Meetings and Excursions

Coronavirus Update - Virtual Talks Programme

With regret, the Society has postponed its regular events, activities and Friday talks programme until the new year, when the situation will be reviewed.  However the Society can offer members the opportunity to participate in an exciting new ‘virtual’ lecture programme from September through to December.


The Pastons and Great Yarmouth - Controlling the Hinterland (September 4th)

Dr Robert Knee (57 minutes)

Dr Rob Knee, Chairman of the Paston Heritage Society, talks about the links to Great Yarmouth of the various members of the Paston family from the early 1400s to the 1700s, with the final demise of the family as Earls of Yarmouth. The lecture was recorded at the Paston Footprints/Great Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological Society conference in October 2019.


Britain and the Legacies of Slavery (September 18th)

Prof Catherine Hall (42 minutes) 

Once abolition was secured, Britons were keen to overlook slavery and emphasise the memory of emancipation. But Britain and Britons benefitted in multiple ways from slavery including William Barth, timber merchant and mayor of Great Yarmouth in 1824, 1826 and 1836. He married Jane Jeffries, the daughter of Samuel Jeffries, a Jamaican planter. Jane was to claim compensation for two enslaved people in 1823.

The talk asks the question whether British history should be reconsidered to take into full account the role of the many slave-owners who lived here?

Professor Catherine Hall is Emerita Professor of Modern British Social and Cultural History at University College London.

What Really Happened at the First Moving-Picture Shows? (October 16th)

Professor Ian Christie (49 minutes)

The reception of moving pictures in 1894-96 has been much mythologised. Were spectators really frightened of an approaching train? Did they imagine seeing their departed relatives reanimated on screen? How much attention was actually paid to this new phenomenon among so many contemporary novelties and wonders? Moving pictures may not have been the innovation once claimed, but within a decade few could doubt that they had become a major force in changing the Edwardian world.

Professor Christie is a renowned British film scholar and currently Professor of Film and Media History at Birkbeck, University of London and a Fellow of the British Academy. 

He has researched and published on many aspects of film history, including Eisenstein and Russian cinema, Powell and Pressburger, Gilliam and Scorsese, and is a regular broadcaster on cinema.


Admiral Lord Nelson in Context (November 20th)

Assistant Professor Evan Wilson (50 minutes) 

Vice-Admiral Horatio, Lord Nelson, is among the best-known and most-studied figures in naval history. This lecture will put Nelson in the context of the officer corps from which he emerged. By looking at the thousands of other officers who fought alongside Nelson, we can uncover a more complete picture of him and the navy in which he served.

Evan Wilson is Assistant Professor in the John B. Hattendorf Center for Maritime Historical Research at the U.S. Naval War College. 

A Virtual Tour around St Nicholas Minster (December 18th)

Dr. Paul Davies (50 minutes)

St Nicholas Minster is probably the oldest building in Great Yarmouth. Dr. Paul Davies, the society's Chair, who has written extensively on the building and related topics, provides us with virtual tour of the building. He will be available to answer questions during the talk.

Dr. Paul Davies is a member of a number of prominent societies in the town including the Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust, Great Yarmouth Minister Preservation Trust (Chair), Great Yarmouth Civic Society and Great Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological Society (Chair).


GYLHAS is grateful  to the various societies and speakers who have made their material available for use in this programme.

The programme consists of pre-recorded presentations which will be available at the date and time of the normal meeting (3rd Friday in the month at 7.30pm) and for one month afterwards. Members can create accounts on the Virtual Programme website and take part in a ‘chat’ during and after the presentation, and post discussion questions to be picked up and responded to by other members in the period after the ‘virtual’ meeting.

Click here for more details about how to access these talks.


Lecture Programme 2020 

Members and guests are welcome

March 20th

In search of the Iron Age and Roman East Anglia

By Dr Natasha Harlow Ph.D, Post Doc Archaeologist, Nottingham University


April 17th

Medieval Graffiti. The Voice of the England Church

By Matthew Champion, MA,FSA.


May 15th A.G.M.  

Keeping Clean in Past Times: Domestic Arrangements over the Years

By Angela Bishop, Reminiscence Worker


May 22nd Supplementary Meeting

The Power Behind the Throne: Women of the First Millennium

By Imogen Corrigan, B.A.(Hons.) Lecturer and Tour Guide.


September 18th

St. Benet's Abbey and the Work of the Norfolk Archaeological Trust

By Natasha Hutcheson, M.C.I.F.A. Co-Director of the Norfolk Archaeological Trust


November 20th

What the Victorians Threw Away. (The Results of the Archaeological Dig in Great Yarmouth)

By Dr Tom Licence, Director School of East Anglia, University of East Anglia.


December 18th

Christmas Meeting

In-house Speaker followed by Buffet and Social Evening.

Excursion Programme 2020
click here to contact us for further details.

May 2nd: Gareth Davies will lead a walk to commemorate 175 years since the collapse of the Suspension Bridge.

May 7th – 31st: An exhibition at Great Yarmouth Minster to commemorate WW2

Saturday 6th June: History Fair in St George’s Theatre

Friday 12 June – 7pm: Visit to St Benet’s Abbey

Wednesday 15th July: Coach trip to Sutton Hoo and Woodbridge Tide Mill

Wednesday 5th August: Ninth Church Crawl – details tbc

Sunday 20 September: Tenth Kitchener Road Cemetery Crawl – details tbc

October Day School: Local coastal archaeology of the North Sea and Doggerland at the Imperial Hotel -  details tbc


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GYLHAS is a registered Charity No 277272 and is affiliated to the Council for British Archaeology