2022- 2023 programme

We hope to be holding talks face-to-face and on-line during the 2022-2023 programme. More details will be added to the website as we have them available and we will also send email updates. If you have any queries please contact us at histassocglos@gmail.com 

Updated August 2022 

2022 – 2023 programme

Monday 26 September 7.30pm, AGM

The AGM and talk will be held at the Exmouth Arms 167 Bath Road, Cheltenham, GL53 7LX and as a Zoom meeting. Food will be available at the Exmouth Arms before the AGM, if you wish to have a meal please contact us at histassocglos@gmail.com by 5 September for further information.

If you wish to join by Zoom for the AGM and/or talk please register at:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

AGM to be followed at 8.15 by a talk from committee member Mike Stoker, Head of History and Politics at Balcarras School, Charlton Kings, to give the first talk of the year –

A Decade at the coalface: reflections on ten years of history teaching

Monday 17 October 7.30pm, Park Campus, University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham

 Living in your brother’s royal shadow: how younger brothers of kings struggled for identity in early modern France, Prussia and elsewhere

Dr Jonathan Spangler, Manchester Metropolitan University

Dr Spangler will be speaking about how younger brothers of kings struggled for identity in early modern France, Prussia and elsewhere.

A YouTube video of the talk is available https://youtu.be/HQ8UYkuTew4

Monday 14 November 7.30pm, Park Campus, University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham

The Women Who Invented Twentieth-Century Children’s Literature

Dr Elizabeth West, University of Reading

Between 1930 and 1960 a predominantly female group of editors, illustrators, authors and librarians (collectively referred to as bookwomen) resulted in many titles which are still considered as ‘classics’ today. The bookwomen reframed ideas about how children’s publishing should be approached and valued and, in doing so, laid the foundations for a subsequent generation of children’s authors and publishers who were to achieve far greater prominence. This talk celebrates the work of the bookwomen and seeks to draw attention to an important but hitherto largely ignored era in publication history.

If you wish to watch via Zoom please register at


Monday 16 January 7.30pm, Zoom event

Transformations in Chinese Food – the diverse history of China through its food and drink

Dr Jonathan Clements, author and scripwriter

Jonathan Clements, author of The Emperor’s Feast: A History of China in Twelve Meals, tracks the diverse history of China through its food and drink, from the sacrificial cauldrons of the Bronze Age, to the contending styles of a modern Chinatown. He outlines how changes in politics, technology and ingredients have altered “Chinese” food over the centuries, as the nation copes with new peoples, crops and climate conditions. Jonathan focuses on the personalities connected to Chinese food – the drunken priest-kings of the Shang dynasty; the Tang noblewomen experimenting with tea and lychees; the stand-off between Mongols and Muslims over halal meat. But he also follows the impact of Chinese food out of its homeland and around the world, as migrant communities cater to local tastes and encounter new challenges. “Chinese” food is different, yet again, depending on if you eat it in small-town Canada, a Mumbai mall, or a Singapore street market. There are even subtle hints of the Chinese diaspora to be found on the streets of Gloucester, from Wong’s Kitchen, to Taipan to Hing Tai.

Register for the talk at the link below:


Monday 30 January 7.30pm, Oxstalls Campus, University of Gloucestershire, Gloucester

The Apple Tree Wassail (A Revival in Gloucestershire)

Bill Taylor, folklorist and Rebecca Kay

The tradition of wassailing is believed to date back to the Anglo-Saxons. There are two distinct forms of the tradition. One is often a form of local charity and involved visits to individual houses.  The other, which this talk celebrates, involves blessing orchards to ensure a good crop.  The tradition rather faded away in the twentieth century only to revive again as part of the broader folk music revival of the 1960s. This talk will celebrate the wassail and look at features of the tradition across the country and the revival in one corner of Gloucestershire.

If you wish to watch on Zoom please register via the link below:


Monday 20 February 7.30pm, Park Campus, University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham

LGBTQ+ Archives at Bishopsgate Institute

Stefan Dickers, Special Collections and Archives Manager, Bishopsgate Institute

Bishopsgate Institute’s Special Collections and Archives holds one of the most extensive collections on LGBTQ+ history, politics and culture in the UK. It covers the late nineteenth century onwards. The collections encompass LGBTQ+ history politics and culture, with archives from numerous organisations and individuals.

The Institute is also the proud custodian of the Lesbian and Gay Newsmedia Archive (LAGNA), including over 350,000 press cuttings from the straight press regarding LGBTQ+ history from the 1890s to today. We hold a library of around 15,000 LGBTQ+ titles, from academic works, biographies, fiction and poetry to pulp fiction, along with over 700 journal titles from around the world.

