The Thames and the East Coast stories

Location:  Maldon Town Hall.

The mysteries of the North Sea Platforms

Ref: C2228726

In the second world war a series of army and navy forts were built offshore in the North Sea to protect us from enemy airforce and naval incursions. These forts played a crucial role in early warning for air and sea raids. Abandoned after the war their history was then varied and at times unexpected. Some were occupied by Pirate Radio stations while others were used as film locations. One even became a micronation. In this course we will look at this unique history and the mixed cast of characters involved with these platforms. We will examine what is left of them and the unique legacy which they have left behind.

Date: 23/02/2022 Tutor: Andrew Beharrell

Shipwrecks of the Thames

Ref: C2228729

The waters around the east coast of England have been important commercial routes for many centuries. They have seen a rapid growth in trade, wars and various disputes. Wartime, inclement weather and accidents have meant that many lives have been lost on the ships which have plied their trade on these waters. In this course we will look at the hidden history revealed by the various shipwrecks around our East Anglian coast. These shipwrecks can tell us about trade in roman times, the brutal history of the Anglo-Dutch wars and the devastation of World War II. Even more modern times have taken their toll on the ships and barges navigating the coast - look closely under the water and you can even find the carcasses of pirate radio stations, their turntables long silent. This course will reveal a fraction of the history which our sandbanks and mud flats hide. This course is in partnership with Thames Sailing Barge Trust.

Date: 09/03/2022 Tutor: Andrew Beharrell

A maritime history in sea shanties

Ref: C2228730

Sea shanties were sung by the sailors who plied their trade around the world. They were work songs, often used to help the ships run at their most efficient, but the lyrics reveal a sometimes darker maritime history. Through the shanties we find out about the practice of 'blackbirding' - people from Hawaii and Micronesia taken into slavery - we find out about whaling and we can even delve into the story of the American Civil War. In this course we will look more closely at the history behind a number of popular sea shanties and examine the sub-text of these sailor's work songs. We will also look at the different types of shanties and their musical and lyrical derivation. However, we will not just examine them .... we will also sing them. With a musical accompaniment we will put ourselves into the sailor's shoes and sing through them to help us appreciate how they were used. They are great fun to sing, so why not come along. This course is in partnership with Thames Sailing Barge Trust.

Date: 16/03/2022 Tutor: Andrew Beharrell

Money, Power & Yachting

Ref: C2228735

In this course we will look at the history of the Americas Cup - the premier yachting trophy. Through this history we will explore the cast of eccentric characters who have challenged for the cup from the end of the 19th Century right through to the present. We will examine the way in which money and power have gone hand in hand with this event and the history of the often eccentric characters involved. This will help us to examine some of the social and economic history of the era. It may be surprising though to learn that the Americas Cup has close historical links with the East Coast of the UK. We will look at these links and how the cup helped to change the lives of many who were involved. This course is run in partnership with Thames Sailing Barge Trust.

Date: 02/03/2022 Tutor: Andrew Beharrell

For more information please click on the reference numbers.