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The Spitalfields Talks

September 20, 2022
by the gentle author

We are taking bookings for my Spitalfields tour through the October & November

Click here to book your ticket for THE GENTLE AUTHOR’S TOUR OF SPITALFIELDS



In collaboration with the Spitalfields Society, I have curated a series of eight monthly talks at the Hanbury Hall on subjects of local interest. The talks take place on the first Tuesday of each month, commencing in October and running through the winter into next spring.

Tickets are £6 and you can book for individual talks through the links below, but we hope many readers will take advantage of season tickets at £36, available direct from All talks will be accompanied by a bar and we expect this will become a popular social event in Spitalfields.

The Hanbury Hall was built as a Huguenot chapel in 1740 as ‘La Patente’ and has recently been renovated. Two talks are of particular local importance because the Matchgirls met in the hall in 1888 and Joseph Merceron was baptised there when it was a Huguenot chapel.



Click here to book for 4th October: Adam Dant on his Maps of Spitalfields & Shoreditch

Cartographer Adam Dant will be showing each of his wonderful maps of Spitalfields & Shoreditch, and telling the stories behind them.



Click here to book for 1st November: Rachel Kolsky on The Jewish East End, From Beigels to Bhajis

Prize-winning London Blue Badge Guide Rachel Kolsky explores Spitalfields and the East End’s rich Jewish heritage.



Click here to book for 6th December: Dan Cruickshank on The Last Lost Buildings of Spitalfields

Dan Cruickshank will be discussing three eighteenth century houses that are being brought back into use, 2 Wilkes St, 19 & 25 Princelet St.



Click here to book for 10th January: Caroline Hamilton on Leading the First Women’s Expeditions to the North & South Poles

Spitalfields resident Caroline Hamilton speaks of her awe-inspiring polar adventures in the frosts of the high Arctic & Antarctic.



Click here to book for 7th February: The Gentle Author on Horace Warner’s Spitalfields Nippers

The Gentle Author tells the story of photographer Horace Warner and shows his astonishing portraits taken in Spitalfields around 1900.



Click here to book for 7th March: Samantha Johnson on My Grandmother and the Matchgirls of 1888

Samantha Johnson discusses the life of Sarah Chapman who was one of the prime movers in the Matchgirls’ strike at the Bryant & May factory in Bow.



Click here to book for 4th April: Suresh Singh on A Modest Living, Memoirs of a Cockney Sikh

Suresh Singh tells the story of his family in Princelet St, beginning with the life of his father Joginder Singh who came to Spitalfields from the Punjab in 1949.



Click here to book for 2nd May: Julian Woodford on Joseph Merceron, The Boss of Bethnal Green

Historical biographer Julian Woodford discusses the breathtakingly appalling life of the eighteenth century Huguenot gangster and corrupt politician, Joseph Merceron.

9 Responses leave one →
  1. Janet Spink permalink
    September 20, 2022

    Will the talks be on YouTube or Zoom?

  2. Ms Terry Ashton permalink
    September 20, 2022

    I live in Australia so unfortunately cannot attend in person for the Spitalfield talks.
    Is there a chance that Zoom could be used or if not, could the talks be recorded so others like myself could watch a recorded version?
    I am happy to pay for this opportunity.
    Kind Regards
    Ms Terry Ashton
    Melbourne, Australia

  3. Lesley Hudswell permalink
    September 20, 2022

    Is there any chance of being able to join on zoom? It’s too far for me to travel.

  4. Robin Ellams permalink
    September 20, 2022

    Are “ZOOM” tickets available for sale?
    I’m interested in the series, but can’t attend in person, being located far from Hanbury Hall (and having mobility issues).

  5. Linda Granfield permalink
    September 20, 2022

    Yes, please! says this Canadian in support of a live-Zoom (times work out well with UK about 5 hours ahead of Canada given seasonal time change), or a recording available for the usual 2-week period.

    I have enjoyed other live UK presentations (literature societies, museums, etc) during the pandemic. The Spitalfields Society would surely benefit financially from opening up the presentations to the thousands of Spitalfields Life daily readers around the world.

    Yes, we could simply donate an amount to TSS to show support, as many of us did for the SLTours (we’ll never be able to take), however, it would be nice to not have geographical distance keep SL followers, once again, outside looking in, longingly, when live events are offered.

    Please ask TSSociety to consider making these wonderful talks available on Zoom. Thanks, from Toronto, Canada.

  6. Su C. permalink
    September 20, 2022


    Echoing the others before me, could this be available by Zoom? I would gladly pay for this pleasure. And I hope also that these extend farther into the new year. It would be a wonderful addition for your followers coming to London on holiday.

    Many thanks for all you do, Gentle Author.

  7. Paul L permalink
    September 26, 2022

    What a wonderful addition. I would also happily support by zoom from Japan if this can be arranged. How about recording for on demand use in future or publishing talks altogether in a book or even separately as pdf.sheets.
    Thank you for a great website.

  8. Alison Marks permalink
    September 17, 2023

    Good evening
    Will there be any more talks going forward ?
    We so enjoyed them last year .
    Many thanks

  9. the gentle author permalink*
    September 17, 2023

    Yes, a new set is about to be announced – watch this space!

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