Talks Part 1 - I am delighted to offer the following talks:

* Bruges – it’s more than just chocolate!

* Wandering in Flanders Fields

* Wandering on The Somme

* From Passchendaele to Peace? The final twelve months of The Great War

* The Life and Times of Edith Cavell

* Parks and Gardens of Flanders

* Uncovering the Treasures of Bruges

* Ten - and More! - Famous Belgians

* Eva Braun - Victim or Contriver?

* Three Women, One Man - glamour, wealth and heartbreak

* The History of Morris Dancing

* And so to Ted ... a history of Teddies and Other Bears

* Curious Flanders – off the beaten track in Belgium. 

 

* The Belgian Royal Family – murder, madness and

 

mayhem?

 

New talks coming soon:

* Third Reich Sites Today for the Armchair Traveller

 

 



Part 1 - Talks about Belgium and France

Bruges - it's more than just chocolate - even those who know Bruges well will feel inspired to visit again.  "Our members are booking their Tunnel crossings already!" reported a delighted host.

 

"Thank you for your interesting talk, we were very keen to learn about Bruges.  Our members were impressed with your talk without notes - something very few speakers seem able to do these days.  On behalf of our WI members: thank you very much"

 

"Dear Melanie  Thank you so much for your superb presentation on Bruges on Tuesday.  We were quite spellbound by the variety of topics you mentioned during your talk as well as your beautiful pictures.  It was a fascinating lesson in another culture, encompassing its history and geography together with all the modern aspects of such an attractive city.  Many members said afterwards how they would love to re-visit it, to explore in more depth, some of what it has to offer.

 

We look forward to hearing you again as we should love to learn more from your other themes.  You are a very good presenter with clear diction, which is so important.  Thank you again for a truly memorable evening.  Margaret, Orpington"

Flanders Fields - this talk brings to life the well known and certainly the less well known First World War sites in a themed way that will appeal to all elements of the audience.  "Each time you told us something new you then came again with an entirely different angle.  Fantastic"

 

"It's great for family history background.  Research so often touches on the First World War".  "This will really help us plan our touring holiday."

 

"The topic was very well researched, she had good quality photographs and delivered her talk in a meaningful, well spoken and poignant manner".  Lyminge History Society

 

"One of the best talks we've had in years" - Military Society (best not named!), East Sussex

Uncovering the Treasures of Bruges - a talk especially designed for audiences interested in the arts, architecture and history.

 

"This is just to say how good it was to meet you last evening and how much we all appreciated your talk.  You spoke so naturally and with an obvious love of somewhere very special.  Lots of tempting reasons to visit Bruges!  You inspired us with
enthusiasm for the place - “Uncovering the Treasures of Bruges” couldn’t have been a better title." Wye Arts Association

Ten - and More! - Famous Belgians - there's some surprises in store with this wide ranging talk - and way more than just ten Belgians.  "Plenty of 'well I didn't know that' moments!". 

 

"If someone says Belgium to me, I tend to think Art, chocolates and beer, so it was interesting to hear Melanie Gibson-Barton’s talk ’Ten - and more! - Famous Belgians’ and realise there are many more reasons to be grateful to this country".  U3A

Parks and Gardens of Flanders - a wide-ranging talk appealing to garden lovers and walkers - and arm-chair gardeners!  "Lots of ideas for our garden society to visit".  See the distinctive style of Flemish gardening - and lots more - in this colourfully illustrated talk.

Wandering on The Somme - a companion talk to my Wandering in Flanders Fields talk, visiting the known and less well-known sites of The Somme to commemorate the 100th anniversary in 2016.  Be inspired by today's beautifully restored landscape that witnessed momentous days during the First World War.  Currently booking this talk for Spring 2016

From Passchendaele to Peace?  The final twelve months of The War

An illustrated talk providing an overview of the events of the final twelve months of The Great War.  From the Battle of Passchendaele, the Russian Revolution, the Germans' Spring Offensive, the arrival of the Americans, the Last Hundred Days, the Armistice in 1918, the rebuilding and the Treaty of Versailles.  Did the war end in 1918 or did it only pause?  

The Life and Times of Edith Cavell - Exploring the story of the British heroine who died in Brussels in 1915.  Presenting the experience of  regular visits to Brussels to research the hospitals and homes where Edith would have worked as well as the place of her execution - a humbling experience.  The Life and Times of Edith Cavell talk tells her story supported by photographs of existing artefacts of her life.  "Her story needed to be told and you told it!", member of Hythe Civic Society.  

See the next page for Part 2 of talks offered...

 

To book a talk call: 07900 637171 or email mgibsonbarton@toonstelling.com

 

I am delighted to accept bookings for talks in Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Essex and London - for a competitive fee plus a contribution towards petrol - I don't charge per mile.  Talks further afield are always considered - just ask.