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           Spring Programme of 
           Venue Based Courses
      January 2024 ~ March 2024

Film Day - Odd Man Out (Carol Reed, UK 1947)
Saturday Day School
Tutors: Creina Mansfield & Alan Sennett

Saturday 13th January 2024

Partington Theatre, Henry Street,

Glossop, SK13 8BW

10.00 a.m.  ~ 4.00 p.m. 

Fee: Members £25, Non-members £32.50

Johnny McQueen (James Mason) is the leader of a clandestine Irish political “organisation” whose hold-up goes badly wrong.  Wounded and separated from his comrades Johnny is on the run. Boasting a number of great performances, based upon the 1945 novel by F.L. Green and filmed on location in Belfast by the same team who would soon make The Third Man (Robert Krasker and Carol Reed), Odd Man Out offers a dark and compelling companion piece. We look at the novel and the film, setting them both in the historical context of post-war Britain. 

This course has been completed.

Odd man out
Poetry & Song
2 Tuesday Afternoon Lectures
Tutor: Les Berry

Tuesday 16th & 23rd January 2024 

Bradbury Community Centre, Market Street,

Glossop, SK13 8AR       2.00 pm ~ 4.00 pm 

Fee: £12 Members, Non-members £16


Poetry and Song in Los Angeles

In the 1940s Ira Gershwin – the brother of and lyric writer for George Gershwin - published a book of his own lyrics with the warning that “any resemblance to actual poetry is highly improbable.” A few decades later Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Was Ira simply being modest or did Bob get lucky? The problem would seem to lie in definitions and qualitative assessments of song words and free-standing poems. In the two sessions I shall begin to explore the similarities and differences between the work of the poet and that of the songwriter. If you are interested in poetry and songs, as many people are, then please come and join us as we read, listen to and discuss a range of examples.

This course has been completed.

Justin Higuchi from Los Angeles, CA, USA, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

The Scramble for Africa - The Great Imperial Carve-up
2 Thursday Evenings Lectures
Tutor: Kevin Harrison

Thursday 18th & 25th January 2024 

Bradbury Community Centre, Market Street,

Glossop, SK13 8AR       7.30 pm ~ 9.30 pm 

Fee: £12 Members, Non-members £16

By the 1880s the European great powers had taken over most of the rest of the world (either by direct imperial control or economic and political influence). Most of Africa remained ruled by indigenous kingdoms, tribes and empires. That was about to change. Within ten years almost all of the continent was to be divided up between a small number of European empires. How this came about is what we will be looking at here.

This course has been completed.

David Livingstone circa 1845_edited.jpg

David Livingstone

Design in Nature & Engineering
Tuesday Evening Lecture
Tutor: Mark Henderson

Wednesday 20th March 2024 

Bradbury Community Centre, Market Street,

Glossop, SK13 8AR       7.30 pm ~ 9.30 pm 

Fee: £6 Members, Non-members £9

Living organisms and human engineering products follow strikingly similar design principles.  Biological evolution and human innovation both have to solve problems of material choice for structures, construction of mechanisms, energy transfer and conservation, information and control.  In this session we'll look at those underlying principles and see (for example) in what sense the brontosaurus was like a suspension bridge and how the energy efficiency of bird migration compares to that of a jet aircraft.



Please Note:  Due to unforeseen circumstance the date of this course has changed. 

Common Squid.jpg

Nature's jet engine - The Common Squid. 

© Hans Hillewaert

Foregone Conclusions or Great Escape? - How to Understand the Battlelines for the Next General Election
Tuesday Evening Lecture
Tutor: Andrew Russell

Tuesday 6th February 2024 

Bradbury Community Centre, Market Street,

Glossop, SK13 8AR       7.30 pm ~ 9.30 pm 

Fee: £6 Members, Non-members £9


Polling Station by DS Pugh, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

 In this session, Andrew will look at the upcoming general election and try to explain what is driving the political agenda in the first post-pandemic, post-Brexit context. He will explain why the government cannot rely on its familiar tactics of economic competence and has instead begun to focus on more social and cultural aspects of contemporary British life. He will ask whether the Conservatives must lose and what the Labour opposition must do to convert its favourable polling position into an actual victory. The role of other parties, the SNP and Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats will also be key to the outcome of the election. Andrew will highlight the likely terrain of the upcoming campaign and what to look out for in the coming months. He will attempt to predict a most likely outcome (in such a way as to be able to claim he was right whatever the eventual result). 

