Illustrated Talks

Rob Walters has spent many years of his life making presentation to a wide diversity of groups.  Now concentrating on guiding in Oxford and writing he offers a variety of stimulating talks to local community groups. Here is a selection of his presentations (click for more details):

Haunted Oxford Hedy Lamarr and the Mobile Phone
North Oxford and the coming of the girls Naughty Boys: Ten Rogues of Oxford
Memories of a peripatetic shoe shiner Oxford's Western Quarter
History of the Oxford English Dictionary

Haunted Oxford – A selection of the ghost stories from his book of the same name accompanied by photographs of the relevant Oxford locations.

Hedy Lamarr and the Mobile Phone - A fascinating dip into the life of this beautiful film star and her partner in crime George Antheil, piano player and crazy composer.  Just how did these two come to invent the technology used in modern mobile phones?

North Oxford and the coming of the girls – An illustrated talk on this fascinating area of Oxford with its stunning Victorian architecture, wide leafy streets and famous residents. This is where the ladies colleges began, hear all about it. This is where the Oxford English Dictionary took shape and  this is the “most desirable suburb” which attracted the likes of Tolkien, Laurence of Arabia, Iris Murdoch and Tom Yorke of Radiohead and Colin Dexter

Naughty Boys: Ten Rogues of Oxford – Stories of roguish characters with close association with Oxford based on Rob's book and accompanied by location shots of where these famous or infamous men spent their time in the city.

Memories of a peripatetic shoe shiner - This talk is about an unusual journey: a unique journey through everyday surroundings. A few years ago Rob Walters decided to become a shoeshine boy. He stowed his shoeshine kit, a tent, and a few items of clothing in a trailer, connected the trailer to his push bike and set off from Oxford to visit the old shoe-making cities of middle England. Along the way he polished many shoes, met lots of interesting people, pedalled many miles, and gained a fascinating insight into his own country from a rather unique perspective.

Oxford's Western Quarter - The Western Quarter of Oxford is one of the city’s little known secrets containing the prison which is now a hotel, the remains of the Norman Castle, the first college and the original Thames. There is evidence of occupation from the Bronze Age, the Roman occupation and early Anglo Saxon settlements. This is where the friars lived and the beer was brewed.  The talk covers the area’s long history, its ancient buildings and riveting stories.

North Oxford and the coming of the Girls - The early ladies' colleges were established in the North Oxford area including the very first Lady Margaret Hall. The area mostly belongs to St John's College and sports the most expensive houses in Oxford and the Dragon School cradle to  Emma Watson who plays Hermione in the Harry Potter films plus other famous individuals. The talk will cover the colleges, the University Parks and the new university buildings in the grounds of the Old Radcliffe Infirmary.

History of the Oxford English Dictionary  A fascinating overview of the development of this world famouse book based on Rob Walters' book on the subject. Talk will include slides of the main characters involved including the larger than life readers who contributed quotations to the Dictionary.

[Note - Presentations are based on PC illustrations and require a PC projector]

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