Programme 2018-2019

1 October 2018

Speaker: Michael Bortoft

Title: George Frederick Bodley and the building of the Church of St. Martin -on-the-Hill, Scarborough, 1863.

About the talk: The talk will complement the visit made to the church in August to view and explore the Pre-Raphaelite windows and decorations installed by the firm of Morris, Marshall, Faulkener & Co. Bodley’s  inspiration and architecture will be explained, and the impact of a gothic revival Anglo Catholic ritualistic church on a low church town will be discussed.

About the speaker:  I was head of St. Martin’s C.E. (Voluntary Aided)  Primary School until my retirement in 2004, although I continue to work at the school on a voluntary basis. I act as guided tour coordinator and church historian, look after the website and Friends newsletter.


15 October 2018

Speaker: Bro Robin Sharpe MA

Title: Bridlington in the 1970’s

About the talk: My lecture is about the town in which I grew up in the 1970s. During this period my main activities were centred on Burlington School, then Headlands School, the Priory and 4th Bridlington Scout Group so I open by discussing these interests. The lecture also examines many of the changes that took place in Bridlington during the 1970s including road developments, housing estates and many local businesses that have come and gone. I have also tried to chronicle many of the key events that took place before discussing the fishing industry and the holiday industry in detail.


22 October 2018 

Speaker:  Dr Janine Hatter

Title: ‘Sensational Victorian: Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Yorkshire Connections’

About the talk:  Mary Elizabeth Braddon was a nineteenth-century theatrical and literary sensation who shocked Victorians with scandals in both her writing and personal life.  Following a daring period as an actress on stages across England, which included performances in Beverley and Hull, she moved to Beverley to launch her writing career.  Her penmanship covers war poetry, detective fiction and the mid-Victorian phenomenon that is ‘sensation fiction’ – novels full of bigamy, kidnap and murder.

About the speaker:     Dr Janine Hatter’s research interests centre on nineteenth-century literature, art and culture, with particular emphasis on popular fiction. She has published on Mary Braddon, Bram Stoker, the theatre and identity, short stories as a genre, and Victorian women’s life writing, as well as on her wider research interests of nineteenth to twenty-first century Science Fiction and the Gothic. She is co-editor of two series: New Paths in Victorian Fiction and Culture and Key Popular Women Writers, both for Edward Everett Root Publishers, while she is co-editing a collection on Fashion and Material Culture in Victorian Fiction and Periodicals. Janine is conference co-organiser for the Victorian Popular Fiction Association and has co-founded the Mary Elizabeth Braddon Association.


29 October 2018 

Speaker: Judith Bangs

Title: Death and Mourning in days gone by

About the talk:  This talk is mostly about the Victorians and the traditions they followed after a death in the family.

About the speaker:  Judith is a member of the East Yorkshire Family History Society and has spent many hours transcribing headstones in churchyards.  Because of this she decided to look into some of the rites of death.


5th November 2018

Speaker:  Richard Morris, Emeritus professor of archaeology, University of Huddersfield

Title: Writing Yorkshire

About the talk: – Richard Morris’s recent and widely-acclaimed book Yorkshire weaves history, family stories, travelogue and ecology to explore how Yorkshire took shape as a landscape, in literature, legend and as an idea. In this talk Morris will explain how and why the book was written, and discuss the influences on its shape.

About the speaker: Richard Morris began his archaeological career on the excavations under York Minster in the early 1970s. Since then he has taught at the University of York, directed the Institute for Medieval Studies at Leeds, and been director of the Council for British Archaeology.


19th November 2018

Speaker:  Sal Cooke OBE

Title: Seventy years a lady and still going strong.

About the talk: Bridlington’s very own pleasure boat The MV Yorkshire Belle celebrated her 70th anniversary in 2017. Sal will talk of the “Belle” over the years and will include some details of other pleasure boats which sailed from Bridlington in days gone by.



26th November 2018

 Speaker: Bro Fred Walkington MBE

Title: Bridlington Lifeboat and Coastguards 1805 to the present

About the talk: The talk will be about the changes to the life saving volunteer services that this community carried out over the period from 1805 to date.

