Current programme 2023

At the beginning of 2023 we continued to hold our talks on the internet using Zoom. From September we will be returning to the Chiswick Memorial Club in Bourne Place W4, but will continue to offer the talks on Zoom as well.

All talks begin at 7.30pm. Details are sent out to subscribing members in advance then posted here for non-members a few days later.

Monday 16 January 2023
The Thames – the Mercenary River
For centuries London, one of the largest and richest cities in the world, struggled to supply its citizens with reliable, clean water. Journalist and writer Nick Higham’s talk is based on his book, The Mercenary River, published in 2022. He uses new research to describe remarkable technological, scientific and organisational breakthroughs and also a story of greed and complacency, high finance and low politics

Monday 20 February 2023
Lord Burlington, Duchess Georgiana and the Chiswick gardens
An illustrated talk by Dr David Jacques OBE, historian of gardens and designed landscapes and author of Chiswick House gardens: 300 years of creation and re-creation, published in 2022. David’s expertise comes from his research and also from his very long association with the Chiswick House estate as an adviser and a trustee

Monday 20 March 2023
Commemorated at St Nicholas, Chiswick
An illustrated talk by Ann Rix and Professor Francis Ames-Lewis, from the church’s archives team, about their exhibition which features some of the noteworthy but possibly lesser-known people buried at Chiswick’s ancient parish church. The
talk will include an admiral, a gardener, a photographer and a publisher.
This talk was postponed from 19 September 2022, the day of the Queen’s funeral

Monday 17 April 2023
The Sinews of War – Benjamin Stone and the Hounslow Sword Factory

A joint event with the Hounslow and District History Society
This illustrated talk will be given by Howard Simmons, a member of both local history societies and also of the Arms and Armour Society and the Company of Military Historians. It is a 17th century story about an entrepreneurial cutler who became sword-maker to King James I. He established Hounslow Heath as a centre of weapons manufacture for the Royalist armies of King Charles I and then Oliver Cromwell’s Parliamentarian armies during the Civil Wars

Monday 15 May 2022
Annual General Meeting
The business meeting will review the year and receive the financial report. Issue 32 of the Journal will be sent out by post after the meeting. Copies will also be made available for sale on the bookshop pages here by mid June. A short talk will follow the meeting – details to be announced nearer the date

Monday 18 September
The Story of Brentford Gas Works

An illustrated talk by David Shailes, sharing his recent research. The coal gas industry created technical innovation, improved lighting and raised living standards for the poor. It took over Brentford’s Victorian river front but has now completely disappeared. David is one of our committee members and heads the Brentford Voice Heritage & Conservation group.

Monday 16 October
Celebrating the refurbishment of Boston Manor House, Brentford

John Collins, Hounslow’s Historic Houses Manager, has overseen the multi-million pound, award-winning restoration of Boston Manor House. He will show how a greater understanding of the building and recent research about its occupants have informed the new presentation for visitors.

Monday 20 November
Sutton Court Farm in the 1720s: Chiswick’s largest 18th century farm

Daniel Burford farmed the huge Sutton Court estate. In this illustrated talk James Wisdom will use the inventory created when Burford died in 1726 to reveal his home, its furnishings, his farm buildings, his animals, his fields and what he grew

Monday 18 December
Gifts and bequests in local wills

At the time of year when people are thinking about presents, Val Bott will share some anecdotes from her study of the wills of 18th century local residents. Besides buildings and land they left personal possessions, silverware, furniture and clothing as well as gifts of money to family, friends, servants and business partners.

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