Talk and Lectures

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I’ve always enjoyed talking to people – I love getting people interested and excited about the past and something I’m enthusiastic about. Perhaps because of this I seem to be in demand as a guest speaker for groups, clubs and societies, having a repertoire of over 50 different talks – see below for a list!

I’ve spoken to conferences and groups nationally on matters historical, educational and paranormal, and have lectured on undergraduate courses on heritage management, event organisation and various historical subjects. The picture above shows me talking about Cromwell’s death mask to a film crew!

This is just the current list of talks that I offer – there are others. If you’re interested in me coming along and talking to your group, do drop me a message at orme.stuart85@gmail.com for more details

150 million years in 50 minutes: the complete and utter history of Peterborough
The complete history of Peterborough from Dinosaurs to Queensgate…

The Ghosts of Peterborough
Find out how the walk was created and hear about some of the ghastly ghouls, scary spectres and petrifying phantoms that stalk the streets and buildings of this area.

A history of Crime & Punishment in Peterborough
An entertaining and occasionally gruesome look at the history of crime and punishment in the city…

An Introduction to Peterborough Cathedral
The Cathedral is an icon for the city, its historic core, and a living place of worship. This talk looks at the remarkable history of the Cathedral and its site.

Flag Fen to Must Farm
Peterborough has some of the most remarkable Bronze Age archaeology in the world, from the amazingly preserved prehistoric causeway at Flag Fen, to the incredible find of a burnt village dating back some 3,000 years at Must Farm.

Medieval Peterborough
Discover the story of the medieval town; find out what life would have been like for the monks and citizens of Peterborough through plague, fire, flood, riot and war.

Longthorpe Tower
Hidden away in a suburb of Peterborough is a fascinating medieval building with the finest medieval wall paintings in a domestic setting in Western Europe.

Peterborough and the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381
The bloody story of a failed medieval revolution! Discover why the country went into a near-meltdown in the summer of 1381, and what happened when the Bishop of Norwich came to quell the riots in Peterborough.

Richard III: Peterborough’s Medieval Monarch?
Hero or villain? Good King Richard or England’s black legend? Richard remains one of England’s most enigmatic and controversial Kings. Was he the monster depicted in Shakespeare’s play or a victim of Tudor Propaganda?

Henry VIII’s Grandma – the life of Margaret Beaufort
The remarkable story of the matriarch of the Tudor dynasty and her local connections: Lady Margaret Beaufort was brought up in Deeping and lived at Collyweston.

The Life and Times of Old Scarlett
He lived to be 98 years of age, was married twice, buried three queens and saw some of the most tumultuous events in Peterborough’s history. This talk tells the story of Robert Scarlett, parish sexton and gravedigger for the city during the Tudor age.

The Last Days of Peterborough Abbey
In November 1539 Henry VIII’s commissioners arrived in Peterborough to close down the great abbey which dominated the town – the church for which now survives as the city’s Cathedral.

Forgotten Funeral: Mary, Queen of Scots and Peterborough
What were the circumstances of Mary’s death? Why was she buried here, only to be later exhumed and moved to London? This illustrated talk will examine these questions and Mary’s remarkable story.

The Private Life of Oliver Cromwell
Who was Oliver Cromwell? Soldier, Statesman, Lord Protector? This talk looks at Cromwell as a person, his family and explodes some of the myths about him.

The Civil War in Peterborough
Discover the true and horrific story of the English Civil War and its impact upon Peterborough.

Georgian Peterborough
This talk reveals how the town was not quite the backwater we might expect and looks at some of our surviving and missing Georgian buildings.

Life at Norman Cross: the world’s first POW camp
On the outskirts of Peterborough was the Norman Cross Depot was the world’s first purpose-built prisoner of war camp. Built in 1797, the camp was the ‘home’ of many thousands of Napoleonic prisoners of war.

Peterborough and the Titanic disaster
Explore the tragic story of the sinking of the Titanic, the world’s most famous maritime disaster where a luxury liner sank in April 1912 costing the lives of 1,500 people. This talk also reveals the connections to Peterborough, the story of an entire family who went down on the doomed ship.

Women of Peterborough
Several queens, a war heroine executed by firing squad, rich and poor, eccentric and humble, find out about the women who touched the life of this city with this fascinating talk.

An introduction to historic costume
This talk is less about fashion in the past, but more about the development of clothing and what surviving or accurate reproduction clothing can tell us about our ancestors and the way they lived.

What they didn’t teach you in history at school: a thought-provoking and naughty view of the past!
A humorous look at some bits of history that the Victorians wouldn’t have approved of, as well as posing thought-provoking questions about the way we look at history.

The Gunpowder Plot
Why do we celebrate the demise of Guy Fawkes every November 5th? Who were the plotters and what were their aims? Could the plot ever have succeeded?

Hadrian’s Wall
How and why was it built? What was life like for the Roman soldiers stationed on the wall? How does it survive today? The speaker knows the wall well having walked the length of it twice!

Robin Hood: Myth or Reality?
He’s our most famous hero, yet did he even exist? If so, was he from Yorkshire rather than from Nottingham? This entertaining talk looks at the development of the Robin Hood stories from the earliest ballads to modern film and TV adaptations.

Medieval Christmas
Find out how Christmas was celebrated 600 years ago, and what we would see as strange festive practices – and very familiar ones!

Jack the Ripper
In the autumn of 1888 a number of prostitutes were murdered on the streets of Whitechapel in London in a grisly fashion by an unknown killer. Dubbed ‘Jack the Ripper’ by the press, the murderer has passed into legend, but what was the true story behind the myth?

From Mythology to Twilight: A Brief History of the Vampire
Over the last few years’ vampires have taken over books, film and television, but what’s the story behind their rise to prominence? This talk looks at the origins of vampire legends and ‘historical’ cases in many cultures, before examining their fresh lease of life in popular culture

An Englishman’s Home: a brief history of the Castle. Discover the fascinating story of the castle, from the self assembly wooden kits brought by the Normans to the artillery forts of Henry VIII in an entertaining and informative talk.

The Medieval Knight
Paragons in shining armour with a code of chivalry, or a bunch of warrior thugs? Learn the truth behind the rise and decline of the medieval knight and their place in society, role in warfare and how a suit of armour worked.

Saint George: England’s patron saint…?
This entertaining talk looks at the legend, the real man and reveals the curious story of how Saint George became England’s patron saint and how we should actually be paying rent on our national flag…

The Medieval WMD? A military history of the Longbow
How could a ‘stick that’s 90% broken’, cause such carnage on Medieval battlefields? Was the longbow really such a battle winning weapon? Did English archers really invent the ‘two fingered salute’?

Towton 1461: An archaeological anatomy of Britain’s bloodiest battle
Fought in a snowstorm on Palm Sunday 1461, the battle of Towton was the largest and bloodiest fight in British history. Using the latest archaeological evidence, you’ll hear what the experience was like for the men who fought there.

Landships: The Tank in World War I
Was the Tank the wonder weapon of World War I, a triumph of ingenuity over desperation, or a propaganda tool? This talk looks at the invention and development of the tank in World War I, particularly from the British perspective.

‘Birth of the British Army’: The New Model Army 1645 – 60
Find out the forgotten story of how the senior regiments in the British army were formed from Parliament’s army of the Civil War. Discover its foundation, military career and role in the Restoration.

Wellington’s Secret Service
Find out about the complex system of spies, code-breakers and partisans established by the Duke of Wellington  and hear about the true stories of the men who made James Bond’s exploits look tame!

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