Breathing Life into History
Danny Wells
Danny's talks and courses celebrate the history of the Victorian age.
There is also a strong focus on the Derbyshire Dales, Staffordshire Moorlands & London's East End.
His aim is to unlock the past, discovering, stimulating and creating a greater understanding of these areas.

 

Forthcoming Events

TALKS

Ashbourne Arts Festival 2014

Art of the Garden
(One Hundred Years of Gardens in British Art c.1850-1950)

Date: Monday 23 June 2014 (7.00-9.00pm)

Venue: Both talks to take place at All Saints Community Hall (Catholic Church), Belle Vue, Ashbourne DE6 1AT

To book: contact Ashbourne Arts Festival or Ashbourne Tourist Information.

.……….

Lest We Forget
(One Hundred Years of Remembrance and Commemoration)

Date: Tuesday 1 July 2014 (7.00-9.00pm)

Venue: Both talks to take place at All Saints Community Hall (Catholic Church), Belle Vue, Ashbourne DE6 1AT

To book: contact Ashbourne Arts Festival or Ashbourne Tourist Information.

………….

 

GUIDED TOURS

Ashbourne Arts Festival 2014

Catherine Booth born in Ashbourne Tour

Dates: Friday 27 June 2014 (7.00-8.30pm) or Thursday 3 July 2014 (11.00 am-12.30pm)

Venue: Meet outside Ashbourne Town Hall, Market Place, DE6 1ES

To book: Contact Ashbourne Arts Festival or Ashbourne Tourist Information.

 

 

COURSES


An Appreciation of the Derbyshire Dales and the Staffordshire Moorlands

The Course: The Derbyshire Dales and the Staffordshire Moorlands are areas of great beauty and fascinating variety. The course offers an understanding of the area through its architecture, art, history, work and landscape. There will be a focus on the 18th and 19th Centuries seeking the legacies of both the Romantic Movement and the Gothic Revival. It is intended to include a fieldtrip to the market town of Leek the ‘Queen of the Moorlands.’

Dates: Commencing.Tuesday 23 Sept; 30/9; (Wed. 8/Oct. Fieldtrip to Leek); 14/10; 21/10; 28/10/14 (11.00am-1.00pm)-ie.Five Tuesdays plus one Wednesday fieldtrip.

Venue: All Saints Community Hall (Catholic Church), Belle Vue, Ashbourne

To book: Contact Derby WEA (01332-291805); derbyoffice@wea.org.uk.

………….

 

The Great War: shattered Illusions

The Course: 2014 marks the centenary of the First World War. This war involved upwards of 70 million combatants and witnessed the loss of over eight million people. Yet across nations there were people of all classes who greeted the war with enthusiasm and millions enlisted voluntarily. The course will investigate some of the reasons for this, exploring the romanticised image of war on the run-up to 1914 and some of the shattered illusions thereafter. This will include studying the art of the war, the work of the soldier-poets, as well as looking at some First World War Memorials.

Plus a fieldtrip to the National Memorial Arboretum, Lichfield is planned for Sat. 11 October 2014.

Commencing.Tuesday 23 Sept; 30/9; (Sat. 11 Oct. Fieldtrip to NMA); 14/10; 21/10; 28/10/14 (7.00-9.00pm)-ie.Five Tuesdays plus one Saturday fieldtrip).

Venue: All Saints Community Hall (Catholic Church), Belle Vue, Ashbourne

To book: Contact Derby WEA (01332-291805); derbyoffice@wea.org.uk.

………………..

 

Darkest England and the Way Out
(Victorian East End of London)

In the 1870’s and 1880’s the East End of London was seen as a seething cauldron of poverty, crime, disease and despair. Explore the efforts of Dr. Barnardo, the Booth’s Salvation Army, Canon and Henrietta Barnett, Frederick Charrington, Annie Besant and others in their attempts here to reform or redeem society. Delve into the sociological, religious, political and aesthetic issues of the time.

DATES: Sunday 23 –Tuesday 25 November 2014

VENUE: Higham Hall, Bassenthwaite Lake, Cockermouth, Cumbria, CA13 9SH;

TO BOOK: Higham Hall, 017687 76276; www.highamhall.com

 

 

 

New Talks and Tours in the pipeline

Illustrated Talks:

- Christmas Carol and Dickens

- Flowers in Art

 

 

CRUISE TALKS

Famous Victorians

The course will look at five ‘movers and shakers’ of the Victorian Age. We will explore their work and achievements, analyse their qualities and assess their effectiveness in their respective fields:

  • Joseph Paxton, ‘The busiest man in England.’- engineering and architecture;
  • Florence Nightingale, ‘The Lady with the Lamp’ –nursing and army reforms;
  • Catherine Booth, ‘The Mother of the Salvation Army’ –poverty, religion and social reform;
  • Thomas Cook, ‘The Julius Caesar of modern travel’ – popular tourism;
  • Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India-imperialism, politics, conservation;

DATES: Monday 7 – Monday 21 July 2014

VENUE: ‘Boudicca’- Greenland’s Glaciers and Great Lakes Cruise
 
TO BOOK: Fred Olsen’s Cruise Lines 0808 256 7721

 

 

BOOKS

I am currently seeking publication for the following book:

EAST OF POPLAR IN MANDALAY
Lives at the heart of Empire 1888-1951

Summary

This is the story of James George Wells, otherwise known as Pop from Wells’s Junk Shop in the East India Dock Road, Poplar. He was born in the ‘Ashbucket’ (Mason’s Arms) in 1918 during the First World War. Conscripted for the next war at the age of 21, he spent the Second World War fighting in atrocious conditions in the Burma Campaign, before being finally wounded not far from Mandalay. Six years after leaving, he was to return to a very different Poplar to the one he had left.

The underlying theme is that of Empire and imperialism and its influence on the culture and events of the time. Pop’s life and times whether he was fully conscious of it or not, was shaped in so many different ways by Empire.

The book explores the wider social and cultural history of Britain especially that of the East End of London, featuring Poplar in particular. The main focus is on the turbulent late Victorian period and the first half of the twentieth century up until the Festival of Britain in 1951

 

Catherine Booth-‘The Mother of the Salvation Army ’

I am currently working on a book on the life and achievements of Catherine Booth. If you have relevant information of interest, I should be pleased to hear from you.