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Home > ESU branches in England and Wales

Find out more about how you can support the development of oracy in your local area

Local to you

The English-Speaking Union was founded as a membership organisation, bringing together those who share a belief that better communication makes for better global understanding. Today, we have over 5,000 members in 36 regional branches across England and Wales who meet to socialise, gain new perspectives on the world and to help organise and raise funds for our educational work.

We are hugely grateful to our branches, which are central to the running of our Public Speaking and Performing Shakespeare competitions. Some also run their own, complementary, oracy programmes and many choose to sponsor local schools to take part in our Discover Debating programme or Discover Your Voice workshops.

To find out more about your local branch, please select the city/region nearest to you from the filter above.

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Branch events across the country

London Branch: Book Club

London

ESU London Branch Members’ monthly book club at Dartmouth House, please contact Kathleen Earley for details this month’s book and to reserve a space: earley.kathleen@gmail.com  …

London Branch: Visit to the Garrick Club

London

Situated in the heart of the West End and Theatreland, the Garrick Club was founded in 1831 as a private members’ club by a group of literary gentlemen under the patronage of the King’s brother, the egalitarian Duke of Sussex. They announced that the club would be a place where…

Epping Forest Branch: Bob Johnson wildlife photography in the Arctic

Epping & Essex

Bob Johnson is well known to us for his wonderful wildlife photography taken both locally and in Africa.  This time, he is going in completely the opposite direction and will talk on his recent visit to the Arctic illustrated by his spectacular photographs of the region and its wildlife.  Indeed,…

Mid-Cheshire Branch: Lunch & Talk, Research work in the Arctic

Mid-Cheshire

Professor Terry Callahan will be giving a talk on his Research work in the Arctic Terry Callahan started  as an Arctic plant ecologist in 1967. Over 52 years, he has worked in every Arctic country and has been in the field during each of 50 years. His main current focus…

Bristol branch: The past, present and future of Bristol’s Museum Service

Bristol & Somerset

The past, present and future of Bristol’s Museum Service Speaker Ray Barnett, Head of Collections and Archives, Bristol…

Salisbury Branch: ‘Syria: The Making of a Refuge State’ Professor Dawn Chatty, FBA PhD

Salisbury & Wiltshire

Dawn Chatty is an American social anthropologist and academic, who specialises in the Middle East, nomadic pastoral tribes, and refugees. From 2010 to 2015, she was Emeritus Professor of Anthropology and Forced Migration at the University of Oxford. Her book ‘Syria: The Making and Unmaking of a Refuge State’ was…

Devon & Exeter Branch: Lunch & Talk, 'Churchill’s Great Game', rethinking the origins of the Cold War

Devon & Exeter

Join Devon & Exeter Branch for lunch followed by a fascinating talk by Professor Richard Toye “Churchill’s Great Game”, rethinking the origins of the Cold War Richard Toye is Professor of Modern History at the University of Exeter. He is…

London Branch: Book Club

London

ESU London Branch Members’ monthly book club at Dartmouth House, please contact Kathleen Earley for details this month’s book and to reserve a space: earley.kathleen@gmail.com  …

Ouse Valley Branch: Lunch & Talk 'CONTEMPORARY AMERICA'

Bedfordshire & Milton Keynes

PROFESSOR GARY GERSTLE, Professor of American History and Fellow of Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge Gary Gerstle lives in Cambridge, England, and Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is primarily an historian of 20th century America with particular expertise in immigration and race issues. He has lectured worldwide, and is frequently consulted…

Mid-Cheshire Branch: Lunch & Talk 'In harmony'

Mid-Cheshire

Speaker From the Liverpool Philharmonic (to be named later) In harmony Liverpool was launched in 2009 and uses orchestral music making to improve the life chances of over 1500 children every week in North Liverpool. This is done by increasing confidence,  well-being, skills and resilience. It also enhances opportunities to…

Salisbury Branch: ‘The Mary Rose’ Edward Towne MA MSt PGCE

Salisbury & Wiltshire

Edward Towne graduated in European Studies from the University of East Anglia and later achieved a PGCE from Cambridge, an MA in Early Modern English History from the University of London and a MSt in Twentieth Century British History from the University of Oxford. His professional career was spent teaching…

Spring lunch at Dartmouth House

London

Join us for an audience with Katya Galitzine who will deliver a fascinating talk about her mother, Jean Dawnay’s, life as a Dior model, followed by a Champagne lunch. The event, a celebration of the English-Speaking Union’s global understanding through dialogue, will support the ESU’s vital charitable mission, giving young…

Devon & Exeter Branch: Lunch & Talk 'Principles, Pragmatism and Politics...'

