P U R P O S E            P A S T             P A T T E R (Talks etc)            P H O T O S            P L A C E S             P R O G E N Y 

The "Black Swan Theory"  is one that is new to us -  Wikipedia has a really interesting article about it.

The term 'black swan' was a Latin expression —
its oldest reference being in the works of the poet 
"a good person is as rare as a black swan"
("rara avis in terris nigroque simillima cygno", 6.165).

 It was a common expression in 16th century London as a statement that describes impossibility, deriving from the old world presumption that 'all swans must be white', because all historical records of swans reported that they had white feathers . 
In that context, a black swan was something impossible, or near impossible and could not exist.

the discovery of black swans on the Swan River in Western Australia 
 in 1697,
by  Dutch expedition leader Willem de Vlamingh,
the term metamorphosed to connote that a perceived impossibility may later be found to exist.

The photograph at the top of this page was taken by Jill at Lake Rotorua, New Zealand.
An interesting link about the Black Swan in NZ can be accessed from here.

Although we are "retired", we have not stopped learning - and take every opportunity to attend lectures, talks, conferences etc. - whether run by the U3A, NADFAS, the National Trust etc etc.
The list below
covers most of talks attended from 2009 onwards (+ 2 Archaeology Courses from 2008).




19th July 2008

Introduction to Archaeology I
Dr Nick Snashall
Urchfont Manor

4th October 2008

Introduction to Archaeology II
Dr Nick Snashall
Urchfont Manor

11th March 2009

Private Schools in Georgian and Victorian Devizes
Dr. Lorna Haycock

18th March 2009

Gaudi: Sinner or Saint?
Gijs Van Hensbergen
NADFAS, Devizes

4th April 2009

Flemish Weavers in Wiltshire
Dr. Negley Harte

18th April 2009
The Past in Pieces - Archaeology I
Stone Tools
Dr Nick Snashall
Urchfont Manor

20th April 2009
The Work of the Wiltshire Air Ambulance

Charles Darwin and the Voyage of HMS Beagle
U3A Industrial Awareness

James Taylor KVNTA

7th May 2009

Organic Farming
Helen Browning
Moonraker Probus

18th May 2009

Wadworths, Devizes


20th May 2009
The Life Enchancing Garden -
Art Appreciation in the Design of Gardens
Dr Laura de Beden
NADFAS, Devizes

4th June 2009

Macular Degeneration and Eye Diseases
David Morris
Moonraker Probus

9th June 2009

Stonehenge Excavations 2008 - Secrets Revealed
Prof. Geoffrey Wainwright

2nd July 2009

The Dissenters of Devizes
Tony Sedgwick
Moonraker Probus

8th July 2009

Cheesecakes from Wiltshire and Devizes
Dave Buxton

13th July 2009

Wiltshire Dialect
Hugh Burn
U3A Local History Group

15th July 2009

Grieg and his house in Bergen
Janet Canetty-Clarke
NADFAS, Devizes

3rd September 2009

Local Dialects
Norman Rogers
Moonraker Probus
11th September 2009
Campaign for the Preservation of Rural England

Trust for Devizes
14th September 2009
Historical Walk around Devizes

John Girvan
21st September 2009
Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Training Centre
Organised by U3A
Industrial Awareness Group

9th October 2009

Devizes Ghost Walk

John Girvan

10th October 2009
The Past in Pieces - Archaeology III
Dr Nick Snashall
Urchfont Manor

11th March 2010

Michael Ancram
Trust for Devizes

15th March 2010

Hampton Court Palace
Robert Fromow

17th March 2010
"All Done on Ginger Beer  - the Creation of Eno, the Royal Ballet and the National Theatre"

Dr Simon Thurley, Chief Executive of English Heritage
Sarah Lenton

WANHS Annual Dinner

1st April 2010

Magistrates in the Community
Richard Giles
Moonraker Probus

19th April 2010

Under Devizes
John Girvan

21st April 2010
The Dregs of the People Remain
- the Black Death and its Aftermath

The Anglo-Saxon Cemetery
at Blacknall Field, Pewsey
Imogen Corrigan
NADFAS, Devizes

Dr Bruce Eagles

3rd May 2010
Glass Engraving
Picture Framing
The Manor
Okehampton, Devon

17th May 2010

English 20th Century Gardens
Joy Lee

19th May 2010

Great Tarts in Art: High Culture & the Oldest Profession
Linda Smith
NADFAS, Devizes

3rd June 2010

The John Lewis Partnership
John Stott
Moonraker PROBUS

4th - 6th June 2010
The Stonehenge Landscape
3 day Archaeology Course with one day field trip.
Dr Nick Snashall
Urchfont Manor

6th June 2010
Ancient English Churches and their relationship
to medieval society and life
Jon Cannon
Devizes Festival

