Monday 9 October 2017

Calendar of Speaking Engagements 2017/2018

David Scrimgeour has enjoyed a successful first year as a speaker delivering his inaugural illustrated presentation “Early Asylum Life” to family and local history societies, Probus clubs and other interested organisations across Yorkshire and beyond. With his entertaining and educational style of delivery, feedback confirms that David’s talks have been much enjoyed with his latest in September, 2017 being complimented by Marion Moverley of Upper Dales Family History Group as “an excellent and very detailed presentation which raised a lot of interest” and alerted the audience “to sources that some of us had not thought of before”.

David has spent considerable time researching and developing a new presentation “Evolution of Asylum Patient Photography” to place before interested groups in 2018 and beyond. Audiences who haven’t yet heard “Early Asylum Life” are recommended to first book that presentation as an introduction to the subject.

Early Asylum Life:
The audience travels back in time, becoming a “fly on the wall” in one of the 19th century’s earliest County Asylums in England, the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum, Yorkshire which opened in 1818. The voices of the insane poor are heard through the words of their physicians, relatives, and very specially, the patients themselves, using material from the UNESCO award winning collection of original case notes and other asylum records held by West Yorkshire Archive Service. Listeners learn in intimate detail about why they were committed, how they were treated and what became of them and their families.

Evolution of Asylum Patient Photography:

The archives of the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum in Wakefield contain hundreds of photographs of the insane poor. Rare examples date from 1868, by which time pioneering photographers at other institutions had been capturing patients’ images since the 1850s. Asylum Director James Crichton-Browne, the driving force behind the use of photography, corresponded with celebrated naturalist Charles Darwin enclosing numerous patients’ portraits, usually annotated with a diagnosis of their illness. Through a presentation rich in images captured nearly 150 years ago the audience learns what motivated photography, how it evolved during the 19th century and what legacy remains today. 

Contact David at to check his availability.

Bookings taken for “Early Asylum Life”
Lancashire & Manchester Family History Society, Oldham Branch
Mahdlo Youth Zone
Egerton Street
2pm, Saturday 14th October, 2017
Leeds Probus Club
St Matthews Church Meeting Room
Wood Lane
Chapel Allerton
10.30am, Thursday 9th November, 2017
Sheffield & District Family History Society
Cemetery Road Baptist Church
11 Napier Street
S11 8HA
7.30pm, Monday 20th November, 2017
Low Moor Local History Group
Aldersgate Methgodist Church
Cleckheaton Road
Low Moor
BD12 0TW
2.30pm, Friday 2nd February, 2018
Huddersfield Local History Society
University of Huddersfield
Brontë Lecture Theatre
Room BLG/05
7.30pm, Monday 26th February, 2018
Barwick-in-Elmet & Scholes Probus Club
John Rylie Centre
Carrfield Road
Barwick in Elmet
LS15 4JB
10am, Tuesday 27th February, 2018
East Yorkshire Family History Society
Beverley Cricket Club
Recreation Park Lane
HU17 9HX
7.30pm, Tuesday 1st May, 2018
Doncaster & District Family History Society
Doncaster School for the Deaf
Race Course Roundabout
Leger Way
7.30pm, Wednesday 27th June, 2018
Spen Valley Historical Society
Catholic Church Hall
Dewsbury Road
BD19 5DL
7.30pm, Wednesday 12th September, 2018

Bookings taken for “Evolution of Asylum Patient Photography”
Bradford Family History Society
Glyde House,
Little Horton Lane,
10.30am, Monday 21st May, 2018
Harrogate & District Family History Society
St Paul’s UR Church Hall
Belford Road
7.30pm, Tuesday 16th October, 2018