Throughout the autumn, winter and spring we run monthly talks on Friday afternoons. In addition there is an annual Charles Lines Lecture and a speaker from the National Trust at the AGM.

The talks are held at the Methodist Church Hall, Station Approach, Solihull starting at 2.00pm. Admission is £3.50 for Solihull Centre Members and £5.00 for visitors or guests of members. Tea, coffee and biscuits available at the interval, cost 50p.

Parking is limited at the hall but three hours free parking is available at Tudor Grange Leisure Centre - a valid ticket must be displayed.

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Friday 25 February 2022

The English House
Keith Cattell

Keith Cattell, a retired architect, is the speaker for this talk entitled ‘The English House’.  Keith will give us a brief history of our houses, great and small over the past 900 years. A tale of evolution from Norman halls, half-timbered houses, converted monasteries to the excesses of the Victorian period when anything from Italianate to Egyptian was in vogue and then right through to prefabs.

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Friday 25 March 2022

The Sweet Life in Bournville – The Cadbury and Bournville Story from 1878
Robert Booth

Robert is a formal principal lecturer at Wolverhampton University and also is chairman of the Bournville Society and archivist to St Francis church in Bournville. His talk will give us an insight into life in Bournville and the development of Cadbury's.  Robert is a published author of "Bournville through Time".

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Tuesday 7 June 2022

Visit: Dorchester-on-Thames & Greys Court (NT)

For our June outing, we shall be returning to South Oxfordshire. Dorchester-on-Thames is a quintessentially English village with thatched cottages and old coaching inns – one with a stagecoach parked outside. Though a quiet, sleepy place today, it has a long history, pre-dating the important Roman settlement there.

In the afternoon, we travel the short distance to Greys Court. Nestling in the Chilterns, this National Trust property is a picturesque Tudor manor house, warm and welcoming. Occupied by only five families in its long history, the mansion today is a patchwork of styles hinting at the fortunes and tastes of past occupants.

Cost: £28.00

Image: National Trust Images/Hugh Mothersole

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Friday 30 September 2022

Treasure Islands – Exploring the Unknown Hebrides
Roger Butler

The Hebrides are a Scottish Archipelago off the west coast of the Scottish mainland.

This talk will give us a look at some of the smaller and more remote islands off the West coast of Scotland with stories of local history and heritage.

Roger is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society.  He is an experienced lecturer and an established writer and photographer.

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Friday 28 October 2022

How we Got Here
David & Pam Humphries

This talk gives us the story of the back to back housing in Birmingham.  Find out what was happening in the town of Birmingham in the 18th and 19th Centuries which led to half the population living in these tiny houses.

 

David and Pam have visited us before and entertained us with their illustrated talks.

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Friday 25 November 2022

Journeys into Wild Wales
Nick Martin

We join Nick to look for migrant birds of oak woodlands, butterflies of the Great Orme, seabirds of South Stack and so much more from his journeys into wild Wales.  From Skomer to Worlds End we’ll meet many of the best species that Wales has to offer.

Nick is an amateur wildlife photographer with a passion for nature and the countryside.  His talks give us superb illustrations, fascinating information and plenty of humour. 

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Friday 27 January 2023

Beer, Bets and Bull Bating
Mary Bodish

Our forebears revelled in bull baiting, cock fighting, boxing matches and abominable drunkenness, especially in the Black Country.  The boozy bloody amusements of the working classes rose and fell – and something of them remains today.

 

Mary’s talk is fully illustrated.  She is a founder member of the Smethwick Local History Society and has taught local history research and palaeography for the University of Birmingham’s School of Continuing Studies.