9th June 2010

Crossword Puzzles and the English Language:
Tim Moorey
Devizes Festival

11th June 2010

The Kennet & Avon Canal Trust
Mike Rodd
Trust for Devizes

16th June 2010

Sculpture in the Landscape
Dr Laura de Beden
NADFAS, Devizes

21st June 2010

The National Trust's Strategy: Looking Forward
Nicola Andrews

1st July 2010
An Unlikely Partnership:
Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal
Graham Billing
Moonraker PROBUS

9th July 2010

The Rollright Stones

Our own visit

10th July 2010

The History of Grain
My own research
(unable to go to WAHNS talk)

14th July 2010
St. Aldhelm - The Greatest Englishman Ever, Possibly. Jim Gunter

16th July 2010

"Traitors: Philby, McLean & others"
Paul Booy - U3A Meeting
and own research

19th July 2010
Conservation in a Changing World - lecture by the National Trust's Historic Properties' Director Sarah Staniforth

20th July 2010
A Journey of Discovery
Dr Nick Snashall
National Trust

21st July 2010

L.S. Lowry - A Visionary Artist
Michael Howard
NADFAS + own research

30th July 2010

Glaciers and Fjords
David Buscott
aboard mv Discovery

August 2010
Improve your Photography
(a course of lectures)
Philip Lawson/Janet Edwards
aboard mv Discovery

August 2010

A series of lectures on the Vikings
Greg Neale & Sir James Hodge
aboard mv Discovery

August 2010
Geology -
Overview concentrating on Iceland & Greenland
Tony Waltham
aboard mv Discovery

August 2010

The Inuit - their culture, history and future
Elizabeth Cassell
aboard mv Discovery

August 2010
2 Music Lectures -
Looking at influences on South American Classical Music
Simon Dunbavand
aboard mv Discovery

2nd September 2010

Sustainable and Realistic Options
for Domestic and National Energy

Bruno Brenninkmeijer
Moonraker PROBUS

2nd September 2010

Stonehenge Open  Access Visit
David Dawson

14th September 2010

We gave a talk on Australia

St. Andrew'sTuesday Fellowship

18th September 2010

Dr Faustus
Christopher Marlowe
Royal Exchange, Manchester

20th September 2010

The Marlborough Mound
Dr Joshua Pollard
 @ Marlborough College

25th September 2010

The History of Surnames
Professor David Hey
WAHNS Fundraising Lecture

27th September 2010

The Impressionists: Gaugin, Van Gogh & Degas

Tim Marlowe DVD
U3A Art Appreciation Group

5th October 2010

"Love Never Dies"
Andrew Lloyd Webber
The Adelphi, Strand,London

7th October 2010

Avebury Manor
Ann King
Moonraker PROBUS

9th October 2010
A Wheelbarrow Full of Surprises
(re-considering burial relics)
John Hunter
WANHS AGM lecture

23rd October 2010
"Female Transport" - play about women convicts
enroute to Australia in 19th Century
Steve Gooch
Wharf Theatre, Devizes

24th October 2010

Stone Tools Workshop
Dr Nick Snashall

25th October 2010

Charles Rennie Macintosh
Angie Rogers
U3A Art Appreciation Group

4th November 2010

The Paper Industry
Ted Roache
Moonraker PROBUS

6th  November 2010

The Defence of Wessex in the Viking Age
Dr. Stuart Brookes

9th November 2010

We gave a talk on Australia

Devizes Rotary Club at the Black Swan

10th November 2010

The Life of Sir John Lubbock, Lord Avebury
Adrian Green
15th  November 2010
The Titanic
Alan Aldridge

17th November 2010

Posters of La Belle Epoque
Charles Harris
NADFAS Devizes

November 2010

The Slave Trade

Kieran O’Cuneen
aboard mv Discovery

November 2010
Geology of the Atlantic and its seaboard
(where relevant)

John Brinkley
aboard mv Discovery

Nov/Dec 2010

Maritime Exploration of the New World

Steve Ragnall
aboard mv Discovery

Nov/Dec 2010

Digital Photography and tips on  I.T.

David Pedler
aboard mv Discovery

8th January 2011

Gleanings from Wiltshire Parish Records
Steve Hobbs

10th January 2011

The Kennet and Avon Canal (video)
Local History Group
Devizes U3A

12th January 2011

Deeper under Devizes
John Girvan

17th January 2011

Tyntesfield - the house and family

Terry Steven

19th January 2011
"Carmen, Fatal Attraction" -
the story of this classic with piano accompaniment
Jonathan Hinden

19th January 2011

A Policeman's Story -including undercover work
Trevor Hill
Wiltshire Ladies' Club