The LGBTQ+ Pamphlet Collection contains around 3,500 items including programmes for festivals and events, material from campaigning organisations and catalogues. The collection also features extensive ephemera such as club flyers, t-shirts, banners and badges.

The Institute’s Special Collections and Archives also hosts the UK Leather and Fetish Archive, a national collection documenting the history and heritage of fetish, kink and BDSM in the UK. These archives contain organisational papers, flyers, journals, pamphlets, books and artefacts.

Join Special Collections and Archives Manager Stef Dickers to hear how the collections were gathered, the stories behind many of the collections and adventures of looking after the collections day to day.

If you would like to join us via Zoom please register below:


Monday 20 March 7.30pm, Oxstalls Campus, University of Gloucestershire, Gloucester

Presidential Greatness and Economic Crisis: Franklin D. Roosevelt the New Deal

Dr Matthias Reiss, University of Exeter

Conventional wisdom holds that the popularity of American presidents at home largely depends on a strong economy. When Bill Clinton ran for the White House in 1992, his advisor James Carville famously quipped “It’s the economy, stupid,” and employment rates and living standards remain important indicators of presidential success. This paper will discuss Roosevelt’s New Deal programme in the 1930s and whether it rightly helped to establish his reputation as one of America’s greatest presidents.

If you would like to join us va Zoom please register below:


Monday 17 April 7.30pm, Oxstalls Campus, University of Gloucestershire, Gloucester

Lessons in Sport and Life from the Rev K.R.G. Hunt: Edwardian England’s footballing parson

Professor Dilwyn Porter, De Montfort University, Leicester

The Rev Kenneth Hunt played football for Wolverhampton Wanderers and England in the years before World War 1 and was the kind of sporting hero much admired by publications such as the ‘Boy’s Own Paper’. His advice to boys on how the game should be played – published during and after the war – allow us to look at the state of the game at the time from the perspective of a gentleman amateur who was convinced that football was character-building and that it had an important role to play in ameliorating class tensions during the troubled 1920s and 1930s.

If you would like to join us via Zoom please register below:


Monday 15 May 7.30pm, Park Campus, University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham

Putting the Big Light on in the ‘Dark Ages’: Gloucestershire in the late Roman/early Saxon periods

Dr. Katie Marsden, Pottery Specialist in the Research team for Wessex Archaeology

Dr Marsden’s current project focuses on a 4th to 6th century AD site in Tewkesbury. She will be presenting preliminary results from the site and setting it into the context of a general survey of other 5th/6th century sites in the county of Gloucestershire and beyond.

If you would like to join us by Zoom please register below:


Talk information

Meetings normally begin at 7.30 p.m., and are usually on Mondays.

Where we are holding Zoom webinars we will send out joining instructions to members and provide links from this website. 

The venue for Cheltenham meetings is usually the University of Gloucestershire’s Park Campus, Cheltenham, (GPS: enter The Park, Cheltenham).

Gloucester meetings are usually at the Oxstalls Campus of the University of Gloucestershire. 

Both venues have large car parks, and bus 94U runs to both campuses from the centre of both Cheltenham and Gloucester.

If you are coming to the Park by car, there is a map at https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?ie=UTF-8&q=the+park+chelt+campus+map&fb=1&gl=uk&hq=the+park+chelt&ei=-SeCUu3mKsOqhQfhy4DgDA&ved=0CIQBEMgT. This shows the layout of the Park Campus itself; the main car park is to the left of the lake. If you then zoom out, you will see the location of the campus within the overall Cheltenham area. (For GPS, just enter ‘The Park Cheltenham’.)

Click on ‘Map of the Park Campus’ on the left of this page for a map which shows with arrows the route from the main car park (bottom of the map this time!) to the Reception building. Once you are inside the building, follow the Historical Association signs to the meeting room. 

The bus stops are also shown on this map.

At Oxstalls the parking is very close to the building where we meet. The map at https://www.google.com/maps/d/embed?mid=18WCko15FTlvDTEbwbzLk8TSjgGU shows the location of the campus within Gloucester (zoom out if necessary); and if you then centre the campus on the map and zoom in, you can see where the main car parks are in relation to the building where we meet (marked with a mortar board!) The bus stops are also shown.

Meetings are free for members, £3 for visitors. (School and university students are always welcome to attend free of charge.)  

For further details please contact the secretary, Robert Sutton, tel: 01242 574889. 

For details of previous years’ programmes, please go here.