Venue Bounty
Breadfruit, Bounty & Pandora's Box
3 Thursday Afternoon Lectures 
Tutor: Bob Callow

Thursday 1st, 8th & 15th February 2024 

Bradbury Community Centre, Market Street,

Glossop, SK13 8AR       2.00 pm ~ 4.00 pm   

Fee: Members £15, Non-members £20


Glossop Guild members may remember Bob Callow’s very interesting talk at the Guild’s AGM earlier in 2023.  This three-week course brings the opportunity to give more depth to this intriguing tale

Encouraged by Joseph Banks, the Admiralty commissioned HMS Bounty under William Bligh to gather breadfruit plants and transport them to the Caribbean. On leaving Tahiti, Bligh faced a mutiny led by his protégé Fletcher Christian and was forced into the launch along with as many loyalists as could be accommodated. With few navigational aides and limited supplies of food and water, Bligh guided the launch across 3,600 miles of ocean to the port of Kupang in Timor. In contrast, the frigate HMS Pandora, sent to arrest the mutineers, ran aground in the Endeavour Straits. Some crew were returned to face trial but others, led by Christian, escaped to Pitcairn Island.


1st February:    In Praise of Breadfruit

8th February:   The Voyage of HMS Bounty

25th February:  Pandora’s Box

                                   HMS Bounty 


Dan Kasberger, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Losing an Empire: Not Finding a European Role; The UK & Europe 1973-2016
2 Tuesday Evening Lectures
Tutor: Simon Bulmer

Tuesday 13th & 20th February 2024 

Bradbury Community Centre, Market Street,

Glossop, SK13 8AR       7.30 pm ~ 9.30 pm 

Fee: £12 Members, Non-members £16


Over the course of six-and-a-half post-war decades the UK lost its global role and sought a new European one. That came to an end with the June 2016 referendum vote to leave the European Union. Why did Britain’s relationship with Europe encounter such turbulence in its diplomacy and domestic politics, culminating in Brexit?

In two sessions Simon will explore the period from the Suez crisis through to David Cameron’s decision to call a referendum on EU membership. He will seek to unravel why it proved to be so difficult to find a European role compatible with a confident national identity. The sessions will provide the backdrop to the 2016 referendum and the ensuing political turmoil but to do them justice would require another course!

Radicalism in the Early 20th Century
Thursday Morning Lecture 
Tutors: Alan Sennett & Mike Milligan

Thursday 22nd February 2024 

Bradbury Community Centre, Market Street,

Glossop, SK13 8AR    10.00 am ~ 12.00 pm   

Fee: £6.00 Members, Non-members £9.00

American Radicalism: The Wobblies - Alan Sennett

There is a common misconception that America lacks a radical tradition and that its political culture is characterised simply by two monolithic parties.   This session seeks to rectify that by looking at the anarcho-syndicalism revolutionary organisation, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) better known as the Wobblies. We will look at questions of class conflict, identity and radicalism in late C19 and early C20 America.  We will look at industrialisation, urbanisation, immigration, internal migration, race, class, gender and radical movements. 


Red Clydeside: - Mike Milligan

Many of us are familiar with the Riot Act being read to the crowd before the Peterloo massacre, 16 August 1819, following the Napoleonic Wars.  Almost exactly 100 years later, 31 January 1019, following World War I, the Riot Act was again read to a crowd of workers in the “Battle of George Square” in Glasgow.  Both events were milestones in the long struggle for workers rights and social justice.  This session explains the geography and history of “Red Clydeside” which is a label for the rent and industrial strikes, protests, and political mobilization of men and women in West of Scotland homes, factories, and shipyards from around 1910 to 1932. 


