Group Events


Meetings for 2020 will continue on a bi-monthly basis.

Helen Essex has again put together a programme of talks which we believe will appeal to all interests.


Details of the years meetings are given below.

For the minutes of the 2019 AGM - click here

The Trustees


Wednesday, 19th February – 2.00 for 2.15pm

                                                                     at VILLAGE HALL

                                                          Station Road

                                                          Balsall Common.

”Breaking Enigma at Bletchley Park”

A talk by Frank Carter

 After my retirement some years ago as a college lecturer, I became a volunteer working for the Bletchley Park Trust.  As you may already be aware this is an organisation first set up in the early 1990’s to increase public knowledge of the

remarkable achievements what had taken place in the Park during the war, and to preserve it as a Site of Special Historical Interest

For about 18 years or so, on behalf of the Trust, I was involved in a variety of activities, including some research, giving lectures, and running courses including some for groups of University teachers from the United States. Also on rare occasions working on TV productions for the BBC and another outside agency. 

During this period I had the great privilege of meeting and working with some of the remarkable people from the original Bletchley Park codebreakers, some of whom subsequently became personal friends. 

In my talk I propose to describe the early struggle to read the intercepted Enigma enciphered signals and the subsequent development of a remarkable machine known as the “bombe” that was used to assist with this formidable task.

 Also included an explanation of the major difficulties encountered at Bletchley, in breaking the U-boat messages during the Battle of the Atlantic.

This meeting is open to Members & Non-members.

Please note that the carpark will not be available for this meeting.



Meetings are held at Berkswell Reading Room at 7.45pm for 8.00 pm start unless otherwise stated.

Wednesday, 1st April – 7.45 for 8.00pm

“Berkswell and Neighbouring Parishes during the 17th Century Civil War”

A Talk by Jill Tompkins-Bailey & Brenda Murray

A team under Maureen Harris of Leicester University has recently been transcribing documents from 1646 which will be printed later by the Dugdale Society and go up on the internet for anyone to access. They shed light on the hardships endured by those living in this area during the civil war

This meeting will be open to Members & Non-Members.


Wednesday, 3rd June – 7.45 for 8.00pm

“Wayside Wonders and Country Curiosities”

A Talk by Richard Churchley

In his presentation “Wayside Wonders and Countryside Curiosities” Richard shows pictures of quirky, interesting historical objects or buildings which may often go unnoticed. Many of these are in the West Midlands. Richard puts the objects or buildings in their historical context.

This meeting will be open to Members & Non-Members.


Wednesday, 5th August – 7.45 for 8.00pm

“Local hero...the story of Sir Henry Parkes.”

A Talk by Sheila Woolf

Born in 1815, a few weeks after Waterloo, Henry Parkes grew up in Warwickshire, the son of a poor tenant farmer who was evicted and jailed for debt. Nevertheless he rose to become one   of   the   most   important   men   in   the   history   of   the   British   Empire:   after   emigrating   to Australia in 1839 he became a leading politician there who fulfilled the role of Premier of New South Wales no fewer than five times – an unrivalled record. He is credited with being the founding “Father of Federation”, determined to amalgamate the states of Australia into one successful nation. His story is one of failure and success combined – in public life he excelled, yet he died a pauper.

This meeting will be open to Members & Non-Members.


Wednesday, 7th October – 7.45 for 8.00pm

”Warwickshire Home Guard in WW2”

A Talk by David Morse

"The talk will go from the earliest days of the LDV, the use of homemade weapons, the training and the role of the Home Guard in protecting this country up to the stand down in 1945. With an additional brief description of "Churchill's Secret Army", another aspect of the Home Defence. There will be a display which will enable you to see what was provided for the Volunteer from the humble toothbrush to the iconic Tommy gun. There will also be a collection of photographs of the local platoons that made up the 1st Battalion Warwickshire Home Guard. Some have found their loved ones in these pictures and, you never know, you might find yours!"

This meeting will be open to Members & Non-Members.


Wednesday, 2nd December – 7.45 for 8.00pm

Pre-Christmas Social Evening.

This meeting will be open to Members & Non-Members.