Forthcoming talks & tours

The Residents of Normansfield

11.00am – 12.00pm Saturday 28 July 2018

The stories of the residents who lived in Normansfield from 1868 when it first opened, to the closure of the institution as an NHS hospital in 1997. Developed by Dr John Langdon Down and his wife Mary it was run for 102 years by the Langdon Down family. Residents with learning disabilities who lived in the institution were offered a revolutionary and enlightened approach to their care. They received a special education as well as a training in horticulture and carpentry. They enjoyed a home from home, with holidays, sports, entertainments and church services in the theatre. Some lived in Normansfield for a few years while for others it was a life-long home.

Free talk. Booking not required. Donations welcome.

 

A Local History Talk

The Life of John Charles Buckmaster 1819 – 1908

The Father of Teddington Library

2pm – 3pm Saturday 28 July 2018

A talk by local historian Ken Howe about the extraordinary life and work of John Charles Buckmaster, a formidable public speaker and activist. He was a teacher with a strong sense of public duty, a Justice of the Peace and a councillor. In later life he founded Teddington library as a free library in 1904. Ken will present his research the life of this fascinating local resident.

Speaker: Ken Howe is a historian and author/co-author of several local history books including: Hampton and Teddington Past, Edwardian Teddington and Twickenham, Teddington and Hampton – Britain in Old Photographs. He is Chairman of the Borough of Twickenham Local History Society. One of Ken’s recent projects was to research and write the book The Bronze Age Barrow at Teddington and in 2017 to help set up a council sign to commemorate the site in Sandy Lane, Teddington.

Free talk. Booking not required. Donations welcome.

  

Great Names in the Social History of Learning Disability

11.00am – 12.00pm Saturday 25 August 2018

A talk about some of the great names in the social history of learning disability, from the early 19th Century to the present day. Those who brought improvements to the education, training, care and rights of those with learning disabilities.

Free talk. Booking not required. Donations welcome.

Open House London 2018

Sunday 23 September 2018 | Open 12.00pm to 5pm. Last entry 4.30pm.

We are open to join this London-wide annual event.

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

  • Talks at 12.30pm and 2.30pm.
  • Tours at 1.30pm and 3.30pm. Max 15 people at one time. Tickets on first come basis.

Free talks and tours. Booking not required. Donations welcome.

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The Landscape of Normansfield

11.00am – 12.30pm Saturday 20 October 2018

A 1½ hour talk and walk around the grounds to see the landscape of Normansfield including the wide variety of trees, many planted when Dr John Langdon Down came first came here in 1868. He planted extensively to create a rich landscape at his new institution for those with learning disabilities. His view being that the outside environment of trees, shrubs, paths and seating was essential in offering residents the benefit of healthy walks and fresh air. The site includes long avenues of trees planted in the Victorian period.

Free talk. Booking not required. Donations welcome.

 

 

 

 

 

The Staff of Normansfield

11.00am – 12.30pm Saturday 3 November 2018

This talk is based on research from a U3A Shared Learning Project conducted in 2017/2018. The project looked at the lives of the staff who worked at Normansfield between 1868 and 1997. Staff duties at Normansfield were wide-ranging according and included governesses, medical and care staff, farm workers, maintenance staff and teachers.

Free talk. Booking not required. Donations welcome.

Normansfield Theatre

Date to be confirmed

1½ hour talk and tour

A talk on the history of Normansfield’s Grade II* listed Victorian theatre that opened in 1879 and is a venue today for drama, concerts and opera. Your visit includes a walk around the theatre and back rooms. On view will be part of the scenery store of restored original Victorian side flats. Using our interactive touch screen catalogue you can view the 150 items of scenery stored in the building that include beautiful backcloths, side flats, top borders and props.

Family JLD in Court Dress  7-Mary-Langdon-Down

Dr John Langdon Down and Normansfield

Date to be confirmed for 2019

A one hour talk about the life and work of Dr John Langdon Down and his institution at Normansfield which brought a revolutionary and enlightened approach to the care of those with learning disabilities. Includes the history of Normansfield from 1868 until its closure as an NHS hospital in 1997.

Free talk. Booking not required. Donations welcome.