London Meeting Saturday, November 7, 2020

This month we have:

AGM: The clubs AGM starts at 1:00 pm (card carrying members only), then at 2.30 the meeting begins

Speaking this month we have:

1st. Paul Gillingham – Across Spain the Roman Way, At a Snail’s Pace.

“What have the Romans ever done for us?” scoffs John Cleese in Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian’.

Plenty, discover Paul and his son, who cross Spain along the ancient Roman routes, Via Augusta and Via de la Plata

Their 800 mile bike ride starting from the Roman city of Gades (Cadiz) takes them through Andalusia, Extremadura and Castilla y Leon, provinces where the Romans left their mark with bridges and roads, aqueducts, theatres, circuses and baths.

They then head for the hills of Galicia along the Camino Sanabres, completing their journey at the post-Roman shrine of St James in Santiago de Compostela.

Paul taught history in UK, Canada, Tanzania and Hong Kong before becoming a journalist and broadcaster. He began as a TV newsreader in Hong Kong in the 70’s (see Paul Gillingham, HK TV via Google), returning to UK as a TV presenter, and went on to produce travel features from around the world for BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service and Classic FM. He has written many articles on travel and a book, ‘At the Peak: A History of Hong Kong Between the Wars’ (Macmillan, 1983).

The highlights of his career include: a spell in the Swedish Merchant Navy, a month in a Rwandan refugee camp during the genocide, meeting Ginger Rogers on Broadway and interviewing, among others, the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Quentin Crisp, Little Richard and the sons of Martin Luther King and Mussolini.

2nd. Derek Mansfield – Riding the Scythian Empire

In 2009, in a monastery in Kyiv, Ukraine, Derek Mansfield discovered his first clues about
the Scythian Empire. For the past eight years he has been riding the Empire; looking,
offtimes inadvertently, more recently with purpose, for burial sites and ancient towns and

The fourth largest Empire the world has ever witnessed started three thousand years ago
stretching west from Siberia to Poland, and south to India and Pakistan. The circumference
is 22,000 kms, the area some 15 million km 2 . But there are no tourist information centres or
guide books; there are no road signs or posters or banners or tickets on sale to show you
the route.

If you can find and follow the clues, you’ll discover trading routes that pre-date the ancient
Silk Road, massive fortifications, burial chambers, weapons, armour, saddles and
harnesses, exquisite jewellery and rich clothing that define the extent of the Empire built by
this fierce nomadic tribe.

Choosing to travel by motorcycle, he journeyed with both trepidation and rich good humour.
Most usually staying in outlandish places, he introduces the audience to the culture and lives
of the people he meets on his way.

Admission costs, we charge a small cash fee of £3 for Globetrotters members and £6 for non-members on the door to cover our expenses, tea/coffee and biscuits are included free in the interval between the talks.

You do not need to be a member to attend, and we do not sell advanced tickets, please just come on the day, the doors open at 2:15pm and the program starts around 2:30pm with each talk lasting between 45 – 60 minutes.

London branch meetings are held at The Church of Scotland, Crown Court, behind the Fortune Theatre in Covent Garden the first Saturday of each month, unless there is a UK public holiday that weekend.

There is no London meeting in August, but we start afresh each September. If you would like to keep up to date with what’s happening at the Globetrotters London meetings and to be sent email reminders prior to the meeting, please sign up here

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