Talks offered - I am delighted to provide the following talks:

* Bruges – it’s more than just chocolate! 

* Ostend - it's more than just fish and flip-flops

* Wandering in Flanders Fields

* Wandering on The Somme

* Passchendaele to Peace? - did the War end in 1918 or did it only pause?

* The Life and Times of Edith Cavell

* Parks and Gardens of Flanders

* 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

* Murder, Madness and Mayhem – the Belgian Royal Family


* Suffragettes and Suffragists Votes for women


* Elizabeth Barton - The Maid of Kent - 1506 - 1534 


* From Princess to Queen - from childhood to coronation 2 June 1953


* A Spy for Love - winning love through espionage


* Uncovering the Treasures of Bruges

* Ten - and More! - Famous Belgians


* Relics of World War II in Europe - for the armchair traveller

* Curious Flanders – off the beaten track in Belgium 

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.  


The talk gives insight into another culture, encompassing the history and geography, together with all the modern aspects of the attractive city.  For audience members that have visited Bruges the talk will bring back memories and will show that there is much more to see in this city to inspire a return visit to explore in more depth.  The talk has been described as ‘given without recourse to notes, with clear diction and with humour’. 

"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" Margaret, Orpington


Wandering in 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.  Be inspired by today's beautifully restored landscape that witnessed momentous days during the First World War.  The talk contains other sights to see in the beautiful Somme area of France – be assured it’s “way more than the usual mud and trenches”.  

West Sussex Federation of Women’s Institutes requested this talk for their Annual Council Meeting.  Afterwards women shared the moving stories of their fathers and grandfathers.  


A Spy for Love

Hear the story of an honourable man who turned to espionage to win the heart of the woman he loved and learn how his actions affect us today.



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. 

"You keep the attention of your audience every minute of the presentation" member of Loose History Society. 


Image Courtesy of Barts Health Archives and Museums


See the next page for further talks offered...


To book a talk call: 07900 637171 or email


My base is in the South East but I am always delighted to travel further afield and charge a competitive, inclusive fee - I don't charge per mile - just ask.