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Heritage Winter Talks 2018 / 19

Since 2002, we have hosted a series of 5 Heritage Winter Talks each year.  These are free to the public and are hugely popular.  Each talk focuses on an aspect of local heritage or history.

Details of the heritage winter talks for 2018 / 19 can be found on the promotional leaflet and poster or alternatively please see below:


6 November 2018: Kevin Bruce
Letters to the Admiralty

During the Napoleonic Wars, 1785 - 1815, the Royal Navy was stationed ashore and in our estuaries in the Maldon District.  The Sea Fencibles were manned by our fishermen and sailors under the supervision of Naval Officers and a series of coastal signal stations were staffed with naval personnel.  Naval gun boats also guarded the Blackwater and Crouch estuaries intercepting coastal shipping.  The officers wrote to the Lords of the Admiralty reporting on local matters concerning their operations giving us a fascinating insight into the people and events within our District during those worrying times with the threat of invasion.

4 December 2018: Janet Hall
Steam Tug Brent and Her 181 Sister Ships

Steam Tug Brent, moored at The Hythe, Maldon, is a fine example of a TID Tug.  Built between 1943 and 1946, 182 TID class tugs were commissioned by the Admiralty to serve in ports and harbours in Britain and further afield, and to assist with the setting up of the Mulberry Harbours for the D-Day landings in Normandy.  The talk details the innovative building method and follows the fate of some of these vessels including the four survivors, still with their steam machinery.


23 January 2019: Tim Howson
Historic buildings in the Maldon District: an update of recent research and conservation


In this talk, Tim will describe some of the most interesting historic building projects he has been involved with in the past couple of years.  Highlights include the dating of a 14th-century house, the discovery of an unaltered wallpapered interior of 1892, and the stunning results of paint analysis at Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome.  The talk will also showcase recent examples of skilful repair work, and some of the different approaches taken to adapting and extending historic houses in the District.


5 February 2019: Simon Marks

The history and restoration of Coalhouse Fort, East Tilbury

Constructed between 1861 and 1874, Coalhouse Fort was built to defend the Thames from a potential invasion by France.  It later served as a coastal defence battery during WW1 and WW2.  This talk will focus on the history and on-going restoration works at this important site.  Simon Marks is an architect with experience advising on some of the most renowned buildings in this country including the restoration of Cupola House in Bury St Edmunds, the Saving of the Angels at the Petre Chapel and ongoing works at Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome.


5 March 2019: Tim Howson and John Smith

Maldon's Swan Inn: a thousand years of history


This talk reveals the results of documentary research and structural investigation of the Swan in Maldon High Street.  It discusses the significance of the building's ancient site, and describes changing fortunates and functions from a private house in prestigious ownership to an alehouse and inn playing a variety of roles in the town's economy and social life.  It also explains the fascinating design of what is one of the largest and best-preserved medieval timber-framed buildings in the Maldon District.



Councillor Mrs Penny Channer, Chairman of Maldon District Council’s Planning and Licensing Committee, said; “These popular talks are a great way to learn more about our unique local history and heritage. They are free of charge and a lot of fun, so why not come along! ”


These talks will take place at the Friends Meeting House, Butt Lane, Maldon, CM9 7HD. Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start.