Join me on two road trips around America on Greyhound buses in two very different eras.
The first was in 1969 - the early days of the Nixon presidency, when the first man walked on the moon, gay men and women rioted in New York and Kermit the Frog made his television debut.
The second was in 2019 - when the women's soccer team won the world cup, President Trump was impeached and 53 people were killed in public shootings in August alone. Looking back, it was a year dominated by the fault lines in American society that were to clash horribly a year later in the face of a pandemic and a bitterly fought election.
In my talk I draw on my diary from the first trip and my book from the second to look at how the country that once captivated me - and many others of my generation - has changed over half a century. I also look at what has happened to bus travel - and at how my 72-year-old I coped with revisiting the adventures of my youth.
The talk is illustrated with my own photographs, originally with a Pentax and latterly on a mobile phone!
I welcome questions and so far these have provoked some lively discussions.
‘A very interesting talk about the changes that America has experienced in the past 50 years, some good and some not so good - a great insight into how things are and what the future might bring.‘ – David King, Speaker Secretary, Bookham & Horsley Rotary
Timing: The talk normally runs for about 40 minutes
Speaker’s details: I was a journalist on national and medical newspapers and magazines, and after that ran a business teaching written communication skills to health professionals. I have written four books on medical writing and a memoir. I am an experienced public speaker and former chairman of Mole Valley Speakers Club.
Standard fee: £50
Zoom talks in 2020
October 1: Two Summers, Bookham and Horsley Rotary
October 15: Two Summers, Leatherhead U3A
November 12: Two Summers, Rotary Club of Hart
December 3: Pasadena 1969 and 2019, Pasadena Senior Center
Zoom talks scheduled for 2021
January 13: Two Summers, Rotary Club of Shepperton Aurora
February 15: Two Summers, Shepperton & Sunbury Rotary
March 4: Two Summers, Walton Rotary
March 11: Two Summers, Cobham WI
July 12: Two Summers, Woodhatch WI
September 21: Two Summers, Croydon South Probus
A cub on the moors: a reporter remembers
Dartmoor in the early 1970s may have seemed like a picture-postcard town, but all sorts of dramas played out underneath the calm. This I discovered when I was transplanted from suburban Wimbledon to deeply rural Tavistock, where I served as an indentured trainee reporter on the local newspaper.
My talk revealsl where I was threatened with being impaled on top of the Maypole, how the churchwardens managed to keep their sheep rustling quiet, and why the asssistant postmaster refused to say whether he enjoyed his job. I also explain how these and other events turned me from a callow sociology graduate into a fully fledged reporter heading for Fleet Street.
And in these days of 24-hour coverage and 'fake news', there are some interesting lessons to draw . . .
'Tim's talk at the Tavistock Wharf was a spirited and evocative account of his years as an apprentice reporter... It brought to life the characters he met and their eccentricities'
- Dr Ann Pulsford, talks organiser.
Mostly we had it good: a boomer recollects
We baby boomers have lived through lucky times, and my talk records my journey through the last five decades of the 20th century. In this talk I share some of the main lessons, such as the advantages of being born just after the end of a major war, the unexpected twists of technological change – and the dangers of relying on memory alone.
'An entertaining, Interesting and thought provoking talk ... I heard discussion breaking out all over the place...’ Richard Deavin, President, Epsom Rotary Club