Details on talks + booking form

I offer several talks to WI, Rotary, Community organisations and church groups etc. 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 (new in 2019) 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 – institutions,  home remedies and quack doctors
  • Forgotten women – Derby County Lunatic Asylum – (New for 2020) Together with an overview of Asylum life at Mickleover meet Emma, Catherine and Margaret. 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.
  • 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 2020 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.

  • £50 – upto 10 miles
  • £55 – 11 to 15 miles
  • £60 – 16 to 20 miles
  • £65 – 21 to 25 miles


  • 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.

2 thoughts on “Details on talks + booking form

  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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