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You are here Past Speakers 2011/12        
Diana Owen - Reinventing the Birthplace - 16th April 2012


Re-inventing the Birthplace  

Dr Diana Owen, Director of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust will be guest speaker at the Stratford upon Avon Society’s next meeting

Monday evening, 16 April 7.30pm in the Falcon Hotel

Dr Diana Owen, Director of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and David Hopes will talk about the origins of the Trust and the challenge it faces.

The Trust is a private charity and has to keep up with changing technology to sustain its income. Applications for hand-held ipads and other communication devices are already widely used and members will be introduced to the Trust’s new ‘app’ which uses material from the archives and virtual reality to guide visitors round the Trust’s properties and the town.

Peter Jefferson - The Voice of the Shipping Forecast - 5th March 2012

An impressive number of Stratford Society members turned out for the AGM of the Stratford Society on Monday 5 March.

Following the official business of the evening, members and guests were treated to a talk by Peter Jefferson covering his 40 years’ experience with the BBC, principally reading the Shipping Forecast.

Peter’s early aspirations were to become an actor and he enrolled at RADA with this in mind, but this ambition was modified by joining the BBC and eventually becoming the beloved voice of the Shipping Forecast. He reflected that in the early 19th century we began to get huge loss of lives at sea so in 1854 the forecasting system was devised, and so became the essential broadcast of sailors and fishermen for vital information of what was happening to seas around the country over the following 24 hours.

Peter read amusing anecdotes of his experiences in the role, interspersed with spoof announcements (spot the difference!) and read out an impressive role call of the great and good with whom he had worked. Comments from the floor illustrated how vital the broadcasts were, even for amateur sailors, and those suffering from insomnia…