Outreach: background

The Outreach Speakers Group

Since the Outreach Speakers Group (formerly known as the Community Outreach Group) began delivering talks to interested organisations in 2011, it has, to date, provided over 400 talks to 100 societies.

When we began, we imagined that we would be speaking only to district historical societies as we thought that other organisations wouldn’t be so interested in historical topics. The truth, happily, has proved to be very different. Among the groups to whom we’ve spoken, there have been 18 historical societies, with the others comprising associations such as Women’s Institutes, Mothers’ Unions, men’s societies, ladies’ groups and guilds, retirement fellowships, heritage societies, libraries, arts groups, Probus, Rotary, Soroptomist International, U3A, WEA, groups of disadvantaged people, and other social societies. All of this is very satisfying and proves that history is of interest to many sections of society.

The Outreach Speakers Group currently comprises 18 speakers: Peter Rees, Non Thomas, Bernard Lewis, Richard Lewis, Liz McSloy, Ray Savage, Anthea Symonds, Rhian Rees, John Ashley, Syd Howells, John Richards, Jeff Childs, Lynda Bryant, Bill Zajac, David Coley, Chris Jones-Jenkins, John Law, and Colin Wheldon James. Bernard Lewis, one of our most popular speakers, won’t be taking any more bookings this year owing to other commitments, but we look forward to his resuming his talks later in 2019. Sadly, two former members of this group, Rosemary Crahart and Sid Kidwell, passed away in recent years, but both were notable in their endeavours. In fact, Rosemary was our very first Outreach speaker, paving the way for the very successful team that has followed her.

Between them, the Outreach speakers have a stock of 100 talks or more that include a variety of historical topics – local, national and international – within many historical periods; these talks are delivered in a friendly and informative manner. After their talks, the speakers are willing to answer questions and take part in discussions. The Outreach speakers don’t seek a fee, but in the event of an organisation wishing to offer a fee or a sum to offset the speaker’s expenses, it is the individual speaker’s choice whether to accept or not. Some of our speakers redirect the fee to Branch funds as the Historical Association is itself a charity.

If your organisation needs to book a speaker or requires further information regarding the Outreach Speakers Group, please contact:



07971 665594

For Outreach speakers, click here


Speakers Group information

Some recent talks