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           Spring Programme of 
           Venue Based Courses
   January 2023 ~ March 2023

Architecture & Dry Stone Walling
Tuesday Morning Lecture
Tutor: Sally Hodgson

Tuesday 17th January 2023 

Glossop Labour Club, Chapel Street,

Glossop, SK13 8AT ~ 12.00 pm   

Fee: £6.00 Members, Non-members £9.00

A new talk created for University College London’s Architecture students who visited Derbyshire this year and did some dry stone walling with Sally Hodgson, who holds the Master Craftsman Certification, the highest standard in dry stone walling.  Sally is the first woman globally to achieve assessor status.  This illustrated talk looks at the history and development of dry stone buildings and how they relate to architecture, looking at features around the globe that she has worked on.

This course  has been completed.

The courses below have been completed and are here for reference purposes only.

Click here to see our current courses.

The 1932 Kinderscout Mass Trespass - its place in the long struggle for access to our open spaces and why it is still relevant today.
Thursday Evening Lecture
Tutor: David Toft

Thursday 19th January 2023 

Bradbury Community Centre, Market Street, Glossop, SK13 8AR   7.30pm ~ 9.30pm   

Fee: £6.00 Members, Non-members £9.00

Kinder mass trespass.jpg.webp

Copyright Working class Movement Library

The talk will look at the current state of access rights and then turn briefly to key events in the North West that played a part in the long struggle to get where we are, particularly Winter Hill 1896 and Snake Path 1897. We will then address post WW1 developments, the emergence of ramblers’ associations on both sides of the Pennines and the crucial differences between their approach and that of the YCL (Young Communist League) members who led the 1932 Mass Trespass.  In conclusion, we will examine the relevance of the trespass to current campaigns

This course  has been completed.

Film Day - The 39 Steps
Saturday Day School
Tutors: Creina Mansfield & Alan Sennett

Saturday 21st January 2023

Partington Theatre, Henry Street,

Glossop, SK13 8BW

10.00 a.m.  ~ 4.00 p.m. 

Fee: Members £25, Non-members £32.50

In the early summer 1914, Europe is close to war and spies are everywhere.  Britain needs a resourceful hero to save the country from treachery.  John Buchan’s novel The 39 Steps has become a classic of the genre, and Hitchcock’s 1935 adaptation a thriller of outstanding quality.  We compare the novel and film, their historical context and narrative devices.  Production history, character, narrative and plot are all explored.


This course  has been completed.

Lead Mining in the Peak District
Tuesday Morning Lecture
Tutor; Judith Wilshaw

Tuesday 24th January 2023 

Bradbury Community Centre, Market Street,

Glossop, SK13 8AR       10.00 am ~ 12.00 pm 

Fee: £6 Members, Non-members £9

Lead ore has been mined in the limestone area of Derbyshire since prehistoric times, and working continued until the mid-Twentieth Century, controlled by a set of unique laws which were ‘ancient in 1235’. This talk explores geology of the ore field and nature of ores, mining methods and control as well as how to recognise mining remains in the landscape.

                Magpie Mine near Bakewell

Image courtesy of the Peak District Mining Museum

Lead Mining 3.jpg

This course  has been completed.

Skulduggery on the Isle of Rhum
4 Thursday Afternoon Lectures 
Tutor: Bob Callow

Thursday 26th January, 2nd, 9th & 16th February 2023 

Bradbury Community Centre, Market Street,

Glossop, SK13 8AR       2.00 pm ~ 4.00 pm   

Fee: Members £20 Non-members £26

This is a tale of intrigue and espionage, worthy of Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers and possible even of John le Carre!  It concerns a deliberate abuse of the scientific method, exposed by a covert investigation which was kept under wraps for half a century.  The scientific method is often misunderstood by members of the general public.  Scientists proceed by advancing hypotheses aimed at elucidating erstwhile inexplicable phenomena.  These hypotheses make predictions which are tested by evidence obtained from appropriate investigations.  A scientist is not expected always to be right but is required to be honest.  Many scientific theories have been modified or even abandoned over the years, as further evidence emerges, without any implied criticism of the originators.  By contrast, deliberate misrepresentation or falsification of evidence is never condoned.


