All our talks take place online, using Zoom. Please book your place in good time; although we aim to make recordings of these talks available after the event, this will always be subject to the technological gods favouring us.

Thursday 22 April 2021, 7.30pm

A new Flora of Sutton Park by Prof. Ian Trueman

The Park is a nationally significant refuge for many plant species which are uncommon in the English midlands. The Botanical Society of Birmingham and the Black Country has been working on a new Flora to celebrate this unique site and to place it in the context of its previous 19th and 20th century Floras. The talk will hopefully increase your appreciation of this special site and will outline the new book which is planned for publication in 2021. 

To book your place at this talk please register here:

Thursday 6 May 2021, 7.30pm

Goffe & Sons (Mineral water factory) of Duke Street, Sutton Coldfield by Alex Goffe

We are awaiting confirmation from the speaker that this talk will go ahead. We will open booking as soon as we can.

All talks are free to attend though we welcome donations to cover our costs and enable us to put on more talks in the future.

We are very grateful to the Rotary Club of Wylde Green for their support enabling this series of talks to run online.


Thursday 21 January 2021, 7.30pm

The church on the hill – a whistlestop history of Holy Trinity Parish Church Sutton Coldfield by Stella Thebridge

The story of this Grade I listed building begins uncertainly in the thirteenth century and unfolds over succeeding centuries to reveal a church consistently at the heart of its community adapting to national and local changes, while remaining a place for worship and community activity.  Stella Thebridge draws on the rich resources of earlier writers as well as contemporary local historians to highlight this fascinating story, as recounted in two recent complementary publications – a guide book and a church history, both in full colour.  The books represent the culmination of a Heritage Lottery funded project at the church which enabled new research to be undertaken to inform these two books which bring the history up to date following a sensitive refurbishment of the church interior in 2016-18.

You can re-watch this event here:

Holy Trinity, Sutton Coldfield : the story of a parish church and its people, 1250-2020 Edited by Stella Thebridge is available to borrow from several libraries in Sutton Coldfield and wider Birmingham. Click here for details on how to purchase your own copy.

Thursday January 28 2021, 7.30pm

‘Tales yet to be Told,’ featuring new strange ghost stories of Sutton Coldfield from Patrick Hayes

Several books by Patrick are available through the Birmingham Library system, including Ghost Stories of Sutton Coldfield. Patrick will be letting us know how we can purchase his new book during his talk.

You can re-watch this event here:

Thursday 4 February 2021, 7.30pm

Pugin’s Passion – The Legacy of Faith

A brief overview of the history of  St Mary’s College, Oscott and the role of the foremost gothic revivalist – Augustus Welby Pugin – had on the college and the legacy that has been left today. This talk will be given by Naomi Johnson, Curator, St Mary’s College, Oscott

The recording of this talk is available to view here:

Several books about Oscott College are available through the library service, including this one at Boldmere Library.

Thursday 18 February 2021, 7.30pm

The Archaeology of Sutton Coldfield beyond the Park by Dr Mike Hodder

From Palaeolithic flints to tree-ring dating 18th century farm buildings, and everything in between.

The recording of this talk is available to view here:

You may also enjoy this previous talk given by Mike, on the archaeology of Sutton Park:

Thursday 4 March 2021, 7.30pm

A brief, illustrated history of Moor Hall by a senior member of staff from Moor Hall Hotel

The recording of this talk is available to view here:

How to create the perfect wife by Wendy Moore

Thomas Day was an 18th-century poet and philanthropist. He campaigned against slavery, spent his money on good works and was a member of the Lunar Society of scientists and intellectuals based in the Midlands. Day’s quest to find a perfect woman was rather less admirable. In 1769 he chose two orphans from the London Foundling Hospital in order to educate them both and choose the best pupil to become his wife. As part of this plan, he sent his preferred pupil, Sabrina Bicknell, to school in Sutton Coldfield. Naturally, Day’s scheme to create his perfect wife did not end well.
Wendy Moore reveals the story of Day’s bizarre quest as told in her book How to Create the Perfect Wife.

Wendy Moore is a journalist and author of five non-fiction books. Her third book, How to Create the Perfect Wife, was published in 2013. Her most recent book, Endell Street: The Trailblazing Women who ran World War One’s Most Remarkable Military Hospital, was a Radio 4 Book of the Week. Wendy is a Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund based at the British Library. More information on and on twitter @wendymoore99

The recording of this talk is available to view here: