Northampton Branch Programme

Northampton Branch Programme 2023-24

Branch contact:  All enquiries to Mr David Waller  tel 07855 898834

Venue:  Unless otherwise indicated, all meetings will be online at 7 p.m. (details available via Eventbrite registration).

Branch website:


Thursday 19 October 2023

Banners in British Left-Wing Politics since 1800

Kerry Love, University of Northampton

Banners and signs are a regular sight present at contemporary protests, and they often form the focal point of debates about the right to protest in the news. This talk will look at how and why they emerged in the eighteenth century, how they were used in developing popular politics, and how in spite of changing political circumstances, the Left continues to draw on banner tradition and visuals in a number of ways in Britain.

Booking link:


Thursday 30 November 2023

Mayflower 400 and the Challenges of Commemoration

Milly Mulcahey (University of York)

In this talk Milly Mulcahey takes us back to the planning meetings, partnership calls and historical learning at the very start of the UK’s ambitious 'Mayflower 400' commemorations (2016-22). Local dreams of investment and rejuvenation were balanced with the complexity of this historical narrative – the story of a courageous quest for religious freedom and of grave robbing, kidnapping and colonisation. Milly investigates the key learnings of this national project, drawing on three years of interviews with public historians, event organisers, local government representatives, critics of the commemorations, and Native American project partners from the Mashpee and Aquinnah Wampanoag, Shinnecock, Dakota and Cherokee Nations.

Booking link:


Thursday 18 January 2024

The Great Debate

6 p.m. at Waterside Campus, University of Northampton, NN1 5PH

Please contact Branch Chair David Waller (on <>) if your school would like to participate in the Northampton heat.

Thursday 22 February 2024 **PLEASE NOTE DATE CHANGE**

“The Best Burglar in the County”: the story of Joan Wake and the Northamptonshire Record Society

Neil Lyon FSA, local historian

Joan Wake (1884-1974) is one of the most remarkable women Northamptonshire has ever produced. An eminent archivist and local historian, single-handedly she saved Delapré Abbey from demolition in the 1950s. This talk pays tribute to one of our greatest local characters of the twentieth century.


Thursday 14 March 2024

Alfred of Wessex and the Making of England

Dr Toby Purser, University of Northampton

It is often erroneously thought that King Alfred of Wessex not only defeated the Vikings but was the first king of England. He was in fact the last king of the English kingdoms. His victory over the Vikings was without doubt an astonishing achievement but Alfred’s military victories were only the beginning since he spent 20 years winning the peace, by means of great private wealth, education, literature and a sophisticated government which propagated a powerful narrative of the English destiny. Alfred held the line against the Vikings but remained what he had always been – king of Wessex. His achievements laid the foundations for his grandson Aethelstan to conquer the Viking territories and declare the first Kingdom of all England, in 927, a generation after Alfred’s death in 899, an event that was by no means inevitable.


Thursday 2 May 2024

Donald Trump and the Remaking of American Political Religion

David Waller, University of Northampton

The election of Donald Trump as U.S. President in 2016 presents something of a puzzle: how and why did the least morally upstanding — and most unpopular — candidate of recent times receive the ardent support of many evangelical Christians? Why was the so-called ‘Religious Right’ so vocal in championing some of the more extreme policies of the subsequent Trump Administration? This lecture will explore the rise of Christian identity in American politics in recent years, its growing association with the Republican Party, and why some Christian voters ignored more obviously evangelical candidates in favour of Trump.