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University Centre Shrewsbury (UCS) leaders have unveiled an exciting and wide-ranging line-up of public events for 2016, featuring its distinguished academics and eminent guests.

The events are open to everyone, and many are free.

They include lectures by guests:

  • Dr Loyd Grossman on ‘A New Future for Heritage’. Loyd is well-known for his television roles in programmes such as ‘MasterChef’ and ‘Through the Keyhole’ and was appointed CBE in 2015 in recognition of his services to heritage.
  • Jim Penny, a retired Flight Lieutenant, on ‘The Importance of the Bomber Command Offensive in the Second World War’. During the War, Jim was the only survivor among his crew when their Lancaster Bomber was hit by anti-aircraft fire, detonating the 4000lb bomb on board.
  • Peter Hart, oral historian at the Imperial War Museum in London, on ‘Douglas Haig: Britain’s Greatest Commander in Chief?’
  • Prof Tim Wheeler, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Chester and Prof Mike Thomas, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Central Lancashire, presenting on Higher Education. Their lectures are held to honour Puritan Minister Richard Baxter who put forward the idea of a university in Shrewsbury in the 1600s.
  • Prof Peter Starbuck on ‘Peter Drucker - the Father of Modern Management’.
  • Dr Philip Morgan on 'The Battle of Shrewsbury, 1403: What Happened to the Bodies?'
  • Alice Elliott, Head of Sustainability at the University of Chester on ‘Sustainable Business’.
  • Prof Stewart Ainsworth, the landscape archaeologist with Channel 4’s ‘Time Team’ on ‘Fields of Fire: the Archaeological Legacy of Lord Kitchener’.

Lectures by UCS academics include:

  • Prof John Buckley on ‘Perceptions and Realities in Health’.
  • Dr Margaret Cousins on ‘The Singing Ape: The Evolution of the Musical Brain’.
  • Prof Ben Green on ‘Psychiatric Responses to Trauma’.
  • Prof Deborah Wynne on ‘Charlotte Bronte’s Legacy: from Jane Eyre to Rebecca and Beyond’.

Further events featured in the programme are:

  • A unique study day which provides a rare opportunity to discover and draw inspiration from Charles Darwin’s childhood garden in Shrewsbury, organised by UCS’s English department and Shropshire Wildlife Trust.
  • Other study days looking at topics including textiles and life behind the shop counter in the Victorian period.
  • A debate led by UCS Sport Management lecturers investigating how sport contributes to our society.
  • The launch of UCS English lecturer, Dr Jude Piesse’s book British Settler Emigration in Print, 1832-1877 and artist and research fellow, Dr Simon Grennan’s graphic novel, Dispossession.
  • Reading groups and creative writing workshops.

The programme was launched at a Christmas Reception held on Thursday December 17 to say thank you to people from across the community for their ongoing enthusiasm and support.

Professor Anna Sutton, Provost of University Centre Shrewsbury, said: “We are thrilled to share our Public Events Programme for 2016.

“Our academics are hosting fascinating talks and events, sharing more about the work taking place here. We have also been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm shown to be part of the programme by visiting lecturers who are leaders in their fields.

“Many of our events are free, and organised for evenings, lunchtimes or weekends. There's a choice of topics from economic development to the English Civil War to the events industry.

“We are proud to play a role in the cultural life of Shropshire and delighted to offer the opportunity to everyone to hear from these experts, as well as take part in debates, workshops, reading groups and study days.

“We would encourage people to come along and get involved in University Centre life. We hope you find something of interest in the programme - which is growing all the time - and look forward to welcoming you to the University Centre.”

Download the full events programme

For further information go to, email or call 01743 297185.

People can also find out more by visiting Guildhall reception up until Wednesday December 23, and then again from Monday January 4, 2016, following the Christmas break. The information point at Rowley's House is now closed for the Christmas break, also reopening on Monday January 4, 2016.


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