Illustrated talks presented by author and former newspaper editor Mark Bevan

White Mischief and the Vale Royal Legacy
From the riverbanks of the Weaver to the heart of Africa, this talk follows the incredible story of Lord Delamere, of Vale Royal, possibly the last great white explorer; the man who almost single-handedly rocked the cradle of Kenya… and the impact, thousands of miles away in Cheshire, is still being felt today! And who hasn’t heard of White Mischief, the book and the film based upon murder and the indolent aristocrats of Kenya’s Happy Valley? Now, over sixty years later, Lord Delamere’s great grandson has become embroiled in a life and death drama of the 21st century.

The Real Life Downton Abbey of Cheshire
For over fifty years Oulton Park has been synonymous with the speed and thrills of motor racing. However, as the circuit’s tantalising names from the past indicate, Oulton once possessed even greater glory. Old Hall Corner, Druid’s, Deer Leap, Lodge Corner are just some of the clues. Here once stood stately Oulton Hall, the aristocratic seat of centuries to the Grey- Egertons, but what happened when the sons went marching to war? What tragedy was waiting in the wings? And when six people died here on St Valentine’s Day, 1926, did the gipsy curse come true… that one day Oulton lake would run red with blood? Later came the Americans, in their thousands and what tales! An amazing story that the finest of fiction writers could hardly conjure up.… the real life ‘Downton Abbey’!

Salt, Slavery and Cheshire
We all know of Liverpool as one of the great slave trading ports, the city where traffic in human misery made fortunes. Little or nothing to do with Cheshire we might believe. The slave traders who plied their wares to Africa, the West Indies and the Americas, Wilberforce and the Abolitionists… it’s all the stuff of history books; over the Mersey and a far away from our own backyard. But how wrong we are! Cheshire has astonishing connections. You'll be amazed at what this talk unearths.

The Clives:
Cheshire to India and Powis

Family history,, Who Do You Think You Are? Never has genealogy been more popular and accessible. Everyone has a tale to tell, but how many can match eight-hundred years of the Clives who, from a remote Cheshire farmstead, have unrelentingly climbed the ladder of fortune to the highest rungs of aristocracy and fame? And none are more famous in the history of Britain and the British Empire than ‘Clive of India’.

Murder He Wrote - The ICI Scandal
Incredible events at the formation of ICI in 1926. At the centre of the intrigue was the Cheshire chemical giant, Brunner Mond & Co, and the former head of the company, Roscoe Brunner, and his wife, who were found shot dead in a London mansion. Many questions remain, especially the role of Sir Alfred Mond, a political heavyweight who knocked on the door of greatness but never quite aspired to his ambition of becoming prime minister. What was the secret the Brunners took to the grave?

A Day Out at Tarporley Races
Take a step back in time to when Tarporley was one of the horse-racing centres of the North West. Live the thrills, spills and excitement when thousands flocked to the old course and for a few hours transformed this quiet Cheshire village. Tarporley Races may be long gone, but never to be forgotten. What stars, what stories… a guaranteed winner !

Contact: Mark Bevan: 01829-741651.