Devon & Exeter

Join Devon & Exeter Branch for a lunch followed by a talk on “Principles, Pragmatism and Politics – the making of public policy in the UK – and why it affects us all” by Professor Tony Stoller CBE.

Bristol branch: One Man’s England

Bristol & Somerset

One Man’s England, the legacy of WG Hoskins, author of The  Making of the English Landscape Speaker Peter Jones…

Norwich & Norfolk Branch: Lunch & Talk ‘Kett’s Rebellion’

Norwich & Norfolk

Lunch followed by a talk on Kett’s  Rebellion by Barbara Miller…

London Branch: Book Club

London

ESU London Branch Members’ monthly book club at Dartmouth House, please contact Kathleen Earley for details this month’s book and to reserve a space: earley.kathleen@gmail.com  …

Ouse Valley Branch: Lunch & Talk 'MARK RUTHERFORD’S PEOPLE'

Bedfordshire & Milton Keynes

DR MARK CREES English teacher, author, Chairman of the Rutherford Society. MARK RUTHERFORD’S PEOPLE Hale White was born in Bedford in 1831 and educated at Bedford Modern School. A nonconformist in religion and a civil servant and journalist. For his novels he assumed the pseudonym, Mark Rutherford. Dr Crees’s presentation…

London Region: Book talk 'Churchill’s Abandoned Prisoners' by author Rupert Wieloch

London

The English-Speaking Union London branch invites you to a Talk by Rupert Wieloch on his latest book, Churchill’s Abandoned Prisoners. Drinks will be served from 6.30pm, the talk will start at 7.00pm sharp One hundred years ago a group of fifteen British soldiers serving with the British Mission to Siberia were captured by…

Mid-Cheshire Branch: Lunch & Talk 'Cheshire pubs and pub signs'

Mid-Cheshire

Tony Bostock lives in Swanlow area of Winsford in the heart of Cheshire and descends from a family which has lived in the Northwich district for several hundred years. The 30 years he was an officer with the Cheshire Constabulary and later worked as a community safety coordinator with Vale…

Norwich & Norfolk Branch: Lunch & Talk ‘Thomas Erpingham Hero or Thug'

Norwich & Norfolk

Lunch followed by a talk by Ann May on ‘Thomas Erpingham Hero or Thug’…

Salisbury Branch: ‘Sir Hubert von Herkomer RA’ Isobel Williams

Salisbury & Wiltshire

Isobel is a retired Consultant in Respiratory Medicine.  While qualifying at St George’s Hospital, University of London, where Edward Wilson, Robert Scott’s friend and confidant, had trained some sixty-five years previously, she saw many of Wilson’s iconic pictures of Antarctica and became fascinated by the continent and the explorers of…

Devon & Exeter Branch: Annual Black Tie Dinner

Devon & Exeter

Devon & Exeter Branch’s annual Black Tie Dinner with a talk autobiographical talk from Billy “Scratch” Hitchen. At the end of the Easter holidays in 1963, Billy ‘Scratch’  Hitchen, instead of returning to school in Salcombe, having already been expelled by his mother, who…

60th ESU-Churchill Public Speaking Competition Grand Final

Cambridge & Cambridgeshire

Please save the date for the 60th ESU-Churchill Public Speaking Competition Grand Final…

English Speaking Union: Churchill Public Speaking Final

Cambridge & Cambridgeshire

Please save the date for the ESU Churchill Public Speaking Final – more details soon…

London Branch: Book Club

London

ESU London Branch Members’ monthly book club at Dartmouth House, please contact Kathleen Earley for details this month’s book and to reserve a space: earley.kathleen@gmail.com  …

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