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Shaftesbury Snowdrops Study Day 2019

The Galanthophiles –   Snowdrop Devotees – 1854 -2014

Jane Kilpatrick and Jennifer Harmer


Our lecture will be based on the research we did for our book The Galanthophiles – Snowdrop Devotees -1854-2014. As we wrote up the lives of our chosen galanthophiles, we discussed the various snowdrop introductions as they occurred and so the book also became a history of the snowdrop in cultivation. We have been able to sort out the provenance of the historically muddled naming of some plants. In this lecture, we will discuss some of our most interesting discoveries and show some of the photos we particularly like but could not use in the book.


Jane Kilpatrick is an historian whose previous books, Gifts from the Gardens of China (2007) and Fathers of Botany (2014), tell the stories of the individuals who worked so hard from 1700 to 1914 to introduce Chinese plants to our parks and gardens. Her garden in Gloucestershire is full of Chinese plants but, once it began to fill up with snowdrops, she became fascinated by the stories of galanthophiles and began researching their lives.

Jennifer Harmer is the Historian of the Hardy Plant Society and a founder member of Hampshire Plant Heritage. She has always been interested in the lives of ‘ordinary’ gardeners whose knowledge and plant selection skills have done so much to increase the range of plants available to us today. When she discovered how quickly even the best known gardeners are forgotten, she began to collect information and photographs for her lectures. She gardens in Hampshire.


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Averil Opperman at Ironbridge Gorge Museums – Friday 4 January 2019

Local author Averil Douglas Opperman will be discussing two inspiring Quaker women, Elizabeth Fry and Deborah Darby, at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum on Friday 4th January. Averil, who published the story of Elizabeth Fry, While it is Yet Day, in 2015, will talk about her Quaker childhood in Dublin which led to her fascination with the Quaker reformer. Elizabeth was in turn influenced by Deborah Darby, another fascinating woman whose brother-in-law Abraham Darby III built the famous iron bridge. At 5.30pm Averil will be leading a special guided tour of the Darby houses (weather permitting) – the talk will start at 7pm. Email for more information.

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Kenneth Womack and Jamie Bowman discuss “Sound Pictures – The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin – Volume Two – The Later Years 1966 – 2016

The life of Sir George Martin was so filled and fascinating it took two books to cover it; from his humble beginnings following WW2, to propelling the likes of The Beatles and Cilla Black to super stardom through his captivating producing and guidance.

SOUND PICTURES offers a powerful glimpse into the mind, the music, and the man behind the sound of the Beatles. As Martin and the Beatles created one landmark album after another, including such masterworks as Revolver, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles (The White Album), and Abbey Road, the internal stakes and interpersonal challenges become ever greater. Now, more than 50 years later, Martin’s singular stamp remains on popular music as successive generations discover the magic of the Beatles.

Author Ken Womack discusses his stunning biography with Jamie Bowman at an evening not to be missed for any self-respecting Beatles fan.

Please join us at Liverpool Waterstones for an evening of musical conversation and detailed accounts of the late and great Sir George and how he influenced music production for decades to come.

When? 11th October, 6:30 pm

Where? Liverpool Waterstones

Further details: 0151 709 9820

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Kenneth Womack in conversation for the ‘A Word in Your Ear’ podcast with David Hepworth and Jon Savage

Kenneth Womack is the guest of David Hepworth and Jon Savage for the live recording of their acclaimed ‘A Word in Your Ear’ podcast. They will be discussing his new title, ‘Sound Pictures’, which explores the life of George Martin, producer of The Beatles and a key influence on iconic albums including Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club, The White Album and Abbey Road. It’s sure to be a compelling and in depth conversation recalling the pivotal role Martin played in this turbulent period for the band.

To attend the event please visit or download the podcast shortly after.

When ? 15th October, 7.00pm – 9.30pm

Where ? The Islington Pub N1

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Meet the Author – Fiona Cooke at Waterstones, Kings Road, SW3

Fiona Cooke, respected maternity nurse and author of A Helpful Guide to a Happy Baby, will be signing books, answering questions, sharing tips and tricks to help you establish relaxed, respectful routines and demonstrating swaddling and baby massage.

Join us for a Baby and Bump brunch – bumps and babies welcome!

When? Thursday 20 September at 10.30 am

Where? Waterstones, Kings Road, SW3

Free admission, books available to buy at the event



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Kenneth Womack at International Beatleweek 2018

We’re delighted to announce that our wonderful author, Kenneth Womack, will be delivering a talk at this year’s International Beatleweek. Join us for the Annual Beatles Convention at Liverpool’s Cavern Club this August and pick up a copy of Sound Pictures, part two in the biography of Sir George Martin.

Where? The Derby Suite, Adelphi Hotel

When? 2pm

International Beatleweek

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Averil Opperman at Florence Nightingale Museum – 2pm

Two Great Women – a talk by author Averil Douglas Opperman

It is astonishing that the lives of two such remarkable women – Florence Nightingale and Elizabeth Fry – should have crossed. They came from similar backgrounds and, driven by something powerful within, fought the social restraints of the day to forge their places in history.

The plight of the poor, the homeless and the sick stirred both women when very young and prepared them for the work that lay ahead. Turning their backs on society, on music and dancing, they entered worlds considered way beneath their social class.

Hear how the older Elizabeth Fry, gentle Quaker prison reformer, influenced the independent, feisty younger woman and how both could teach 21st century women a thing or two today.

When? 15 September at 2pm

Where? Florence Nightingale Museum

No booking required

Free with admission