Talks about the River Brue.
Blog post, February 1 2016
One result of writing ‘The River’ has been that I’ve had invitations to do talks on the the subject. This is a new departure for me, and it has been working out well. In particular I had been hoping that this book would help me to break out of the ‘alternative’ Glastonbury bubble, and the talks seem to be a way to achieve this. They are also reasonably successful way of selling copies of the book.
So far I have done two talks, with another lined up (and hopes that more will come about). The first was at the Red Brick Building, which was a god olace to start because it feels like home turf. It was here that we did the Black Line Initiative presentation back in June last year, when I was invited back to do a talk of my own. This was ‘The River Brue as a microcosm of the World in Crisis’ – which is a bit of a mouthful, but the talk was well received. I noticed that people like to hear about their local river and landscape, whatever their political or cultural slant.
The second was last month, for the University of the Third Age, ‘When and Why was the River Brue redirected?’ This was also well received, though by a completely different audience – and one that included two or three members of the local Internal Drainage Board. This was really encouraging. What I noticed, though, was that the first half of the talk – which was about the river more generally and my own connection with it – went more easily and (I think) more effectively than the second half – which dealt with the historical detail concerning the river’s diversion. This seemed to be the case even though it was the U3A’s Local History group.
I spent a considerable time preparing fir each if these talks, as well as figuring out how to do Powerpoint presentations, and taking note of what worked best and what didn’t. The third talk will be for the South Brewham Natural History Society on February 26th; it will be based largely on material that I prepared for the other two. I did say to the organiser that when it comes to Natural History, the audience will probably know more about their local area than I do; but she seemed keen to get me along anyway. Im looking forward to it.
I am keen to do kore tslks, and I would like to do a completely different one, focussed on the recent history of the river and the Levels, since the second world war. This would perhaps be more challenging; it would be based more completely on my own original research, and would probably cover topics that would be most controversial.
[I went on to do 10 talks about different aspects of the River Brue’s history, for different local associations including the Glastonbury Antiquarian Society and the Wells Natural History and Archeologicalk Society].