Our Speakers, past and present. - Travel Talks

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Our Speakers, past and present.

Club members
who have delivered talks are not included in this list, although some of them do deliver talks to other groups. Please contact us by email for further information.

Jane Black is from Tyneside, and is a renowned photographer, as well as being a photographic lecturer and judge.

Nick Burton, a Lancastrian who has spent 30 years working in local and central government in diverse countryside roles. He was a public rights of way officer for Lincolnshire County Council and the North York Moors National Park and was a Countryside Officer with the former Countryside Commission at their north-west office in Manchester. He has also worked as a local authority ranger in Lancashire and has for the last fifteen years been involved in delivering health walks and community cycling and training volunteers in Blackburn and Darwen. (Website)

Dr Steven Cushing

Dr Steven Cushing qualified as a doctor and after a number of years working in hospitals in the Midlands and Manchester entered General Practice before moving to Blackpool. In his spare time he enjoys playing golf (he says "badly"), horse riding and running. He has completed 4 marathons including the inaugural Antarctic Marathon when he became the ninth and oldest person ever to have run a marathon inside the Antarctic Circle. The money raised went to Cancer Research UK.

Trevor Davenport

Trevor Davenport, lives in Formby after living in the eastern United States. A Consultant Industrial Heating Engineer now retired, he has been fortunate to travel widely with work and his hobby of photography. He enjoys Travel and Nature photography and is a member of the RPS at Associate level. Recently awarded the gold medal in the annual RPS Nature Group. He is passionate about a number of things: family; photography; West Bromwich Albion; the wonderful Sefton Coast with so much to interest a nature photographer.

David Edwards

David Edwards has been an expedition science leader in Botswana and was the Royal Geographical Society’s Expeditions Advisor. He has fallen off a mountains, worked in the Grand Canyon, and witnessed volcanic eruptions on Montserrat. He was the Director of Studies for Edinburgh University’s Global Environmental Change international summer school and has run environmental sustainability courses for Glasgow University. He has worked on ocean research ships, and is recently back from Antarctica. A Fellow of the RGS, in 2012 was awarded Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society. He has articles published in national journals, and contributed to BBC R4’s Excess Baggage. ( Website )  

Pax Garabedian

Pax Garabedian EFIAP, PPSA, DPAGB is President, Events Officer & Publications Officer of Northern Counties Photographic Federation and an active member of the Carlisle Camera Club.

In his talks, photographer and speaker Keith Holmes shows superb photographs of city, coast and countryside and examines the landscapes, buildings and stories that lie within.He is a natural enthusiast, his attention to detail, in-depth investigations and breathtaking photographs lead the viewer through some of the most exquisite landscapes in England and beyond.  When characters are encountered along the way, he ensures that their anecdote or history is sewn into the fabric of the tale to give his talks a blend of scenery and personality.  Keith lives in Derbyshire. ( Website )

Denise Heywood

Denise Heywood is a lecturer, author, journalist and photographer. She worked in Cambodia as a journalist and has also lived in France and America. Now based in London, she lectures for the National Association of Decorative and Fine Art Societies, for the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London) and for Madingley Hall (University of Cambridge). She has lectured all over world including the Royal Geographical Society, The British Museum, The Art Fund and The National Trust. She writes for several publications, appears on BBC radio, leads art tours to SE Asia and France and lectures on cruises. ( Website )

John and Rosamund Macfarlane are originally from Nottingham where John was a hospital physician and Rosamund a medical researcher. Following retirement they moved to Loweswater in the Lake District, and pursued their interests in photography, walking and travel. Both have been awarded commendations in top photographic competitions, including the BWPA – the British Wildlife Photography Awards. Rosamund was also Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015.

Ruth Hubbard

Ruth Hubbard lived in Japan’s imperial city of Kyoto for two years from 2006, working as an assistant English teacher at a junior high school. Ruth fell in love with the Kyoto way of life, spending weekends exploring temples and gardens, and evenings indulging in karaoke and the best Japanese cuisine she could find! She also made time to travel extensively throughout Japan from the deepest Shikoku valleys to Sapporo for the winter snow festival. Returning to the UK, Ruth joined InsideJapan Tours as a travel consultant. ( Website )

Howard Phillips

Originally from London, Howard Phillips moved to Thornton over 50 years ago when he took up the post of Lecturer in Geography at the then newly opened Poulton le Fylde College of Education. He eventually became Head of Geography at UCLAN (University of Central Lancashire) where he remained until his retirement. He continues to play an active part the community; he is President of the Blackpool Branch of the Geographic Association and also Vice Chair of Thornton Action Group.

John Pilkington

John Pilkington. An old friend of the Association, his accounts of adventures as far afield as Afghanistan, Bolivia and the Sahara have confirmed his reputation as “one of Britain’s greatest tellers of travellers’ tales”. People are always at the centre his story-telling. His Radio 4 programmes have won him several appearances on Pick of the Week and one on Pick of the Year. But it’s for his thought-provoking talks and spellbinding photos that we know him best. He has spoken to over 1,000 audiences in five countries, and holds the RGS's Ness Award for popularising geography and the wider understanding of the world. ( Website )

Pat and Alan Porrett

Pat and Alan Porrett are from Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear and both became keen photographers from an early age: indeed they first met over 35 years ago when they joined a photography club. Love blossomed and the rest, as they say, is history. Initially they travelled extensively in Europe, but a friendship with a Canadian professional photographer broadened their horizons and lead them to visit areas further afield.

Gordon and Ann Sharp

Gordon and Ann Sharp, from Bolton-by-Bowland, are keen travellers and film makers, and for the past 30 years they have been producing films of their experiences. These films are made to professional standards, and they market them under the name of Spellbound Productions.

Alan Whelan

Alan Whelan is a ghostwriter, business copywriter and author based in Lancashire, UK.  He loves bringing stories to life – in books, articles and press releases. He has been a professional writer for 13 years, an NCTJ-trained journalist and a member of the Society of Authors. His interests lie in hanging out with amazonian chiefs, flying planes without a licence, shooing hippos off sandbanks, remaining upright on a Triumph motorcycle, trying not to look awestruck in the presence of the himba, leaving sweat on the seat of the third avenue bus, drinking with the ghosts in mcdaid's, coming to terms with james joyce, finding his way home the long way and, wherever possible, putting words in the right order while enjoying a nice cup of tea. ( Website )

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