Illustrated Talks

The Pilgrim Fathers 1590 - 1632
With the 400th. anniversary approaching, this talk tells the story of the Pilgrim Fathers. Who were they, where did they come from, and what happened to them after they sailed from Southampton? This illustrated talk brings to life the extraordinary characters, who risked everything to create a perfect society. They survived against all odds, and established a colony, but the community they hoped for never materialised.

The Millionth Yank, and the 14th Major Port
In October 1944 the millionth American soldier embarked from Southampton, which was then the 5th biggest military port in the world, operated by the 14th Major Port US Transportation Corp. This illustrated talk describes how Jake Simpkin researched the Millionth Yank to discover who he was, where he came from, what happened to him, and how he came to symbolise the 2 million US soldiers, who embarked from Southampton to the European theatre of war in WW2.

Southampton Old Town Eastern Walk: Off the Beaten Track 
This armchair walk takes an unusual route exploring the eastern side, where good sections of medieval wall remain. Trace the old canal, the Franciscan Friary, the Ditches (famous for its post war shopping), God's House & Tower, and the oldest bowling green in the world. Don't miss this opportunity to go off the beaten track. Power Point presentation.   

Southampton and Its French Connections
This highly researched illustrated talk explores the extraordinarily large number of connections between  ranging from pre-history to the present day.  The Domesday Book of 1086 indicates one third of the inhabitants as French; and today there is a strong presence. The French Church in Winkle Street is just one of the numerous connections between Southampton and France 

Titanic: A Southampton Story 
2012 is the 100th Anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. It was a major disaster for her home port of Southampton. Over one third of those who drowned were Southampton crew; barely a street escaped loss. The legacies of the disaster are visible throughout the city. This illustrated talk will show slides of surviving buildings, memorials, and tell the story from a Southampton point of view.

Carlton Crescent & Rockstone Place 
This illustrated talk features the Conservation Area of Carlton Crescent and Rockstone Place, looking at the architecture of these beautifully proportioned Terraces, and remembering some of the colourful characters who lived there.

Welcome to Southampton and Great Britain 
This talk was designed for the University of Southampton Induction Week as a Welcome Talk for overseas students.  However, it has proved very popular to a wider audience.  It describes Southampton's history and development. The second part covers what to do in Southampton, and its immediate surrounds, and then Great Britain as a whole.

An Armchair Walk Around Medieval Southampton 
The 'Old Town' has some of the best-preserved medieval walls in the country. It is a conservation area containing a unique cluster of Scheduled Ancient Monuments, including the vaults beneath the town, towers and gates. With the aid of high quality slides let me take you on an exploration of Southampton's rich medieval heritage. 

Southampton in the 20th. Century
At the opening of the 20th C. Southampton retained the characteristics of a country town despite its population of 105,000.  Shirley and Freemantle had only recently been incorporated, and to the north, many people considered that the country began at the Inner Avenue.  Apart from shipbuilding, and map making the town had few industries.
However, as the century unfolded Southampton expanded its borough limits both into its surrounding districts, and enlarged the docks through an ambitious programme of land reclamation.  The town proved attractive to new industries including aviation, vehicle manufacture, and cable production.  Benchmark periods include the golden age of luxury liners; amazing aviation pioneering; two world wars; 1950's rising prosperity; and the post-war rebuilding of the town centre.
By the century's end the city has de-industrialised, and reinvented itself as a centre of education, regional shopping centre, and UK capital of the cruise-line industry.

Windsor Castle, Monument of Tradition; Symbol of Change
Windsor Castle is the largest and oldest inhabited castle in the world. It has been home to the nation's monarchs for almost 1000 years. Each monarch has added their own style and vision. This illustrated talk unfolds the history of Windsor Castle, the ultimate monument of English tradition, but also a symbol of change. From the spectacular St George's Chapel, spiritual home of the Order of the Garter; Charles II baroque palace; King George IV's luxurious states rooms filled with his favourite art and furniture, through to our present Queen's magnificent restoration following the fire.  Jake Simpkin is an accredited Windsor Castle guide. 

