Audio recordings of some of our talks from previous festivals, released throughout the years.

🎧 TYPHOONS AND THE EFFECT OF AIR POWER

Audio from Chalke Valley History Festival 2019.

Paul Beaver discusses with John Buckley and Paul Stoddart, the importance of that unsung hero of WWII, the rocket firing Hawker Typhoon.

WINKLE AND THE JETS

Audio from Chalke Valley History Festival 2018.
Always fearless, sometimes impetuous, Captain Eric Brown, better known as Winkle, was an early jet and rocket fighter pioneer. Unusual in being a naval pilot, his experience in immediate post-war Germany and at the Royal Aircraft Establishment has passed into legend. His biographer Paul Beaver separates reality from the myth and legend, shining a new light on Winkle’s exploits.

🎧 Lenin’s Train

Audio recorded at Chalke Valley History Festival 2017.
Pushkin Prize-winning author, and eminent historian of Russia, Professor Catherine Merridale takes us on Lenin’s fateful train journey from exile in Zurich to his eventual ecstatic reception by the revolutionary crowds in Petrograd. During the course of a train ride, she gives a gripping account of how Lenin hijacked the liberal Russian revolution and changed the history of the world.

🎧 Young Churchill

Recording from Chalke Valley History Festival 2019.

When we think of Winston Churchill we think of the gruff wartime leader with the bulldog features, cigar and hat. It’s hard to imagine he was ever young. But in this talk for all ages, best-selling author and comedian, Charlie Higson will vividly bring the young Winston to life, from when he joined the army aged 20 until he first entered parliament five years later, having fought on three continents and begun his writing career as a war correspondent.

🎧 THE MAYFLOWER GENERATION: THE FAMILIES, THE VOYAGE AND THE FOUNDING OF AMERICA

Audio from Chalke Valley History Festival 2018.
The voyage of the Mayflower leading to the founding of Plymouth Colony is one of the seminal events in world history. The group of English Puritans who ventured across the Atlantic in 1620 were ill prepared for the brutal journey and life in a new land. Writer and broadcaster Rebecca Fraser traces two generations of one family and their extraordinary response to the challenges of life in America.

🎧 WE SHALL GO TO THE MOON: THE ADVENTURE OF APOLLO

Audio from Chalke Valley History Festival 2019.

Journey back to the Moon landings 50 years ago with Stephen Wisdom as he relates 11 little-known details about the journey of Apollo 11. Fun and accessible, the talk is packed with stories of the characters that defined those momentous times.

🎧 William Golding

Recording from Chalke Valley History Festival 2018.
Writer and critic, Rick Gekoski takes a look at Sir William Golding, author of Lord of the Flies and other classics, as well as winner of both the Booker and the Nobel Prize for Literature. A former resident of Bowerchalke, he also taught at Bishop Wordsworth’s School and is rightly feted as one of our greatest novelists.

🎧 The Red Devils Over Normandy

A recording from Chalke Valley History Festival 2018, from a morning of exclusive talks and demonstrations looking at the story of the British Airborne Forces in #WW2.

Here is former Commander of 3 Para in Afghanistan, Stuart Total in conversation with Fred Glover who was in 9th Para on 6th June 1944, tasked with jumping ahead of the main seaborne allied landing, Operation Neptune, to secure the left flank of the invasion and facilitate the seaborne landing.

🎧 LANSDOWNE: THE LAST GREAT WHIG

Recorded at Chalke Valley History Festival 2018.
Despite a distinguished 50-year career as a statesman, ultimately Lord Lansdowne was branded a traitor for seeking peace with Germany in 1917. His great-great grandson Simon Kerry presents this great man in the context of his own time.

🎧 THE CORONATION: THE QUEEN’S MAIDS OF HONOUR

Recording from Chalke Valley History Festival 2018.
Roaring crowds, rehearsals and dress fittings, fainting fits, furtive sips of brandy and Scottish toffees from the Privy Purse, these are amongst the memories of the Maids of Honour chosen to accompany the Queen on her Coronation Day. Lady Anne Glenconner (then Coke, middle left) and Lady Rosemary Muir (then Spencer-Churchill, far right), two of the six women who filled this important role, gives a scintillating insight into their experience of this historic occasion. In conversation with Hugo Vickers, they also talk about growing up at Holkham Hall and Blenheim Palace.