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Home > ESU branches in England and Wales > Devon & Exeter

Devon & Exeter

Welcome to the Devon and Exeter branch

The Branch has a thriving membership and contributes to the aims of the parent organisation in a number of ways. The focal point of our activities is a monthly social gathering for lunch or supper in the pleasant surroundings of the Exeter Golf & Country Club. Talks by eminent speakers accompany these fundraising events, and the profits subsidise local ESU programmes for young people. Details of recent and forthcoming events are listed below.

Schools in the district compete in the UK Public Speaking Competition, Performing Shakespeare and we have recently become involved in the Discover Your Voice programme, aimed at improving the communication skills of schoolchildren.

New members are always welcome and membership confers privileged use of facilities at the ESUs imposing HQ, Dartmouth House in London’s Mayfair.

For details of the Exeter committee, click here. I look forward to welcoming you at your first event!

Paul Waterworth

Upcoming events in Devon & Exeter

In the minds of the Cambridge spies

Lunch and Talk, Devon & Exeter

The 'Cambridge Spies’ was a group of Cambridge graduates who passed information to the Soviet Union during and after World War ll, which remained active into the 1950s. The membership and number in the ring emerged, but none was ever prosecuted. Richard Ryder, formally Mellon Professor at Tulane University, New Orleans, has recently completed a book on the ‘Cambridge Spies’. He will discuss some of his research and conclusions.

  • Time: 12:30pm
  • Cost: Members £24.00 and guests £26.00
  • Venue: Exeter Golf & Country Club
  • Further information: Tim Pink on sheila.pink@btinternet.co.uk

The criminal conversation of Caroline Norton

Lunch and Talk, Devon & Exeter

Diane Atkinson taught history, was a lecturer and curator of the Museum of London, specialising in women’s history on which she is the author of several books. In this talk she will discuss the extraordinary events featured in her book ‘The Criminal Conversation of Caroline Norton’ which were part of the move to improve the legal and social position of women.

  • Time: 12:30pm
  • Cost: Members £24.00 and guests £26.00
  • Venue: Exeter Golf & Country Club
  • Further information: Tim Pink on sheila.pink@btinternet.co.uk

My great pleasures

Lunch and Talk, Devon & Exeter

British actor, Michael Wade has worked in theatre and films in the UK and overseas. He has appeared in film and television in such favourites as ‘A Man for All Seasons’, ‘A Dance with the Music of Time’ and ‘Brighton Belles'. He has worked with Antony Hopkins, Dustin Hoffman and Robert Stephens and many other world stars. He has recorded over 40 audio books reflecting his love of the English language. He will recite and read some of his favourite pieces and explain his connection with them.

The restoration and preservation of historic buildings

Lunch and Talk, Devon & Exeter

Buildings Rodney Melville is an architect who specialises in the important work of conservation of historic buildings. He has consulted on some of the most significant buildings in the country including Chequers which has its origins in the 16th century and was given to the nation in 1921 as a country home for the Prime Minister of the day. Rodney will speak about the importance of maintaining such buildings and specifically about his work as Curator of Chequers and a member of the Chequers Trust.

Voice in a foreign language born in Belgrade

Lunch and Talk, Devon & Exeter

Vesna Goldsworthy is the Professor of Creative Writing at both the Universities of Exeter and East Anglia. Vesna is a poet, novelist and a memoirist and is best known for her book ‘Chernobyl Strawberries’. Vesna will discuss her background and the subtleties of understanding and being understood , in both language and manner when adopting to a foreign country and how she now feels that England is ‘home’.

  • Cost: Members £24.00 and guests £26.00
  • Venue: Exeter Golf & Country Club
  • Contact: Tim Pink on sheila.pink@btinternet.co.uk

Exeter branch event speakers

The Exeter branch prides itself on the quality of the speakers that we are able to attract to present at our events.

In January 2018 we welcomed Matthew Parris, pictured here with our chairman, Paul Waterworth.

During the past few years, we have had a succession of well-known and outstanding speakers including: Sir Anthony Acland, Kate Adie, Kirstie Allsopp, Lord Paddy Ashdown, Lord (Robin) Butler, Baroness Butler-Sloss, Ben Bradshaw, Martin Bell, The Countess of Carnarvon, Dr Jung Chang, The Countess of Devon, David Crystal, Sir Richard Dearlove, Jonathan Dimbleby, Jonathan Fenby, Robin Hanbury-Tenison, Richard Holmes, Sir Bernard Ingham, Stanley Johnson, Satish Kumar, Sue Lawley, Fiona MacCarthy, Hilary Mantell, Sue MacGregor, Sir Christopher Meyer, Bel Mooney, Michael Morpurgo, Ian Mortimer, John Nettles, Matthew Parris, Baroness Butler-Sloss, Vicky Price, Helen Rappaport, Angela Rippon, David Starkey, Sir Tim Smit, Professor Sir Steve Smith, Alice Thomson, Hugo Vickers, Alexander Waugh, Ann Widdecombe.

Our upcoming events are listed below, why not come along and join us…

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