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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

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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

Ouse Valley Branch: Lunch & Talk 'The truth about Education'

Bedfordshire & Milton Keynes

Professor Alan Smithers, Director of the Centre for Education and Employment Research, University of Buckingham Alan Smithers is a highly regarded national figure who is frequently consulted for his views on a wide range of current issues.  He will talk about the present day state of England’s education, how it…

West Sussex Branch: Talk 'Kitchener - Forgotten Hero?'

Chichester & West Sussex

Speaker Lady Kenya Tatton-Brown and her daughter Sandra Lowton, decedents of Lord Kitchener.

Oxfordshire Branch: Afternoon tea & talk by Katherine Harborne, 'GM Crops and Lady Chatterley'

Oxford & Oxfordshire

Talk by Katherine Harborne, “GM Crops and Lady Chatterley” Priory Room, Christchurch College. Afternoon tea.

Epping Branch: Concert at the Royal Festival Hall

Epping & Essex

Tickets have been reserved for this matinee performance by the London Philharmonia Orchestra. The Conductor is Santtu Rouvali, with Nickolai Lugansky on the piano. The concert begins with Stravinsky’s “Fireworks” and is followed by Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and then excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake”.

Epping Branch: A talk by Camilla Nicol on the Antarctic Heritage Trust

Epping & Essex

The Trust exists to protect and conserve British Antarctic Heritage which includes six historic buildings and associated structures along with tens of thousands of artefacts which need great care and protection to ensure they survive in the hostile Antarctic climate.   The most well-known of these sites is Port Lockroy, where…

Mid-Cheshire Branch: Lunch & Talk, 'On the road with the BBC'


After postgraduate training as a teacher of languages, John Miller made an early move sideways to join BBC staff where he remained for nearly 30 years. Most of that time was spent in television production. He began his BBC career in Sound radio operations  in London, soon moving north to…

Norwich & Norfolk Branch: Lunch & Talk 'The Tower of London'

Norwich & Norfolk

Lunch followed by a talk about The Tower of London by David Morton…

London Branch: Alexander Ullman Piano Concert at Dartmouth House


The English-Speaking Union London Region Branch welcomes you to an intimate evening piano recital with the winner of the 2017 International Franz Liszt Piano Competition, Alexander Ullman. Programme Liszt – Harmonies poétiques et religieuses Nos. III, VII and X Tchaikovsky/Pletnev – Nutcracker Suite Stravinsky/Agosti – Firebird Suite Drinks from 6.30pm…

Devon & Exeter Branch: Lunch & Talk 'The Life, Times and Legacy of Nancy, Lady Astor'

Devon & Exeter

In 1919 Lady Nancy Astor was the first woman to take her seat in the House of Commons. She was MP for Plymouth until 1945. Born in the US in 1879, in 1906 she married Lord (Waldorf) Astor, the  owner of Clivedon. In parliament she supported social issues…

Ouse Valley Branch: Lunch & Talk 'An unscripted life'

Bedfordshire & Milton Keynes

Talk by Jill Edwards, Member, English-Speaking Union. Jill is going to talk about people she has met and events that have occurred in her lifetime. Educated at Roedean School and the Royal  Central School of Speech and Drama, she was a contemporary of Dame Judi Dench and Vanessa Redgrave. She…

West Sussex Branch: Thanksgiving Lunch

Chichester & West Sussex

West Sussex Branch invite you to their Thanksgiving Lunch, please arrive from 12.30pm for a 1.00pm start.

Oxfordshire Branch: Thanksgiving Lunch at Weston Manor, speaker Lord Wasserman

Oxford & Oxfordshire

Thanksgiving Lunch at Weston Manor, speaker Lord Wasserman, former Rhodes Scholar. Lord Gordon Wasserman, born in Montreal, Canada, he was educated at McGill University and New College, Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship. After a varied and distinguished career in the Home Office, including 12 years with responsibility for scientific and…

Dartmouth House: Thanksgiving Dinner


Gillian Day, President ESU Alumni & The Rt Hon. the Lord Boateng, ESU Chairman request the pleasure of your company for a Thanksgiving Dinner supporting the life-changing work of the English-Speaking Union. For further information or to make a booking please email…

Salisbury & Wiltshire Branch: A Christmas Lunch with a Raffle to raise funds for the Kings School, Tamil Nadu, India

Salisbury & Wiltshire

A Christmas Lunch with a Raffle to raise funds for the Kings School, Tamil Nadu, India.  Kings School, a boarding and day school for boys and girls, was opened in 2005.  It is an English-medium school built to the highest international standards and our sponsorship of the School, together…

South Wales Branch: Festive Supper

South Wales

A Celebration of Christmas at Howell’s School, Llandaff with the Senior Girls’ Choir and Festive Supper.

Mid-Cheshire Branch: Christmas Lunch & Talk, 'Ways for wildlife'


Richard McCaulay is a member of the Sandbach Woodland and Wildlife group of volunteers who, over the past seven years, have regenerated the woodland area in Sandbach, increasing biodiversity buy new planting and creating a variety of habitats for woodland creatures and new trails to explore.

Ouse Valley Branch: Lunch & talk 'all wrapped up: a Christmas confection'

Bedfordshire & Milton Keynes

ALL WRAPPED UP: A CHRISTMAS CONFECTION Caroline Bacon, Former Curator of Cecil Higgins, and Manager of Rothsay Education Centre Taking Christmas, Winter and the Nativity as our theme, we will look at a number of artists from Breughel to Damien Hirst and their response to Christmas (or winter) through a…

English Speaking Union AGM


Please save date date for the English-Speaking Union’s AGM, details coming soon……

Devon & Exeter Branch: Black Tie Dinner, 'Moguls, Mayhem and Movies”, illustrated story of early Hollywood'

Devon & Exeter

Martin Fisher has had a lifelong interest in cinema since his grandfather took him to see ‘Pinocchio’. The title of his talk speaks for itself and will include many film extracts from those early days of cinema. Born in Windsor, Martin was educated at…

Norwich & Norfolk Branch: Christmas Lunch

Norwich & Norfolk

Mid-Cheshire Branch: Lunch & Talk on The Vine Project


The vine project aims to enable vulnerable children and young people in choir Zulu Natal, South Africa to get the best education possible. Kate Stross was inspired to become a supporter of the project in late 2011 and has since visited South Africa regularly.

Devon & Exeter Branch: Lunch & Talk on Music of the Holocaust by Professor Shirli Gilbert

Devon & Exeter

An extraordinary range of musical activities, both forced and voluntary, took place in the Nazi ghettos and camps, from the earliest internment centres established in 1933 until the liberation in 1945. The musical works these prisoners created are extraordinary documents from the time: fragments recovered from the rubble of war and genocide; monuments to the lives that were destroyed. In this talk, which will feature many film extracts, Shirli Gilbert, professor of Modern History at Southampton University with a specialism in Jewish History and particularly the Holocaust, will highlight original music from this period, including some rare post-war recordings. The songs offer rich insight into victims’ experiences, conveying the uncertain and shifting perspectives of prisoner communities as they made sense of lived reality.

Norwich & Norfolk Branch: Lunch & Talk 'Norwich Architecture 1938 to present'

Norwich & Norfolk

Lunch followed by a talk by Rod Spokes on Norwich Architecture 1938 to present.


Bedfordshire & Milton Keynes

THE RT HON BARONESS D’SOUZA, Former Lord Speaker of the House of Lords Our speaker has had a distinguished career in science – anthropology, brain chemistry and human nutrition. She has, in addition, a wide range of other interests – human rights, development, gender equality. She was created a Life…

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


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…

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