In the 1930s, a distinguished botanist set out to demonstrate that plants on the Hebrides had survived for thousands of years during the last ice age, despite being unknown on the mainland.  This was always going to be a risky strategy, as Britain has long been one of the most intensively botanised countries in the world.  How this botanist set out to deceive his peers and how he was unmasked by a prominent amateur, working under cover, will be revealed in this short course.  We shall discuss the revelations.  Notes will be provided on-line.


Suggested reading: Raven, J.E. & Walters S.M. (1956) Mountain Flowers. New Naturalist, No. 33. Collins, London.


Week 1 26th January – Plants and geographical history

Week 2 2nd February - Nunataks and the Hebrides

Week 3 9th February – Planting the evidence

Week 4 16th February – Exposure

Silene acaulis 01b.jpg

Mossy Campion - Silene acaulis

This course  has been completed.

The Wordsmiths of Popular Song
2 Tuesday Afternoon Lectures 
Tutor: Les Berry

Tuesday 31st January & 7th February 2023 

Bradbury Community Centre, Market Street,

Glossop, SK13 8AR    2.00p m ~ 4.00 pm   

Fee: £9.00 Members, Non-members £12.00

In this two-week course, we will be looking at and listening to the lyrics of some of the great popular songs of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.  The range of possible writers to consider over these three decades is enormous, so we will be confining ourselves to the American Brill Building writers in week 1 and a selection of singers/songwriters in week 2.


Carole Bayer SagerCarole KingCynthia Weil, and Barry Mann

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Attribution: Angela George

This course  has been completed.

Baby Boomers Versus the Rest
Tuesday Evening Lecture
Tutor: Kevin Harrison

Tuesday 14th February 2023 

Bradbury Community Centre, Market Street,

Glossop, SK13 8AR      7.30 pm ~ 9.30 pm   

Fee: Members £6 , Non-members £9

Baby Boomers.jpg

Inter-generational conflict is often portrayed as one of the great divisive issues in modern Western societies.  Housing, tax, pensions, inheritances, and much more are shaped, we are told, by this deep division around age and which generation one is a member of.  Greedy ‘Baby Boomers’ have grabbed all the goodies and had it easy.  The ‘Snowflake Generation’ moan about their problems.  But a deep division and inequality in modern countries such as Britain does seem to exist.  Is it a real division, a modern development or essentially a pseudo-crisis created by modern journalists?

This course  has been completed.

Poland - Its Tumultuous History and the Personal History of a Polish Man.
Tuesday Evening Lecture
Tutor: Frank Pleszak

Tuesday 21st February 2023 

Bradbury Community Centre, Market Street, Glossop, SK13 8AR     7.30 pm ~ 9.30 pm   

Fee: Members £6 , Non-members £9

Poland 2.jpg

Opening of the Linen Industry Plant "Wilamowice" in Bielsko

Poland 1.jpg

Śródmieście, Grzybowski Square - Warsaw

Frank Pleszak was born in Manchester, but his surname clearly isn’t local. His Dad, who died in 1944, was Polish.  Frank knew that his dad had fought in Italy at the famous battle of Monte Cassino, but it wasn’t until after his death that he began to piece together the monumental series of events which shaped his life.  The more he read about the Poles from Eastern Poland, the more he uncovered this hugely significant, but largely unknown, piece of modern history.  This talk is the personal story of Frank’s father and the injustice done to the Polish nation. It’s a story of war, ethnic cleansing, mystery, intrigue, murder, heroics and, ultimately, betrayal.   But it’s also a story that still needs more to be uncovered.  Frank wrote about his dad’s story in his book, Two Years in a Gulag which is about his life and the lives of thousands of other Poles – their epic, cruel, and tragic journeys from Eastern Poland to England.

This course  has been completed.