Troops arriving in George Square Glasgow to take charge of public buildings - Monday 3 February 1919

Hereditary Genius & Artificial Intelligence
Tuesday Afternoon Lecture 
Tutor: Bob Callow

Tuesday 27th February 2024 

Bradbury Community Centre, Market Street,

Glossop, SK13 8AR    2.00 pm ~ 4.00 pm   

Fee: £6.00 Members, Non-members £9.00

Francis Galton demonstrated the inheritance of human genius. He introduced questionnaires eliciting measurements of human capacities which were difficult to directly assess. Respondents were asked to return subjective integer scores, ranging for example between zero and ten. Today, we are all too familiar with such devices. While such scores are of little intrinsic value individually, they can be informative en masse. Galton’s pioneering work promoted statistical analysis and has underpinned modern market research. The genius of Alan Turing foresaw the arrival of modern computers and predicted their all-encompassing influence on today’s world. Turing considered it unlikely that machines can acquire true intelligence. The artificial intelligence of modern machines may be used for good or ill, we need be vigilant". We also need to ween ourselves away from total dependence on our machines, perhaps by adopting some of the ideals of the Arts and Crafts movement.

IQ .png
Pat Highsmith
Patricia Highsmith: The Talented Mr Ripley 
4 Thursday Afternoon Lectures
Tutor: Creina Mansfield

Thursday 29th February 2024, 7th. 14th, & 21st March 2024

Bradbury Community Centre, Market Street,

Glossop, SK13 8AR      1.30 pm ~ 3.30 pm   

Fee: Members £20,  Non-members £26

Patricia Highsmith .JPG

Patricia Highsmith has been called the ‘poet of apprehension.' The celebrated author of 'Strangers on a Train' and the Ripley novels was a tortured, difficult and gifted human being. We shall look at her life and then study the first of her Tom Ripley novels: The Talented Mr Ripley (1955)

The Talented Mr Ripley.jpg
Stanley Spencer, Salvador Dali & Lucian Freud
3 Tuesday Evening Lectures
Tutor: Frank Vigon

Tuesday 5th, 12th, & 19th March 2024 

Bradbury Community Centre, Market Street, Glossop, SK13 8AR     2.00 pm ~ 4.00 pm   

NB: Please note change of time. 

Fee: Members £15,  Non-members £20


It is all too easy to throw around the word “genius” in the shadow of great and celebrated artists. Some artists achieve status and adulation in their own lifetime as much because of their eccentricities as their undeniable talent. This course will examine the work of three such artists.

(5th March) Stanley Spencer whose fortunes wax and wane with different generations marked by his distinctive style and his mixture of the visionary with the Representational. A reluctant landscapist who would have preferred crucifixion in Cookham to portraits in the Tate. He mixed sexual fantasy with religion and could see no contradiction in the subsequent outpourings of his soul.

(12th March) Salvador Dali the thief of surrealism who infuriated his contemporaries and thrilled his audiences, badly behaved and an incorrigible self-publicist. He demonstrated the skills of a stylistic perfectionist and an imagination of fantasy far beyond the realms of other member of the surrealist fraternity. His melting images are fused into art history along with the question was he mad, eccentric or just a very naughty boy?

(19th March) Lucian Freud the grandson of the great psychoanalyst whose own behaviour as a riotous and complex painter is worthy of months on a couch. Here was a young prodigy who forged his own uncompromising realist style that shocked, repulsed, and fascinated the viewer. His figurative paintings are reflected by his laboured and tortured struggle with the canvas in which every stroke counted. His personal behaviour left much to be desired as a libertine, gambler, and womaniser. And yet he is possibly our greatest portraitist and life painter both sensitive and cruel at one and the same time.

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