Review 2023/24 Season

Our First talk of the season was very well attended.

The Scoliotic Knight – Reconstructing the Real Richard III

Tobias Capwell gave us a fascinating insight into the real Richard 111.

His talk started with him explaining how he became fascinated by medieval knights after his grandmother had taken him to see an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum that featured a tableau of Knights on horseback.

He then went on to tell us how Richard would have learnt to fight from a young age, probably as young as six. The scolioses that caused the spinal deformity that has defined his image would not have become apparent till his late teens.

Several misconceptions about medieval knights and their armour and horses were revealed. The armour would not have been as heavy as is commonly thought, nor were the horses the size of shire horses. Manoeuvrability was essential in fighting and jousting. The horses were typically from Andalucia.

Whilst Tobias was doing research into the armour that Richard would have worn, he was contacted by a young man who has an almost identical spinal deformity to Richard 111. This has enabled Tobias’ team to replicate the armour that Richard wore.

The sense of wonder Tobias felt when he saw that tableau in the Met has never dimmed and today Tobias has two jousting horses of spanish descent and he competes in jousting tournaments around the world.

A Bit of a Carry On

Our first official talk of the season sponsored by Culture was a huge success although only 45 people attended those who missed this talk missed a real treat 

A Bit of a Carry On by Tyler Butterworth who himself has had a most interesting life.

To begin with he reminded us of his famous parents , the amusing characters that Peter Butterworth used to play in the Carry on series and his wife Janet Brown a marvelous impressionist .

Tyler related the side of his parents that few people have been privileged to know.

His father born in Bramhill Cheshire he  joined the Merchant Navy on leaving school , when World War 2 began he joined the Royal Navy and served as a lieutenant in the Fleet Air Arm . He was shot down and made a prisoner of war at Stalag Luft 111, he met Talbot Rothwell who later went on to write many of the Carry On films in which Peter became a star .

Having never performed in public before Peter formed a duo with Rothwell and sang in camp shows. They delivered a song that was followed by some comic repartee, which according to Tyler provoked enough boos and stamping of feet to have the desired effect of drowning out the sounds of an escape tunnel being dug by other prisoners 

Butterworth was one of the vaulters covering for the escapers during the escape portrayed by the book and film The Wooden Horse, Peter later auditioned for the film in 1949 but “didn’t look convincingly heroic or athletic enough” according to the makers of the film! 

Tyler had a wonderful collection of letters and photos he had found in the attic after his fathers death, of the period of time his father had spent in incarceration.

Peter was introduced to actress and impressionist Janet Brown by Rothwell and they married in 1946. They had a son Tyler and daughter Emma.

The couple had a successful career until Peter died in 1979 from a heart attack.

Janet continued her career as an impressionist , becoming famous for her impression of Maggie Thatcher.

Tyler an actor and script writer himself, had us amazed and amused as his hour flew by.

After a very jolly dinner afterwards , we all discussed that fact that there is no longer any really funny  comedy anymore . We put this down to being too politically correct and not being able to poke fun at any one anymore! Sad !

Few photos were allowed due to BBC copyright

Ian Fleming

We started off our season early this year with an excellent talk by Jeremy Black on Ian Fleming and the changing image of the James Bond character through the last 50 years. Grateful thanks to Church & Co for sponsoring this talk .

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