Zoom talks available

TALKS – in person talks have thankfully been resumed. Taking booking for 2022

From July 2020 I have been delivering talks via ZOOM – these talks can be tailored between 25 to 50 minutes, plus questions. A popular combination via Zoom is 30 minutes talk and 5 items from my household quizzes – approx 45 / 50 minutes in total.
Please contact me for details.

Currently planning two more history talks. All my presentations have a connection to a family ancestor. My ancestors stories cover a whole range of emotions from joy to sadness.

Please take the best care you can to help you stay safe, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sending best wishes,

I offer several talks to WI, Rotary, Community organisations and church groups etc. The booking form is at the bottom of this page. For a list of previous bookings please click here.

Talks available

  • Annoying ancestorsAn anecdotal tale of what to look for and pitfalls to avoid when looking for your ancestors.
  • Australian gold rush – How some of our ancestors left these shores to go to a brave new world and seek their fortune. Many never to return home again.
  • Before the welfare state the talk mainly covers houses of correction, the workhouse, home remedies and quack doctors.
  • Forgotten women – Derby County Lunatic Asylum, Mickleover (New for 2021) – Together with an overview of the Asylum and the life within the walls you will meet Emma and Catherine and hear their story. You will also learn about Alice and Maud, who ‘recovered’ and returned to their everyday lives.
  • History of the postcardA potted history of the humble postcard and place in social history. This includes a look at a collection of saucy seaside cartoon postcards.
  • How many children!!! – A look at large families in the 19th century and the implications for the parents, especially the mothers. (New for 2021)
  • The last English nobleman hanged for murder A tale of wealth, marriage, separation and a murder, centred on Staunton Harold Hall, Leicestershire and The Palace of Westminster.

What is it Quiz 

Each quiz is a collection of 20 bygone household items – can you guess what they are?

  • What is it Quiz  – Set 1 
  • What is it Quiz – Set 2
  • What is it Quiz – Set 3
  • What is it Quiz – Set 4
  • What is it Quiz – Set 5 (new in 2019)
  • What is it Quiz – Set 6 (new for 2020)

Fee 2022 inc travel mileage to venue – Please call to discuss fees or mention any concerns in the comments section of booking contact form.

Happy to travel further than the 25 miles (50 round trip) as may be able to combine with a trip to the area. Thank you.

  • Zoom meetings £50
  • £55 – up to 10 miles
  • £60 – 11 to 15 miles
  • £65 – 16 to 20 miles
  • £70 – 21 to 25 miles

For large groups, conferences, please call to discuss.


  • I provide all the necessary equipment for the talks/quizzes, i.e. projector, laptop, screen, extension lead, quiz sheets and pencils.


  • All talks / quizzes last approximately 45 – 50 minutes – plus time for questions / answers. Please contact me to discuss timings as all the above can be tailored to suit your needs.



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2 thoughts on “Zoom talks available

  1. David Parnell 16 April, 2019 / 8:43 pm

    Fascinated by yr comments about Mickleover & Catherine. Found your interesting site by accident, doing Google search on the asylum, having just discovered in my ancestry forays that my great grandmother, Clara Howard nee Eyre of Chesterfield, died there in 1923. Her husband promptly remarried the following year (!). This had all apparently been kept v quiet in the family as we were totally unaware till today. Like you over Catherine, we wonder what the story was, so might consider consulting the archives. Wonder if you have taken the step?
    All the best,


    • thecuriouspast 18 April, 2019 / 10:35 am

      Hello David
      I am planning a visit med to the end of May for further research. They have planned electrical work until 10 May which may affect retrieving the archives. I do have all the information I need re Catherine, just require the time to type it up. It may be hard finding an admission date the register available online only goes up to 1912. Do you know what year she was admitted – if you do I am happy to have a look in the ledgers when I am up there. The case notes aren’t easy reading but the admission notes give quite a lot of background and physical descriptions. Kind regards Gay


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