The Old Road – The History of the Pilgrims’ Way

The Pilgrims’ Way is a pleasure to walk. It stretches 140 miles across southern England from Winchester to Canterbury. Its history goes far beyond the headline story of Thomas Becket and his death as the result of a misheard order from his erstwhile friend King Henry.

Richard will describe the Way, explore the story of Thomas as well as digging deeper into the Way’s very ancient history which leads all the way to Stonehenge and a 4000 year old mystery.

King Alfred the Great – Did he really burn he cakes?

Many people have heard of King Alfred, king of Wessex, founder of the English Navy and victorious in the fight against the Vikings. But how many of these stories are actually true? Why are there so many legends and myths about this Dark Age warrior and why does he deserve the title of The Great?

In this talk Richard will look at the various stories associated with King Alfred and separate the myth from the reality to try and find the real Alfred.

Local History – Wokingham

Wokingham sits on the edge of Windsor Great Forest. Originally settled by the Wocingas, an Anglo-Saxon tribe, the town grew steadily – but its early prosperity was cut short when half of the houses were destroyed during the English Civil War. Wokingham has hosted bull-baiting, highwaymen and a multitude of beer houses. The town’s people have played their part in both world wars. Its rich history is interwoven with the history of England: a story of good times and bad, from the Anglo Saxons to the Victorians to the present day.

Richard’s talk will cover various aspects of the town’s history and bring to life the history and characters of this quintessential English county town.

Local History – Some Thoughts and Ideas, or Why and What!

In this talk Richard will share his motivation and interest in researching local history, looking at why local or community history is important. He will talk about how he came about to write his books about Wokingham and discuss some ideas about local history projects.

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