New information and photographs continue to be discovered this along with the update of the lifeboat service with the new lifeboat and boathouse during the past year.


3rd December 2018 

Christmas Evening


Date: 7 January 2019 

Speaker:  The Lord Prior, Bro Garry Sunley

Title:  The Swinging Sixties, part 2

About the talk:  more pictures of Bridlington in the sixties with anecdotal comments


21 January 2019 

Speaker:  Rev Matthew Pollard

Title:  My Life on the Catwalk; a Social History of Fashion 1850 – 1950

About the talk:  The Rector of Bridlington Priory gives a slide show of original clothes dating between 1850 and 1950.  The photographs come with an entertaining commentary placing the significance of the developments of fashion in the context of social change.

About the speaker:    I think that by way of introducing me you might want to say that, although I’m a man of the cloth, I’ve had my moments and this evening we’re going to see some of the ones I’m prepared to share in public.


28 January 2019

Speaker: Bro Rick Hudson

Title:  Bridlington’s 1919 Peace Pageant

About the talk:  In July 1919 Bridlington marked the end of WW1 with a full week of celebrations. This included a two day pageant with parades of historic characters through the streets, an “old world” fair on High Green, and a re-enactment of a Georgian Manorial court. We have photographs of all the events and, amazingly, some cine film as well.


4th February 2019

Speaker: Bro David Mooney

Title: Show me a Rose

About the talk:  the history of the white rose of Yorkshire since it was adopted in 1471 as the symbol of the county of Yorkshire has long being in debate as how it is should be used and displayed, there have been many high profile court cases regarding copyright and now is the right time to put things right . Groucho Marx’s song “Show me a rose, or leave me alone” is an apt title.


11 February 2019



18 February 2019  – change to published programme

Speaker:  Bro John Walker

Title: My Mum’s War

About the talk:  A first hand research about my mothers experiences, discomforts and conditions she had to tolerate during ww2 whilst my father was in the 79th Armoured Tank Brigade fighting across Europe after Dunkirk

25 February 2019 –  change to published programme

Members’ Evening

4 March 2019 

Speaker: Geraldine Mathieson

Title: The Mills of Bridlington

About the talk: :  Following on from her previous talk ‘A Brief Introduction to Windmills’, Geraldine will share the results of her recent researches into the windmill and watermills of the town, adding expert interpretation to the contemporary evidence

About the speaker:  Geraldine has a life-long interest in windmills, having grown up on the site of one.  Volunteering at Skidby Mill in the 1990s led her to study Heritage Management at Bishop Burton College, and she is now a Heritage Interpretation consultant working predominantly in the voluntary sector.  She is largely self-taught in industrial and social history, researching any topics that capture her interest, and sharing her discoveries through talks and demonstrations.  Her mantra is that ‘you are never too old for dressing up or playing with toys’.

Geraldine lives in Cottingham and has helped with projects at many mills across the country, and served on regional and national mills committees.  She has recently started researching the mills of Bridlington.


18 March 2019

Speaker: Dr Andrew Woods,  Senior Curator, Yorkshire Museum’.

Title:  ‘Constantius, Constantine and the Wold Newton coin hoard’:

About the talk:  The Wold Newton coin hoard was discovered in 2014. It was hidden in the ground around AD 307, and is one of the largest of this period in the whole of the UK. This talk will explore the time of its burial, a crucial period in the history of the Roman Empire, and Yorkshire’s place within it. The focus will be on Constantius, the Roman Emperor who died in York in AD 306, and his son, Constantine the Great. The talk will argue that the hoard was buried at a crucial point in the life, death and careers of the two emperors, giving us an insight into life in Roman Yorkshire at the time.

About the speaker:  Andrew Woods is Senior Curator for the Yorkshire Museum. He is responsible for the archaeological and natural science teams at the museum. His area of expertise is money and medals, particularly the interpretation of coinage and hoards.

Andrew’s education saw degrees in history and archaeology, culminating in a doctorate in archaeology from the University of Cambridge, awarded for a study of coinage in the Viking Age.


25th March 2019 

AGM , followed by “ Bring something interesting evening” – bring an interesting object and tell the other members something about it