Our popular WHS Talks are held at the Balsam Centre, Balsam Park BA9 9HB (accessed from Memorial Hall Car Park), usually on the last Wednesday evening of the month.

Doors open 6.30pm with the talk starting at 7pm. Our 9 talks throughout the year range widely, covering local and national topics such as the Roman Villa at the Newt, life of a local vet in 20th century, restoration of Earl of Shaftesbury’s house, the Nuremburg Trials.

A brief round-up of previous talks are available if you click the “Previous Talks” button further down this page.

The programme is being constantly developed so do revisit this site, check out our Instagram or Facebook and look out for our eye-catching posters in various locations around the town advising forthcoming subjects.

Entry Charges (per person):
Members and under 18s: free
Non-members: £10.00

From time to time Special Talks are being booked. The venue for these is the Memorial Hall. Last year we heard from John Blashford-Snell, and enjoyed a live performance of Flamenco dancing. Charges for these talks differ from the standard Talks charge. Keep an eye on this site for details.

Special Talks (per person):
Members: free (donation welcomed)
Non-members: See listing for prices

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From her father’s personal record of his time as a crew member on the historic ship Pamir, liberally illustrated with his own photographs, Susan Maltin conveyed the highs and lows of this 128-day iconic voyage.

Fresh from the Royal Navy her father became one of the hardworking crew of a windjammer, following in the traditions of Cutty Sark and so many others that worked “the grain run” from Australia to the UK. Despite his naval background he found this quite different but adjusted and learnt fast the varied tasks, loading the cargo, handling the sails in all weathers, keeping watch at all times of day and night, flying along under good conditions, pitching and tossing in foul weather and mountainous seas that creamed over the decks (the crew often unable to dry out under these conditions), or close to becalmed in light winds under searing sun or star canopied skies.

A tall man, furling and unfurling sails aloft presented him with challenges, obvious from some of the photos. Some of the comments in his handwritten records were of masterly understatement.

And finally, the obvious relief-tinged pride at arriving in Falmouth roads at the end of this never-to-be-repeated voyage.

While no pins were dropped, the rapt attention of the audience was palpable and their appreciation at the end wholehearted.

Image by Wellington City Council – Sailing Ship ‘Pamir’, circa 1941, CC BY-SA 2.0,

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