Forthcoming talks, tours and events


Remembering Aktion T4

Monday 27 January 2020 | Museum open 2pm – 5pm

2.30pm Talk: Finding Ivy: From Belonging and alienation and back again

Speakers: Helen Atherton and Florian Schwanninger

The story of one victim of the Aktion T4 programme. Ivy was born in the UK and in 1930 went to live in an institution in Vienna. In the summer of 1940 she was killed at Hartheim castle near Linz. Different historical material has been used to tell Ivy’s story including photographs, church records, census reports and newspapers.

Helen Atherton qualified as a learning disability nurse in 1997. She obtained a PhD from the University of Hull in 2004 based on her thesis “Eugenic attitudes amongst professionals in learning disability services”. She is currently a lecturer in nursing at the University of Leeds. Her main research interest is the history of people with learning disabilities, with a particular focus on the impact of eugenic thinking.

Florian Schwanninger studied history and political science at the University of Salzburg and was awarded a Masters degree in 2004 based on his thesis “Resistance and Persecution in the district of Braunau/Inn 1938-1945”. In 2005 he became a scientific officer at the Scholss Hartheim Learning and Memorial Centre and from 2014 its director. His main research interests are Nazi euthanasia, commemorative culture in Austria and the regional history of Upper Austria.

3.30pm Aktion T4: A documentary film

The Aktion T4 Nazi Euthanasia programme was responsible for the murder of approximately 275,000 people with learning disabilities.

In this 30 minute documentary film, Berge Kanikanian who has Down’s syndrome, travels to Poland and Germany to visit the sites of euthanasia centres and speaks to researchers and historians.

Please note this film is not suitable for anyone under 16 years of age.

This event is free. Booking not required.



11am Talk and walk: The Farm at Normansfield

In this talk, new research about the farm at Normansfield will be presented in plans and photographs. Until now it has been almost impossible to understand the layout and location of the original farm areas and buildings as these have long disappeared.

The talk will be followed by a walk around the original area.

While at Earlswood, Langdon Down acquired some knowledge of farm management. The Normansfield farm was started in 1877 and played a large part in the running of the institution until after the Second World War. Many animals were kept including pigs and cattle, and the farm provided food such as pork, eggs and milk. It became a centre for pig production and the Normansfield Large White became well known. A herd of cows was added concentrating on the Dexter breed. On the site were farm buildings, an orchard and areas for animals and pasture.

Speaker: Steve Astell has been a member of several U3A Shared Learning Projects at the Langdon Down Museum. His research into the farm was part of the 2018/2019 research project Local suppliers to Normansfield – 1868 to the 1930s. This project covered the the farm, electric lighting, the laundry, musical instruments, weaving, photography and kitchen supplies. This research can be found on the museum website.

1pm – 2pm Tour of the museum and theatre

The archivist will give a 60 minute talk and tour around the museum and theatre.

This events are free. Booking not required. Donations welcome.



Getting the world excited about medicine

The museum will be open for an event in May 2020.

Through a series of city based festivals MED aims to celebrate the best of what medicine offers, provide a platform to educate and share ideas, and to inspire people about future innovations in healthcare.


Saturday 19 September 2020

You are welcome to look around on your own or join a talk or tour.

This event is free. Booking not required. Donations welcome.