Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Sheffield & District Family History Society - 18th March 2013

I was invited to give a talk on Monday night at the Sheffield and District Family History Society's Annual General Meeting. It was held at Cemetery Road Baptist Church which I believe is one of Sheffield's ever dwindling band of grade listed buildings

The title of the talk was 
18th March – Sheffield’s Shocking Past
Chris Hobbs recounts some of the most gruesome and grizzly episodes of Victorian Sheffield.

Well Chris Hobbs did not recount episodes from Sheffield's Victorian Past. Instead he recounted just one incident from the era, one incidentally that has not seen the "light of day" since 1869.

It is always a bit of a risk, but by doing the talk this way I was able to bring out the main themes in the book - Sheffield's Shocking Past - and also focus on a particular event and its aftermath. It was, to summarise a demonstration of how I research an article.

The meeting was very well attended with over 80 people in the audience, and at the end of the talk, I received a a very generous round of applause.And what was even nicer was that a few people came up to me at the end of the talk and said that they really enjoyed it. 

I get the impression that most authors who are invited to give talks of this nature tend to give a precis of their book and little else. Well in Sheffield’s Shocking Past there are 61 deaths and to recount all or even a few of them, would far exceed the allocated time.It is far better to construct a talk using original material, and hope by doing this, you "inform and entertain the audience"

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