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  Zooming Through the Spring 
               On-line Courses
   January 2023 ~ March 2023

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Your Zoom Season Pass

In order to make "Zooming Through the Spring" on-line term as flexible as possible, we are again offering a single payment "season pass" which will entitle you to join any or all of the spring sessions below. The Spring Zoom Season Pass costs just £15 for members or £25 for non-members*.


* To pay for the lectures as a non-member select the arrow in the white box opposite to this text, then on the drop-down menu select the non-member price of £25, next select "Buy Lectures" and follow the prompts.


Note:- The non-member price of £25 means you get the Spring Zoom Season Pass and Guild Membership, entitling you to member discounted prices for all our other spring term courses (both Zoom and Venue) until the end of April 2023.


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

Click below to see our current courses.

After receipt of payment you will receive a joining invite to each individual session which contains a session ID, password and internet link.

Note: These invites are usually sent out on the preceding day of each course.

We All Fall Down: The Eighties- an Age of Polarisation & Extremes
Tutors: Steve Millward & Frank Vigon

5 Mondays 16th, 23rd, 30th January & 6th, 13th February 2023

10.00 am - 12.00 pm

The Eighties were a period of flux and change in which tensions in society and politics were tested to breaking point. In the West arose unique, divisive but transformative leaders such as Thatcher and Reagan. We watched as strains in the Eastern Bloc brought the collapse of Iron Curtain countries; we saw the human tragedy of poverty and starvation afflict Africa; we felt the winds of political instability blow through the Middle East.


In the world of music there were no clear paths to fame or glory, with the development of a mixture of significant yet apparently clashing styles - Rappers versus New Romantics - Synth Pop versus World Music for example. Yet there was truly an era defining moment when the music world came together to produce Live Aid.


In the background a brave new world dawned in the form of  the World Wide Web - perhaps 1984 had after all come,  and we just hadn’t noticed it!

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Week 1 – 16th January 2023

Synth I Met You - The New Romantics + Synth-pop.  (SM) 

The quintessential prog-rock instrument, the synthesiser made a comeback in the early 1980s as the percussive driving force behind the fun and frivolous music of the New Romantics. It was also perfectly suited to the glossy brand of corporate pop music inspired by the market-driven policies of the Thatcher government. But it played a central part in the darker brand of pop which evolved in the early-mid-decade.

There is no Alternative - The Age of Thatcher (FV)

TINA - At the end of the Seventies British Politics had collapsed heralding in a new era with the arrival of the first woman Prime Minister. What followed was a seismic change in governance by a conviction politician who was a phenomenon in her own right. Things were never going to be the same again as consensus politics ended and Thatcherism shaped the political outlook even to the present day

Week 2 – 23rd January 2023  


Just Another Brick in the Wall - the collapse of Iron Curtain Countries (FV) 

As the Thatcher Reagan partnership blossomed, in the East the Communist grip withered and a new breed of politician emerged in the shape of Mikhail Gorbachev. Glasnost and Perestroika presented a new friendly face to the world, whilst the Berlin Wall came down and Capitalism disorientated the ex-Soviet Bloc – and it all happened too quickly.


Imagination is more important than knowledge - The Explosion of Technology (FV)

As space technology developed, cross pollination innovation took place between the stars and the everyday world. Spin off technology revolutionised the home and technology took off almost as fast an exploratory rocket. In a short space of time there was an exponential development in the evolution of television, videos, portable telephones and the birth of the World Wide Web – a social revolution was under way.

Week 3 – 30th January  

We Are The World - Live Aid and other fundraising epics + the World Music boom (SM)

No-one could have failed to be moved by the reports from Ethiopia in 1984.  Bob Geldof certainly was, and in response organised an epic two-centre concert, Live Aid, to help relieve the horrendous famine in that war-torn country. For a moment the world seemed to be united, though the motives of the participants, and the use of the funds raised, were eventually questioned. Meanwhile the music industry was discovering indigenous music around the globe.

Week 4 – 6th February 2023  

Coming Out Of The Blue - gay lib and pop music (SM)

The gay liberation movement of the 1980s was strongly reflected in pop music. Leading artists felt sufficiently confident to come out and/or expresses solidarity with LGBT organisations and events. At the same time songs became far more explicit and their accompanying videos more extreme.  Some singers built a career on their ability to shock.  The spread of HIV/AIDS could not be ignored but listening and dancing to pop music remained the perfect distraction.


Sitcoms, Soaps and Parlour games - The Age of Family Favourites (FV)

The Eighties ushered in a period of reassurance and calm in the world of entertainment. The soap became both a reflection of ‘real’ life and the antidote to an overdose of rapid social change. Coronation Street and East Enders brought a new wave of social drama replacing the staider Crossroads of a previous era. Sitcoms provided innocent laughter whilst panel games and quizzes deflected attention from agonies of a convulsing world.