24th January 2011

Paul Day, Sculptor (Battle of Britain Memorial etc)
U3A Art Appreciation Group

25th January 2011

"The King's Speech"
David Seidler & Tom Hooper
Palace Cinema Devizes

5th February 2011

The Marvellous Marden Henge
Jim Leary

9th February 2011

The Fine Rolls Project
Dr Paul Dryburgh

16th February 2011

Gainsborough & Bath - High Society & the Season
Mary Alexander

21st February 2011

Arica and Chile
Gavin Mather
aboard MV Discovery

22nd February 2011

The Making of Modern Chile
Sally Bowen
aboard MV Discovery

22nd February 2011
James Cook & the search
for the unknown southern continent

aboard MV Discovery

22nd February 2011

General San Martin & Peru
Gavin Mather
aboard MV Discovery

24th February 2011

The Unlikely Mr. Fujimori
Sally Bowen
aboard MV Discovery

24th February 2011

Lima and Peru
Gavin Mather
aboard MV Discovery

5th March 2011

The Galapagos Tortoise

Aboard MV Galapagos III

7th & 9th March 2011
PANAMA & Travels in South America
including High Andes to the Amazon
John Penney
aboard MV Discovery

February/March 2011

A Second Course of Photography Lectures
Philip Lawson/Janet Edwards
aboard mv Discovery

28th March 2011

6th Form girls from St. Mary's, Calne
Presentations at
U3A Art Appreciation Group

29th March 2011

 Devizes Wharf and Canal  Museum
Peter Jordan
Kennet & Avon Trust

31st March 2011

Exciting Happenings at Avebury

Avebury Manor Library

5th April 2011

Children's Hospice, South West
Tamara Downes
St. Andrew's Wives Group

14th September 2010

We gave a talk on Australia

St. Andrew'sTuesday Fellowship

7th April 2011

Wiltshire Farm Foods
Sue Hunt - Franchise Manager
Moonraker PROBUS

18th April 2011

Little Imber on the Down

Rex Sawyer

20th April 2011

The Punch and Judy Show
Bertie Pearce
NADFAS + own research

30th April 2011
Archaeological walk to Lidbury Camp & other sites, led by former County Archaeologist Roy Canham

Roy Canham

5th May 2011
Jill gave an impromptu talk on Dyslexia and being Head of a Special Needs School when the speaker failed to turn up!
Moonraker PROBUS

16th May 2011

Whales and Dolphins
Bernard Purrier

17th May 2011

Local Dialects
Norman Rogers
St. Andrew's Wives Group

18th May 2011

Kew Gardens
Celia Fisher

2nd June 2011

We gave a talk on Australia + packing and general travel tips

Moonraker PROBUS

6th June 2011
Treasure and Archaeological Research
The Frome Hoard and the work of the Portable Antiquities Scheme - a licence to loot or archaeological rescue?
Roger Bland (Head of the Portable Antiquities Scheme, British Museum)
WAHNS/Devizes Festival

9th June

The Constable Exhibition, Salisbury

WAHNS Outing

5th July 2011

Highgrove tour


7th July 2011

The Filming of Larkrise
Mike Pope
Moonraker PROBUS

18th July 2011

Changes at the Theatre Royal, Bath
Jane Tapley

12th September 2011

Law & Order in Wiltshire 
Marlene Lewis
Devizes U3A Local History Group

14th September 2011

Salisbury Cathedral
Jon Cannon

September 2011

We gave a talk on Greenland and Dubai

St. Andrew'sTuesday Fellowship

6th October 2011

The Use of Herbs
Christina Stapley
Moonraker PROBUS

15th October 2011

The Country House System
Negley Harte for Prof. F.M.L. Thompson

17th October 2011

Family History, Local History, and Wiltshire Villages
Michael Marshman

29th October 2011

West Country Carriers and Stage Coaches before and after turnpiking (1640-1780)
Dorian Gerhold

Early November 2011

Israel, Jerusalem and the Palestinian Question - 3 lectures
Dr Ghada Karmi
onboard MV Discovery

Early November 2011

The Golden Age of Greece
Robert Scott
onboard MV Discovery

Early November 2011

Lectures on Rhodes and other ports of call
David Baskott
onboard MV Discovery

21st November 2011

Counting the Miles - the history and study of milestones
Brian and Ann King

21st December 2011

Frost Fairs on the Frozen Thames
Nicholas Reed
NADFAS Devizes

5th January 2012

Brian and Ann King
Moonraker PROBUS

11th April 2012

What Makes Devizes Special?
Lorna Haycock

11th April 2012

Jill gave a talk on Dyslexia and Special Needs

Devizes Evening W.I. Group

15th May 2012

We spoke on Myanmar

St. Andrew's Ladies' Evening Group

16th May 2012

The History of the Chair - from anicent to modern times
Janusz Karczewski-Slowikowski
NADFAS Devizes

21st May 2012

No Knickers - Tudor Life in the West Country
Jenny Peel

7th June 2012

Metal Detecting (bought rings) - in water, in Spain and France
John Clark
Moonraker PROBUS

16th June 2012

John Humphrys Talk
Devizes Festival
Corn Exchange

18th June 2012

The Kingfisher
David Boag

20th June 2012

Art for An Afterlife: Ancient Egyptian Tomb Scenes and Funerary Goods
Lucia Gahlin
NADFAS Devizes

16th July 2012

Confessions of a Theatrical Landlady
Jane Tapley

2nd August 2012

From Airfields to Space Shuttles
Tony King
Moonraker PROBUS