Jack Train, star of Itma, at Houghton Regis Gymkhana
October 8

Villages of North Beds

History Society member David Warner displays photos of picturesque villages including the historic lockup at Harrold, the old watermill at Bromham and the fortress mound at Yielden.

November 12

Striking Your Own Money

How traders coped with the shortage of official coinage in the 17th century. Trevor Owens of Dunstable, who has written a standard work on the numerous tokens issued in lieu of money, will illustrate his talk with photos of many local examples.

December 10

500 years of dance

Mike Ruff and partner demonstrate how dancing has evolved in England over the last 500 years. They will wear costumes of the time to add an appropriately light-hearted flavour to our December meeting, with festive snacks and our famous (non-alcoholic) fruit punch. This meeting is for MEMBERS ONLY, tickets to be purchased in advance price £5. Tickets will be on sale at our October meeting.

January 14

Victorian Action Man

Colonel Frederick Burnaby, born in Bedford in 1843, had an extraordinary career. Very tall and immensely strong, he joined the Royal Horse Guards at the age of 16. Not content with his military exploits, he used his leave to enjoy the new craze for hot-air ballooning and to travel to dangerous places, from war-torn Spain to the Sudan and the steppes of Central Asia. Julie Chandler tells the story of his many adventures.

February 11

Aspects of Ashridge

John Hockey talks about Bridget Talbot, who helped save Ashridge from development, Francis Egerton, Duke of Bridgewater, and the heraldry of Ashridge House.

March 10

Bigamy, Bankruptcy, War and Divorce

Paul Brown talks about the tangled love life of a Toddington landlady and how her colourful story was revealed by the discovery of a box of WW1 love letters.

April 14

Sex, Drugs...and Tapeworms

Popular speaker Kevin Varty uses a display of advertisements from old newspapers to illustrate his talk about remedies in Victorian times for a range of bodily concerns...everything from corsets to indigestion tablets!

May 12

Birth of a Community

A mansion belonging to Sir Gregory Page Turner, of Battlesden, once stood on land near Sundon village. Now his park, on the outskirts of Luton, is covered by houses. Alan Campbell and Richard King show the results of their extensive research into the changing face of our area.