Week 5 – 13th February 2023

Fade To Black - black music in the 80s - hip hop, rap, sampling. . . and Michael Jackson (SM)

As in the whole history of pop, the cutting-edge trends were to be found in black music - as in this case, hip-hop and the DJ culture in which mixing and sampling were crucial features. Rappers painted a grim and graphic picture of inner-city life, and their legacy is still being felt today, when hip-hop has become the most popular music on the planet. But there was room too for the more orthodox black superstar - one of whom released an album which sold 70 million copies – a figure that is still to be surpassed.


The Eye of the Storm – Disasters, Assassinations and the Middle East (FV)

Technology and politics collided, and disasters occurred - a plane crash over Lockerbie, a nuclear plant melted down in Russia, a spaceship exploded on take-off and fell back to earth and a large super tanker spilled 750,000 barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Alaska. Meanwhile across the world, political change and lunatic protest took the lives of famous musicians and well-known politicians. And somewhere in the Middle East, countries were riven with terrorism and war…it was indeed “interesting times”…….

Sugar Beet! - A Napoleonic Legacy
Tutor: Bob Callow

Sugar comes from the cane Saccharum officinarum and beet Beta vulgaris, a relative of spinach.  Two centuries ago, the nascent sugar beet industry was saved by Napoleon.  After Trafalgar, much of continental Europe was deprived of cane sugar from the West Indies.  Beet sugar was being extracted on a small scale by Franz Achard in Silesia.  Napoleon sent a delegation of scientists to investigate before starting two factories near Paris.  Cultivation of beet was encouraged, while imports of cane sugar were prohibited.  France remains the world’s biggest producer of sugar beet.  Modern varieties are triploid hybrids maintained by regular crossing.

Wednesday 22nd February 2023 -  1.30 pm - 3.30 pm

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The Hidden Persuaders - How Advertisers Manipulate Consumers
Tutor: Georgina Gregory

Monday 27th February 10.00 am - 12.00 pm


Sebastian Bertalanps - ://

In 1957 journalist and social critic Vance Packard wrote the book, The Hidden Persuaders. In it, he explored how advertisers used motivational research and other psychological tactics to manipulate consumers, encouraging them to purchase products and services. In this session, we look at some of the techniques used by advertising professionals to persuade us to consume. Packard argued that there are eight compelling needs capitalised on by advertisers, which are so strong that they motivate us to buy goods and services. By creating patterns of associations that elicit an emotional connection or response in the intended audience, consumers' purchasing decisions can be influenced, often in an unconscious way. Furthermore, Packard suggested that similar techniques are used to good

effect in the promotion of politicians to the electorate. We will look at some historical, as well as more recent examples of advertising to see how effectively we are being manipulated and what approaches are being used. The session will also focus on the morality of using such techniques and wider issues concerning social responsibility in the context of the advertising industry.


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Decarbonising Transportation
Tutor: Simon Webb

Thursday 9th March 10.00 am - 12.00 pm

Transportation makes up a large proportion of global and UK CO2 and general emissions.  Climate change is now having a significant effect on the planet and mankind.  The UK government has signed up to net zero by 2050.  There are many challenges to overcome to drive towards net zero.  This talk will cover some of the technology, infrastructure opportunities and challenges in moving towards this goal.


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The History of Conservatism - The Party and its Ideology
Tutor: Kevin Harrison

Wednesday 15th March 1.30 pm - 3.30 pm

Why has the Conservative Party been so successful in an era of mass democracy?  How has it been able to adapt and change?  Kevin’s talk will look at these issues, together with the failings of the Conservative Party’s opponents which have helped it to win so many elections.  Is it still the ‘natural party of government’?

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Hilary Mantel - Every Day is Mother's Day
Tutor: Creina Mansfield

Hilary Mantel, born in Hadfield, Glossop in 1952 and died in September 2022.  She was regarded as one of the greatest English language novelists of this century, winning the Booker Prize twice for Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies.  Last Autumn, Creina led a day school (with Michael Tunnicliffe) for the Guild on Wolf Hall. Her focus for this zoom session is Mantel’s first novel Every Day is Mother’s Day (published 1985).

Mother and daughter Evelyn and Muriel Axon are objects of horror to their neighbours.  They evade or terrorise any social worker who crosses their path.  Indoors, they pursue a covert persecution of each other, shrinking from the unseen occupants of their spare room.  When Muriel becomes pregnant, the question is how, as she never seems to leave the house?  The New York Times called the novel ‘a giddy cocktail of horror and gleeful anticipation.’

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Wednesday 22nd March 10.00 am - 12.00 pm

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