Southampton 1610 to 1840; from Economic Decline to Prosperous Spa Town
The lack of surviving architecture from the 17th.century gives testimony to the town's economically depressed state during that period. Nevertheless, the departure of Lord De La Warr in 1609, the sailing of the Mayflower in 1620, and the arrival of the Huguenots in 1685 are important historical events of that century.  In 1724 Daniel Defoe described the town as 'decayed'. Yet, as he spoke Southampton was emerging as a Georgian spa town of high repute frequented by the Prince of Wales and his three younger sons. Enterprising individuals wasted no time in catering for their noble needs.  Baths, assembly rooms, hotels, shops, and stagecoach services sprung up and flourished.

Southampton's LUNGS: Historic Parks Walk  
170 years ago, as Southampton's population grew, local politicians debated the future of the ancient Lammas Lands. Victorian foresight led to the creation of our prized Central Parks - the City's lungs. This illustrated talk will tell the fascinating story of its foundation, and describe the statues and memorials within the parks, each of which captures a snapshot of the City's remarkable history.

Victorian Southampton: The Age of Steam & Expansion 1820- 1894
In 1840 the railway link from London was completed, and Southampton's natural shoreline began to disappear under the development of the docks.  The burgeoning population grew from 27,000 to 105,000 spread out from the Old Walls into new suburbs east and north laying the foundations of the modern town. In the docks, the Royal Mail, and P&O shipping lines established services, and the port became central to the 'trooping the Empire'. In 1894 the American Line relocated from Liverpool laying the way open for Southampton to capitalise on the North Atlantic trade and passenger routes.

Southampton From Blitz to D-Day  
This poignant illustrated talk is a tribute to the courage of Southampton people during WW2. Southampton was raided 57 times and there is a strong folk memory of certain incidents. The increasing number of attacks culminated in three major raids at the end of November 1940. It was Southampton's darkest hour.  The air-raids were shocking and violent, but it was queues, blackouts, rationing, shortages and working long hours, that typified Southampton during the war years. From early 1943 there followed the gradual build up to D-Day and Operation Overlord, with Southampton people playing an important role working in the factories and ship yards, and building the Mulberry Harbours. The US Army 14th. Major Port Transportation Corps arrived in July 1943 and took over docks organisation. One of their final tasks in 1946 was the embarkation of British war brides for the USA and Canada. 

Monarchy: Why Has Britain's Survived?
During the Roman period there were no kings of England, so where did they come from? And why has the British monarchy survived. This illustrated talk charts the development of monarchy, and traces the historical events, which laid the foundations for Britain becoming an outstandingly successful example of constitutional monarchy. 

Southampton Through The Eyes of Artists
Using high quality Power Point slides, Southampton is explored through the eyes of artists. Many of these rarely seen paintings are part of the Southampton City Art Gallery, and Southampton City Museums Collections.

Southampton Passenger Ships and Docks
With the aid of slides, this presentation looks back with nostalgia at some of Southampton's most famous passenger liners, and cruise ships. It also explores the growth and development of Southampton Docks

Southampton Lido
This popular talk charts the development of Southampton's Lido. The speaker recalls personal memories of the happy times he spent there. This talk can be presented with slides, or a shorter version suitable as an after dinner speech.

My Role as a Blue Badge Tourist Guide
 In this talk I describe my role as a tourist guide. This talk can be presented with slides, or a shorter version suitable as an after dinner speech.

Equipment and Booking
To your left is a list of my most popular talks, which generally last from between 45 to 60 minutes, or as required.   
I am happy to tailor talks to suit.
I provide my own fully up-to-date equipment to stage these high quality Power Point presentations.
The slides are projected through a LCD, 1200 lumens, digital projector producing bright images onto a large screen.
It usually takes me about 10 minutes to set-up.
I am open to bookings from April through to September.
Fee £50 (for small groups up to 50) plus 40p per mile travelling
For groups with larger audiences - please contact me.