to artists from the early decades of the 18th Century to the 21st Century.  Who were the artists who sketched, painted and engraved the earliest of these images?  Can they really tell us what the town looked like before it's 19th Century facelift?