American Tragedies: The Myth of the American Dream
4 Thursday Lectures
Tutors: Creina Mansfield & Frank Vigon

Thursday 23rd February, 2nd, 9th & 23rd March 2023 

Bradbury Community Centre, Market Street,

Glossop, SK13 8AR      2.00 pm ~ 4.00 pm   

Fee: Members £20  Non-members £26

Someone once said: “America will be nice when it’s finished!” American writers, artists and cinematographers from the Gilded Age (1890s) have been transfixed by the self-fulfilling prophecy of the American Dream. They have been drawn, like moths to a flame, to explore the promise held out to the “tired, poor and huddled masses” of the ‘Goldena Medena’– the golden land.


But it was not just the arrivals at the end of the nineteenth century who sought this ‘Holy Grail’. Those who harkened back to earlier migrations believed that the opportunities were there if only you believed and worked hard enough.

And this is the root of the American Tragedy, that in pursuit of the frequently unattainable, basically good people became corrupted by their intent and chose the shortest path to fame and fortune which was destined to end not in a dream, but a nightmare.


In this course we will examine individuals, movements, and literature from the turn of the 20th century to the period after the second world war that reflect the way in which the ideal becomes corrupted.  We will chart the rise of charlatans, the deceitful promise of populism, the car crash of personal relationships, the sacrifice of the first world war and its indelible mark on human interaction, the satirists who dared shine a light on the truth and the way in which Americans turned in on themselves and came close to tyranny. We will show that the dream is almost unachievable and at best a mirage. What remains is frequently a personal and national tragedy on a Shakespearean scale in which the veneer of success is pulled to one side to reveal the awful truth beneath. Dorothy does arrive in Oz, but she will always be disappointed when she discovers the Wizard is not all that she expected him to be.


America might be nice when it is finished, although it is probably cursed like its compliant narrator, Jack Burden, to have only one thing on its conscience –  “that they were doomed, but they lived in the agony of will.” Actions have consequences!



Week 1, 23rd February – POPULISM – Frank Vigon

                                    HUEY P LONG – Frank Vigon


Week 2, 2nd March – ALL THE KING’S MEN (1946) by Robert Penn Warren (i)

                                Creina Mansfield

Week 3, 9th March  -  ALL THE KING’S MEN (ii) – Creina Mansfield


Week 4, 24th March – THOMAS NAST: the great American Cartoonist                                                                 Frank Vigon

                                McCARTHYISM – Frank Vigon

This course  has been completed.

Silk Routes - by Land & Sea
4 Tuesday Afternoon Lectures
Tutor: Birgitta Hoffman

Tuesday 28th February, 7th, 14th, & 21st March 2023 

Bradbury Community Centre, Market Street, Glossop, SK13 8AR

2.00 pm ~ 4.00 pm   Fee: Members £20 Non-members £26


28th February – Silk routes – where did they start and where did they end?

7th March -  Trading from 3rdc.BC to the 5thc. AD. – Tales of wind horses, incense, gems and exploring the world in search of elephants

14th March – 5-13th century AD The Trade of Tang China and the Muslim kingdoms: spices, silk, Buddhist monks and Sindbad

21st March – 13th-16th century The period of the treasure ships, smuggler kings, spices and porcelain on three continents.


This course  has been completed.

Silk Route caravan of Shimshal Valley Pakistan

The Duke's Legacy & the Making of Glossop as a New Town
Thursday Evening Lecture
Tutor: Roger Hargreaves

Thursday 16th March 2023 

Bradbury Community Centre, Market Street, Glossop, SK13 8AR

7.30 pm ~ 9.30 pm 

Fee: Members £6  Non-members £9


This course  has been completed.

In June 1838, as the centrepiece of his new industrial town, the 12th Duke of Norfolk began the construction of a Town Hall.  It was quite unlike any other in a Northern cotton town, reflecting Glossop’s unique system of governance at that time.


Soon he followed it with a Market Hall, then a bigger one as demand increased, and in 1920 this became Council offices, the Municipal Buildings.  For 150 years these buildings were at the centre of the civic, economic, and social life of the town.  However, they suffered long periods of neglect and by the 1990's were becoming less used. But refurbishment is now well under way with the intention that they should once more play a central role.  Roger’s talk will look at their history and heritage significance and the role they played in the evolution of the new town and the future plans for them.

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